Games I kind of wish I had back in my collection (and what I might get to replace them instead)
Darth James
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West Virginia
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Maybe you can relate to this scenario: you're browsing your game collection, trying to find a game to play. For some reason, you're in the mood for something specific. Maybe it's an itch for a particular mechanic or theme, but you know that no other game will satisfy until you have scratched that itch. So you peruse your shelves until you realize: you know exactly which game you're hankering to play, and you sold it long ago.

This is a list of games that I have let go that I regret. Some I sold under financial duress (job market is tough, people!), some I let go due to space considerations (Arkham Horror is huge, people!), and some I let go due to underestimating their longevity (Warhammer: Invasion is actually pretty good and my wife still talks about it, people!).

Rebuying games is not something I have ever done. Ever. But all hope is not lost; these games all had flaws, and out there in the wide world of games are one or two titles that can easily replace these games and fix those flaws.

Add your own lost loves and, if applicable, potential replacements.
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1. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Darth James
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This, for me, is a biggie. Arkham fulfills on a number of levels, but none so much as the fantastic framework it provides for roleplaying and the huge amount of variety it offers. But are there other options? Let's see!

Roleplaying: Ideally Arkham's replacement in terms of satisfying roleplaying would replicate the theme and atmosphere, but tighten up the arbitrary nature of the storyline. Sister Mary, a nun, and Joe Diamond, a PI, can both have the exact same experience in a given location. What the game needs is a tighter focus on individual narrative.

Variety: With dozens of GOOs and 40+ investigators, as well as a bajillion expansions, Arkham Horror gives you lots of options to customize your experience. But how varied are those options, really? Is playing with Yog-Sothoth as the GOO really that different from playing against Shub-Niggurath? And how about those random events that can stop investigators dead in their tracks if they're weak in a particular area? Not much fun.

Possible replacement: Mansions of Madness. Although this game is not a co-op, it does seem to deliver in terms of theme and a more focused narrative than Arkham. It also has a bajillion expansions, so the comparison to Arkham is apt.

Runner-up: Eldritch Horror. FFG's streamlined Arkham for a new age of gamers looks promising, but currently falls short in terms of roleplaying potential and variety.
 
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2. Board Game: Warhammer: Invasion [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:452]
Darth James
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Warhammer Invasion actually became much more attractive to me after FFG's recent announcement that there would be no more expansions. I know I am not alone in this sentiment, as the prospect of continuing monthly releases tends to put off financially conscientious gamers. The game offered a great fantasy battle in CCG form without the necessity for buying blind boosters. What could I try instead to fill that void?

Fantasy battle: Artwork was key here. Warhammer Invasion had some really great card art that brought the different races to life. Oh, and there were quite a few different races to play as, including some "neutral" races added later, though I never got that far into the game. Each faction played distinctly and had its own strengths and weaknesses (except the dwarves; screw those guys, they were OP).

Possible replacement: High Command. I already own this and, while it's probably not a great replacement for everyone, it works for me on a number of levels. It does provide varied races in a really cool setting. It is also a deckbuilder rather than a CCG, so my wife (who hates building preconstructed decks) is much more likely to play regularly.

Runner-up: Game of Thrones LCG. If I had a couple hundred dollars to drop on a card game, this would probably be the one. Dawn and I both love Game of Thrones; I actually finished reading the books again this summer. The high cost of entry keeps me away, though, as I would want to buy up tons of expansions.
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3. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:105]
Darth James
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I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I miss having a complex, story-driven solo game that's heavy on the customization. On the other hand, when I mentioned to my wife that I might want to pick this up again, she said, "You mean that game that frustrated you every time you played it? No, you shouldn't get that one again."

Possible replacement: None that I can think of. The new Pathfinder card game might fit the bill, possibly, but it seems to lack in terms of customization. Any thoughts?
 
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4. Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:348]
Darth James
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Gears of War was great because it was a solo/co-op dungeon crawl with variable set-up and an excellent theme. Unfortunately that very theme kept Dawn well away from the table when Gears of War came out. This saw more plays solo than co-op.

Co-op dungeon crawl: I love the feel of exploring a danger-filled series of rooms and tunnels, fighting monsters and avoiding traps. I love the camaraderie of working together to take down the big boss of the dungeon. I just need to find a game with a unique theme that WON'T turn Dawn off of it.

Possible replacement: Mice and Mystics. This co-op dungeon crawl is heavily focused on story, and the theme isn't generic warriors and orcs. I've heard this is a hit with kids, too, so Rory will be able to play in a few years.

Runner-up: Descent 2e is a weak possible replacement for this particular niche, mostly because it's not co-op. The game system seems expansive, though, so that is a big draw.
 
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5. Board Game: Middle-Earth Quest [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:433]
Darth James
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This game felt more like being a part of the Lord of the Rings story than any other game I've ever played. The characters questing around Middle Earth (see what I did there?) while Sauron puts different evil plots into play to oppose them, the various location-specific encounters that occur all over the map. And speaking of that map, what a beauty. There's no other way to describe the game than immersive.

Lord of the Rings: No other games in this setting have come close to matching MEQ in terms of actually feeling like a tale straight out of Tolkien (or, at least, a highly-edited and less verbose version of Tolkien). Playing as Sauron you truly feel like an avatar of darkness, while playing as the heroes gives you a sense of epic adventure.

Possible replacement: Confrontation, though I don't have high hopes for this. Knizia's games have never stuck for us, and I don't expect this one to be any different. It's entirely possible that Middle Earth Quest will be my first re-purchase.
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