Previously Owned: My gaming history through the games I've given up
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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I recently made a trade of 8 games + expansions to get 3 new games, and realized I'd crossed a threshold: I now have more games on this site marked as previously owned (70) than games I currently own (60). The difference is even more stark when you consider that a number of the games I currently own are kids' games for my five year old daughter, so my personal collection is only around 50 games (including expansions). As I looked through those previously owned games, I realized they told a story of my gaming history: you can tell a lot about who I am as a gamer by what I've chosen NOT to hold onto.

There are a number of reasons I've gotten had a fairly high turnover rate for games.
1 I decided some time ago that I would keep my collection to a fixed amount of shelf space. If I want a new game, I need to make room on my shelf by getting rid of an old game. Exceptions: my daughter's games don't share my shelf space, and my Go board and books get their own shelf.
2 I used to check which games I'd logged plays for regularly and get rid of any that hadn't hit the table in the last year. I don't really do this anymore since work and kids mean I don't get to play as regularly, but I do try to get rid of games that aren't likely to ever hit the table.
3 Among my friends who play games, I'm the one who most actively seeks out new titles. If one of my friends picks up a game I already own, I often consider that game redundant and trade it for another.
4 I went through a stage where I thrifted mediocre games that weren't really worth keeping just because of the thrill of bringing home a new game.
5 While I think Marie Kondo goes crazy overboard in her book about "tidying up", I take a little of what she says to heart: I think every game on my shelf should be one I would love to play if someone suggested it. (My wife's favorites are an exception, of course, though there are only a couple that she likes more than me.)

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1. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:7000]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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I purchased Fluxx before I discovered this site and really got into collecting games. In the early days of our marriage, my wife and I discovered that the few games in our collection (namely Carcassonne and Scrabble) were a bit too competitive. We were looking for a game that could be played two players without leaving either person feeling upset afterwards, and this is what we settled on. We actually had a lot of fun with it for a while.

We played this regularly with our friends, too, but one person would regularly groan when it came out. I thought he didn't like games, but I later found out he just didn't like this game. His taste was better than my own, I guess. :-) One day I realized that this game could sometimes be fun, but other times would drag on way past its welcome. It wasn't worth keeping a game that might produce a bad experience with any particular play, so it had to go.
 
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2. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:294] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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It wasn't long after we started playing Fluxx that a couple friends introduced us to the Settlers of Catan. We had a lot of fun with the game, and when my wife and I moved from South Carolina to Colorado for seminary we found a group of people that played it regularly. A few of the people we played with would take this way too seriously, though, so it fell out of favor. I also know so many people who own the game that I know I can find a copy if I every really want to give it another spin.
 
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3. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:16]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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I actually traded my copy of Settlers for Puerto Rico. Another friend already had this game, but I hadn't played with him for a while and thought I would like it myself. I initially encouraged my friend to buy his copy; it was one of the first games (after Ticket to Ride and Agricola) that I found out about on boardgamegeek. We played quite a lot of this while in seminary together, especially once we found a web site that implemented it so we could get a quick game in while studying in the library.
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4. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:519]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Fairly early in building my collection, I found several good games on Craigslist. This was one of those games. My wife and I enjoyed this quite a bit, but I decided to keep basic Carcassonne and get rid of this one. This may be one of the few games I (slightly) regret getting rid of; my wife doesn't like vanilla Carc nearly as much.
 
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5. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:408]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
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I have very fond memories of discovering Alhambra. My wife and I stopped in at a local board game cafe that had games to check out and gave this one a whirl. We allowed a stuffed hedgehog that was in the store to take to position of "Dirk," the dummy third player. It was a blast, and Dirk and the game both came home with us. This was fairly early on in building my collection, and I just found other games I liked better. We'll always have that moment, though. :-)
 
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6. Board Game: Feudal [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:3837]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Feudal was one of the first truly good game I found at a thrift store. I have one friend who is a perfect opponent for this game, and I still remember a game of Feudal as one of my most thrilling gaming experiences. But I am unlikely to play this game with anyone except that one friend, so when he got his own copy it was expendable.
 
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7. Board Game: Gunslinger [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:1629]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Gunslinger was the first out of print title I tracked down (I think). I was really, really excited to play it, but while I had a lot of fun I decided the rules complexity meant it wasn't likely to hit the table often. I usually play with whatever friends are available rather than attending a regular game night, so multiplayer games with a high level of complexity are hard to get to the table. Plus this was worth a lot of money at the time I sold it; parting with it was definitely the right choice!
 
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8. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:96] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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This is the highest rated game I have gotten rid of. I had the Railroad Tycoon version, and it was (and is) an absolute blast. I got rid of this for a few reasons: it takes up a LOT of shelf space, a friend bought his own copy so I still have access to it, and I wanted to try Steam and thought owning both was redundant. I do enjoy Steam with the right crowd, but this is a better game for lighthearted fun. If your collection is larger than mine, there may be room for both. :-)
 
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9. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:433]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Two player games have two basic niches they can fit in my collection: either they are suitable for play with my wife or they are a deep, long game I can invite a friend to play occasionally. (There are only a couple exceptions.) This was one I got to play with my wife, but she didn't like it so it had to go.
 
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10. Board Game: Quoridor [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1029]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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I owned the deluxe version of Quoridor and didn't have a proper box for it, so this is another title I got rid of partially because of storage issues. It's still a GREAT game, though, and I wouldn't mind owning an easier to store copy again. I got the most play with this one when I was regularly hanging out with some homeless folks. There was one guy who liked games and regularly kicked my butt at Quoridor and Pente.
 
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11. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:165]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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This is an example of a game that just didn't work with my current gaming situation. Space Alert is NOT fun if you have to teach it from scratch every time; you really need to play it with the same set of people at least a few times in order to get into it. That wasn't the case when I owned this game, so I decided to part with it for a more suitable title.
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12. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:110] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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This was the first game I bought with the specific intent of playing solo. It was a great experience (I originally rated it a 9), but when I got more heavily involved in Go I decided I'd almost always rather play an online game of Go than play solo Lord of the Rings. There are lots of great solo games out there, but they just don't fit the way I play games right now.
 
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13. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:47]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Race for the Galaxy is the rare game that I got rid of because I won too much. I'm generally a pretty even opponent with my regular gaming friends, but after I taught them this game I won every time. Some of that was probably luck - a few of the games were at least close - but I thought it unlikely that we'd play the game enough to end up on an even footing. I'm sure I'd lose the game to an experienced player, but I'm not likely to get to play with one anytime soon. Also, I never found the iconography confusing, but enough people found it a turn off that I always kind of dreaded teaching it.
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14. Board Game: Inside [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:5672]
Jeromie Rand
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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I thrifted this in part because I thought it would make a great coffee table game. It does, but now that I have a toddler in the house (again) I've got no place for games on my coffee table. :-)

There are lots of games I didn't mention, of course, but I think these capture the highlights. It was fun to take a trip down memory lane; thanks for reading!
 
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