Time/Player Efficient Games of 2009
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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Since I'm unlikely to have much time available after the new year, I'm publishing this list a bit early. Reversing the trend of previous years, my time spent playing board games actually dropped by almost a third. Also notable is that the accuracy of the numbers should be much higher, aided by tracking time spent with my phone. Judging by the numbers I tended to overestimate the time of games. Then again in previous years I think I used to include setup time for some games but not others. Now this is strictly the time spent playing the game until the final result is determined.

2008 List
2007 List

I've collected statistics on game length as well as number of players at the table. Divide the time by the number of players and it'll tell you the length of time taken per player involved. I've eliminated games I've only played once in the past year, since many of those were first time games and the time involved probably isn't as accurate. Also not included are games against family or non-gaming friends, so the times generated are mostly from experienced gamers.

The bulk of the list is made up of games that scale well, adding little or no time with more players. The exceptions are notable for their brevity with few players or ability to play quickly with experienced players.

Games with fewer players are usually going to lose out on this scale, although there are a few surprises in the list.
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1. Board Game: Finito! [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:3315]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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0.68 minutes per player

84 games, 484 players, 5 1/2 hours. For the second year in a row a newcomer has rocketed to the top of the list. I doubt it'll get even a quarter of as much play next year. Many of these games were with 2 copies at once.
 
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2. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:689]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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0.75 minutes per player

15 games, 60 players, 3/4 of an hour. Loopin' Louie holds onto second by the skin of it's teeth.
 
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3. Board Game: Bananagrams [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1552] [Average Rating:6.34 Unranked]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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0.79 minutes per player

5 games, 28 players, 1/3 hour. Actual times shows this to play much faster than I previously thought. Despite this it drops to third.
 
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4. Board Game: Hula Hippos [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:4380]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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1.2 minutes per player

2 games, 8 players, 1/6 of an hour. A couple of very quick games here, quicker even then last year.
 
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5. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:392]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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1.29 minutes per player

3 games, 14 players, 1/3 of an hour. These weren't 200 point games like previous years, as this has moved into the "play a couple of quick hands before other people arrive" category.
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6. Board Game: RattleSnake [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:4041]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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1.73 minutes per player

11 games, 53 players, 1 1/2 hours. Another newcomer which ended up being a big group game when playing with modified rules (the offboard magnets form a common pool, you aren't out until you cause a magnet to click/fall off the board).
 
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7. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:261]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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2.28 minutes per player

2 games, 10 players, 2/5 of an hour. Easy scaler sticks around.
 
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8. Board Game: Cities [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2271]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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2.94 minutes per player

2 games, 10 players, half an hour. Another game that benefited from two copies being played at once.
 
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9. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:724]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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2.94 minutes per player

7 games, 51 players, 2.5 hours. A 3 minute game where Daniel convinced everyone to kill him dropped this considerably.
 
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10. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:564]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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3.72 minutes per player

13 games, 80 players, 5 hours. One of the few games to make the list all three times, and about the only one that increases in time as you add players.
 
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11. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:149]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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4.33 minutes per player

5 games, 23 players, 1 2/3 hours. Three of these were training games.
 
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12. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$ [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:889]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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4.42 minutes per player

3 games, 19 players, 1 2/5 hours. With the expansion of course.
 
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13. Board Game: Wise and Otherwise [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2158]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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5.4 minutes per player

3 games, 23 players, 2+ hours. I believe one of these was a seriously shortened game, but that's not the one I remember. That would be a WBC game where "the horse licks the one..." came up.
 
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14. Board Game: Turn the Tide [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:923]
 
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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6.39 minutes per player

7 games, 35 players, 3 3/4 hours. Back after disappearing from the 2008 list. Some of these were using Turn the Tide.
 
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15. Board Game: Slapshot [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:2784]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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6.4 minutes per player

2 games, 18 players, 2- hours. I got to play this at WBC, quite the experience.
 
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16. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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7.45 minutes per player

60 games, 215 players, 26 3/4 hours. This includes all combinations of base game, Intrigue and Seaside.
 
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17. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:631]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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7.65 minutes per player

2 games, 8 players, 1 hour. Classic makes its first visit to the list.
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18. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:195] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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7.74 minutes per player

6 games, 31 players, 4 hours. New favorite party game. Looking forward to the expansion.
 
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19. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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7.77 minutes per player

182 games, 599 players, 77 1/2 hours. Hey, total time is way down from last year so I feel like I have it under control. Once again this includes games with and without the various expansions.
 
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20. Board Game: Duplik [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:1147]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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7.8 minutes per player

3 games, 19 players, 2 1/2 hours. No, I can't draw. Yes, I like this game for some reason anyway.
 
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21. Board Game: We Didn't Playtest This At All [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:11140] [Average Rating:5.59 Unranked]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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8.76 minutes per player

3 games, 15 players, 2 2/5 hours. Slightly fun with the continually enforced rules.
 
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22. Board Game: Friedrich [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:469]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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The Bottom Ten

Game Players Time Games Time/Player
Friedrich 10 13.61 3 81.66
Maria 6 6 2 60
Goa 8 5.45 2 40.88
Le Havre 7 4.36 2 37.37
Planet Steam 40 24.07 11 36.11
Tales of the Arabian Nights 30 17.26 8 34.52
Princes of Machu Picchu 13 6.61 3 30.51
Automobile 8 3.82 2 28.65
Wizard 7 3.21 2 27.51
Louis XIV 8 3.09 2 23.18
 
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23. Board Game: Finito! [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:3315]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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All Time Top 20 Since Oct. 2006 (4 play minimum):

[c]Game Players Time Games Time/Player
Finito 484 5.5 84 0.68
Bananagrams 68 1.29 12 1.14
Looping Louie 87 1.77 22 1.22
Rattlesnake 53 1.53 11 1.73
Hula Hippos 16 0.49 4 1.84
Tsuro 231 7.56 39 1.96
Shadow Hunters 51 2.5 7 2.94
Sorry Sliders 16 0.85 4 3.19
For Sale 21 1.28 4 3.66
Catchphrase 58 3.7 7 3.83
Elkfest 24 1.68 12 4.2
Space Alert 23 1.66 5 4.33
Diamant 46 3.38 8 4.41
Liar's Dice 271 21.11 42 4.67
Geschenkt 110 8.7 24 4.75
Cash and Guns 121 9.6 18 4.76
Wits and Wagers 37 2.95 6 4.78
Escalation 17 1.55 4 5.47
Zum Kuckuck 270 27.18 53 6.04
6 Nimmnt 51 5.78 10 6.8
[c]
 
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24. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:27]
Mark Delano
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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All Time Bottom Ten since Oct. 2006 (4 plays minimum):

[c]Game Players Time Games Time/Players
Through the Ages 109 120.95 37 66.58
Combat Commander 20 21 10 63
Friedrich 63 63.61 18 60.58
American Megafauna 17 14 5 49.41
Planet Steam 40 24.07 11 36.11
Tales of the Arabian Nights 30 17.26 8 34.52
Agricola 37 20.5 11 33.24
Wizard 21 13 6 30.14
Blue Moon City 12 5.8 4 29
Maestro Leonardo 31 14.9 8 28.84
[c]
 
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