20,000 bits!
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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I'm sure I'm not the only one here who has ever thought: "I must own a gazillion little wooden cubes." Recently, following that train of thought, I then said to myself: "...and not just cubes! What about all the cards, and dice, and little cardboard counters, and glass gems, and...and... I must own about 10,000 bits!"

And then, because I'm kind of a freak sometimes, I decided to actually count them all. It turns out that I own 21,535 bits.

My collection is probably typical of a Euro-heavy member of BGG. I own 105 games. 10% of them are in the BGG top 30. A third of them are in the BGG top 100. Half of them are in the top 200.

In counting my bits I broke them down by category. There's lots of room to quibble about my choice of categories, and even more room to quibble about which category certain things go in. Those of you who are detail-oriented enough to find this list interesting could probably find hundreds of nits to pick. That's fine. There was no way to compile this list without making quite a few arbitrary decisions -- like deciding that the Louis XIV boards are "game boards," but that the Settlers Hexes are "tiles." I invite all dissenters to make their own versions of this list! :-)

Some other notes, before I begin the breakdown:

- I didn't include the boxes themselves, or the publisher catalogs that come with most games. I did include rulebooks.
- Things that get assembled into single pieces -- like T&E monuments -- only count as one bit.
- In many cases I used the inventories listed either on the back of the box, or in the instructions. I did not hand count every single bit, though that would have been the proper hardcore way to do it. What can I say -- I'm weak!
- I didn't include my collection of Magic cards in this assessment. It seemed neither fair nor flattering.

My top 10 games in terms of total bits:

1. Titan - 565
2. TTR: Marklin - 502
3. La Citta - 491
4. Medieval Merchant- 467
5. Acquire - 456
6. Wildlife - 455
7. Union Pacific - 450
8. Ticket to Ride - 391
9. Caylus- 389
10. Power Grid - 386
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1. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:248]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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1. Cards - 6289 (29.2%)

Unsurprisingly, cards are the single most numerous type of "bit" in my collection, and that's probably true for anyone whose collection isn't wargame heavy.

I didn't include cards that serve purely as currency, like those in Alhambra. Those are listed under "Currency."

Top 10 Card counts
1. Shadows Over Camelot - 168
2. TTR: Marklin - 165
3. Eurorails - 164
4. Union Pacific - 162
5. Bohnanza - 161
6. Settlers of Catan - 156
7. Acquire - 151
8t. Das Amulett - 145
8t. Leonardo Da Vinci - 145
10. Ticket to Ride - 144

Top 3 games with the most bits, but no cards:
1. Titan
2. Medieval Merchant
3. Caylus
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2. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:508]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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2. Counters, Chits and Tiles - 5177 (24.0%)

For this category I counted any piece that was made of carboard, about 2mm thick, and reasonably small. Examples include Ra and Carcassone tiles, the landscapes and buildings from Princes of Florence, and the buckets in The Bucket King. I also included letter tiles from games like Scrabble and Syzygy, but not, as a rule, anything else made of wood or plastic.

Note that this category does NOT include Victory Point chips or Coins, which have their own categories.

Top 10 Counter/Chit/Tile counts
1. Titan - 548
2. Wildlife - 315
3. Syzygy - 304
4. Lost Valley - 234
5. La Citta - 227
6. Entdecker - 189
7. Ra - 180
8. Tigris & Euphrates - 169
9. Acquire - 152
10. Oasis - 150
 
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3. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:62]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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3. Miscellaneous Pieces - 2935 (13.6%)

This category includes everything that doesn't fit into another category. Examples include colonists from Puerto Rico, Ursuppe damage markers, Go stones and Chess pieces, and all the wooden blocks from Bausack.

Top 10 Misc. Piece counts
1. Go - 361
2. Bausack- 190
3. Memoir '44 - 180
4. Lowenherz - 168
5. La Citta - 150
6. Fist of Dragonstones - 125
7. Diplomacy - 112
8. Puerto Rico - 105
9. Thingamajig - 104
10. Blokus - 84
 
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4. Board Game: Monopoly: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:10093]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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4. Currency - 2170 (10.1%)

Here I included coins, cards, and bills -- the latter making up the majority. I toyed with the idea of actually counting the VALUE of all my play money, but the scales were so disparate there didn't seem much point.

Examples include paper bills from Medieval Merchant and St. Petersburg, cards from Alhambra, and coins from Princes of Florence. I did NOT include cards from Bohnanza, which serve multiple functions, and which I counted as cards.

Top 10 Currency counts
1. Monopoly: LoTR Edition- 237
2. BuyWord - 160
3t. Medieval Merchant - 150
3t. Union Pacific - 150
5t. Eurorails - 140
5t. Acquire - 140
7. Power Grid - 120
8. Alhambra - 108
9. Modern Art - 96
10. King of the Elves - 75
 
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5. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:416]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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5. Cubes - 1239 (5.8%)

(Percentage of games with cubes: 13.5%)

There's the question I really wanted answered. 1239. On one hand: dang, that's a lot of cubes. But on the other, assuming an average size of 1 cc. per cube, if I combined all of my cubes into one giant megacube, it would be less than 11 cm on a side -- about the size of a Rubik's Cube.

Blue is the most common color of cube in my collection: Blue 236, Green 216, Red 178, Yellow 150, Brown 144, Gray 83, Black 83, White 67, Purple 40, Pink 30, Unpainted 11, Orange 1. That last one is from Tikal.

I decided to count T&E cubes as cubes, even though they're also Victory Points.

Nice showing by Ystari in this category!

Top 10 Cube counts
1. Ursuppe - 220
2. El Grande - 160
3. Tigris & Euphrates - 150
4. Ys - 145
5. Caylus - 140
6. Mykerinos - 140
7. Pillars of Earth - 120
8. Pick Picknic - 108
9. Pirate's Cove - 96
10. Blue Moon City - 75
 
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6. Board Game: Medieval Merchant [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1064]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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6. Houses: 633 (2.9%)

Top 6 House counts
1. Medieval Merchant - 270
2. Power Grid - 132
3. Caylus - 100
4. Thurn and Taxis - 80
5. Settlers of Catan - 40 (we own 2 copies)
6. New England - 11
 
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7. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:80]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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7. Trains: 611 (2.8%)

I don't own many train games, but each one has so many trains, this becomes a significant category.

Top 3 Train counts
1. Ticket To Ride - 240
2. Ticket to Ride: Marklin - 240
3. Union Pacific - 131
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8. Board Game: Elfenland [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:566]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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8. Cylinders: 448 (2.1%)

This category includes both rounded (like the rolling radioactive fuel in Power Grid) and octagonally-cut (like the goods from Puerto Rico). In perhaps my most capricious categorization decision, I didn't count the markers from Ys because of their size. Maybe I should have called this category "small cylinders."

Red is the most common color of cylinder in my collection: Red 85, Yellow 82, Black 69, Blue 53, Green 42, Purple 32, Orange 25, White 23, Unpainted 19, Brown 18

Top 7 Cylinder counts
1. Elfenland - 120
2. Tikal - 76
3. Louis XIV - 64
4. Power Grid - 60
5. Puerto Rico - 50
6. Entdecker: 48
7. Caylus: 30
 
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9. Board Game: Pente [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1013]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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9. Jewels/Gems: 435 (2.0%)

Most of these are of the "glass glob" variety.

If a game called something "gems" fictionally, but (as in my copy of Ys) the pieces don't resemble gems in any meaningful way, they don't count.

Red is the most common color of gem in my collection: Red 115, Blue 77, Yellow 76, Green 74, Black 36, White 34, Clear 11, Gray 4, Orange 4, Brown 4

Top 7 Jewel/Gem counts
1. Pente - 144
2. Diamant - 90
3. Silberzwerg - 84
4. Das Amulett - 52
5. Fist of Dragonstones - 36
6. Dilbert: The Board Game - 15
7. Who Stole Ed's Pants - 14
 
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10. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:306]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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10. Camels: 275 (1.3%)

In no way do these objectively deserve their own category. But... camels! And when Yspahan arrives in the next few days from Thoughthammer, my games-with-camels count will increase by 50%!

Top 2 Camel counts
1. Through the Desert - 175
2. Oasis - 100
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11. Board Game: Urland [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1578]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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11. Animals: 225 (1.0%)

Even less deserving than camels. Heck, I could have legitimately lumped camels into this category. But I'm really only talking about those little animeeples from Doris & Frank games, of which, it turns out, I own exactly two.

Top 2 Animal counts
1. Urland - 140
2. Ark - 85
 
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12. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:306]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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12. Victory Point Chips: 191 (0.9%)

This seemed like a no-brainer catgeory when I started; surely I must own at least a dozen games with victory point chips. Turns out, there are only 4. 191 bits worth a combined 1101 Victory Points among them.

Top 4 Victory Point Chip counts
1. Through the Desert - 85 (worth 365 points total)
2. Puerto Rico - 50 (worth 122 points total)
3. Ra - 48 (worth 226 total points)
4. Seafarers of Catan - 8 (worth 8 total points)

[edited to add # of chips in Seafarers)
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13. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:306]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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13. Player Markers & Avatars: 180 (0.8%)

For this category, I only considered bits that are actually representing the player, either as individuals or teams, on the board. Games like Puerto Rico and Princes of Florence don't have any of these -- nothing in the game is supposed to be "you." This is one of those categories where there's lots of gray area, I'm sure.

Examples of this category include the camel-riders in Through the Desert, pawns from Blue Moon City, giant boots from Elfenland, and the Indiana Jones guys in Diamant.


Top 11 Player Marker & Avatar counts
1. Through the Desert - 30
2. Ursuppe - 28
3. Igel Argern - 24
4. Tigris & Euphrates - 16
5. Amun Re - 10
6t. Diamant - 8
6t. Ca$h 'n Gun$ - 8
8. Shadows Over Camelot - 7
9t. Monopoly: LotR Edition - 6
9t. Mystery of the Abbey - 6
9t. Dilbert: The Board Game - 6
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14. Board Game: Leonardo da Vinci [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:617]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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14. Meeples: 131 (0.6%)

Another category with disappointingly small representation.

Top 4 Meeple counts
1. Leonardo da Vinci - 45
2. Carcassonne - 40
3. Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers - 30
4. Carcassonne: The Discovery - 25
 
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15. Board Game: Louis XIV [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:328]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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15. Game Boards: 122 (0.5%)

Just about half (53.3%) of my games have at least one board. I would have guessed higher.

Top 10 Game Board counts:
1t. Louis XIV - 12
1t. Mississippi Queen - 12
1t. Titan - 12
4. Dungeon Twister - 8
5. Lowenherz - 6
5t. RoboRally - 6
5t. Pick Picnick - 6
8. Shadows Over Camelot - 4
9. Lord of the Rings - 3
10. Show Manager - 2
 
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16. Board Game: Urland [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1578]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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16. Player Aids: 115 (0.5%)

If a game came with player aids in different languages, or multiple copies of the same player aid, they all counted.

Top 8 Player Aid counts
1. Urland - 8
2t. Shadows Over Camelot - 7
2t. Diplomacy - 7
4t. Show Manager - 6
4t. Mystery of the Abbey - 6
4t. Elfenland - 6
4t. Union Pacific - 6
4t. Acquire - 6
 
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17. Board Game: Typo [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:3002]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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17. Rule Books: 110 (0.5%)

Typo has 4 Rule Books - one each in four languages. Other games with more than one rule book include Lost Valley (also multiple languages), and Shadows Over Camelot, Tigris & Euphrates, and Starship Catan.

Three of my games don't have rules. For Big Boggle, I lost them long ago. For Chess, my set didn't come with rules. And for Scrabble, the directions are written on the box, and I'm not counting boxes.
 
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18. Board Game: Leonardo da Vinci [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:617]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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18. Personal Playspaces: 71 (under 0.5%)

Examples of this category include the pirate ships from Pirate's Cove, the city grids from Princes of Florence, the scoring track placards from Goa, and the player boards from Puerto Rico.

Top 8 Personal Playspace counts
1. Leonardo da Vinci - 10
2. Goa - 8
3t. Wildlife - 6
3t. Das Amulett - 6
3t. Alhambra - 6
6t. Pirate's Cove - 5
6t. Puerto Rico - 5
6t. Princes of Florence - 5
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19. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:82] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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19. Dice: 50 (under 0.5%)

Given the Euro-heavy nature of my collection, I'm not surprised by the low total number of dice.

I remember as a kid finding a cut-out-and-play game in Dragon Magazine called "King of the Tabletop." (This was, I believe, the precursor to "Kings 'n 'Things.") In order to play the game, you needed as many d6's as were available, so I raided every other game in the house. I scavanged from Yahtzee, Monopoly, my APBA baseball set -- everything. I ended up with well over 50 dice. If you had told me then that, as an adult, I'd have a collection of over 100 games and combined they wouldn't have as many dice as there were in that pile, I'd have thought you were crazy.

One more aside: I'm a D&D player as well as a boardgamer, but I'm not counting my D&D dice in this tally. My earlier comments about my Magic card collection apply here.

Top 10 Dice counts
1. Memoir '44 - 8
2. Shadows over Camelot - 7
3. Pirate's Cove - 6
4. Titan - 4
5. Mystery of the Abbey - 3
6t. Starship Catan - 2
6t. Ursuppe - 2
6t. Monopoly: LotR Edition - 2
6t. Seafarers of Catan - 2
6t. Settlers of Catan - 2
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20. Board Game: 10 Days in Europe [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1132]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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20. Racks & Screens: 49 (under 0.5%)

These are anything used by players to keep their pieces hidden from others at the table.

Top 10 Rack/Screen counts
1. 10 Days in Europe - 8
2t. Memoir '44 - 6
2t. Acquire - 6
2t. Fist of Dragonstones - 6
5. Modern Art - 5
6t. Silberzwerg - 4
6t. Tigirs & Euphrates - 4
6t. Ys - 4
6t. Scrabble - 4
10. Dungeon Twister - 2
 
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21. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:23]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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21. Single Unique Pieces: 48 (under 0.5%)

For this category I considered any piece of which there was only one in the game, assuming it had some minimum significance. (I did not, for instance, count the pencil that comes with San Juan.)

Examples of this category include the King and Castillo from El Grande, the Bailiff and Provost from Caylus, the Ra figurine from Ra, the Sauron figurine from Lord of the Rings, the eponymous Louis XIV, and the Bandit from Settlers of Catan.

The only game I own with more than 2 of these is Shadows over Camelot.
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22. Board Game: Das Amulett [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1808]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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22. Cloth Bags: 19 (under 0.5%)

Only Silberzwerg and Pente have more than one cloth bag. I'm not even sure I should really count the Pente bags, since they're just for storage.
 
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23. Board Game: Start Player: A Kinda Collectible Card Game [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:3485]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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23. Starting Player Markers: 12 (under 0.5%)

Not much interesting to say about these. Needless to say, no game has more than one.
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24. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
Dorian Hart
United States
Reading
Massachusetts
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I had some other categories in my original tally, which in hindsight didn't really pull their weight: selection disks, round markers, that sort of thing.

Some random other stats about the bits in my collection:

- Only four games in my collection have 10 or more different kinds of bits, using my arbitrary categorizations: Puerto Rico and Pirate's Cove have 11; Entdecker and New England have 10.

- Through the Desert is my only game to lead in 3 different categories. It has more Camels, more Victory Point Chips, and more Player Avatars than any other game in my collection.

- My games with the fewest bits are:

1. Boggle (20)
2. Igel Argern (25)
3. Big Boggle (28)
4. Chess (33)
5. Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (43)
6. Mississippi Queen (47)
7. Techno Witches (52)
8. Pyramiden des Jaguar (54)
9. Falling (55)
10. Dilbert: Corporate Shuffle (61)

There you have it. My game room contains more than 20,000 bits. A back-of-the-napkin estimate is that, laid end to end, they'd go for about a mile. That's one project I think I'll pass on, though.
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