Maximizing happiness in gaming and life. Finding that elusive golden mean.
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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More isn't necessarily always better.

Like many of you I often times find gaming wants continue to grow and grow. I have found how addictive this hobby can be not only in the playing of games but in the buying of them as well. It seems that no matter how many games I buy there always seems to be more I would like to get.

I've been collecting for a couple of years and being a teacher while supporting a stay at home wife and three kids I don't have tons of money to spend on games but I have collected a few through various means.

I have recently reached a point where I am getting increasingly skeptical on the point that to enjoy games more I need more of them. Sometimes I find that buying more games is fun but at the same time it takes away from the fun I could be having in further exploring games I already have. Thus while spending more money my net happiness in gaming does not really increase. What I have decided is that I want to find what to me would be a satisfying game collection and not necessarily the largest. I have found If I make my game rotation too large I really don't get to enjoy the games that I have to the extent that I want to.

This being said I still seem to want more but I'm working on enjoying more fully what I have and I think It helps me to enjoy it more.

This will golden mean will definately be different for you as some of you probably game more or less than me and could stand a larger or smaller rotation to keep things fresh.

I game in three different ways for the most part. I game with my wife in two player games. My wife and I have couples over a couple of times a month to play, and I have a school gaming club that I sponsor.

The following list represents different ways I have attempted to find that "satisfying" collection so that I don't always feel the need for more. This of course may change over time as some games may become tiresome but this is what I enjoy now.

This may be sacreligious in some ways to the philosophy I see so much that "I gotta have more". I can certainly understand that philosophy as it is so much fun to buy these games. Yet I have heard many talking on this site about keeping a more managable collection from time to time which has helped me keep my perspective. In many ways I think this is helping me to enjoy it more as well.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments if you have any.
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1. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Main Coarse Games
This group of games is what we like to play when my wife and I invite our friends over. This includes games such as Puerto Rico, Tigris and Euphrates, El Grande, Goa and Modern Art. Princes of Florence is my favorite of the bunch.

I have found that this is the area that I don't want to get to large or I won't be able to enjoy these as much as I want to. These are my favorite games. Somehow I keep adding one or two here and there. I just got Traders of Genoa that I'm looking forward to trying, yet I think I want to put a cap on this area until I can more explore these games.

These games really can only be the best games as merely "good" games just don't make it into the rotation. A good example of this is Goldland. It's a fun game but it just didn't make it into the rotation so I traded it to fill out another area of my collection (Battle Cry, see below)
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2. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Filler Games
Along with the big ones I found it nice to have some shorter lighter games as we sometimes have time to play another game but not another heavy game. This includes, Trias, Ivanhoe, Mystery Rummy, Medici, etc.
 
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3. Board Game: Star Wars: Epic Duels [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:890]
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Game club games:
These games are games that my kids at school tend to love to play. I am trying to get them onto some of the German games and have been successful at getting them to enjoy El Grande, but they still love to play these the most. I recently traded for Battle Cry to help fill this out a bit. They also tend to love Bang, Lord of the Rings, and Confrontation. Many will bring other games like Mech Warriors, or others. I have also attempted to get them into my one war game. They seem to like games in which killing is involved for some reason.
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4. Board Game: ZÈRTZ [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:477] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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2 player games
My wife and I enjoy the occasional game together although this has been less since our 3rd child was born. We have recently tried Dvonn and Zertz and find they're great because they have such short playing time. Carcassone: H&G, Citadels, Hellas, also fit this.

Some times we like to play a heavier game if we have time but this doesn't happen as often as I'd like. Tigris and Euphrates, and Goa fill this nicely as well as some 2 player variants of other games.
 
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5. Board Game: Wizard Kings [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1749]
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Wargame
I recently had a desire to try out wargames and once a month I have a chance to get together with a friend while both of our wives go out. The kids run around and play while we play. It's a good thing because my wife really doesn't like playing this with me.

This is a good example of an area of my collection that I don't want to expand. This is my one game and I want to explore this game quite thoroughly. I found that the more I explore it the more I enjoy it. I got the extra armies and maps so I think this one will last a long time. I chose this one because with the armies and maps and scenarios this will make it possible to really explore a game without getting tired of it. The more I play it the more I enjoy it and I don't think that getting another war game at this point would increase my net happiness as it would take away from my enjoyment of this one.
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6. Board Game: The Settlers of Zarahemla [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:2505]
Jeff Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Gateway Games
I found it good to have a couple of games to introduce other couples into the hobby since that's who we play with. My wife and I happen to be Mormon so this game has been very useful at getting our Mormon friends to play with us. They don't look at us strange when we play something other than Monopoly with this one. This is how we got one of our other gaming couples started.

This also includes Carcassonne: H&G and Mystery of the Abbey for whatever the circumstances may be with our friends.
 
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7. Board Game: Squad Seven [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:3663]
SH W
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore
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Children / dexterity games

Though most of these can be labeled fillers or gateway games, I subdivide them as they bring a crazy element to gaming. These are games that are plainly social and when you want your group to break out of the serious mold.
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