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The Grand Club: Users with 1000 or more games in their collections
Carol Carpenter
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
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I am kind of fascinated by people who own 1000 or more games. As someone who is cutting down from 340 to about 200 due to space and financial need, I would love to hear from the "Grand Club" members.

So, if you own at least 1000 games, please post here! If you would be so kind, answer the following:
1. How long have you been collecting games?
2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?
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1. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:538]
Dave VanderArk
United States
Coopersville
Michigan
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I've got well over 1000 games. BGG stats say I own 1107 games and 108 expansions. In actuality it's probably closer to 1500 games. It's hard to get an exact count. I don't always remember to enter new games owned into the Geek. A lot of times when I'm cruising through the site for one reason or another I'll see a game that the Geek doesn't think I own but I know I do, so I'll update.

1. How long have you been collecting games?
The first game I owned was either Battle-Cry or a renaissance chess set by ES Lowe. I received those games as gifts when I was 9 or 10. (that would be 1969 or 1970). I still own both. The first game I bought for myself was The Battle of Britain, when I was 11 or 12. I bought it with money I earned shoveling snow. That was about the time I was playing Avalon Hill wargames with my best friend.

I chose an Eon edition of Cosmic Encounter as the game to represent my listing because this was the game that triggered my obsession with boardgaming as a hobby, back in 1980 or so.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
I keep my games in my basement. My basement floor has 8 inches of gravel under the concrete with a buried drain line running to a storm sewer connected to a sump pump, so flooding is not likely. My storage tip is that I'm married to a woman who can visualize how things will stack and fit on shelves far better than I can. Since she's not available, my other storage tip is to have lots of room and be willing to expand shelves along all available walls, even if it means creating a wall of back to back shelves sticking out into the middle of the room. This creates a nice "room" where I have my treadmill and a desk, surrounded by games.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
I have no idea and I don't care to bother trying to figure that out.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?
I have four kids. My wife and I have consistently bought games with the hope that our kids would want to play them, and play them with their friends. This has worked out for us. The last couple of spring breaks my high school sons have had four or five of their friends basically live at our house for several days playing a combination of boardgames, Magic, and video games. If the game collection keeps us from having to wonder where our kids are, it has been a good investment.

I have slowed down on how much I buy in recent years (when I was buying things like crazy the Euro was 70 to 85 cents!), but I still buy a fair number of new things so my collection is growing. One of these years I'll purge a bunch of things, but probably not until the kids are all out of the house. My youngest is 14, and she's a mean Tichu player, so I'm not planning a clearance sale any time soon.
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2. Board Game: The Caucasus Campaign [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:1237]
J.L. Robert
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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The game I attached to this Geeklist was my 1000th item, acquired back in February of this year.

1. How long have you been collecting games?

Technically, 35 years, since I still own my very first chess set, a magnetic board my mother acquired by redeeming Blue Chip Stamps.

I've been actively buying adult board games for about 25 years.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?

Bookshelves. An otherwise unused linen closet. On the floor. Under my bed. There might still be some in my parents' home, from when I was younger.

My tip? Keep 'em where you can fit 'em.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?

A tragically small percentage. Most of the gamers in my parts play newer games, while most of my collection are older titles.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?

The collection will continue to grow. I don't see it decreasing significantly any time soon.
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3. Board Game: U-Boat [Average Rating:5.63 Overall Rank:8620]
Tim Benjamin
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
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Approximately 2900

1) First non-Chess/Stratego/Risk game was AH U-boat in 1968-69.

2) Everywhere: 2 rooms totally dedicated, floor to ceiling, with games and a gameroom plus other shelving in other rooms.

3) I have played about 30% of the total in over 40 years.

4) Continuously growing but down to about 2 dozen a year now.
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4. Board Game: Richthofen's War [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:4313]
Geoffrey Engelstein
United States
Bridgewater
New Jersey
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I'm getting close to 1400 at this point... It would probably be closer to 1600 except that I 'donated' a large part of my collection at the end of college to the game club up there rather than figure out how to get them back home.

My collection got a big boost after attending both days of the Sid Sackson auction. More details about that are in my geeklist: Anecdotes from a Gaming Life.

1. How long have you been collecting games?

My first non-mass market game was probably Richthofen's War, back around 1975. So about 35 years at this point.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?


I have wire shelving in the basement that I use for most of the games. Here are some pictures of the main room:





I also have a separate bookshelf where I keep most of the wargames.

A few minor tips, I guess -- I try to group games by box size. I have the wargames, which are mostly the same size box, arranged chronologically (which makes it a little simpler to locate them). I also have some bins that I use to aggregate the smaller games, like card games. And I have a separate filebox for larger zip-loc-style games.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?


Is this question designed to make me feel bad? I probably play maybe 100 unique games during the year, so < 10%.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?

I keep saying I'm going to trim down and sell some of the games I don't anticipate playing. But realistically it probably won't happen soon...

My game purchasing has slowed down somewhat. I'm mainly picking up titles that I consider to be unique and novel, either mechanic or theme-wise. It used to be possible to buy just about everything new that came out, but no longer. So I am more selective.

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5. Board Game: Sports Illustrated Baseball [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:3303]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Well, I keep trying to reduce, and every now and then I drop below the "grand" level. Of course, I have never cataloged my role playing games in rpggeek.com, so it would be well over 1000 if I included them.

How long have you been collecting games?
Trick question.--I guess I started when I was a kid, less than 10 years old.--But somewhere along the way, most of those great(ish) games went away and all that's left now is maybe Spare Time Bowling and Hangman.--Anyway, when I was away at college, I was down to essentially no games and I purchased Star Fleet Battles with the intention of playing it with my roommate.--I never did play that and finally sold it for next to nothing on eBay.--But, by god, I was a collector.--:)*

Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
When I bought my house in 1995, I made sure to find one with some storage space.--In this case, it was a 20x22 converted carport.--I put metal shelving units all around and that's where the games have resided (many untouched) since.

What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
Hahahaha.--Way, way, way less than 5%

Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?
I really do hope to make it decrease.--I would love to sell a lot of them on eBay, but that takes time and effort and I've already sold a lot of the jewels, so I'm down to stuff that simply won't sell (Screaming Eagles, anyone?).--I learned from Alan Moon, long ago, that once you sell the first one, the rest is easy.--And that's true.--The key, of course, is to get past the tipping point (where I sell way more than I acquire).--But that hasn't happened just yet.

*--Edit to clarify timeframe...I purchased SFB in about 1980, so that's 30 years ago that I restarted my collecting career after having those hundreds of games we had as kids go to church rummage sales and the like.
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6. Board Game: The Battle of the Bulge [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:4045]
Jeff Binning
United States
Rollinsville
Colorado
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1. How long have you been collecting games?

Battle of the Bulge is probably the first "real" game I bought on my own when I was a kid in 1965. I played games as early as I can remember, I guess starting at age 3 or so. I was raised in a family that always played games, and I still have many games from prior to the "Bulge" purchase. I have games my brother and sister played in the 40's, and one game my mother played when she was a girl in the 20's.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?

I have what we used to call a "spare bedroom", which has become my gameroom. It's filled with almost 60 feet of shelve space which accomodates about a quarter of my collection. A few years ago I built a large (10' X 12', with 8.5 feet high walls) storage barn. Three of its walls are now filled floor to ceiling with additional shelves for the rest of my collection. My only storage advice, admittedly not GOOD advice, is, build more shelves! As this shed nears capacity, I remind my wife we have 4 acres of land. Room for a lifetime supply of more sheds. I presently rotate the games from shed to inside on a semi-regular basis, much as museums with more exhibits than floor space do.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
This is hard to estimate, but it's a small percentage. The favorites get lots of repeat play. I'd say 10 to 15%.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?

I actually expect my collecting to diminish significantly, due to time constraints. I truly do want to get a lot more games played, and I expect I'll start selling some in the next few years, much as I'll hate to do it. I'm close to 1700 games, and that's just about enough.

I will make a comment here that I've made in other threads, but it bears repeating, I think.

My love for games, inherited from a family who loves games, has been a lifelong pleasure and hobby for me. I estimate I've spent roughly $25 to $30,000.00 on my hobby, and that includes the cost of the shed I mentioned earlier.

To put that in perspective, I have a friend who collects and restores vintage autos. He paid about $30,000.00 for his first car, a '69 Camaro. He's since acquired a few more, at unknown (to me) costs.

The games I learn and play are shared with my wife, family and friends. The many hours of pleasure I've had playing those games is immeasurable. My friend also enjoys his cars, but his experience is a solitary pleasure. My hobby is a bargain for what it's given to me.
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7. Board Game: Nuclear War [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:1750]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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1. How long have you been collecting games?

Collecting games? I assume you mean board games. I was a miniature gamers for about 20 years. I've been board gaming now about 6 or 7 years. (When I say board gaming, I'e always played board games, but not the focus of my gaming.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?

I wish I had good tips for you. I have an old card catalog that I keep some of the card games and small games at. The rest are on shelves. Unfortunately, my wife think the big plastic/wire shelving look tacky. So, I only have wooden shelving units and most of them aren't deep enough or tall enough. So, I've got some stacked. I've somewhat run out of room for more shelves. My wife is thinking about switching my gaming room with our master bedroom to give me more space, but I'm not sure I like that idea.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?

About 20-25%. There was a time when my disposable income was next to nothing, so my miniature collection isn't that 'large'. Now that I have some disposable income I figure I can get some games and will have them for when the disposable income goes away.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?

INcrease, although the rate of increase has significantly reduced over the past year.
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8. Board Game Publisher: Rio Grande Games
William Crispin
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
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I am a little embarrassed to be on this list. I have an extra room that I use as my game room. I realized recently it was full so I got around to organizing it and realized I had fallen into a serious collecting habit. I am currently below the 1000 mark because I got rid of a bunch of games that I was unlikely to play but I suspect the number will creep up above 1000 again (What I have on preorder will take me back over).

1. How long have you been collecting games?
I have been collecting off and on since the late 70s but I got serious about getting euros around 2003.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
I have a spare room with a table for fixing/examining games, another large table with plexi-glass for war-games and a bunch (8) of inexpensive bookcases to hold the games. I store games flat stacked 4 high to avoid eventual dishing of the boxes. I order them by box size and general category. For other categorization I use BGG. I also keep printed copies of the rules and play-aids in a separate report folder for each game.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
Less the 10%. Probably around 5%.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?
I spend less on games currently than I used to. My free cash is significantly less, which helps. I would like to get to the point where that total number is constant but we will see. I have promised myself that I will not expand my space anymore and that has allowed me to honestly look at games and rate them against each other and get rid of some. Before I was getting games but trading away only a small percentage. I am more aggressive about it now.

5. How does your SO feel about it?
My wife supports me playing games and tolerates the collecting aspect. She would like to feel it is under control and is pushing me to get rid of a game for every new game that arrives. She is probably wiser than me. As long as I keep the games from over-running the rest of the house I am welcome to stay.

6. Why do I do it?
I have always enjoyed playing games as long as I can remember. I enjoy the interaction and the social framework of gaming is sometimes easier for me to deal with than a more unstructured setting. I am a software engineer and complex games provide me with the same satisfaction that programming does.

I would like to play games day in and out but my job and 4 kids preclude that. It is easier for me to get on the computer and locate some interesting game than it is to set aside time for playing. That means that I usually have a large queue of favorite games that I want to play and new games that I want to try out for the first time.

I really try to avoid buying games that I do not have a significant desire to play and some chance at eventually playing. However, I doubt that I will ever play all of the games that I own. That does not bother me too much. When the games are well organized it feels like my own game library where I can pick the right game for any set of people or setting that is occurring.

7. Wargames?

Yes around 30%. Probably very formative in me enjoying complex games. I have very good memories of playing Panzerblitz and Squad Leader. I was not a serious wargamer because I played mostly AH games and not SPI. Before the early part of this decade there very few interesting games available that were not wargames.
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9. Board Game: Luftwaffe [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:9485]
Eric M. Aldrich I
United States
California
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I'm at about 3000 right now, and will be over once some items I acquired at Gamex get added to the database. When vgg opens up I'll hit at least 3200. If magazines were tracked on the board game side I'd add about 400 to the above.

As of now, according to the rpgg and bgg databases, I have over 1700 rpgs and just under 1300 board games. The discrepancy between the two is entirely magazines. The board game collection takes up far more space.

About 150 titles actually belong to my wife. She's the euro gamer among the two of us.

1. How long have you been collecting games?

Since 1976. I chose Luftwaffe as it was he first game I picked up from the hobby.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?

All over the house and garage. Own a big house.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?

Under 1 percent. I play a few games a lot. I read almost everything that I acquire that I don't keep in the shrink.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?

Increase to the tune of a couple hundred this year and then slow down. I've got a couple more holes I'm aiming to fill and then I'm done for the most part.
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10. Board Game: Taliesin Master Game [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Stephen Tavener
United Kingdom
London
England
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I'm slightly ashamed to be on this list. I aspire to keep my collection at around 500 items, but I have been a little lax of late!

1. How long have you been collecting games?
Hard to say. I have always loved games; I suppose it started with RPGs in the early 80's, but Taliesin was the first boardgame I bought, c. 1984.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
One room of our house is my library - board games from the waist down, books from the waist up. However, various other rooms in the house are used as overspill. No useful tips beyond the obvious - stand your games side by side, not on top of each other.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
Hmmm... maybe 10-15%

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?
I'm trying to decrease it at the moment.

Quote:
5. How does your SO feel about it?

Rosie is my enabler. We had a games convention instead of a wedding reception

Quote:
6. Why do I do it?

I don't really see myself as a collector. If I like a game, and want to play it again, then I want a copy sitting here when the opportunity to play arises. Unfortunately, I like most games whistle).

I do go for beautiful plumage, though - if there are two editions of a game available, I'll go for the deluxe edition; and I often pimp out my favourite games.

7. Wargames?
Nah. I have neither the time nor inclination. I favour Euros for multiplayer, abstracts for 2 player; but it does depend on the opponent. I also enjoy RPGs, but haven't played for a long time.
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11. Board Game: Strat-O-Matic Baseball [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:842]
Don Weed
United States
Clemmons
North Carolina
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1. How long have you been collecting games?
I first got Avalon Hill's Gettysburg in 1969 and was immediately hooked. Still have almost every game I've bought in that time til now.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
Two bays of a three car garage and a wall of the basement. No tips come to mind. I live in a dry area so it's not really a concern for moisture damage in the games.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year? Less than 1%, but I do get a lot of enjoyment from reading and rereading the rules of particularly interesting games.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease? Decrease I'm afraid. There comes a time when a collection becomes an anchor and needs to be trimmed.
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12. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:957]
Chris McMahon
United States
Eau Claire
Wisconsin
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Hello, My name is Chris McMahon and I'm a 'Game-A-Holic'.

I have well over 2,000 games. It took me over a month last year to enter most of my games into the database. I did not include multiple copies of games and some of my games were not in the database.

I added Axis & Allies, because I got this edition for Christmas when I was in High School. I thought that it was the greatest game that I had ever played. (I still like getting expansions, variants, and other games that are similar to this.)

I say that I 'officially' started collecting games in 1994. However in 1990 when we moved to our house, I filled the back of my Chevy S-10 pickup truck with games. I had accumulated this many through High School and College. (I also had all my Role Playing games, which is a another story.)

I then started going to Flea Markets and Antique Stores looking for games. Then I found Thrift Stores. I started buying games at Thrift Stores in the Fall of 1994. If I did not have the game I found at the Thrift Store, I bought it. (It was hard to go wrong at $0.49 to $0.59 per game!) My job duties and curling tournaments also have me traveling around Wisconsin a lot, so I was always stoping at Thrift Stores all around the state.

If the game was missing too many pieces, I would 'piece it out'. (I have thrown away more games than some people have owned.) So now I also have boxes of dice, tokens, cards, rules, etc. It is easy to 'pimp out' games. I can also tell stories of the games that I threw away. (Like multiple copies of Survive!, Hotels, King Oil, etc.)

Most of my games are not worth much. It is fun to have friends mention a game that they played when they were a kid, I then go downstairs and show it to them. It is also fun to help other 'Geeks' out by scanning in rules, cards, etc.

I store my games wherever I can. I keep most of my games in the basement. The finished side of my basement also has my game table. I also keep games in the kids' bedrooms. I have some smaller old games with nice graphics on the covers that I have on the bookshelves in the family room. I even have some games at my parents' house. I have 2 dehumidifiers constantly going on the unfinished side of the basement. I'm always looking for better ways to store games. Think 'Tetris'.

I play less than 5% of the games per year. My wife does not like long games. (Rack*O is her favorite game and that is about the length of game that she likes.) My oldest son is very good at games, but would rather play video games. (He does not like long games and any game where the winner is decided by money or points! That only leaves Axis & Allies type games.) My youngest son enjoys games so we end up playing a lot. Unfortunately that limits us to 2 player games.

I recently started playing games with a group of people in the area. I have really enjoed this because I can play more multi-player games.

My collection will continue to increase. I have a collective personality and I'm a 'completest'. If I have a base game and enjoy it, I'll have to get the expansions. I also have other collections. (For instance, I have most of the MAD Magazines. I've been collecting these since I was 10 and am only missing about 5.)

I really enjoy buying a game, reading the rules, looking at the components, etc. Like I said, I'm an addict but the addiction could be a lot worse.
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13. Board Game: Stacrobats [Average Rating:5.40 Overall Rank:9253]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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Since my family isn't into board games as I am, hopefully they won't see that I am on this incriminating list.

1. How long have you been collecting games?
I feel I don't actually "collect" games. I buy them to play, and accidentally have ended up with a collection. I have none of the games I purchased before the 70's, and only a small number of those purchased during the 70's & 80's because they were either played to death (literally) or weren't played and I disposed of them. I didn't become a fervent board gamer until I discovered Euro's about 2004, and most of the games I am keeping have been purchased since then.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?

I have one room where there are only 2-player games. Another room where I keep all the children's games. Hidden (well, not exactly hidden) in the garage is a sizable stash of light party games that come out only at Christmas when family gathers, and about 350 games removed from my BGG list (previously owned) I want to sell. I have a game room filled, where I keep the games I play with other gamers on game nights. The games in this room are grouped & labeled according to the number of players (as the picture shows), which makes it easier for our gaming group to pick out games, or to find it if they already know what they want to play.


3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
This would take more time to figure out than I have. It is not unusual for me to play 50-70 different games a month, but of course some of those are played in multiple months. So a wild guess is 20%.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?
Sigh. Increasing, I guess. Yes, definitely increasing. I need a new house. Maybe a barn.
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14. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:143]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Port Macquarie
NSW
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According to the BGG I have 970 games - if I listed a lot of tiny little inconsequential games that I don't really consider fit to be listed with my other games I would have over 1000.

Quote:
1. How long have you been collecting games?


I have been a serious collector since 1980 when I was 23. Having said that, I still own the draughts set that was given to me by my grandparents when I was 5. Even though I am a collector, I frequently sell and trade games.

Quote:
2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?


Where ever they fit - book shelves in my office, bookshelves downstairs, bookshelves in the garage, etc.

Quote:
3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?


I have no idea. I have played about 60% of the games that I own.

Quote:
4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?


I hope that it goes down. Storage is a problem, not to mention the general stress that goes with having, what must really be considered by sane people as, an obsession with games.


It is becoming harder to find a game that is a bit different to what I already have but still the search for that 'perfect' game continues.

I now get a lot of pleasure from owning 'rare' games and also a lot of pleasure from reselling these games at a tidy profit.

Several times each year I also give away some good games to people I like because being generous can also make me feel good.



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15. Board Game: Monster Collection [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
patrick carroll
United States
effort
Pennsylvania
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Hello. My name is Pat am I too am guilty.

1. How long have you been collecting games?

I started collecting games once I realized that my mother had thrown out all of my childhood games, around 1992. I tried to "reclaim" what was dismissed and childs play. Once I had regained most of them either through yard sales or Ebay. I had stumbled across a small gaming store in the Poconos, PA while on vacation. I picked up the German copy of Starfarers of Catan in 1999. This game led me to finding BGG since I was looking for an english version. Once I found BGG all bets were off. I had found my calling. I am currently 13 games shy of 3100 with more than 700 still in plastic!

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?

I keep my games in my basement on the sturdy plastic shelving from Home Depot (29 units). I have them cataloged as to what shelving unit and shelf they are on. I also keep a list of any missing pieces to some of my older games just in case I come across another copy. And yes I did have a flood around 4 years ago. Knee deep water where I lost 40-50 games while another 60 were water damaged. Now I have a sump pump and my dehumidifier runs from spring to winter.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?

As for percentage, I'm sad to say that I play less than 2% of my games in a years time. And yes I am looking for gamers.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?

Increase! Was there any question about it? As long as I wake up without my wife's pillow on my face I'll be collecting for a long time.
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16. Board Game: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:5608]
Frank Eisenhauer
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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1. How long have you been collecting games?

I am not sure when exactly I switched from simply buying a new board game to collecting board games, but my guess would be 1998 (the year I found "The Game Depot" & "Bookman's"). I started buying board games in 1989 with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table which I bought with one of my first pay-cheques. Currently I own just over 1400 games.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?

I am fortunate enough to have a dedicated game room. The room is currently stuffed to the brim with IKEA Ivar shelving that I can recommend whole heartedly for storing games. Some of the shelving:


3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?

Unfortunately I think I don't play more than 5% of the collection. It used to be more (Thanks Ludonauts & Featherstone Board Gamers!), but Astana is woefully short of gamers, let alone BGG Geeks. While we organize a weekly game evening, mainly the same title see the table.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?

While I would hope to decrease the number of games I own, I don't see that happening in the short term. There is a lot of chaff in my collection that needs to go, but Kazakhstan is not the place to sell or trade board games. So the reduction of the collection will have to wait until we move back to Germany or some other "Gaming Central".

I am, however, not unhappy with the size of my collection. I would just like to refine it. I don't see anything wrong with being a collector of board games as well as being a player. I am proud to own many obscure or rare titles that will probably never see the table for a play, but are nevertheless very interesting for me to read and appreciate. Collecting is part of me and next to board games there are also books and RPG's that vie for shelve space.

Edit: Spelling, as usual.
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17. Board Game: Kremlin [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:554]
It's not OCD until you sleeve your UNO cards.
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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1. How long have you been collecting games?

Grew up playing cards and board games, Avalon Hill, Risk, Cribbage, etc. In college we'd play cribbage and the loser would have to vaccuum the other person's room. That's a way to get good. Was out of it for a while, and then bought a bunch of Avalon Hill General magazines off of a local gamer (who happens to be a former Geek of the Week) and got invited to his game group. First game with his group was Advanced Civilization New Year's Eve 2003. Yaack! What an initiation. That group, which I still play with, got me going on some of the more recently published games.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?

Ikea Ivar shelving. It's 19" deep so you can store a lot of the longer boxes end on, even Heroscape Master sets and the old Milton Bradley Axis & Allies. On these Ivar shelves I use wooden boxes from Storables to hold many of my card games. Up in my attic, I also use a lot of Monoflo 12 gallon storage totes. They stack well and you can get them at Costco. I don't stack them more than 3 or 4 high because after that the weight will deform the lids.
link to tote image.
Like I said they are relatively inexpensive at Costco. I generally buy them 5-7 at a time.

Once you get a couple thousand games, storage does become a significant issue, but I do have a very understanding spouse. My answer has been to used my attic space, as I don't have a basement available. After consulting with several engineering friends, I built a subfloor up in my attic and store a lot of my games up there. I did hook up lights and an attic fan to hold down the temp. Otherwise it was getting up to 145-150 degrees up there on a sunny day. Lastly I do number all those totes, and keep a database of my games so I can keep track of where they are. I've got some games in my attic, some on my shelves, some up in Alaska, so that I can play up there, and several in Germany which need to come over here some day.

And yes I do need to take pictures of this. My attic looks like the warehouse scene at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie when the government is moving the ark into storage.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?

Woefully small, but my percentage of games played keeps going up. There are some games that I know that I won't get to in the next few years, but I keep on thinking, "Yeah, when I'm retired". However I have a lot of other pulls on my attention, and I don't feel any deep desire to spend more time gaming than I already do. Also the more I play games, the more I find that I like longer (3-4) hour games which are hard to get to the table. The shorter games are much easier to get opponents for.


4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?


Probably slowly increase. I really would prefer to keep the quantity the same and increase the quality, but it's much easier to acquire than discard, and I spend too much time in thrift stores, (However this is a self correcting process, and I've gotten much more selective.) Overall I'd be happier to decrease the size of my collection than increase it.

There are a lot of users with large collections locally, and I just passed one of my friends in terms of the quantative aspect of the collection. I still think that he holds the edge qualitatively. My goal is for him to catch up and pass me again, so that I can point to Walt and say, "See, compared to him my collection is moderately sized. (By the way there are others locally who have larger collections than either of us. I'm at 2200, and Walt is at 2060.)
Walt and I are keep track of our purchases, and I track monthly whether Walt is catching up or falling behind.

My 2010 aquisitions
Walt's 2010 May aquisitions

From Walt's latest monthly geeklist you can go to earlier months to see his purchases for the year. Let's all urge Walt to buy more games.

Lastly I picked Kremlin as my game because even though there's a lot of great new games being published there are still a lot of gems from earlier years. I hosted a 6 player game of Kremlin at a recent Con, and everyone had a great time. Pictured is the 1st edition of Kremlin. My understanding is that they put Gorby on the cover without his permission, and like a good communist he sued. So they removed his picture on the 2nd edition of the game.

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18. Board Game: Le Grandi Manovre [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Dan Cermak
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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I am a little over 1000 with a focus on antique war themed and strategy games from all over the world that date to 1950 and before. My collection goes back to 1895 with about 120 or so of the total being antiques. The rest of the collection is focused on wargames, strategy games, role playing games and family games in that order. The game I used for my listing is one of my rarest, its a wargame (with an amazing set of features for a game from 1937) from Italy just prior to WWII. I love the box cover and the game has elements that wouldn't be seen again for almost 20 years.

1. How long have you been collecting games?
I have been at it since I got my first S&T magazine/game in 1970. It was Centurion and I still have it. I didn't start collecting the antiques until about 15 years ago.


2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
We added on to our house blush. I converted my 2 car garage into a game room. I have surrounded it with shelves and I have to take care to protect my older games from light as well as making sure I don't stack them. I have taken to using cotton gloves to handle some of the old ones. I built a game table and its a great refuge.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
I play almost every day, usually 1 to 3 different games a week but a lot of my gaming is wargaming so the games can run long. I probably play about 10% of my collection each year.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?
Increase for a while, my antiques aren't growing much at all anymore, I have a very small list of really old games I have heard about but never seen (just got one called Battle of the Tanks from Milton Bradley 1942). I add an antique once every couple of months at best now. The rest of the collection grows slowly and I don't really plan on getting rid of anything (as I said, I still have Centurion).
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19. Board Game: PanzerBlitz [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1585]
Daniel Broh-Kahn
United States
Phoenix
Maryland
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1. How long have you been collecting games?
Board games, since 1974, starting with this one. Excluding stuff my parents bought before then.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
In the basement, half in a game-room, and half elsewhere in the basement. IKEA shelves (I use IVAR, the cheapest and most flexible for sizing) is my solution of choice.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
That's not even an appropriate question. I have basically played ONE game since February (Proud Monster Deluxe playtest), although I added a few more over Memorial Day, since I do a reunion every year with my high school gaming friends.


4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?
According to my wife, the latter. Unofficialy, well,

Daniel
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20. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:121]
Let The Games Begin!
United States
York
Pennsylvania
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Hello, all!

I've been more of a lurker here on the Geek (for years!), but I figured I'd chime in on this one. (Thank you TREMENDOUSLY to all of you in the community that make this site so wonderful. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to add much to discussions, reviews, photos, etc.)

Up until September 2000 I had about 20 games that I had slowly amassed over the years. The Taboo/Party Kinda games, the Trivial Pursuits, Monopoly, etc. I didn't know about this new world until I went to my first Mensa Games Day at a guy's house here in the South Central PA area. That's where I first learned about Mensa MindGames. I went home and looked it up. I printed out the list of winners and took it to the next Mensa dinner and showed it to the guy and said, "Wouldn't it be awesome to have all of these?" He said, "Yeah, but who's gonna buy them all?" I said, "Yeah..." Then a light hit me like a bullet (or a steamtrain!). Thus began the obsession. I keep an Excel spreadsheet that says that I have 1,736 games/expansions now.

I consider Magic: The Gathering to be the greatest game ever invented. I haven't had much chance to play over the last 2 years, so I'm a bit out of touch, but I know that the framework of MTG is absolutely brilliant. It's a living hobby. People complain that it costs money, but I think that's what most hobbies do, so that really doesn't bother me. (Unfortunately, I've never inventoried my ridiculous Magic collection.)

So, to the questions:

1. How long have you been collecting games? I'd say I started in September 2000.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips? We've finished a Hall of Games in our basement. I largely group games by publisher/box type. So, several shelves have just Rio Grande on them with a couple other games from other publishers that match the boxes. Unless a game screams to be stored on it's end (e.g. the Alea line, Mystery Rummy, etc.), I store all of my games flat by box size. Games that don't have a unifying publisher but are in a general category get put together. So, I have a section for 2-player strategy games, but it doesn't have Gipf in it because that's a Rio Grande Game on another shelf. I have a section for party games, but it doesn't have Apples to Apples in it, because that belongs with the other Out of the Box games (stacked with Squint, Snorta, Whaddyaknow, same size boxes, etc.)

I HIGHLY recommend the Leksvik line of bookshelves from Ikea. We have 12 of them downstairs, and they can hold a LOT.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year? I would have to say that I get to play probably 5% per year. Of the 1,736, I've only played 878 of them. It may well be a sickness, because several hundred aren't opened yet. That should be some good fodder, I would think!

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease? Oh, it will increase. I'm sure of it. I've about reached capacity in the Hall of Games, so I'll have to come up with something else. I've considered the back to back shelves like in a library, so that might be a possibility.

Thanks for asking the questions!
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21. Board Game: Chill: Black Morn Manor [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:3819]
Andreas Quiter
Germany
Freiburg
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I'm a Hunter/Gatherer at heart. Ever been, always will. I cannot part from my things, my gamess, my precioussss....... we wants it, wants it all.

1) I always liked to play board games and started out with risk, like so many other. My collection began around 1984 when I bought my first game, all others up to then where presents. I purchased Dune, still have it, won't play it. It's a reminder: research first, then shopping. My real first game then was Black Morn Manor, the Pacesetter edition. It hit the table quite often and we had a lot of fun playing it. I tried it again some time ago and found the cards very vague worded. Foreign, that beeing american, british or french games where hard to come by in those times. I got this game from a game store in Mainz, then called Scenario. I visited there quite often in 1985/1986, then another game store opened in Mannheim, Fantasy Forrest, much easier to reach for me. As I travelled a lot through Germany from 1985-1988, I always checked for game stores on my routes and tried to visit them. Mind you, that was not an easy thing then, without the internet. mostly ads in gaming magazins.

2) A lot of mismatched shelves and other oddities. I've nearly reached my storage capacity. When last moving with the familiy we rented a rather large 5 room flat. At first the smallest room became the guest room and I could set up my shelves there. When the kids grew and got their seperate rooms I took over half of the dining room with one shelve as a room divider. I'm seriously considering to put several games together in boxes to economize storage space but can't bring myself to do it. So I tweak, shuffle and reorganize to gain a little more shelving space. I'm good for another dozen games or so, then I will have to come up with another solution. Im thinking about connecting two shelves which stand opposite each other with additional boards at 1,80 m height so they create a kind of arch to walk under. This would greatly increase my storage capacity.

3) Don't know, don't care.
I'm interestes in game mechanics, so I quite often take a game and set it up to develop a strategy for myself.

4) Increase, what else? I will not make it to Essen this year, but a local internet dealer sets up a store in Freiburg during Christmas time, I will get nearly all new games there.
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22. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:2733]
Tom
United States
Seattle
Washington
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My profile tells me that I have 1293 games, with 173 expansions. I tell friends that I have moved from being a gamer, zoomed past being a collector, and then fell off the cliff into obsession.

1. How long have you been collecting games?
Really since 1994 or so. I came back to the hobby just in time to hit the first wave of games coming across the pond. I do have many games from my childhood, recovered from the parents house (including a working Dark Tower).
2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
No storage tips. I am often asked what system I use to store them: by genre, author, &c. I store them by size. If I didn't, I wouldn't be able to get as many on the shelves. I had a walk-in closet that was all games, but we are in the process of moving them all to the basement, which I am hoping will give me a bit more room.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
5%-10% I would guess, though probably closer to the lower end. A question I always get asked is, how many of these have you played? I would figure around 40%.
4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?
It will definitely increase, though not at the rate it did in years past. I am a bit more discriminating now, and no longer buy games simply because I can get them on sale. I am hoping to get involved in more trades, maybe try to turn lots of four or five lesser games for something that I want. Storage remains a problem.
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23. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2873]
Rob Bakker
Netherlands
Driebergen-Rijsenburg
Netherlands
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Proud member of the club! 1175 here on the Geek. Actually over 1600. o
Over 2000 items including all expansions.

Started collecting when I was 20. First gamers game was Samurai from AH. Never stopped after that. The more I earned, the more I spent.

I store my games on a refurbished attick. Lots of shelfs and cabinets on wheels which can be entered from the side for easy access to all games and extra deep storage space.

Unfortunately I don't play as much as would like.

Growth speed has slowed down last year because of changes at work and in private life. No problem, it will pick up again in the near future ;-)
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24. Board Game: Twixt [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1120]
Todd Redden
United States
Manchester
Connecticut
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Hi Carol! I have 1617 items in my boardgame database, including all games, expansions, revisions, editions, etc. I've been seriously collecting games for a little over 15 years, but already had around 500 games when I started going haywire. The original 500 or so games fit in one game closet, but when the collection started growing excessively and spilling out onto the bedroom floor, now I have shelves lining the bedroom stacked full, overflow stacks all over the floor, some duplicates and unplayed on shelves in the basement and in 2 other closets upstairs. I last calculated around 900 truly different games, of which I play roughly 120 in a year. I still have around 300 games I've never played. The growth of the collection has slowed down, and I've long planned to weed out a fair number of unlikely plays, but I still expect the collection will grow more than decrease over the coming years.
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25. Board Game: The Beatles Flip Your Wig Game [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Mike Tangedal
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Our board game collection is stored under my wife's ID
Nadine Sehnert
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Oddly enough, neither of us were into board game collecting when we met. However, through the process of furnishing our Minneapolis bungalow by attending many estate sales to procure mission-style furniture and other various accoutrement that best fit the decor of our home, we stumbled upon many board games. God bless the Minnesota grandparents that have passed on! Seems like most of them had a closet full of classic board games we used to build our collection.

We have about 3,000 board games in our home. Most of them would be considered classics. The earliest games we own are some Authors cards from the 1890s. We have at least 100 games not yet on the BGG database. We decided early on that simply collecting games wasn't as much fun as playing games so we formed an internet group that is very active and thriving. We are www.twincitiesboardgames.com. So if you live anywhere near us, let us know and we'd be happy to correspond on questions about board games.


1. How long have you been collecting games?

We started collecting in earnest after we got married in 2001. It is not as if we had a mission statement or a business plan when we got going. We'd find a few games in a closet at an estate sale and the next weekend we would find a few more and the next thing you know, we have a sizable board game collection. After a few years we started putting them in a database (as well as BGG of course) so now the whole process is quite organized and enjoyable.

2. Where do you keep the games? Any storage tips?
Up until a certain Swedish furniture company decided to open a store in Minnesota, we relied on simple storage racks. Thanks to those gargantuan units with the pull out shelves and the overabundance of umlauts in the name, we were able to store a lot more games in less area which made life much better.

3. What percentage of your collection do you play in a year?
Obviously not a lot, but thanks to our active participation in organizing meet ups for anyone in the Twin Cities who has an interest in this hobby, we play a lot of different games. We have also been lucky enough to receive sponsorship from game companies who let us play test their games with members of our group. We hold about two events each month and every quarter we throw a huge board game party that has had up to 150 people attend. It is a great feeling to get that many different people together and have them all play board games.

Also, we have a lot of the group events at our home so we can show off our collection to all interested parties. As with any classic board game collection, many are more fun to just look at than to play. We have a surprising number of games that we dare not ever play since they are 'lawsuits waiting to happen'. Suffice to say that the late 60s and the 70s produced a lot of board games that would never pass the legal department today.

4. Do you expect the number of games you own to keep increasing or decrease?

We have implemented a stricter guideline on games we are willing to add to our collection as of late. We give away a lot of games, many we trade away, and some we sell. We don't have too much more room in our hose for many more, but we really enjoy our collection the more it grows and the more refined we can make it.


What is the life of the board game collector?

Thanks to all the social networking sites, Monday through Friday evenings are going to include at least one call to play games. We can play here or another gamers house. We even have a few game-themed restaurants in town but they can be a bit noisy. So one night a week we can be out playing board games.

The weekends are when the real work is done. Saturday morning is the realm of the estate sale. We have been out and about all throughout the midwest and the Twin Cities has a protocol on estate sales unlike any other place we've been.

A noteworthy shout-out is appropriate here for the BGG Iphone app. Whereas before when we got to the game closet at an estate sale we would have to rely on our memories to discern whether or not we already had that game, now we can use the BGG Iphone app to confirm items. So thanks again to whoever did that in assisting us with refining our collection.

We do go thrifting a bit but less and less these days as it has become more difficult to find anything we might want at thrift stores. The other bit of work to do is to go through any games purchased during the weekend and perform an inventory as well as enter all information into the database. This task is made much more enjoyable through the miracle of Tivo. Hooray for technology!

The rest of the weekend is for enjoying the board game collection by playing games here or taking games and playing them at social functions all around town. My wife and I socialize mainly through board games. Why just talk with your friends when you can play board games while talking to your friends?

So that is our lives. We don't just do board games, but thankfully we are organized enough to maintain and enjoy our collection as much as we would like. It is indeed as much fun as you would imagine.
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