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Joshua Hibbert
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I recently purchased Vikings on a whim as it was on sale (down from $85 RRP to $35). I had never heard of this game but the box looked interesting and it appeared to feature a mechanic I'd never seen before.

Upon getting it home and playing it with two and three players I was amazed at my luck! I'd picked up a really solid game for a great price. Those I played it with loved it too! The purchasing mechanic is really interesting and makes for some great decision making and player interaction.

This was one of my most memorable first plays too, because although there's been some games I've been super hyped about playing (and thoroughly enjoyed them) I had zero expectations before the first play of Vikings and was totally blown away.

I'd love to hear about similar experiences you may have had!
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Chris Arnold
Australia
Perth
WA
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I bought Soulfall because I liked one of the pictures of a whale (it's not really a whale in the game universe), and it was cheap enough to pick up on that sort of rationale. It turned out to be a really entertaining, short, light wargame sort of thing. I need to play it some more...
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jay
United States
Fargo
North Dakota
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The second board game I ever purchased.

My rpg group took occasional breaks when we didn't have enough players or people were a bit tired or not in the mood. In that absence we'd play either Catan or Munchkin. Essentially games that are in the love em or hate em category. They got a little stale, but not quite boring yet. I figured that maybe I should pick up something else to throw into the mix. I wasn't an BBG user then, but I did frequent rpggeek so I knew of it. I walked into my local game store, looked at the most affordable game in the top 10 games and bought it.

To this day, powergrid is still my favorite game and really the game that opened the gateway.
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Jason Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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TBH, every single game that I've bought on a whim was awful. The latest was Twilight Squabble, a pathetic cash-in on a great game. Maybe horrible luck, but literally every board game purchase I've made without researching has been a train wreck.
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Carel Teijgeler
Netherlands
Vlaardingen
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Well, that was the way to purchase board games some 30 years ago.

Shopping in London, seeing some board games on a shelf (Avalon Hill, Victory Games, those kind of boxes). Ignore the war games, see what other interesting titles with a historic themes are left.
Choose the one left or the one you could afford money wise.

Once I had the choice between Machiavelli and one I thought was Source of the Nile (but that had a complete different box front as depicted here on BGG. I choose the former because of the price (£11.95; price sticker still on the box) versus some £22.

Ah, those prices, those were the days. whistle
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Marina SC
Canada
Vaughan
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I try to not buy games completely blindly, so the last time this happened was when I saw Court of the Medici in a Bring & Buy sale at a game con. I knew nothing about it except that was by the same designer as Lords of Scotland (which I hadn't played, but had been interested in), the sale price was cheap, and it was OOP so if I wanted to own it this would likely be my only chance to get a copy. I quite like it, and wish I had more opportunities to play it.
 
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Brandon
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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I wonder how many of the positive examples occurred during the "honeymoon" period with boardgames, that is, during the first initial rush of buying and trying a ton of games before one's tastes are fully formed and the jadedness sets in. (not that it'd be a bad thing, just an observation)
 
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Frederic Heath-Renn
United Kingdom
London
London
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I bought Haggis because I had spent a while hanging around Inner Sanctum in Cambridge looking lovingly at games and felt bad about leaving without buying anything. A lovely tense little climbing game.
 
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G.Daddy.Slim
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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If I'm spending more than $25 for a game, I'll usually research it first.. so all of my "hidden gem" games are fillers.

Great Wall of China - got this in a BGG Auction - only thing I knew was it was Reiner Knizia. Love this game!!

Chicken Cha Cha Cha - My wife bought this at GenCon 2015 because she thought the wooden chickens were cute. We've had everyone from our regular gaming group to my son's volleyball team play it.. and we've had a blast with it.

Die Weinhändler - BGG Auction, not really sure why I bought it or where I saw it.. but its a fun little game.

I would put the following games in the same category:

Little Devils - my group picked this up at the GenCon 2015 Library and played it on a whim, and loved it.. ended up buying it afterward.

Cha-Ching - my friend got this from boardgameexchange.com, as a free extra included with her monthly rental. our group loved it, so we ended up ordering multiple copies.
 
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Doug Hook
United States
Lansing
Michigan
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"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
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"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
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Pair of thrift store finds: Ripley's Believe It or Not! Game and Kings & Things. These were fun in different ways. The cards in the Ripley game were rather interesting and the other was a light strategy game.
 
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Pandora Caitiff
United Kingdom
Norfolk
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Generally I don't, but I bought Priests of Ra on a whim for a tenner in The Works because I recognised Reiner Knizia's name on the box.

Unlike my last blind purchase (Wild Fun West) I was instantly impressed, and have enjoyed playing it.
 
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Ryan Addleman
United States
Aurora
Ohio
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
TBH, every single game that I've bought on a whim was awful. The latest was Twilight Squabble, a pathetic cash-in on a great game. Maybe horrible luck, but literally every board game purchase I've made without researching has been a train wreck.


Truer words have never been spoken.
 
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Andy Durston
United Kingdom
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Walking into an FLGS with my girlfriend, she spied A Study in Emerald on the shelf. "I've just read that story" she said and i bought it for here there and then. Tried unsuccessfully to learn the rules from the rulebook a number of times and had all but given up as there were no playthrough videos to help. Fast forward a couple of months and a random check to see if any new vids had appeared, up pops Rahdo's latest playthrough for a study in emerald. Watching that made me wonder what the hell i was reading in that damned rulebook as he made it look so easy to play. Long story short(ish), it's an amazing game.
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Martin
United Kingdom
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I always tend to keep an eye on Ebay to see if there are any bargains to be had and it's also a great way to discover games I've not heard of before. If it looks/sounds interesting, then it's a quick jump over to BGG for some more info

Anyway, I recently purchased 7 Days of Westerplatte from there as it was a brand new copy up for auction with a low highest bid that also ticked a few other boxes in terms of game mechanics and interesting theme...

When it arrived I was very impressed; nice components, big board and generally felt high quality. Have played it a couple of times with my OH and it's been great! Rules are easy to pick up, but, like all great co-ops comes right down to the wire. Well worth the £13 it cost me!
 
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Tina Bushey
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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The majority of my games where bought with no prior knowledge than what is printed on the box. I usually find myself doing this at the B&N red dot sales or miniature market dent & ding sales.
My top 3 acquired this way are probably Bora Bora, Island Fortress and Ingenious.
 
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David Janik-Jones
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
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Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
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I walked into my FLGS back in 2009 and found a game I'd never heard anything about on the shelf. Just one or two copies there. Kind brownish cover but the back of the box made it sound intriguing and I was still in my buying stage of collecting so thought why not?

I've had Endeavor proudly on my shelf ever since. And love it.

Even in my purges (one starting up now) there's never even a thought to getting rid of it.
 
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Jeff Carter
United States
Pacific
Missouri
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I got a gift card to my FLGS for Christmas in 2012. I walked around and didn't see anything that I was too excited about so decided to look through the games I hadn't heard of. I saw a copy of Zombicide and thought the cover looked cool and the game sounded fun. I had a vague recollection of one of my friends saying it had made a bunch of money but knew nothing else about it. I bought it and LOVED it. Have spent way too much money backing Season 2, Season 3, and Black Plague on KS since then.
 
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rob cavallo
United States
roseland
New Jersey
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actually - Blood Rage
totally missed out on the kickstarter. saw all the posts about it, and thought nothing of it. it not only wasnt on my radar, it was completely off my map.

grabbed it on sale for about $40. played through it once and liked it. played through it a few more times, and wound up purchasing every kickstarter exclusive.
 
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Ryan Chrisco
United States
Missouri
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I went to three FLGS's one night looking for some out-of-print games I'd been wanting for weeks. I didn't find any of those games, but in my depression I decided that I couldn't leave without picking up at least one game.

That game was Innovation. I bought it completely on a whim - I just thought the packaging was well done and the theme was solid. Now it's probably my most-played game.
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John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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I was really trying to think; I don't think I've purchased any game on a complete whim. The closest would probably be Deception: Murder in Hong Kong. All I had heard about it was that it was social deduction and played well with larger groups (6+). Since my wife is a former forensic scientist I thought she might get a kick out of it (she doesn't usually play games).

Well the game ended up going over SUPER awesomely the last time I had 6 players - we ended up rattling off 5 games in a row. That's quite a feat because we kind of have an unspoken rule that we never play something twice in a row.

The missus still hasn't played it though One day!
 
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euronoob

Texas
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jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
I wonder how many of the positive examples occurred during the "honeymoon" period with boardgames, that is, during the first initial rush of buying and trying a ton of games before one's tastes are fully formed and the jadedness sets in. (not that it'd be a bad thing, just an observation)


I think this may be true not on account of taste but rather (lack of) knowledge. These days it's rare that I would buy a game without some prior research.
 
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Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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Probably the only case I can think of was when I picked up RRR for 5€ on a boardgame flea market. It was a Seiji Kanai game from One Draw, small, in good condition and it had character tiles very much alike the ones in a game a friend was working on so I thought that it could serve as an inspiration at least. So I just bought it.

When I came home I realized that the game usually sells in the $30 range, then I played it with my girlfriend and it was great. I've been extremely happy about that purchase. As a matter of fact I still am

But usually the limit of shelf space forces me to make more informed decisions so things like this don't happen to often. Usually I know at least something about the games I buy.
 
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Sean Conroy
United States
Winchester
Virginia
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Europe Engulfed It was a block game, it was a wargame, the box art was cool. Turns out it's a great game too!
 
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Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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Many of my buys have been like that. One of my favourites is Colosseum. Other than that I have bought games I have heard the name of, or seen pictures of, but still don`t know much of it. Games like Stone Age, Castle Panic, Vikings and other games have been perfect for my taste!
 
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Vita Est Certamine
United States
Wesley Chapel
Florida
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No matter where you go, there you are.
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Kilroy was here
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I think just about every gamer has bought games they knew nothing or very little about and found out they were great. Most often that happens to me when I buy a game that's so highly rated within a genre that I enjoy that I make a blind buy. 13 Days, Diamonds, Traders of Osaka...tons.
 
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