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Subject: Jones theory - you already own it, basically, but this is better! rss

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David C
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If I understand it right, Jones theory is that once you have a certain niche covered that you play, you keep only one game in that niche (or two-three, but you get my point).

A good example of a Jones theory hit in my collection is that if I have the occasion to play a light gateway game, it's going to be Cartagena. It just is. I know the rules, I'm comfortable with it, it's the go-to. So, even if Cartagena 2 was better, it's just not going to come out.

Lately, I caught myself getting a game that was something I basically already owned...but this was better. I was curious if that's how we all roll or, if we stop once we have a genre covered.

Poll
1. What are all the reasons to justify buying a better version of something you already have?
Shorter playtime.
Longer playtime.
Seats more players
Seats less players
Better average rating
It's physically bigger
It's physically smaller
Designer is better liked
Artwork is better liked
Hype
It's more widely known
It's less widely known
Friends all own what you're buying
Friends all own what you're replacing
My copy is worn-out
Game just looks to be better
The new version is collectible
Other (please mention)
2. How much do you look to replace a genre that you have covered?
Actively look to get a better version of something I like.
If I see it, I see it.
Once I have it covered, I stop looking in that genre.
      123 answers
Poll created by bippi
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Drew
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A re-theming of a game I already have that I enjoy the new theme better could replace my current copy.

Traders of Carthage is a game I enjoy, but I am tempted to replace it with Traders of Osaka because I like the new look better. I am also looking forward to seeing what The Dice Tower Essential line does with Royals.
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Pete
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I tried to find the box that said:

[] It's on sale!

But I couldn't find it.

Pete (is pretty sure that's an oversight)
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Charles Boyung
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Everything on the list, except hype and "everyone you play with has it" is a valid reason (which is what was asked). And I might even say hype is a vaild reason too.
 
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David C
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plezercruz wrote:
I tried to find the box that said:

[] It's on sale!

But I couldn't find it.

Pete (is pretty sure that's an oversight)


The one on your shelf is free, though.

It's what I keep telling myself.
 
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David C
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One thing I would love to do is have a selector to where I could see the games I own, but as if I were looking at timewellspentgames, coolstuffinc, funagain, etc... I would be compelled to buy, but I already own it, so the price would be free and the shipping would be instant.
 
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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I can just about get why the Jones Theory appeals to those who like a lot of variety in their collection, but it's entirely alien to how I operate.

I don't buy games in similar niches to upgrade them. It's not that I'm looking for one that's better; just one that's different.

That's even the case with games with a significant number of similarities. Nothing Personal is overtly influenced by Kremlin. But the two games play differently enough that I can more than justify the fact that I own both. They both scratch subtly different itches.

This feels to me like suggesting that I don't need to own a Buzzcocks album if I own one by Crass, because they're both punk bands.
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Cody Jones
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Abiezer Coppe wrote:
I can just about get why the Jones Theory appeals to those who like a lot of variety in their collection, but it's entirely alien to how I operate.

I don't buy games in similar niches to upgrade them. It's not that I'm looking for one that's better; just one that's different.

That's even the case with games with a significant number of similarities. Nothing Personal is overtly influenced by Kremlin. But the two games play differently enough that I can more than justify the fact that I own both. They both scratch subtly different itches.

This feels to me like suggesting that I don't need to own a Buzzcocks album if I own one by Crass, because they're both punk bands.


It's not for everyone.
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Joshua Rice
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Solo play is a big hook for me. If it plays solo now and didn't before, or a new game plays solo where another does not, it goes on the list as "replacement".

Which is a bit of a misnomer because I never get rid of anything.
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David C
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Abiezer Coppe wrote:

This feels to me like suggesting that I don't need to own a Buzzcocks album if I own one by Crass, because they're both punk bands.


For me, I run into it mostly with gateway-ish games. I play close to the same 5-10 games all the time in gateway situations, there's really no point in owning too many more.

Cartagena, Carcassonne, Trans America, Ticket to Ride, 10 days in the USA, Mother Sheep... and I still haven't even rotated-in the other ticket to rides, etc.
 
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I think this so called Jones Theory is highly overrated. My BGG collection is in the thousands and there are hardly any two games in the same niche. It is always a different player count, setting, game mechanism, playing time, ...

Most games differ enough to justify owning them.
 
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Drew
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ImhotepMagi wrote:
Solo play is a big hook for me. If it plays solo now and didn't before, or a new game plays solo where another does not, it goes on the list as "replacement".

Which is a bit of a misnomer because I never get rid of anything.


The addition of a good solo variabt is a factor for me as well. The problem is a lot of companies have started just throwing on solo variants to try and make a few more dollars.
 
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Tony Go
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Yep, comes down to theme for me. Shorter playing time but not necessarily simpler decisions.
 
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Dave Brown
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Magermilchmagier wrote:
I think this so called Jones Theory is highly overrated. My BGG collection is in the thousands and there are hardly any two games in the same niche. It is always a different player count, setting, game mechanism, playing time, ...

Most games differ enough to justify owning them.


I have 60 games and find most games don't offer anything new enough to justify getting them.

I tend to come across 2 to 3 games at most per year that are worth acquiring for me.

Funny how our experiences are completely opposite. It does explain our disparity in collection size.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Just because games share a mechanic, or do the same thing, doesn't mean that one can fill in for the other. I like Chinese food, but that doesn't mean I'll only ever eat at one Chinese restaurant. Different restaurants, even in the same genre, have different specialties, do dishes slightly differently (or sometimes not so slightly) and offer a different experience.

Just because games are similar doesn't mean I can't love both.
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Drew
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Pepe Le Pew wrote:
See game...

Buy game.


My wife thinks this is how I react...she might not be too far off.
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Kip Kwiatkowski
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OTHER

If the new version introduces better or more refined mechanics, or new features. Maybe if it was a sharp increase in quality.

Also sometimes if it is an interesting retheme.
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James Arias
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Must have multiple of unique mechanics, Better rules, different theme or cooler components.

E.g. Nexus Ops, Shogon (Ikusa), Fortress America (FFG reprint) are all DoaM games but each ine has special charm.

I also have Dungeon!, Dark World and StarQuest which are all variants of dungeon crawlers, but again special charm. And I'm still training my kids to handle the more complex games
 
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J C Lawrence
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Pretty much the only reason I buy games is because there is something I want to learn from them.

Most of the exceptions centre around the edition I have being irritating to play due to invasive art or presentation, and another edition being more starkly functional and thus preferable.
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lizzie j
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Really interesting poll thanks.

I don't have a huge collection (yet) so currently I am trying to have a few different style games before looking into games that are similar but already I sort of keep an ear to the ground for a game that could be a replacement for something that just isn't "clicking" with my friends or with me. I think that most of the things I ticked in the poll were with regards to "am I likely to get this the table more often than the game I currently own?"

I am considering getting A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (Second Edition) when I already own (but barely ever play) the first edition. This is because the new edition:
- Removes a couple of things (I believe) that is supposed to tidy up the gameplay a little
- Added something that I believe balances out the plot cards a bit more
- Has better and more consistent artwork (a couple of the cards in first edition has Archie-comic style pictures!)
- Has 6 factions instead of 4 in the core set.

I recently got some kickass GOT coins from Kickstarter for this game and GOT Board Game so it should bring some shine back to the game for us. Also, previously only my boyfriend was really into GOT - I didn't know much and nor did our friends so perhaps now we've watched it together etc it'll appeal more (though that isn't a reason I should get the new edition!).
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Nate Milbrath
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Why does nobody ever seem to mention the other part of the "Jones theory"? If you like a style of game (or mechanism) and you are actively playing those games, you own as many as you want.

Essentially the Jones theory is there to get rid of redundant games. If you play game X over game Y 100% of the time, why keep game Y? Now if both X and Y are brought out depending on mood or gaming group, you have no reason to Jones theory them out.
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Keith Carter
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Magermilchmagier wrote:
I think this so called Jones Theory is highly overrated. My BGG collection is in the thousands and there are hardly any two games in the same niche. It is always a different player count, setting, game mechanism, playing time, ...

Most games differ enough to justify owning them.



I have never been a fan of the Jones theory either. I have hundreds of games (that includes digital) and I find them all different enough to justify having them and there is plenty of room for more. For my mother the Jones theory would mean three games. A board game, a dice game, and a card game. More nuance than these broad categories is lost on her. She has never wanted more than one of each.
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David C
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I find the shorter playtime angle on this poll interesting. If the boardgamegeek zeitgteist were to be believed, the trend to shorter games would be unfavorable.

(For me, it's a trend to games that actually make it to the table, at all. ...but that's probably for another thread.)
 
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David C
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I had Citadels, Mission Red Planet, and Libertalia. They all seemed close to the same and I wasn't getting many played. Everyone raves about Libertalia, so I put Citadels and Mission Red Planet up on the chop-block. Mission Red Planet actually sold, so.. it went.

For me, I liked Libertalia over at least Mission Red Planet because
a) Everyone likes pirates. Every space-themed game I ever do, I have to preface with, "Trust me, you won't have to know inside-jokes about Douglas Adams and Star Trek. Honest. I really mean it this time." But games about pirates, everyone just loves.
b) Seats 2-6, and it's even recommended at 2.
c) Libertalia seemed way more straightforward to explain, to me. (which is subjective, I agree.)

I ended-up keeping citadels. For the money, size, and the fact that most people kind of know it...
 
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Jason Garman
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bippi wrote:
I find the shorter playtime angle on this poll interesting. If the boardgamegeek zeitgteist were to be believed, the trend to shorter games would be unfavorable.

(For me, it's a trend to games that actually make it to the table, at all. ...but that's probably for another thread.)


I voted for shorter playtime as a positive, but that's assuming that the core of what I like about the game is still intact. For example, I own BANG! The Dice Game instead of BANG! because I think the dice game does the core of the hidden roles and bluffing/deduction as well as the card game, but in a much shorter time. The dice game has less strategy as well, but the more interesting strategic elements of the card game are not worth the extra play time to me, so it has been completely replaced. I would always rather play the dice game, though I can still be convinced to play the card game if other people really want to.
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