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The best board game designers - as chosen by Boardgamegeek
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Last January, I made a geeklist
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=...tid=189...
- using the ratings on BGG to determine who was the (subjective) best board game designer.

Some criteria/disclaimers for the list...
1.) I used a simple formula - I took the sum total of all the ratings for all games and expansions that the designer had on boardgamegeek, and found the average. This list is in order of the highest average rating, and descending.

2.) Only board game designers who had at least 1500 total ratings were included. (38)

3.) It took me almost a week to gather all this information together, so some of it has already changed slightly - but not enough to drastically change my numbers, I think.

4.) When I ranked the designers in order of how many games they've produced, I only ranked them against others on this list - as there are some prolific designers out there who are NOT on the list simply because their games are not as popular. I suppose that you could take the "Total Ratings" statistic and use it as a sheer measure of a designer's poplularity.

5.) For the sake of interest, I also listed the top-rated game of each designer (the one pictured), their lowest-rated game, and the game that has generated the most interest (i.e. has the most ratings.)

6.) The numbers in parenthesis are the ranking of the category when compared to the other 37 designers. The numbers in brackets are the numbers I gathered last year, and possibly a different game name. If no brackets are included, the designer was not included in last year's data.

7.) For any game to make the highest, most played, etc. - they must have at least ten ratings. (I'm using normal ratings, not Baynesian)

8.) Yes, I'm using expansions. I think they're worthy of addition - and therefore added in their ratings, etc.

All statistics on this list are as of January, 2004

Comments on 2003 ratings changes as a whole...
- Knizia made a BIG jump, probably because most of his games this year were highly rated, and several of his previous ones have gotten many more ratings. He still rules the roost in total ratings - with no one else even close!
- Several new games really changed some people's scores. Examples of these would be Memoir '44, Ticket to Ride, Heroscape, etc.
- Last years total ratings were 93,412. This years were 186,299. That's almost double in ONE YEAR. This shows BGG's immense popularity over the past year.
- Last year's average rating was 6.82 (from these designers). This year's average is 6.86. Does this mean people rate higher now?

Anyway, this should provide plenty of information for people to argue over. I'll try to do it yearly, so that we can watch the rise and fall of game designers over the years.
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26. Thing: N/A
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27. Thing: N/A
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28. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:95]
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<B> Karl-Heinz Schmiel</B>
Average Rating - 6.91 (25th) .... [6.9 (21st)]
BGG Entries - 19 (21st) .... [15 (22nd)]
Total Ratings - 1627 (38th) .... [1073 (32nd)]

Highest Game Rating - Die Macher - 8.12 .... [8.15]
Lowest Game Rating - Democrazy - 5.56 .... [5.6]
Game with most Ratings - Attila - 490 .... [327]
 
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32. Board Game: Wyatt Earp [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:602]
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<B>Mike Fitzgerald</b>
Average Rating - 6.9 (26th) .... [6.99 (16th)]
BGG Entries - 16 (24th) .... [13 (23rd)]
Total Ratings - 1878 (35th) .... [1122 (30th)]

Highest Game Rating - Wyatt Earp - 7.25 .... [7.39]
Lowest Game Rating - X-men Trading Card Game - 3.71 .... [5.19 - Lord of the Rings Tarot Deck]
Game with most Ratings - Wyatt Earp - 759 .... [454]
 
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33. Board Game: Smarty Party! [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1688]
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Aaron Weissblum
Average Rating - 6.87 (27th) .... [6.98(17th)]
BGG Entries - 26 (13th) .... [18 (17th)]
Total Ratings -3842 (18th) .... [1533 (24th)]

Highest Game Rating -Smarty Party - 7.54 .... [7.55 - Capitol]
Lowest Game Rating - Knights of the Rainbow - 4.74 .... [4.74]
Game with most Ratings - San Marco - 711 .... [398]
 
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34. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:213]
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<b> Bruno Faidutti</b>
Average Rating - 6.82 (28th) .... [6.84(23rd)]
BGG Entries - 26 (13th) .... [20 (12th)]
Total Ratings - 5522 (8th) .... [2839 (11th)]

Highest Game Rating -Citadels - 7.53 .... [7.62]
Lowest Game Rating -Toc Toc Toc! - 5.18 .... [5.56 - Draco and Co.]
Game with most Ratings -Citadels - 1827 .... [884]
 
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35. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:726]
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<b>Lawrence Harris</b>
Average Rating - 6.79 (29th) .... [6.7(27th)]
BGG Entries - 9 (35th) .... [7 (30th)]
Total Ratings - 3018 (22nd) .... [1583 (22nd)]

Highest Game Rating - Axis and Allies, Revised - 7.38 .... [7.08 - Axis and Allies, Pacific]
Lowest Game Rating - Broadsides and Boarding Parties - 5.63 .... [5.59]
Game with most Ratings - Axis and Allies - 1452 .... [945]
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36. Board Game: Dos Rios [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1474]
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<b>Franz-Benno Delonge</b>
Average Rating - 6.76 (30th) .... [6.81(24th)]
BGG Entries - 6 (37th) .... [4 (33rd)]
Total Ratings - 2195 (29th) .... [1113 (31st)]

Highest Game Rating - Dos Rios - 7 .... [7 - Big City]
Lowest Game Rating - Zahltag - 5.7 .... [5.13]
Game with most Ratings - Transamerica - 942 .... [532]
 
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37. Board Game: Magna Grecia [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1521]
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<b>Leo Colovini</b>
Average Rating - 6.75 (31st) .... [6.78(25th)]
BGG Entries - 24 (15th) .... [20 (12th)]
Total Ratings - 3927 (17th) .... [1870 (16th)]

Highest Game Rating - Magna Grecia - 7.22 .... [7.45]
Lowest Game Rating - Yummy - 5.43 .... [5.31]
Game with most Ratings -Cartagena - 814 .... [440]
 
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38. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:31]
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<b>Christian Peterson</b>
Average Rating - 6.64 (32nd)
BGG Entries - 29 (11th)
Total Ratings - 2523 (26th)

Highest Game Rating - Twilight Imperium, 3rd ed. - 8.78
Lowest Game Rating - Diskwars: Legend of the Five Rings - 4.78
Game with most Ratings - Game of Thrones - 785
 
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39. Board Game: Wizard [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1984]
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<b>Steve Jackson</b>
Average Rating - 6.47 (33rd) .... [6.44(29th)]
BGG Entries - 67 (5th) .... [50 (6th)]
Total Ratings - 5598 (7th) .... [2871 (10th)]

Highest Game Rating - Wizard - 7.07 .... [7.14 - Illuminati Deluxe]
Lowest Game Rating - Coup - 4.6 .... [4.56]
Game with most Ratings - Munchkin - 881 .... [392]
 
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40. Board Game: Kings & Things [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1223]
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<b>Tom Wham</b>
Average Rating - 6.42 (34th) .... [6.43(30th)]
BGG Entries - 21 (17th) .... [17 (19th)]
Total Ratings - 1724 (37th) .... [1144 (29th)]

Highest Game Rating - Kings and Things - 6.86 .... [7.07]
Lowest Game Rating - Sim City CCG - 4.2 .... [4.28]
Game with most Ratings - Awful Green Things from Outer Space - 544 .... [368]
 
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41. Board Game: Maelstrom [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2654]
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<b>Tom Jolly</b>
Average Rating - 6.38 (35th)
BGG Entries - 17 (22nd)
Total Ratings - 1834 (36th)

Highest Game Rating - Vortex - 7.42
Lowest Game Rating - GOOTMU - 5.37
Game with most Ratings - Drakon - 412
 
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42. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:2089]
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<b>Richard Berg</b>
Average Rating - 6.25 (36th) .... [6.37(31st)]
BGG Entries - 98 (2nd) .... [67 (3rd)]
Total Ratings - 2013 (33rd) .... [1064 (33rd)]

Highest Game Rating - Samurai - 7.55 .... [7.64]
Lowest Game Rating - Sideshow: Campaign for North Africa - 3.9 .... [5.54 - The Battle for North Africa]
Game with most Ratings -Blackbeard - 348 .... [243]
 
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43. Board Game: Diceland: Space [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:3499]
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<b>James Ernest</b>
Average Rating - 6.14 (37th) .... [5.94(32nd)]
BGG Entries - 79 (4th) .... [66 (4th)]
Total Ratings - 7257 (6th) .... [4727 (5th)]

Highest Game Rating - Diceland - Space - 7.63 .... [7.5 - Diceland - Ogre]
Lowest Game Rating - Looney Tunes CCG - 3.5 .... [3.25]
Game with most Ratings - Kill Dr. Lucky - 673 .... [400]
 
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44. Board Game: IceTowers [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:3161]
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<b>Andrew Looney</b>
Average Rating - 5.91 (38th) .... [5.94(33rd)]
BGG Entries - 14 (28th) .... [11 (27th)]
Total Ratings - 2134 (30th) .... [1158 (28th)]

Highest Game Rating - Ice Towers - 7.43 .... [7.35 - Icehouse]
Lowest Game Rating - Q-Turn - 4.86 .... [4.94]
Game with most Ratings -Fluxx - 981 .... [532]
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