The Compulsive Completionists Present "If You Give A Geek A Boardgame"
Tom Flatt
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Whitecourt
Alberta
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So, the other night, the gang and I were sitting around the table after our gaming session discussing our latest purchases. As we took turns listing our new goodies, a disturbing pattern began to emerge; few of us had actually acquired any new games, almost all of our money had been spent on expansions and/or, more interestingly, accessories.
We stared at each other, realizing that most of us were well on our way to becoming bona fide members of that most dreaded of all gaming groups, the Compulsive Completionists!

And so, with apologies to talented children’s author Laura J. Numeroff, we present a cautionary tale of what might happen if you fall into the same trap that we have.
Enjoy!


Disclaimer #1 – I am but a reporter of these discussions, they do not necessarily reflect my own personal opinions.
Disclaimer #2 - I am undoubtedly the purchaser of many similar, if not identical, products as those listed below!
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1. Board Game: Castle Panic [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:819]
Tom Flatt
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Whitecourt
Alberta
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If you give a geek a board game, the first thing he’s going to want to do is open it and carefully examine every little bit of it whilst imbibing his favorite beverage. Of course, for that he’s going to need a nice coaster…


Image upload - turtilian

Evaluation - We had a great deal of difficulty justifying the use of coasters as game accessories; let’s face it, most coasters have a rather limited lifespan due to their “work environment”.
Alternate Suggestion – How about a nice fridge magnet? Stored neatly away from messes and spills, it would be handy whenever you need it!

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2. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:142]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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By the time he’s nearly finished his drink, he will come to the realization that the purpose of the various bits is somewhat vague. Thank goodness he can apply some stickers to make everything clear!


Image upload - Chabousse

Evaluation – The main issue here is who’s going to put the silly things on! Around our meeting table we have well over fifty years of gaming experience and, without exception, I would trust none of those gathered to apply a postage stamp to a letter!
Alternate Suggestion – How about a crib sheet that matches color and shape of pieces to their function? (Sorry, stupid idea! Too easy, too inexpensive, too plebian!)
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3. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:155]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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Even with all those beautiful stickers, he soon finds that all his bits and pieces are not living up to his lofty expectations and an upgrade is required.


Image upload - kreten

Evaluation – Everybody in our group grew up with the standard plastic player tokens (used in Sorry and others of its ilk) and Avalon Hill’s cardboard chits; today’s meeples and tokens are already an upgrade for us!
Alternate Suggestion – Substitute bingo markers for a while; you can switch back in a week or two and think about how lucky you really are!
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4. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:353]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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Of course, by the time he has finished upgrading his bits, he will have discovered that minis are actually available for his new game!


Image upload - mudshark_baby

Evaluation – Actual workers for a worker placement game; can’t beat that! You also have something to play with if you find that you don’t like the game (and these particular ones would seem to be especially well suited to any local sandbox)!
Alternate Suggestion – See previous entry.

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5. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:3469] [Average Rating:5.93 Unranked]
Tom Flatt
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Whitecourt
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With his new toys piled neatly in front of him, he can now start to read his shiny new rulebook. Naturally, he’ll need another drink and thus, require a bookmark to mark his spot.


Image upload - W Eric Martin

Evaluation – There’s no doubt that everybody out there is more organized than we are. If any of us tried this, it is certain that the bookmark would be permanently lost inside the rulebook!
Alternate Suggestion – Uh, how about that soaked and grungy coaster from earlier on; it might last longer tucked inside a rulebook!
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6. Board Game: Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:441] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Tom Flatt
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Whitecourt
Alberta
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With the rules finally read, it’s time to set everything up. He wouldn’t even think about trying this without a playmat!


Image upload - Frippel

Evaluation – Manufacturers of accessories are really missing the boat here; if they are going to offer to sell you a set of playmats, they really should be offering up tables that are big enough to accommodate everybody and all their stuff!
Alternate Suggestion – We highly recommend mounting sliding computer keyboard trays under every spot at your table; great place for playmats and snacks!

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7. Board Game: Firefly: The Game [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:276]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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With everything set, he picks up the dice and realizes that they are……ordinary! How could he have overlooked that; thank heavens custom ones are readily available!


Image upload - Jocab

Evaluation – A common justification of custom dice is the idea that they help to avoid confusion. As one of my friends pointed out, “If you’re smart enough to play Firefly, you’re probably smart enough not to get confused by the color of the dice!”
Alternate Suggestion – For the cost, maybe you should consider those small round stickers available in every Dollar Store. Custom decorate with felt pen and apply as needed to your dice; a few packs of stickers will probably take care of every game in your collection!

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8. Board Game: Zombicide [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:340] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Tom Flatt
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New dice in hand, he gets ready to throw them when he decides that, really, he shouldn’t have to expend that much energy! He needs a game specific dice tower!


Image upload - steven correa

Evaluation – Okay, one dice tower is nice and it might be possible to make a case for two. More than that becomes a storage nightmare!
Suggestion – Look at the game’s box cover as you drop dice into your generic dice tower (or onto your generic table, for that matter); imagination is a great thing!
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9. Board Game: Fleet [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:713]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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Dice rolled and game completed, he starts to put everything away when he notices that, with all his “extras”, he no longer has room in the game box. He needs a new one!


Image upload - riddlen

Evaluation – Machi Koro has the right idea, pack your product in a box big enough to echo even when the game is in it, no need to worry about space for the first fifty or so expansions!
Alternate Suggestion – Pack the extra loot from all your games in your Machi Koro box!

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10. Board Game: Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked]
Tom Flatt
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With a bit of extra room in his new box, he starts thinking about his silly cardboard money; he needs something with the look and feel of the real thing!


Image upload - jameystegmaier

Evaluation – Once upon a time, paper money was the standard game currency. We progressed to cardboard money, then plastic coins and now, ones made of metal. Following this pattern, we can only suggest that bullion will be the next currency of choice and that games will become very, very expensive!
Alternate Suggestion – Substitute real coins for all that cardboard currency, in the end you’ll probably save money!
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11. Board Game: Spells of Doom [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:6176]
Tom Flatt
Canada
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New coins jingling in his hands, he starts thinking about how much more he would enjoy his new game if he could just do a cheap upgrade on the card art.


Image upload - chaddyboy_2000

Evaluation – Well, if the bits and pieces aren’t good enough, there’s no reason the cards should be any different.
Alternate Suggestion – PNP; do an entire redesign from scratch and save all the headaches!

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12. Board Game: Mundus Novus [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1482]
Tom Flatt
Canada
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Alberta
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Sorting his new cards he decides that the final necessary touch needed is a picture of his favorite designer on a vanity card which…


Image upload - pohy

Evaluation – With the amount of money shelled out by completionists for all this stuff, it’s their pictures that should be randomly put on vanity cards (for free)!
Alternate Suggestion – Take some old photos of yourself, cut them to size, write on the pertinent game information and, voila, you are ready to go!

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13. Board Game: The New Game of Busy Bees [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Tom Flatt
Canada
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Makes him think about buying a new game!
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14. Board Game: Straw [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:3154]
Tom Flatt
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Whitecourt
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And on a personal note… As the one most easily seduced by beautiful boards and pretty bits, my friends were somewhat amused to find me shaking my head at the end of the evening, complaining about being “over-accessorized”. I have always been an avid completionist, on the lookout for the latest expansion, accessory, or info for my favorite games. Unlike some of my friends, my compulsion is slowly abating. An expansion or two is just fine, but it often seems that every game you purchase these days is more a franchise than it is an entity in and of itself. In most cases, I now try to avoid buying a game if I suspect that multiple further purchases will be required.

That being said, I cannot criticize those who enjoy expanding the universe created by a particular game; if you love something, it’s hard to get enough of it (think chocolate caramels with sea salt)! For me, there’s simply too many games to go completely overboard on a select few!
Regardless of your thoughts on the matter, happy gaming!


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