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Subject: How Best to Enjoy a Great Collection rss

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Laura
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Hello Gamers and Collectors,

I have been buying and playing games since about '08, and now I've got a pretty large selection of games.

I've been looking for a way to balance the new stuff with the comfortable and familiar old standbys.

I found we got into a rut, game-wise, playing the same stuff repeatedly, due to being lazy, or too tired, to master a new set of rules for just one or two plays.

A few weeks ago, we tried a new approach and it's working pretty well.

On the weekend we'll pick a new game, get through the rules, and play the game to work out the kinks. We'll stick with the same game for about a week, playing in the evening after dinner. This has been fun, because we get enough plays in to start to cotton on to the deeper strategies, but the game doesn't get stale.

How do YOU try to get more of your games played? Any gimmicks that work for you?

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Sean Boyll
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one new and one know on game night.
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Paul DeStefano
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We usually just play what we feel like playing.
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Leonard Moses II
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I pick and then she picks. We usually only play new games once and rarely play games we know as we are playing a meta game with our games and enjoying ranking games against each other. Sometimes one of us will use their pick to play an old game. We play what looks the best to us, or what we are willing to put the effort into, so sometimes lighter games before others...first.
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Neil Brooks
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Interesting choice of words, OP. I'm particularly keen on "great" and "large" and wondering if there's a correlation? I'm personally of the opinion that less is more: it lends itself so much more to mastering the games that I have. Or at least trying to.
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James Garcia
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I usually just rotate my games unless someone specifically ask for one or if I have an urge to play a specific game. Legendary seems to be hot right now for my group so it is possible this might be coming out a lot more and soon.
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Matt Clark
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As a group, I feel like we haven't really gotten into a "rut" yet. If anything, I think I get a little tired of constantly tackling new rules and explaining new games. However, I do like the idea of organized play and committing to multiple plays of the same game.

I am about to organize our first game of Age of Steam and I'm hoping that I can get some people who are excited to play it and then willing to play it a few more times in relatively quick succession so that we can have a few players that know the game (the basics, anyway).
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Laura
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xibxang wrote:
Interesting choice of words, OP. I'm particularly keen on "great" and "large" and wondering if there's a correlation? I'm personally of the opinion that less is more: it lends itself so much more to mastering the games that I have. Or at least trying to.
Well . . . a great collection doesn't have to be a large collection. But it's too late now for mine to be a small and great collection.

In the initial rush of enthusiasm for gaming, I probably bought plenty of non-great games along with the prime stuff. But I can tolerate middling games alongside the fantastic ones, because I love the variety.

That's the point - how to get the most out of the variety available.
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I have one game I play a few moves on every night, and it's set up on one table. I have another game I'm learning about set up on another table; parts spread all over and the rules out. If time I sip the coffee in the morning and ponder over the new one a while. Eventually I put the other game away and move the ponder game out to the other table for real plays, and then yank another off the shelf as a new study case.

Takes me forever though, but it's fun.
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Enrico Viglino
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I liked to pre-plan a big game each session. That way someone
has a chance to prepare enough to explain the rules. I'd usually
try and avoid playing something twice in one year, unless it
was just the common filler of the time (usually a traditional
card game then).
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Curt Carpenter
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I just don't have enough time. Of the games I buy, an ok game will get played once, a good game will get played 2-3 times, and a great game will get played 4-5 times.
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Jennifer Derrick
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Sometimes we try random picks, as in close your eyes, and point to a game on the shelf. That usually works to get us away from the favorites rut. We'll also have theme nights, as in games that center on a certain location, theme, mechanic, or even box color. That also works to get out some of the less-often played games.
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Tom Travis
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OxfordRow wrote:
Sometimes we try random picks, as in close your eyes, and point to a game on the shelf. That usually works to get us away from the favorites rut. We'll also have theme nights, as in games that center on a certain location, theme, mechanic, or even box color. That also works to get out some of the less-often played games.
If you have your collection on BGG, and have the iPhone app, it can choose a random game from your collection for you. I don't use that myself, since I usually have new games that I've gotten and I try to get as many of them played when a game day comes around as possible, but I typically have more new games than I can get to and they carry over to the next month (or so).
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Enrico Viglino
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I sometimes think the best way is to just sit with it surrounding me,
and look at all the boxes.
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Laura
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calandale wrote:
I sometimes think the best way is to just sit with it surrounding me,
and look at all the boxes.
Yessss. Just drinking in all that gaming goodness . . . laugh
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Enrico Viglino
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ldavi27 wrote:
calandale wrote:
I sometimes think the best way is to just sit with it surrounding me,
and look at all the boxes.
Yessss. Just drinking in all that gaming goodness . . . laugh
It got me through a very rough period in my life, where I couldn't game
much (didn't even live with them), but every other week I could sit
with them and do my classwork.
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Jack Dowden
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Group 1 - My friend emails to get number of attendees and then pick a suitable game (generally from his collection). He reads the rules and does all the setup. We play through the game twice; once to learn and again to better understand. If it is good it will see daylight again sometime, if not it will likely see his trade list.

Group 2 - Four pretty heavy gamers. We all make our lists with old and newer games. We try to combine and prioritize the list. We generally get most of the way through and then interrupt the flow because one or more of us got a new order in and we decide to try out the brand new stuff.

Both systems work.

For my wife & I, we just play what strikes us on any given night. I also game 2-player games with a friend about once a month. He has more 2-player games so generally he decides.

These combinations work well for me. So I guess variety...
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I wrote all my games down on little scraps of paper, along with the player number and length of the game.

Every time I'm trying to figure out what to play I pull out the stack and flip through until I find the first game that fits my needs. Then I put it on the bottom of the stack.

It keeps the rotation of games going pretty smoothly, but it's also incredibly dorky, even for boardgames.
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Vivienne Raper
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I do the same thing as a OP. We have games of the week and month. They enter rotation, get played several times, and then make way for a different game.

We're also getting all our games to five plays. This makes it easier to 'triage' games so the bad or unreplayable ones get traded/sold. I've made mistakes where a good game has made a bad first impression and got sold (Seasons).
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50% games that we've played before
25% new games
25% Magic: The Gathering
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Tim K
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I have a list of all my games and try to play them all at least once each year. That way I get to play all my games and not just the new or best stuff. If I find it a chore to play it I get rid of it or trade it.
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Chris Smith
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We usually end up playing whatever I choose. I hate choosing so damn much, but at least I can deliberately pick new stuff to make sure everything gets played plenty.

I have been thinking though, of getting some playing cards, maybe large ones, which have a picture of 1 of my games each, the number of players clearly on it, and the length. That way when everyone refuses to pick a game and I don't want to, I can pick randomly from the deck =)
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Sharon Khan
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When our collection started getting unmanageable and I realised we were missing some games, I downloaded it in Excel format from the geek, and came up with an algorithm based on rating and length of time since the last play to ensure all games stay in rotation, with my favourite games coming to the top of the list quickest. Otherwise it was far too easy to miss a favourite, just because it was at the back of a cupboard, or in a less noticeable box.

New games tend to break the pattern though - they come in and, if they're any good, will easily get 5 plays in the first month or two, before setting down into a less regular pattern of play - that ensures that I, and most of my regular opponents, know the rules and basic strategy, so that we can just open up and play next time we want to! If they're not good enough to see 5 plays in that short period of time, they're generally not good enough to keep, so we try to trade them away!

I'm not a big buyer of new games though - just once a year after Essen, or if I play one that I really like and want to add to my collection, so most new games are when we have visitors who bring an unfamiliar game along, or if I see a game at the club that I want to try and don't own - that's a fairly small fraction of my regular gaming time though.
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Rob White
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Here's a system we use a lot:

1) I'll put 7 or so games on the table. We go in a circle with each person eliminating a game.

2) Either go all the way til there's one game left or have a vote when it's down to two games. Either way, no one has to play the game(s) they hate.
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Casey Lent
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Buy whatever niche stuff you're into, and have a friend that owns all the staples.
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