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Subject: Grail Games? rss

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Ray Bonilla
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What is your and/or the common definition of a grail game?

I ask because the phrase didn't really exist in my personal parlance until I started noticing it more on bgg. But there doesn't seem to be any consistency in games people apply the term to.

I get the feeling they're games that were more difficult than usual to acquire and/or games in your collection that most of your friends don't have that you cherish partially for that reason.

If that's the definition that's a bit tricky for me. I eventually just find and buy whatever I want to find and buy, though there have been different levels of hunting involved with certain titles. But any biding of my time involved I never really thought about much.

Anyways, I was just curious what other people defined the term with.

--------

For the record, if I were to apply what I think the term means to my collection and wishlist I guess I would come up with:

Betrayal at House on the Hill(this WAS a grail game for me years and years ago. I wanted the game badly back during its original printing and couldn't get my hands on it. So when the 2nd edition came out I was super excited. But nowadays the game is easy as pie to find. But I first had this when my collection was under 20 games back in 2010.)

Camp Grizzly (I love this game. I loved taking part in this kickstarter. I loved waiting for the game to arrive for over a year. I love showing this game off. And I don't think it's ever going to make a much wider release...though I might be wrong.)

Caylus (This one is fuzzy because my delay in getting the game was mostly self-imposed. I adore Caylus but when I finally moved away from my buddy that had the game I kept putting off getting it waiting for the newest edition to come out. But I certainly attach a greater than average degree of adoration to it in my collection.)

Demise of Dr. Frankenstein (Earnestly one of my fave games, but self-printed in incredibly small run by its designer. I have a cube in my shelving unit devoted purely to self-pub'd games from this designer but I would probably only apply grail status to this, Giant, and even more so to Misty Ruins which never even had a kickstarter.)

Empires of the Void (Wanted this for a long time. Was super excited when I learned Ryan Laukat was coming out with a 2nd edition. Was less excited when he told me it would probably only barely resemble the original. So I hunted and hunted and hunted for a copy of this in good condition. Many thanks to the bgger who sold it to me at an excellent price.)

War of the Ring (first edition) (Again, this was just a matter of hunting down a good copy at a good price. Not even a collectors edition, but it is very dear to me.)

Everything else I pretty much just see as a game I bought when I wanted it or kickstarted and enjoy but can either still get easily today or don't have strong attachment to it.

Wishlist:
Xia (Just a high price point and limited availability, though I imagine when I decide I'm ready for it I can find a copy.)
Thunder Road (Super old. Might be tricky to get a copy in good condition without paying an arm and a leg.)
The Hellgame (Pretty rare and limited printing I think.)
Fearsome Floors (English edition) (English edition hasn't been around since 2004. It's available but pretty overpriced. But my desire for it isn't high enough to really qualify as a grail most likely.)
1960: The Making of a President (OOP and mad expensive.)
Intrigue City (Was printed by some Greek non-profit organization. Never came overseas. Available, but only imported, and I'm waiting to pull the trigger on it.)

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Chris SC

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some people have used it as you have, but most of those games could be gotten a bit above MSRP even when they were out of print.

in my experience the actual grails are the ones you rarely see up for trade and, when you do, they often go for $100+ (or at least well above MSRP)
 
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My definition of a Grail is a game on my wishlist that will probably cost me an arm and a leg to procure, if I'm lucky.

Like a copy of Gorgonstar Titan is one of my Grails.
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Richard Urich
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A grail game is a game that is highly desirable, but incredibly difficult to obtain.

Most grail games will be reprinted eventually, because a highly desirable game is usually a game which would be profitable to reprint. Exceptions generally revolve around expired licenses or companies unable or uninterested in reprinting (like Hasbro's lack of interest in low-volume games, or Cambridge Games' seeming inability to profitably navigate the processes involved)
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Ray Bonilla
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Yeah okay. Then I guess I probably don't go in much for grails. If the price point far exceeds the value of the game as something to play I'm not interested.

Closest exception is prolly 1960: Making of a President. Seriously doubt that will ever get reprinted. But even that I've seen for less than a brand new copy of Xia so it's not that bad.
 
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Mathew Spence
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I have found my "Grail" game. It is Tichu. It's my grail game because it's something I can play with my parents. They are in their 70's and they have liked a game here or there but overall they always just really enjoyed cards. Tichu is a game I can play with them that they absolutely love and they are very competitive at it. It's the only time in my life I can remember my dad asking to play something.
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Ray Bonilla
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MatSpence wrote:
I have found my "Grail" game. It is Tichu. It's my grail game because it's something I can play with my parents. They are in their 70's and they have liked a game here or there but overall they always just really enjoyed cards. Tichu is a game I can play with them that they absolutely love and they are very competitive at it. It's the only time in my life I can remember my dad asking to play something.


Good personal definition. That's kind of like how even though my wife is an avid gamer, her batteries drain a lot faster than mine and her gaming stamina is far less than mine. But even on her crappiest day after dealing with 50+ 11 and 12 year olds, I can ask her if she wants to play Marvel Legendary and she almost always will say yes. I like the game a lot as it is, but that makes me love it.
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Some of the grail games for me are the heavy economic games released at Essen that are not picked up in North America. That is why when I heard about the Arkwright reprint which I missed out of on the first pass I got very excited.
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Richard Urich
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OldManMerton wrote:
Closest exception is prolly 1960: Making of a President. Seriously doubt that will ever get reprinted.


The same was said about Fury of Dracula (Second Edition) and Mission: Red Planet, but both were reprinted in 2015. We are in a world where the hobby is expanding, and consolidation is occurring. This is a perfect recipe for companies wanting the safety of reprinting or iterating on an existing game. And we have Kickstarter providing an avenue for new, riskier games to be produced. We are living in good times for the hobby.
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Daniel B-G
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Antiquity and Indonesia were Grail games for me, until I pulled the plug.

Now it's Container and Princes of the Renaissance (though the latter is fortunately receiving a reprint soon and I may just P&P the former as I know a friend with a 3D printer).
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Tomello Visello
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OldManMerton wrote:
What is your and/or the common definition of a grail game?


a fantasy maintained even in the face of overwhelming knowledge that is it unlikely ever to be obtained.

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Nathan Larsen
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DAAAN wrote:
Antiquity and Indonesia were Grail games for me, until I pulled the plug.

Now it's Container and Princes of the Renaissance (though the latter is fortunately receiving a reprint soon and I may just P&P the former as I know a friend with a 3D printer).


I think I read somewhere that Princes of the Renaissance reprint isn't happening anymore.
 
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Justin Case
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RichardU wrote:
A grail game is a game that is highly desirable, but incredibly difficult to obtain.

This. thumbsup

The "desire" part is purely personal, and someone else may not give a fat rat about a game that I personally desire very strongly, but it is the difficulty in obtaining it that transforms a wishlist game into a grail game.

There are a number of games that I would like very much to have, some that I have sought for years because I don't want to pay full price (or above) for them, especially not without a firm opportunity to put them into play right away. But those games don't get promoted to grail status, no matter how much I want them, because I could easily have them almost anytime that I decide to knock the dust off my checkbook.

When I think of "grail games", in the back of my mind is always the shadowy image of the Arthurian knights, questing for years across the British Isles and northern France in a search for the Holy Grail.

cool

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Mark Wilson
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Right now, it's the games that appeal greatly to me, but don't to my gf and wouldn't get pulled at my more social group meetups. We usually hard-cap the time on our games at under 2 hours, with rare exceptions when 3-5 people want to try something specific.

So, like, War of the Ring (Second Edition) might be my favorite game ever. And I hope someday I can find out whether it is or not. I'm just not sure who I'll find that out with. I can probably drag my gf through one session (she likes games, but has limits), but after that I'm likely on my own.
 
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Edward Uhler
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dekedagger wrote:
DAAAN wrote:
Antiquity and Indonesia were Grail games for me, until I pulled the plug.

Now it's Container and Princes of the Renaissance (though the latter is fortunately receiving a reprint soon and I may just P&P the former as I know a friend with a 3D printer).


I think I read somewhere that Princes of the Renaissance reprint isn't happening anymore.


Incorrect, it is via KS soon.

As for Grail games, yup, usually grossly expensive and extremely hard to obtain.

For me, the #1 Grail is: Horus. Extremely rare to see one available and usually in the $300-$400 range.
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Pete
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I have this curious habit of buying whatever I want, so I don't have a quest right now.

Pete (suspects the urge will hit again sometime soon)
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CARL SKUTSCH
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The original holy grail was a long lost chalice or cup or bowl that supposedly had something to do with Christ's death, perhaps catching his blood as he died on the cross. Then the stories came that told of knights sent on long quests to seek out the grail, fruitless, of course. There's even the silly (but very funny) Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

So a grail game is not something that you just like a lot. A grail game is something that you desperately want and is really hard or expensive to get. Caylus can't be a grail game because I can get it on Amazon for $44.22.

Grail games might be:
War of the Ring Collectors Edition - $1600 on Amazon
Glory to Rome, black box edition only - $300 on BGG
Endeavor - $200, used, on Amazon
Antiquity - $450 on BGG

EDIT: Oh, and a Study in Emerald, 1st edition, $200, used, on Amazon
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Daniel B-G
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skutsch wrote:
The original holy grail was a long lost chalice or cup or bowl that supposedly had something to do with Christ's death, perhaps catching his blood as he died on the cross. Then the stories came that told of knights sent on long quests to seek out the grail, fruitless, of course. There's even the silly (but very funny) Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

So a grail game is not something that you just like a lot. A grail game is something that you desperately want and is really hard or expensive to get. Caylus can't be a grail game because I can get it on Amazon for $44.22.

Grail games might be:
War of the Ring Collectors Edition - $1600 on Amazon
Glory to Rome, black box edition only - $300 on BGG
Endeavor - $200, used, on Amazon
Antiquity - $450 on BGG

EDIT: Oh, and a Study in Emerald, 1st edition, $200, used, on Amazon


Ironically, I sold two of those last year. Didn't get anywhere near those prices though.

Glory to Rome BBE £85
Endeavor £65

When you see an item still available it's because it's been priced too high
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Pete
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Witch's Brew is one that's still hard to get. There was a "sort-of" reprint in Broom Service but it's not the same game...it merely uses a similar mechanic. Prices for Witch's Brew dropped significantly while Broom Service was doing its thing but they're back up now.

Pete (acquired Witch's Brew most recently of the rare games)
 
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Serious? Lee
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Grail games are elusive titles which you keep hoping to find (and afford) one day.

A few of my grail games:
Kaispeicher - English version
Troyes: The Ladies of Troyes - keeping my fingers crossed this gets reprinted soon
Carcassonne: Die Kornkreise - one of the few Carc expansions I missed

plus any of these hard to find promos...
The Duke: Swashbuckler Promo Tile
The Duke: Jester Promo Tile
The Duke: Specter Promo Tile
The Duke: Shieldmaiden Promo Tile
The Duke: Lancer Promo Tile
 
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For me, it is Dark Tower....

 
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Mine are

Kingdom Death: Monster - not hard to get but would cost me a kidney to buy it
Gears of War: The Board Game - I am looking for the german Version which is hard to get at a reasonable price
and some old games that I find interresting, that I would have bought if they were easier or cheaper to find

Oh oh oh... I would love to get a professionally crafted version of Ilya's Dune Remake, but they are a bit expensive to ship to Germany.


Former Grail games, that I managed to buy by now:
Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit
Dune - Sting cover
A Study in Emerald
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Jason Reid
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plezercruz wrote:
Witch's Brew is one that's still hard to get. There was a "sort-of" reprint in Broom Service but it's not the same game...it merely uses a similar mechanic. Prices for Witch's Brew dropped significantly while Broom Service was doing its thing but they're back up now.

Pete (acquired Witch's Brew most recently of the rare games)


Uwe Rosenberg's Glass Road is a quite serviceable stand-in for Witch's Brew, however, if you can't get the original. Certainly heavier, but not unwelcomely so.
 
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Ambersilk wrote:
For me, it is Dark Tower....



My sister borrowed this off me but when she moved to Turkey it got lost in the reshuffle was hoping to replace it but the prices are too high I bought it new as I had just started work. Thanks for the memory and a twinge of regret.
 
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Jorath wrote:
Ambersilk wrote:
For me, it is Dark Tower....



My sister borrowed this off me but when she moved to Turkey it got lost in the reshuffle was hoping to replace it but the prices are too high I bought it new as I had just started work. Thanks for the memory and a twinge of regret.


Ours also got lost in moving shuffles years ago and I would love to replace but they are out of my price range now...I do look around every once in a while, just to see...

Maybe one day...
 
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