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Subject: What is your approach to buying games? rss

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Donald M.
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Sweet Grass
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I restarted in this hobby 2 years also and now have a lot of games. About half are rarely played and some never opened. I got caught up in sales often buying fillers to get to the free shipping threshold. Also guilty on buying on hype or when a game is hot only to find out later I don't like it much.

Since this is a rather expensive hobby, I've slowed down a bit, but I realize I have to maybe slow down more and actually play most of my games lol. Ideally one should play the game before buying but this is not always possible.

What is your approach to buying games? Do you have a strategy or pattern that is more logical? Yes, I am guilty of not being disciplined. Trying to improve and not be as addictive. How do you control your fascination to games?
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Daily Grind
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I watch play-through videos and tag it as something I might be interested in, and then will often revisit it on a later date and see if I still feel the same level of enthusiasm.

If a game doesn't have any play-throughs, I'm more likely to skip over it or subscribe to it on bgg and hope one shows up. This allows the hotness to cool. If one still hasn't shown up, I dig into the reviews with a critical leaning.

I don't buy new games if I have unplayed existing games. Each time I play a new game it can further impact the next purchase decision as I learn more about what mechanisms and themes appeal to me, which don't work for my playgroup, and which are already satisfied by an existing game in my collection.

I think the most important bit is waiting to buy. You don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry. Research it, tag it, and come back in a week. If the game is good, it will still be there. (Or it will be reprinted soon).
 
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Evan
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I think we have all been in the same position you found yourself in. Get bitten by the bug, buy a ton of games and then not have time to play them all (at best) or regret some (or more) of your purchases (at worst).

I think you have to go through that process honestly. You have to figure out what you like in a game, both mechanics and theme. For me, I have come to realize that I like thematic, heavy, euros. I will buy a lighter game from time to time because I have two kids age 7 and 5 and want to get them involved in gaming, but even when I buy a light-mid weight title, it still has to have a theme I am interested in playing, like pirates (Jamaica) or traveling to Mars (Mission: Red Planet (second edition)), or it has to have a production quality that is sure to grab the kid's attention, like (Mechs vs. Minions).

I have come to realize that I enjoy games by Vital Lacerda, so I will buy almost anything he produces without playing it first. For the rest of my collection, I try to play games at my local gamenight, if possible. I'm lucky enough to play in a large gaming group that meets every Thursday and usually, someone has the hot, new title to try out.

I also research the living hell out of a game before buying it. I can already tell to about an 80% probability if I will like a game before it hits the table after watching multiple videos and reading multiple reviews. If people compare the game to a game I don't like, it's unlikely I will like it either. That sort of thing.

Everyone's going to miss out on games they will love, that's part of the hobby. You just have to be OK with knowing that you can't play or own everything and be content with what you have. Now that I have about 45 games in my collection, I'm pretty content just getting to know those games better and play my favorites more often rather than being in a rush to build my collection. I think that "sweet spot" is hit at a different point for everyone. It depends on if you are a "collector" or not. I'm not. I'm more of a game "player" than a collector and I have limited shelf space, so every title I buy has to be pretty well thought through.
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Michael Debije
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Check the deisgner: Eklund, Jensen, Tresham, buy it.
Check the publisher: GMT, likely buy it
Then, read the rules. If they are interesting, buy it.

That about covers it.
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Doug Poskitt
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A very interesting question.

From the start of the 1980's until 2013, all of the games I bought and played were wargames. I bought more than I ever had time to play whilst working long hours as a teacher here in the UK. That was fine, as I planned to spend a lot of time indulging myself when I retired.

Alas, John Lennon was right - "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" - and after a stroke in 2012 I elected to take early retirement and go live in the Far East. Taking into account the humidity of the region and the cost and difficulties of shipping 250 games to the region, I sold all of my wargames before I left the UK in 2014.

Come 2015, I had another stroke and found myself back in the UK. As it is my paramount interest, I thought long and hard about starting to purchase games again. I realised that one can never tell what the future may hold, so this time around I resolved to follow a more rational pattern.

This co-incided with my discovery of a whole new type of games - I don't know how you would categorise them - that I hadn't been aware of before. I purchased War of the Ring (2nd Ed), Mage Knight and Twilight Imperium (3rd Ed) after spending a good deal of time researching here on BGG and YouTube.

I found them much more varied than wargames and a whole lotta fun. It was incredibly asorbing to delve into this newly found/discovered treasure chest of games and I compiled a list of games that I was sure I would enjoy (playthroughs on BGG and YouTube were invaluable). I followed up my initial purchases with a few other carefully chosen games and enjoyed them incredibly.

Being aware of the compulsion just to buy and buy ... now, I have a "list" of games that I would like to buy - base games and expansions and the like - but I will purchase very carefully and only a set amount per year so that I have plenty of time to play the games I have already.

I do appreciate the fascination many of us have with purchasing/collecting games and for me the rationale was that they would get played "one day". (There's nothing like taking the shrinkwrap from a new game and savouring the unboxing ... but then having them sit on the shelf for years, unplayed, even if inspected every now and again, is not the best part of it ). I now appreciate that there is the chance that games might never get played due to "events".

I constantly add to and remove from the list - that's a bit of harmless fun - but I will not end up with games - no matter how good they are - that I know I may never get around to playing.

That's my 10 pence worth





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Donald M.
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Sweet Grass
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Interesting thoughts.

I do check the BGG ratings, complexity, in depth reviews and read mostly critical or bad ones to determine if i like a game. If I am lucky I would have at least played it. Yes video reviews are immensely helpful too. I forgot about that. If the majority say it is a great game I just buy unles I hate the mechanic and theme.

For some reason, I am now liking simple games like Can't Stop, 8 Nimmt, Celestia, Pictomania, Lost Cities board games because all my casual friends love them. They are east to learn and play in no time. I have much more casual friends than gamers but I like to play with both types of groups for variety.

I think I made a grievous mistake of being carried away. The minimalist approach in retrospect is better as you actually get to play a select number of games you actually like.
 
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Donald M.
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Sweet Grass
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dougposkitt wrote:
A very interesting question.

From the start of the 1980's until 2013, all of the games I bought and played were wargames. I bought more than I ever had time to play whilst working long hours as a teacher here in the UK. That was fine, as I planned to spend a lot of time indulging myself when I retired.

Alas, John Lennon was right - "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" - and after a stroke in 2012 I elected to take early retirement and go live in the Far East. Taking into account the humidity of the region and the cost and difficulties of shipping 250 games to the region, I sold all of my wargames before I left the UK in 2014.

Come 2015, I had another stroke and found myself back in the UK. As it is my paramount interest, I thought long and hard about starting to purchase games again. I realised that one can never tell what the future may hold, so this time around I resolved to follow a more rational pattern.

This co-incided with my discovery of a whole new type of games - I don't know how you would categorise them - that I hadn't been aware of before. I purchased War of the Ring (2nd Ed), Mage Knight and Twilight Imperium (3rd Ed) after spending a good deal of time researching here on BGG and YouTube.

I found them much more varied than wargames and a whole lotta fun. It was incredibly asorbing to delve into this newly found/discovered treasure chest of games and I compiled a list of games that I was sure I would enjoy (playthroughs on BGG and YouTube were invaluable). I followed up my initial purchases with a few other carefully chosen games and enjoyed them incredibly.

Being aware of the compulsion just to buy and buy ... now, I have a "list" of games that I would like to buy - base games and expansions and the like - but I will purchase very carefully and only a set amount per year so that I have plenty of time to play the games I have already.

I do appreciate the fascination many of us have with purchasing/collecting games and for me the rationale was that they would get played "one day". (There's nothing like taking the shrinkwrap from a new game and savouring the unboxing ... but then having them sit on the shelf for years, unplayed, even if inspected every now and again, is not the best part of it ). I now appreciate that there is the chance that games might never get played due to "events".

I constantly add to and remove from the list - that's a bit of harmless fun - but I will not end up with games - no matter how good they are - that I know I may never get around to playing.

That's my 10 pence worth

Good ideas. I also have a lot of old wargames just because I am a history buff. Rarely can find people to play these and they are all stored away. There are some great games there too.

Yes, better to make sure and concentrate on specific games and categories, if that is what makes you happy.





 
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Robert Wesley
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cool For their 'bits' from which 'moi' created yet ANEW 'ones' from that even.



 
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Jeff Rietveld
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I buy an average of 30 games per day, give or take.
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Robert Wesley
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JRietveld wrote:
I buy an average of 30 games per day, give or take.
WERE any of them "played" either as RISK or "Monopoly"? They have plenty of 'bits'! cool
 
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Shawn
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price has been my main concern. I am not too picky with games and can enjoy almost anything.

I have slowed down recently from having so many unplayed games.

but yeah, if I'm on the fence on a game, a good price will usually win me over. If the game turns out not to be that great at least I feel I got it on the cheap.
 
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Phil
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I generally drift along not seeking anything in particular until something jumps out at me. Usually this will only happen through a mention here on BGG, Shut Up & Sit Down review, or maybe Table Top play (through though I don't watch every episode.)

After a game's got my attention I do further research through BGG and other video & written reviews. If I'm still interested and the price is right, I order it online and add it to my collection. Hopefully it'll be played in a timely fashion but that doesn't always happen.

Once I really enjoy a base game, I'll proactively seek out worthwhile expansions and maybe organization solutions.
 
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Carl Qwerty
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I usually don't buy a game unless I have played it at least once.
 
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Matt Brown
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JRietveld wrote:
I buy an average of 30 games per day, give or take.


For your store.
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Jeff Rietveld
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matthean wrote:
JRietveld wrote:
I buy an average of 30 games per day, give or take.


For your store.

My store is just a front for having an incredible game collection without my wife complaining too much.

Game laundering at it's best!
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Bill Eldard
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I sees it . . .

I wants it . . .

I buys it.
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K S
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So, after hanging out "at the margins" of boardgaming most of my life, mostly playing other folks' games, something clicked in me about 6 months ago and I jumped whole-hog into the hobby by ordering Kickstarters. However, I got a bit impatient waiting for them to arrive, so I quite rapidly (maybe 8-9 per month whistle) began amassing a collection "to tide me over".

I did quite a bit of research, so I have actually ended up quite enjoying the vast majority of the games I've acquired. I'm not really interested in collecting unplayed games, so I'll probably eventually end up trading/selling/gifting away those which are only "good" instead of "great"; I've actually already traded off a few such titles. My biggest regret right now is that my acquisitions were so rapid that I still have several (maybe 25%?) games still on my shelf unplayed. However, I've now got enough variety in my collection that the itch to buy is going away, so I expect to "catch up" on playing those soon.

From now on, I think I should be able to cut back to no more than 1 game per month. Priority will definitely be given to expansions for games I already know I like, and to very good deals on highly popular games (i.e., ones that I know I can easily trade/sell/gift if they don't end up going over well with my playgroup.
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John Sallay
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I think that it is really easy to find a genre that you really like and buy up a ton of similar games.

I have loosely categorized my games (light strategy, party, medium euro, etc) and then I look for holes in what I have. For example I realized that I had a wide variety of fairly light to heavier strategy games, but very little other than Ticket to Ride for people new to the hobby. A lot of my gaming experiences are with these sorts of people, so I found myself just playing the same few games over and over again. I also didn't have anything that I could play with a large group of people. I had filled out so much with the games that I liked that I didn't focus on the games that I would actually play.

Now when I want to purchase a game, I ask myself where does this fit in my library and what other games do I have that I would use in a similar situation? For a party game, I'm just going to go with whatever is popular, because I don't care that much. I just want to be able to accommodate people who do like them. For a medium euro, I'm going to do a lot of research before hand, because it needs to be really good to ensure that I will ever play it.
 
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Roberto Lanza
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I have a wall of games. +/- 100 games and all have been played.

When I find something I find interesting I try to find reviews, YouTube videos and other information about the game. They I think long and hard if my play group would play this game and will ask them to take a look.

If the general consensus is "Cool!, let try that" then I see how to purchase the game at the cheapest price or used.

If we are buying a new game, that means that something comes off the shelf. I keep track in a log the last time a game was played and the ones with the least amount of play time get sold or donated.

My group has a 5 game rule in that we have to play 5 times before we say we don't like it.

This year we consider a big year, we purchased 3 new games and are play through them.

I definitely know people who have way over 500+ games but I am unsure if they play games or simply like to collect them because when I visit so many are still in the shrink wrap they come with.

There are about 15 or 20 we play all the time some of them being kid friendly games. The others get a play when we want to try something different or forget about a game or a long holiday weekend.

One thing I know with my group, no game can take more than 120min to play from setup to finish. And that is my biggest deciding factor on games.

However one enjoys their happy is the right thing. There is no wrong.
 
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Kevin Garnica
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After being in the hobby for nearly 8 years, I have a slightly different approach:

1) Understand how often you're able to play games. You need to be honest with yourself about your time, money, lifestyle, and how often you play.

2) Make a top X number of games list. Then, assign a relative value to each of those games. This can be empirical, subjective, whatever. Then, whatever doesn't make it into the list, sell it.

3) What you're left with is what you truly, deeply enjoy playing or want to play very much, and the amount of time and energy you are committed to getting the relative value out of said game.

4) Then subtract from that amount of emotional space in your life a little more for each subsequent game you want to purchase, because unless you literally change (re: increase or expand) your lifestyle/time/money/etc., you won't have enough metaphorical "room" in your life to get the relative value out of that new game.
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J Mathews
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pacman88k wrote:
After being in the hobby for nearly 8 years, I have a slightly different approach:

1) Understand how often you're able to play games. You need to be honest with yourself about your time, money, lifestyle, and how often you play.

2) Make a top X number of games list. Then, assign a relative value to each of those games. This can be empirical, subjective, whatever. Then, whatever doesn't make it into the list, sell it.

3) What you're left with is what you truly, deeply enjoy playing or want to play very much, and the amount of time and energy you are committed to getting the relative value out of said game.

4) Then subtract from that amount of emotional space in your life a little more for each subsequent game you want to purchase, because unless you literally change (re: increase or expand) your lifestyle/time/money/etc., you won't have enough metaphorical "room" in your life to get the relative value out of that new game.

For me this is basically it too. When I started playing games, I bought a bunch of games and then realized that I didn't like some of them very much. Then I discovered math trades and conventions and was able to try more before I buy. Now I only buy games that fit a niche that isn't covered or are replacing an existing game. For example, I own Shadow Hunters and enjoy it more than any other traitor-type game. So I got rid of Shadows Over Camelot, didn't bother with BSG or Bang! and anything I find in that vein will need to supplant SH in order to be purchased. Same with Co-ops. We've run through Pandemic and a few others and have settled on Ghost Stories as our regular co-op and Legendary as our deck-builder coop and have rid ourselves of the rest. It's meant that I have really slowed down my purchases over the past few years, but that's not really a bad thing IMO.
 
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Anthony Burdett
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If I see a game that looks interesting I will watch and/or read a few reviews and if nothing alarms me, I buy the game.

Do I have a few hundred games that haven't been opened or played yet? Yeah, what's your point? I tell myself (and my wife) that I'll get around to them eventually.
 
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Alexandros Boucharelis
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1) theme
2) soloable/2p/family/coop
3) watch video walkthrough/review if possible
4) price
5) rulebook
6) publisher

thats my 0.02$
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I think most of us when new to the hobby have the initial buys-lots-of-games craze because when you don't have any games, you need to fill the shelf with good games already published.
Once you have your basic set of games you slow down. I used to buy loads of games, sometimes 6-7 at a time, but now that I'm at almost 200 games I'm very picky about new games. I do my homework and research. BGG and youtube are a huge help.

Ofcourse there are designers and publishers that immediately get my attention (and money) but then I'm pretty sure they won't disappoint.

I must admit that sometimes I still lose control, but getting a 300€ kickstarter bill will sober me up instantly
 
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John
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I'll read & watch a couple of reviews and then consider:

1. Will I enjoy playing it?
2. Will some people I play games with enjoying playing it?
3. Will anyone I'm likely to play with strongly object to the theme?
4. When will it get played? What games fill that niche currently? Will the new game get played instead (or as well)?

There's no point in me getting a game if no one will want to play it with me.

In reality I don't go through this checklist but these are the things I'll consider.

The last game I bought was Push It.

1. Yes
2. I think so
3. N/a
4. At the pub, at home with my children. I don't have many game that work at the pub (which was why I bought it).

It worked - I've played it at the pub and a bit at home.
 
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