UPDATE: This list has been replaced by a newer version.  GO HERE for the new list.


I've compiled statistics on all 33 starship captain lists I could find here.  Here's the ten (11, really) most listed games, in order of their average ranking in lists they appear in:


1)  Volcano (listed 30 times, averaging 3.13)

2)  Zendo (listed 24 times, averaging 3.81)

3)  Homeworlds (listed 24 times, averaging 3.84)

4)  Zark City (listed 18 times, averaging 5.67)

5)  Pharaoh (listed 13 times, averaging 6.08)

6)  Martian Chess (listed 24 times, averaging 6.25)

7)  Icehouse (listed 13 times, averaging 6.31)

8)  Martian Coasters (listed 20 times, averaging 7.35)

9)  World War 5 (listed 20 times, averaging 7.50)

10)  IceTowers (listed 20 times, averaging 7.65)

11)  Treehouse (listed 24 times, averaging 8.38)


Volcano is the most frequently listed game, by quite a margin.  There are a few pairings of games that are similarly listed and ranked... Zendo vs Homeworlds, Pharaoh vs Icehouse, and World War 5 vs IceTowers vs Martian Coasters.  Martian Coasters is listed fewer times than Treehouse, but is typically two ranks higher when it appears.  Treehouse, the point-of-entry game for the pyramids for almost five years, appears on many lists, but only three Captains ranked Treehouse in their top three.


There are only two Captains each for: Logger, Synapse-Ice, Torpedo, Launchpad 23, Zamboni Wars, Branches Twigs and Thorns, Martian 12s, Powerhouse, Moonshot, Infiltrate, Nothing Beats a Large, Blockade, and Stack Control.


There were also a number of games that appeared on only one list:  Martian Trickery, Solace, Rotationary, Crystal Caverns, TimeLock, Armada, Dectana, Landing Zone, Sandships, Ice Palace, Take It or Leave It, Bears Foxes and Hares, Hextris, the Icehouse Plant Game, Edges, Trice, Martian Race, Stacktors, Mundialito, IceGolf, Drag Race, RGB, Skurdir, Ambush, and 3-High.


Zagami is the only game in Playing With Pyramids that does not appear on any Starship Captain List.

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Very interesting. Thanks for doing the analysis. I wonder how this compares to the BGG ratings for games that have them.

Very interesting. Thanks for compiling this information.  Obviously Volcano is a favorite

Coincidentally, Zagami is the only game in Playing with Pyramids that I haven't played yet.  Or perhaps it's not a coincidence.



I remember Zagami getting very heavy play here at our house while they were developing it... but like many games worked over by that team of people (Kory Heath, Jake Davenport, Kristin Matherly, and John Cooper) working on a game seems to be more interesting than playing it (Gnostica, for example).  Even some of Andy's games follow that pattern here at Wunder/Pepperland.  They get heavy play while being developed, and then less as they are deemed to be "done" and the brains move on to focus on the next exciting thing.


I've always felt that the hard requirement for exactly four players makes it hard for Zagami to get on my table.  Of course, one of the four of us would have to learn how to play first, another impediment to actually playing Zagami.
Zagami needing exactly 4 players (and it having nontrivial rules to explain) is the reason I still haven't played Zagami... but I hope to one day!

Have to add another for Timelock. Of course I'm a bit biased since I designed the game. :) Still happy (and somewhat surprised) that it wound up on someone's favorites list.


Zagami seems like it could be a fun enough game, but I've never been able to convince anyone else to give it a try, so I've never played it. I have a hard enough time getting people to play games in the first place.

When I get around to making a list (I just joined this forum) Timelock will certainly be on it.  It's in my top three two-player games. You did a good job on it.


When it was first introduced it was panned as being too random and not high enough on the strategy end. 


Certainly, it uses the Treehouse die wonderfully (giving you a lot more to think about, as far as placement, than the original Treehouse game. However, it welcomes more strategy than the original comments on the game would allow you to believe. The way we've ended up playing it, not only do you have to consider how to move your own pieces toward their goal and when to slow down your opponent by pinning them at the center line, you also have to consider the best way to proceed with the different stack stacks.  I distribute my work between each stack, knowing that my girlfriend is just waiting to mix up my goal.  I find that I may then anticipate many of her disruptive plays to then have at least some stacks closer to the goal. The mechanics of the game, including the fact that one is usually forced into addressing only two stacks at a given time, are actually rather satisfying for a game that mixes chance and strategy well.

Wow! Someone listed Stacktors? Heck, I haven't even actually played it,  just tested it with one-off simulations of exchanges.


Ryan, are you keeping your original post in this thread up-to-date, as folks add Captain lists?

I have not updated the original list.  I'll leave it as a snapshot of the Icehouse State of Mind circa late 2010.  Maybe I'll update it later.  In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for other Starship Captain lists I may have missed, and those that get updated.
hmm Yea Subdivision isn't on there either and it's on mine . (and yes, I designed it) I was surprised to see another of my games ( Bears, foxes and hares) I haven't played that in a while. I was a favorite of my youngest son and my grandson (who are only a year apart in age). Alas my grandson lives about 1200 miles away. but when he visits this summer we'll have to break it out again for sure. Probably sooner.

Zagami is on my list...  I only played it twice, I think, many years ago, but I rated it a 7 on Boardgamegeek and that put it in my top ten list.  I should try it again soon.


Carlton: Subdivision would be in my top 15...



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