BGG Ownership Levels: Updated February 2011 with Year-in-review Stats
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This is my third annual geeklist surveying ownership levels on BGG. These lists identify the current most-owned games and examine trends over the last 12 months. The first page of this geeklist covers the top 25. The second page groups the top ~50 games into several tiers, from 7,000 owners and up. Additionally, it includes data on a handful of games that have the reasonable chance of breaking into the top 25 next year.

Some games are as strong as ever. Some are making impressive surges to the top. And of course, some long-time BGG perennials are slowly fading.

I invite you to geek out over some stats and trends. Enjoy.


**If you would like to compare this list with last year's list, here is a link:

BGG Ownership Levels: Updated February 2010 with Year-in-review Stats
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1. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:164]
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30695 Owners

The clash of the titans continues apace, with Settlers edging out Carcassonne for the third straight year. As usual, the stats of both megasellers are almost identical, with Settlers holding the crown by a couple of hundred owners. In 2009, both games increased their BGG ownership-base by about 33%, so growth has slowed a bit in the last 12 months. Nothing will even come close to challenging either game next year, though.

Hail to the King.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 24199
Last year's position: 1
This year's position: 1
12 month increase: 6,496
Average monthly increase: 541.3
Percentage increase over last year: 26.84%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 10
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2. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:108] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
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30557 Owners

Archrival Carc shows no sign of losing its staying power.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 24060
Last year's position: 2
This year's position: 2
12 month increase: 6,497
Average monthly increase: 541.4
Percentage increase over last year: 27.00%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 9
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3. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
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23195 Owners

In both 2009 and 2010, Puerto Rico rounded out the Big Three, but a trio new challengers is rapidly closing the gap. PR likely has one more year left among the elite before being usurped by this year's #5 game. And no, that isn't Rankings nemesis Agricola.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 18830
Last year's position: 3
This year's position: 3
12 month increase: 4365
Average monthly increase: 363.75
Percentage increase over last year: 23.18%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 14
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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
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19317 Owners

Though the top 3 have remained invulnerable to the sales and diffusion of newer, "hotter" titles, the stagnation ends here, as 2007 megahit Agricola continues to establish a presence in the hobby that will likely last a generation. The game's ownership levels are surging 50% faster than Puerto Rico's, but even if these trends hold, it will not topple the 2002 classic this year. And the trends are definitely up in the air, as this period's percentage growth is half what it was during the previous cycle. Look out for game #17 if you want to see what explosive 80% growth looks like.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 13903
Last year's position: 5
This year's position: 4
12 month increase: 5414
Average monthly increase: 451.2
Percentage increase over last year: 38.94%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 4
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5. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
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19206 Owners

There was some question last year about whether breakout-hit Dominion could catch Agricola. Certainly the game has outsold it several times over in the real world - RGG recently confirmed that combined sales of Dominion products now total over 1 million. Regardless, the base game needed just a little more time to claim the #4 spot this year. Momentum has slowed by about 50 owners per month, with the game claiming both the highest increase in position and the largest raw growth.

There is almost no question that Dominion will rank fourth in the coming cycle. Puerto Rico can easily withstand the onslaught for another year, but after that, all bets are off.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 11820
Last year's position: 10
This year's position: 5
12 month increase: 7386
Average monthly increase: 615.5
Percentage increase over last year: 62.49%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 2
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6. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:214]
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17651 Owners

Citadels is the first low-profile performer on the list. Not a glamorous title, but clearly one with a wide and enduring appeal. As predicted last year, it is rapidly losing ground to New Wave titles Agricola, Dominion, and Pandemic. Look for it to lose another 1-2 positions next year, assuredly to the #7 game and possibly to the #8. Nothing else will budge it in the next 12 months.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 13957
Last year's position: 4
This year's position: 6
12 month increase: 3694
Average monthly increase: 307.83
Percentage increase over last year: 26.47%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 11
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7. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:44]
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17124 Owners

Overshadowed by 2008-peer Dominion, Pandemic continues down the path to ubiquity with big gains this year, displacing a full four titles and closing in on both Citadels and Agricola. Top 5 is a strong possibility in the long run, but a longshot for 2012.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 11410
Last year's position: 11
This year's position: 7
12 month increase: 5714
Average monthly increase: 476.17
Percentage increase over last year: 50.08%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 3
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8. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
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17064 Owners

In many ways the definitive "Gateway Plus" title, Power Grid is backed my years of exposure in the top 5 ranked games and continues to maintain above-average percentage growth. Last year it fell to Agricola but surpassed older titles like Bohnanza and Lost Cities; this year those gains are reversed by Pandemic and Dominion. Now that the New Wave has passed, nothing else looks even remotely well-equipped to challenge the mighty Power Grid. Indeed, it has even managed to trump Gateway juggernaut Ticket to Ride.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 13277
Last year's position: 7
This year's position: 8
12 month increase: 3787
Average monthly increase: 315.58
Percentage increase over last year: 28.52%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 8
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9. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:84]
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16609 Owners

A big fall in 2010 for TtR. Puerto Rico has such a huge owner base that it can hold out on 25% growth, but near the bottom of the top 10, the competition is too stiff. Note that the TtR game family claims two spots on this list for the first time this year, with the European version coming in strong at #21. Combined ownership would place the two games solidly in the #3 position, which is probably where many people expected to find it.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 13308
Last year's position: 6
This year's position: 9
12 month increase: 3301
Average monthly increase: 275.08
Percentage increase over last year: 24.81%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 12
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10. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:280]
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15367 Owners

Here we have Citadel's dance-partner Bohnanza, showing once again that BGGers appreciate simpler, small card games for the right situations. Sometimes, less is more. This could be Bohnanza's last year in the top 10, but it's going to be close, as RftG makes a play for the lead.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 12532
Last year's position: 8
This year's position: 10
12 month increase: 2835
Average monthly increase: 263.25
Percentage increase over last year: 22.62%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 15
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11. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:261]
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14371 Owners

The first game on the list to display sub-20 percentage growth, Lost Cities seems to have weakened its grip on the dubious "spouse-friendly" designation. Still the flagship of the Kosmos 2P series, LC looks to slide three more slots next year to RftG, Arkham Horror, and list-crasher Small World.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 12038
Last year's position: 9
This year's position: 11
12 month increase: 2333
Average monthly increase: 194.42
Percentage increase over last year: 19.38%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 21
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12. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:24]
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14040 Owners

It's easy to forget about Race for the Galaxy, as publisher RGG seems a bit preoccupied with the success of Dominion. But RftG expanded its galactic footprint in 2010 with above-average growth, climbing two spots and setting up for a stab at the top 10 next year. Expect this game to feature prominently among the most-owned games for years to come.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 10278
Last year's position: 14
This year's position: 12
12 month increase: 3762
Average monthly increase: 313.5
Percentage increase over last year: 36.60
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 5
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13. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:141] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
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13549 Owners

Slow and steady wins the race, and AT-flagship Arkham Horror looks inexhaustible. The game has climbed a total of 5 spaces in the last two years, all in the wake of the New Wave. FFG's newer titles Runewars and Civilization may have climbed higher in the rankings for now, but the chances that either will have the long-term success of this game are slim. Next year may be a wash, with Small World and Lost Cities trading places around this giant.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 9967
Last year's position: 15
This year's position: 13
12 month increase: 3582
Average monthly increase: 298.5
Percentage increase over last year: 35.94%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 6
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14. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:9758]
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12474 Owners

Once the proud champion of mass-market games in our collections, Risk sports some of the lowest growth on the list and, curiously, is rapidly losing ground to another family favorite. If that weren't enough, Risk is headed out as the premier "dudes-on-a-map" title, with tongue-in-cheek Small World blasting to the forefront.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 10398
Last year's position: 12
This year's position: 14
12 month increase: 2076
Average monthly increase: 173
Percentage increase over last year: 19.96%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 19
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15. Board Game: Scrabble [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1131]
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12278 Owners

Scrabble's push into the top 15 is one of the bigger surprises on this list. The game is trending higher than many high-profile titles, and has even managed to surpass Tigris and Euphrates, a game backed by almost a decade in the top 10 ranked games (currently ranked 12). Scrabble will probably surpass Risk next year and start gunning for Lost Cities.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 9464
Last year's position: 16
This year's position: 15
12 month increase: 2814
Average monthly increase: 234.5
Percentage increase over last year: 29.73%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 7
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16. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
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11974 Owners

The last three years have not been kind to T&E, either from a ranking or ownership standpoint. But it looks like the slide may mostly be at an end, as only the title immediately below it has the momentum to overtake it next year. If 7 Wonders catches fire in 2011, it may join the list 12 months from now, but its success will have to massive and even then it won't reach this high.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 10284
Last year's position: 13
This year's position: 16
12 month increase: 1690
Average monthly increase: 140.8
Percentage increase over last year: 16.43%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 24 (lowest)
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17. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:111] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
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11703 Owners

Going into 2009, Days of Wonder looked like a 2-franchise company. They had Ticket to Ride and Memoir '44, and cranked out expansions for both every year. Both of these hits hailed from 2004, and despite repeated attempts to launch another big success, nothing really got off the ground during that four year period. In fact, the company blundered its way into an economic ball-and-chain with the BattleLore Franchise, ultimately offloading it to FFG when they could not sustain production costs at the $70 price point.

Enter Small World. Days of Wonder is now a 3-franchise company. 'Nuff said.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: ~6500 (approximate data)
Last year's position: 40
This year's position: 17
12 month increase: ~5200
Average monthly increase: ~433
Percentage increase over last year: ~80% (real figure could be up or down 7%)
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 1 (clearly higher than Dominion, even with approximate data)
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18. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:327] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
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11187 Owners

So far we've seen the top Gateways, coops, fillers, mass markets, 2-players, heavy euros, map brawlers, word games, and more. In at #18 is Chess, our most owned Abstract and Ancient game. Chess isn't doing very well overall, but it's holding steady with most of the surrounding titles and will probably place at or near this position next year.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 9405
Last year's position: 17
This year's position: 18
12 month increase: 1782
Average monthly increase: 148.5
Percentage increase over last year: 18.94%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 22
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19. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
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11073 Owners

Ah, Caylus. The game that sparked the bizarre "line in the sand" about the future of heavy strategy games. Is it too long? Too dry? Too involved?

About 11,000 people don't seem to care. Clearly, it's here to stay.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 9113
Last year's position: 18
This year's position: 19
12 month increase: 1960
Average monthly increase: 163.33
Percentage increase over last year: 21.51%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 17
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20. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:163]
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10759 Owners

San Juan has been thoroughly overshadowed by younger brother Race for the Galaxy, but that hasn't stopped the game from quietly finding a home on thousands of new shelves every year. This one is probably on a slow-fade, but won't leave the top 25 anytime soon.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 8971
Last year's position: 19
This year's position: 20
12 month increase: 1788
Average monthly increase: 149
Percentage increase over last year: 19.93%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 20
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21. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:63]
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10478 Owners

Last year, TtR: Europe barely missed the list at #26 (and I wish I had thought to record exact data!). This year, it ties Dominion for second-place in position increase, behind Small World. The game looks fresh out of momentum, though, with a decent chance of moving one more spot in 12 months.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: ~8150 (approximate data)
Last year's position: 26
This year's position: 21
12 month increase: ~2328
Average monthly increase: ~194
Percentage increase over last year: ~28% (could swing 2% either way)
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): N/A (the possible range is 7-11)
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22. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Железный комиссар
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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10397 Owners

After over six years on the market, M44 has probably reached saturation with all of its expansions. No less than three iterations on the core Commands and Colors system have been released in that time, but none of them have quite matched the success of this one.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 8428
Last year's position: 22
This year's position: 22
12 month increase: 1969
Average monthly increase: 164.08
Percentage increase over last year: 23.36%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 13
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23. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:224]
Железный комиссар
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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10256 Owners

I tend to think of RoboRally as a game from the past, but clearly there is currency here to spare. Long-shot contenders for traction here at the bottom of the list include Twilight Struggle (ranked 30th), Stone Age (33rd), Battlestar Galactica (37th) and 7 Wonders (currently well outside the top 200). Can RoboRally hang on?

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 8415
Last year's position: 23
This year's position: 23
12 month increase: 1841
Average monthly increase: 153.42
Percentage increase over last year: 21.88%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 16
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24. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:26]
Железный комиссар
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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10131 Owners

El Grande has the dubious honor of sliding the farthest this year, though T&E claimed the lowest percentage growth. Both games have lost their hold in the top 10 ranked games. This may be El Grande's last year among the top 25 most owned games.

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 8543
Last year's position: 20
This year's position: 24
12 month increase: 1588
Average monthly increase: 132.33
Percentage increase over last year: 18.59%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 23
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25. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:311]
Железный комиссар
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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10008 Owners

Alhambra closed out last year's list, and I did not expect it to hold on this year. Can it defy gravity a second time?

Ownership level of 2/15/10: 8330
Last year's position: 25
This year's position: 25
12 month increase: 1678
Average monthly increase: 139.83
Percentage increase over last year: 20.14%
Percentage growth rank (acceleration): 18
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