There's a New Number One Board Game

There's a new top board game, at least according to the users of BoardGameGeek. Brass: Birmingham has overtaken Gloomhaven as the top ranked board game on BoardGameGeek, a popular reviews aggregator and forum dedicated to tabletop games. This marks the first time in nearly five years that a new board game has risen to the top spot on BoardGameGeek's ranking system, when Gloomhaven overtook Pandemic: Legacy back in late 2017. In a post announcing Brass: Birmingham's accomplishment, BGG site owner W. Eric Martin noted that it and Gloomhaven would likely compete for the top spot for the foreseeable future as more players ranked and scored both games. 

Brass: Birmingham is a sequel to Brass, an economic strategy game originally published in 2007. The game involves trying to build an economic empire during the industrial revolution by building both industry and logistics over the course of 100 years. One key difference between Brass: Birmingham and its predecessor is that the game uses a dynamic board set up, meaning that play differs with every game. Brass: Birmingham won numerous awards since its release back in 2018, but overtaking Gloomhaven should attract even more interested players due to the attention its now receiving. 

The BGG rankings were instituted in 2007 and serve as a relative aggregator of quality. Only eight games have been ranked #1 over the 16 years the system has been in place. Other games ranked #1 have included Twilight Struggle, Agricola, Puerto Rico, Tigris and Euphrates and Paths of Glory. We will note that the ranking system shouldn't be seen as an absolute measure of quality. "It's not like any of these rankings are fixed in time or that a game lands in its "proper" spot and never moves again," Martin wrote about the rankings system. "The rankings don't indicate absolute greatness, but rather greatness for a good number of people who are fans of that particular game or game genre." Still, topping the rankings is a major accomplishment and all congratulations should go out to both publisher Roxley Games and designers Gavan Brown, Matt Tolman and Martin Wallace.