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What is 'value'?

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I continued to play more games. I have successfully played all 18 games that came in the trade before two weeks was over. Crazy, yes.
I also engaged in another smaller trade (which I discuss below) and was able to play the two new-to-me games that arrived just this past Saturday.

10/25
Maskmen
The rules were tough to parse with this one, but I was mostly confident when we sat down to play. It definitely took more than half of our game for everyone to feel confident with what was happening in the game. I'm not sure about this one. I like it, but would I rather play it than other similarly weighted card games? Is turn order too significant once everyone is equally good at the game?
10/26
Medina (Second Edition)
Medina has been on my wishlist for about as long as I've had a boardgamegeek account. I'm glad that I have finally played it. Maybe I love it? It's really just a game of chicken, with everyone building the playing area together, building the relative values of everything in the game together, then deciding when to claim something for oneself. Timing is so important. Jake, have you played this one? It might be too abstract for you, but I think that you would like much of this emergent construction of game space.
Tower of Babel
Tower of Babel is much better than I remember it being, but it's still not good enough. There's not much tension. There's a decent amount of interaction, but it feels especially hamstrung, limited to what card draws are happening. It's fine. I actually enjoyed myself. But... I kinda don't care if I ever play the game again or not? Eh.
Vampire
This might be my new favorite set collection game? I hesitated to get this game. A family friendly game with bloody art on the back of each card? I don't know who was in charge of art design or marketing, but this one is almost a no-go from the start. But the gameplay is light and fun. Draw two cards, then discard a card or lay down a set of three or more cards. Or pick up a discard pile, then lay down a set of three or more cards. Game ends either when the deck runs out or one player has played all six possible sets. It is this control of the timing of the endgame that makes the game a cut above. I really enjoyed it.
Hare & Tortoise
It is almost painful for me to admit that I don't like this one at all. I love Parlett and want to love everything that he's done. This game, as wonderfully thematic as it is, just was not fun for me to play. In order to move forward, you are forced to move back. Any sense of game progress is stymied on every turn. Managing these setbacks is the game. I'd rather not.
My City x3
If you're not playing My City, well, why aren't you? It really is a perfect 2p game. I almost went without playing it this week because I had been playing stuff with the kiddos. Abigail was the one who said in the afternoon, "My City?," which itself is a win.
Rage
I picked this one up because of the potential of the six-suited high-number-ranged deck. But I figured that fair is fair, it's a new-to-me game, I better play it rules-as-written within 2 weeks. So I did. Kinda. I knew after reading the rules that this was going to be a subpar Oh Hell!, with a lot more chaos and a lot less control in what is already a chaotic and hard to control game. Anyhow, I played it. It was a 3p game with myself, my wife, and my 10yo. But after three hands, the little ones in the house were all showing signs of hunger and it was creeping up on supper time, so I bowed out, allowing my 12yo to sub in for me while I went out to the kitchen to make an easy supper while listening to Miles Davis (as my 8yo who was just gifted a broken trumpet mimed along). So I only played 3 hands (of 10) of Rage, but that's good enough for me. It was enough (though reading the rules was really enough) to confirm for me that Oh Hell is pretty great at what it is and does not need any tweaking.

Wallet
So, subpar trades? I guess that's my jam. Will gave me a little bit of pushback on my previous big trade and others expressed positive opinions on the boardgames that I got rid of. It's tough getting rid of genuinely good games.

Last week, I was proposed a trade of Hare & Tortoise, Vampire, and Rage for Civilization, Unlock Squeek, and Innovation.

I responded that I had recently obtained Hare &Tortoise in another trade, but that I'd be willing to trade Civ, Squeek, and Innovation for just Rage and Vampire. I also explained that my copy of Civilization was obtained for free through a freak Craiglist find (of which I had already profited by selling a bunch of Ambush games), that I was pretty sure that it was complete, but I could never be bothered to confirm that. The other guy played it cool, like this was a fair trade, but I assume that he knows that he got the much better end of this deal, at least in terms of monetary cost.

But, from my perspective, I got Civ for free. I've had it for half a decade and have not played it. I paid $7 or so for the Unlock game on clearance. I got Innovation for free when I was planning a convention that failed (but that's another much longer story). I know that there are many people reading this who are disgusted at me for letting go of Innovation. I did not play it. I read the rules multiple times and set the game up. I decided that it really wasn't for me. I'm looking for something very different in a 2p game and in any card game. On top of that, I know two local gaming friends who own a copy of the game. I can get in my token "I've played that" play any time (assuming some sort of future in our lifetimes that allows for this). In my limited family setting, I didn't see myself ever wanting to play it. And as far as the Unlock game goes, I've already learned that I dislike all of these types of games.

So, I was parting with $7 or so "worth" of games on my end. Rage and Vampire sounded fair enough. And I really do hope that the receiving end witll get great pleasure and repeated plays out of the games that I have sent out. I really do hope so.

And I love surprises. This trade was mostly about getting unplayed stuff out, and I thought that I was winning by getting a Rage deck. It turns out that I don't even care so much about the Rage deck. I'm surprised by how much I like this stupid Knizia vampire set collection game. I wish it had different art on the card backs, but, whatever, my kids can all deal with some blood-sucking. I thought that it would be a "play and done" but it might actually be my ongoing set collection game of choice into the future.

I don't really know what is valuable and what isn't. I certainly look up geekmarket sale histories. I know what games are kinda-sorta worth in market terms. Is Vampire "worth" more than Civ? In market terms, no. In experiential personal terms, absolutely, yes.
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