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Subject: What are the gaping holes in my collection (game mechanics)? rss

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Alexandre Santos
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Hello,

After going on a buying spree during the last year, I have the feeling that I have developed a well rounded collection (ok, cynics will translate this to bloated whistle, at 140 games).

My goals have been to go for highly replayable games that hopefully have or will stand the test of time. I try to cover most of board game mechanics that have been developed during the last twenty years, and (try) to avoid duplicates (and failing hard with worker placement, auction, deck-building games), while covering a wide range of player counts, and gaming situations (travel vs home).

If you look at my collection, you may also realize that I have a weak spot for the Age of Sail, which is terrible in this hobby arrrh. Also bear in mind that I have gaming partners with nice collections, which means that I'm not after exhaustiveness (all the good games in a certain niche), but completeness (a good game for each mechanic). For instance, I love Eclipse but don't own it, since a friend has the game.

I play mostly with my wife and have been building a regular gaming group (3 regulars, and around 10 semi-regulars). I also enjoy playing with my kids, and once in a while I may manage to convince my parents to play something (i.e. Bohnanza)

Anyways, my question is the following : if you look at the collection, do you notice that some interesting game mechanic is missing, and what kind of game would be a good representative that I could consider acquiring?

Although I'm focusing on game mechanics, maybe you'll notice other deficits (for instance a lack of games encouraging a lot of table talk, etc). If so, you are most welcome to point them out!

Finally, if you find the collection is complete or bloated, that is also welcome feedback. Although subjective, fact is I am reaching the storage limits my apartment and wife can accommodate, so I may have to get rid of some games to get others, although I have no such plans at the moment.
 
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Joshua Hibbert
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There are definitely games in your collection I'm not familiar with, but how about these suggestions:

Mysterium - Non verbal communication cooperative game
Saint Petersburg - A balance of set collection and engine building
Splendor - Economic based card drafting/set collection
Thurn and Taxis - Card based area control/route building
Vikings - Uses a very interesting purchasing mechanic along with the building of your own player area
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Dave Lartigue
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There's no such thing as a hole in a collection. Buy what you'd like to play, play what you buy. Don't buy out of some weird sense of obligation or fealty to others. The Constantly Buy ethos at BGG is toxic and shouldn't be a model to emulate.
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Thanee
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Some games you could check out...

Trajan
Rialto
Bora Bora
AquaSphere
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
Clockwork Wars

Bye
Thanee
 
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Kite Runner
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I scanned your collection and didn't notice any business/finance type games. How about either Acquire or Stockpile?

Good luck!
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Jerry Martin
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Not Enough Terra Mystica.
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I guess you are not this person, but someone posed basically this exact question a month or two ago. I don't know how to find the thread but maybe someone else does. There were many responses...
 
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Scott O'Brien
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Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
Keyflower
Five Tribes
Agricola or Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Splendor
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Alexandre Santos
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Thanks a lot for all the feedback! I'm sorry it took me a while to react, but somehow my subscription to the thread failed and I was unaware of your posts. shake

adm1 wrote:
I guess you are not this person, but someone posed basically this exact question a month or two ago. I don't know how to find the thread but maybe someone else does. There were many responses...


Nope, it's the first time I post on this subject...

Legomancer wrote:
There's no such thing as a hole in a collection. Buy what you'd like to play, play what you buy. Don't buy out of some weird sense of obligation or fealty to others. The Constantly Buy ethos at BGG is toxic and shouldn't be a model to emulate.


My goal is precisely to avoid buying continuously: if I follow the principle "buy what I'd like to play" I run the risk of buying repeatedly the same type of games. So for instance I already have enough "dudes on a map" type of games (Cyclades, Kemet, Mare Nostrum). I probably would like to play Scythe or Cry Havoc, and under the "buy what I'd like to play" I would end up buying them. By restricting myself to "one game for a game mechanic/genre", I know that buying those is a no-go.

At this stage I don't see what I should buy, hence this post. I don't NEED to find something to buy, but I enjoy discovering new aspects of gaming, and if it makes my collection more diverse, so much the better.

I have organized the games that have been suggested so far into games for which I think I have the equivalent in terms of game mechanics, and those that are missing in the collection.
 
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Alexandre Santos
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Games that I feel might be redundant:

Mysterium - Non verbal communication cooperative game : while not really non verbal, I feel that Hanabi and Codenames have sufficiently restricted communication to scratch that itch. Also, it did not help that I did not like my first and only play of Mysterium.

Saint Petersburg - A balance of set collection and engine building and Splendor - Economic based card drafting/set collection : I feel that for both these games Race for the Galaxy has me settled in terms of tableau and engine building.

Rialto - variable roles, area majority, auctions, drafting - a game I didn't know, but I have the impression that I have those mechanisms covered with games like Citadels, Brussels 1893.

Bora Bora - dice worker placement : I think The travels of Marco Polo has me covered there.

Aquasphere - programming, area control : another game unknown to me, but Shogun also has programming and area majority/control

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar, Agricola or Caverna: The Cave Farmers - set collection, worker placement - all seem to be great games, but I have that worker placement games already covered (for instance Brussels 1893)

Clockwork Wars - Area control, modular board, variable player powers, worker placement, dudes on a map : this game looks quite interesting ! However it's an overcrowded genre in my collection (Cyclades, Kemet, Mare Nostrum + a friend has Eclipse)

Terra Mystica, Keyflower - Route/network building, variable powers, worker placement - I discounted these games because I already have a lot of worker placement games. I wonder if the Route/network building aspect is sufficiently prominent to set these game apart from others in my collection... (I have got and pickup and delivery covered with Black Fleet, for instance)
 
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Alexandre Santos
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Games that would potentially bring something new to the collection

Thurn and Taxis - Card based area control/route building : I don't know Thurn and Taxis, and it's true that I don't have a route building game, except for the pheromone trails in Myrmes. I will check it out, thanks !

Vikings - Uses a very interesting purchasing mechanic along with the building of your own player area : Interesting, I will look it up!

Trajan, Five Tribes - mancala : it's true that I don't have a game with the mancala system... I will check them out.

Acquire or Stockpile - business/finance, stockholding games : indeed that is a type of mechanic that is absent in my collection, thanks for the tip! I will look into those kind of games!

Thank you very much for your suggestions! It seems stockholding, route/network building and mancala based games could be interesting additions, so I will explore those venues.

Of course, if you have more suggestions, do not hesitate to add more suggestions, or comment in any way you find pertinent.
 
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Jake Blomquist
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This may be too specific of a thing for you to think you need to include, but one of my favorite mechanisms recently has been 'hand-building.' It's similar to but distinct from deck building, which I'm personally not a huge fan of. The three go to games here are Mombasa (which also has a shares system and is probably the heaviest of the three), Lewis & Clark (a racing game), and Concordia (the most traditionally euro of the three, but the way the scoring works is really cool).

Also, Terra Mystica is definitely not a worker placement game. There are one or two small aspects that are sort of worker placement adjacent but if the only reason you're not trying it is because you have enough worker placement games, then definitely give it a try.
 
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Sam Lam I Am
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If you are failing at avoiding duplication at Worker Placement, maybe it is because you love worker placement games. If you do, try these worker placement games to round out your collection in that genre:

Dungeon Lords This game can take a while to play, but the dungeon resolution phase makes this very different from other worker placement games.

Tribune: Primus Inter Pares This one can play short or long - you decide at the beginning whether you want simpler or harder victory conditions. Worker placement with a good dose of auction and set collection thrown into the mix.

Caylus The granddaddy of WP games. I see you have Caylus Magna Carta, but why not get the real thing?

All three of these are in my top 10. My kids will play Tribune with me, or half a game of Dungeon Lords.

EDIT: Also, you may think you have worker placement "covered" - but it doesn't look like you own any of the really highly ranked WP games. Get the best in the genre!
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Chris Mcpherson
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I am very similar in the way I have built my collection but as time goes on you may notice that some games are similar but different enough to own two with similar mechanisms. With that said,

Thurn and Taxis is easily my favourite route building game and has some great decisions to be made outside of the route building aspect. German copy is no problem so font let that scare you off.

Vikings is def a great game and plays in a reasonable timeframe. The purchasing method you mentioned is great but the tile placement and timing of certain purchases increases the strategic choices also. Another absolutely awesome option is Palaces of Carrara.

Trajan and Five Tribes are both in my collection but so is Istanbul. All three use that same Mancala element so you have three games to choose from which are all great but offer different secondary elements.

Acquire is a game I've been meaning to get but it seems to have so many copies printed I'm waiting to get a cheap second-hand copy.

Now for a few new suggestions:

Auction - Might be my favourite game mechanism. Isle of Skye, Ra, Biblios, No Thanks(reverse auction), Amun-Re, Keyflower, Goa, and Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Some of these just include some version of an auction whereas Goa, Ra, Isle of Skye, No Thanks, Amun- Re and Biblios are either 50% or more auction based.

Time Track - What I mean by this is games like Patchwork, Glen More, Kraftwagen, and Tokaido. The last player takes the next turn until he is no longer last and now the new last player takes over and so on. This leads to some tough decisions and eventually some nice combo moves for the last player once in awhile.

I could go on but I've been writing for too long with a single finger on this stupid iPad mini.
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Scott O'Brien
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AlexFS wrote:
Games that I feel might be redundant:

Mysterium - Non verbal communication cooperative game : while not really non verbal, I feel that Hanabi and Codenames have sufficiently restricted communication to scratch that itch. Also, it did not help that I did not like my first and only play of Mysterium.

Saint Petersburg - A balance of set collection and engine building and Splendor - Economic based card drafting/set collection : I feel that for both these games Race for the Galaxy has me settled in terms of tableau and engine building.

Rialto - variable roles, area majority, auctions, drafting - a game I didn't know, but I have the impression that I have those mechanisms covered with games like Citadels, Brussels 1893.

Bora Bora - dice worker placement : I think The travels of Marco Polo has me covered there.

Aquasphere - programming, area control : another game unknown to me, but Shogun also has programming and area majority/control

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar, Agricola or Caverna: The Cave Farmers - set collection, worker placement - all seem to be great games, but I have that worker placement games already covered (for instance Brussels 1893)

Clockwork Wars - Area control, modular board, variable player powers, worker placement, dudes on a map : this game looks quite interesting ! However it's an overcrowded genre in my collection (Cyclades, Kemet, Mare Nostrum + a friend has Eclipse)

Terra Mystica, Keyflower - Route/network building, variable powers, worker placement - I discounted these games because I already have a lot of worker placement games. I wonder if the Route/network building aspect is sufficiently prominent to set these game apart from others in my collection... (I have got and pickup and delivery covered with Black Fleet, for instance)


• I would not make the assumption that all worker placement games are created equally, or are the same. For example: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar while you place workers, they have to stay on a gear given track until you pull them off, and because the way the gears move and have multiple spaces, it is non blocking. I would never say that Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and Agricola feel or play the same... ever.

Keyflower is more of an tactical auction / bidding game with a side of worker placement and route building / delivery mechanics.

Terra Mystica the mechanics Workerplacement / Route building-- neither correctly describe this game... it is an area control game with multiple scoring tracks. It has more in common with Kingdom Builder or La Isla than any of the games you lumped it with.

Saint Petersburg and Splendor are nothing like RFTG. I could see a comparison of RFTG with San Juan or Puerto Rico. RFTG is a role selection game at its core. Saint Petersburg feels much more like a feld point salad game. Splendor has no roles, no phases, no income/production/shipping, it is a multi-currency abstract game. They are nothing alike.


• A word of advice... if you are relying on the generic classification of a game according the mechanics in the little silver/grey box... you are going to miss a LOT of great games.

• Using your logic, I could justify that you should not have The Voyages of Marco Polo (A great game), because you have Rory's Story Cubes because they are both dice rolling games.

• I suggest you stop looking at what mechanics 2 particular games share and actually delve into the feel of the game, because 2 worker placement games could be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.
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Alexandre Santos
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Once again thank you very much for your continuing feedback, it has been tremendously helpfull!

I have been investigating stockholding games, and have come up with the following list:

- Acquire- well regarded classic, but seems too long for the level of randomness in the game
- Stockpile- shorter than acquire, very approachable, also subject to randomness. Looks like a great entry game
- Chicago Express- also quick (1 hour), very interactive, no luck. Seems that the game play experience is very dependent on the players experience.
- Imperial, Indonesia, Steam Barons, 18xx games are longer or heavier. To consider if the genre proves popular.

So I'll be looking to get Stockpile or Chicago Express , thanks for bringing that genre to my attention
 
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Alexandre Santos
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jblomquist wrote:
This may be too specific of a thing for you to think you need to include, but one of my favorite mechanisms recently has been 'hand-building.' It's similar to but distinct from deck building, which I'm personally not a huge fan of. The three go to games here are Mombasa (which also has a shares system and is probably the heaviest of the three), Lewis & Clark (a racing game), and Concordia (the most traditionally euro of the three, but the way the scoring works is really cool).


Thank you very much for the tips! I have tried very hard not to buy Concordia because I filed it under the rondel action selection games (like Navegador, Amyitis, etc.).

I wonder if the hand building in Concordia is sufficiently different from the rondel system, or if it's just a gimmick (turning rondel slots into cards). How does the hand building mecanic in Concordia, Lewis and Clark feels different from the rondel?

I also discounted Monbasa (although I like the theme!) for the same reasons... Still I will not start with that one, as I would have to find an opening for in in my gaming group.

For sure, I will look more into Concordia!

jblomquist wrote:
Also, Terra Mystica is definitely not a worker placement game. There are one or two small aspects that are sort of worker placement adjacent but if the only reason you're not trying it is because you have enough worker placement games, then definitely give it a try.


See below...
 
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Alexandre Santos
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samlamiam wrote:
If you are failing at avoiding duplication at Worker Placement, maybe it is because you love worker placement games. If you do, try these worker placement games to round out your collection in that genre:

Dungeon Lords This game can take a while to play, but the dungeon resolution phase makes this very different from other worker placement games.

Tribune: Primus Inter Pares This one can play short or long - you decide at the beginning whether you want simpler or harder victory conditions. Worker placement with a good dose of auction and set collection thrown into the mix.

Caylus The granddaddy of WP games. I see you have Caylus Magna Carta, but why not get the real thing?

All three of these are in my top 10. My kids will play Tribune with me, or half a game of Dungeon Lords.


You are absolutely right that I love worker placement games! That's where the problem begins, as left unchecked I'll end up stuffing my collection with them (for instance, I would have liked to buy The Pursuit of Happiness, but it won't happen for this reason).

The only reason I don't own Caylus is because a friend already has it, so I can play it anytime. That is why I got myself Caylus Magna Carta instead. It's not Caylus, but it's portable, and I badly wanted a portable WP game!

Dungeon Lords is another game I really wanted to get (even found it at a discounted price once), but decided against because it's a WP (even if different). Same logic applies to Tzolk'in and others. I will only buy them if I get sick of the WP games I have and get rid of them.

Still, the fact that Tribune : Primus inter pares works well with your kids is interesting for me, as I am always on the lookout for such games to introduce to my family.

Speaking of getting rid of games, one of the issues is that I have the feeling that many people on bgg are continuously trading games away, whereas I have insofar never traded a game away. Perhaps that will come later, but so far I have really a hard time motivating myself to remove games from my collection, even those that I was gifted and which I don't really like shake
 
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Alexandre Santos
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Re4isnumber1 wrote:
I am very similar in the way I have built my collection but as time goes on you may notice that some games are similar but different enough to own two with similar mechanisms.


Absolutely, also as you become more experienced and discerning, these kind of broad categorizations become too general for your needs.

Quote:
With that said, Thurn and Taxis is easily my favourite route building game and has some great decisions to be made outside of the route building aspect. German copy is no problem so font let that scare you off.

Vikings is def a great game and plays in a reasonable timeframe. The purchasing method you mentioned is great but the tile placement and timing of certain purchases increases the strategic choices also. Another absolutely awesome option is Palaces of Carrara.


I have not yet had the time, but I will definitely research those games!

Quote:
Trajan and Five Tribes are both in my collection but so is Istanbul. All three use that same Mancala element so you have three games to choose from which are all great but offer different secondary elements.

Thanks for the tip on Istanbul, I will add it to the mancala rooster

Quote:
Auction - Might be my favourite game mechanism. Isle of Skye, Ra, Biblios, No Thanks(reverse auction), Amun-Re, Keyflower, Goa, and Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Some of these just include some version of an auction whereas Goa, Ra, Isle of Skye, No Thanks, Amun- Re and Biblios are either 50% or more auction based.

I already have Ra, and Cyclades has the same type of auction as Amun-Re. I have been trying to get Modern Art or Taj Mahal to complete by selection of auction games, perhaps more Modern Art as it presents various types of auctions. I had thought about Goa at some point, but don't remember anymore why I didn't pursue it.

Quote:
Time Track - What I mean by this is games like Patchwork, Glen More, Kraftwagen, and Tokaido. The last player takes the next turn until he is no longer last and now the new last player takes over and so on. This leads to some tough decisions and eventually some nice combo moves for the last player once in awhile.

Great point, and I would add Olympos to the list! I am planning to buy Glen More, but am still waiting for a (possible) second edition.

Quote:
I could go on but I've been writing for too long with a single finger on this stupid iPad mini.

Thank you for your dedication!
 
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Alexandre Santos
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sao123 wrote:
[...]
• I would not make the assumption that all worker placement games are created equally, or are the same. For example: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar while you place workers, they have to stay on a gear given track until you pull them off, and because the way the gears move and have multiple spaces, it is non blocking. I would never say that Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and Agricola feel or play the same... ever.

Keyflower is more of an tactical auction / bidding game with a side of worker placement and route building / delivery mechanics.

Terra Mystica the mechanics Workerplacement / Route building-- neither correctly describe this game... it is an area control game with multiple scoring tracks. It has more in common with Kingdom Builder or La Isla than any of the games you lumped it with.

Saint Petersburg and Splendor are nothing like RFTG. I could see a comparison of RFTG with San Juan or Puerto Rico. RFTG is a role selection game at its core. Saint Petersburg feels much more like a feld point salad game. Splendor has no roles, no phases, no income/production/shipping, it is a multi-currency abstract game. They are nothing alike.


• A word of advice... if you are relying on the generic classification of a game according the mechanics in the little silver/grey box... you are going to miss a LOT of great games.

• Using your logic, I could justify that you should not have The Voyages of Marco Polo (A great game), because you have Rory's Story Cubes because they are both dice rolling games.

• I suggest you stop looking at what mechanics 2 particular games share and actually delve into the feel of the game, because 2 worker placement games could be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.


You are of course right that the mechanic's based approach is incomplete, and I may be using it at a much too coarse level. But that is precisely why I opened this post, so that I can benefit from people's input and experiences.

For instance I have discounted Terra Mystica a long time ago, but your and jbloomquist comments have helped me realize that I misunderstood this game (which I have never played). I will look more into that game, specially since I love Kingdom Builder (owned by a friend).

Still, I'm wondering : is Scythe (a game I eliminated as a "dudes on a map" style of game) an updated version of Terra Mystica, or is TM still relevant? I wonder because both games are often related in the reviews I have read about them. Kingdom Builder definitely is not a dudes on a map game, I suppose TM isn't either...

This being said, I think I have to accept that there are great games that I am going to miss in my collection, simply because there are too many great games! We are spoiled for choice.

Also, there is an issue with building expertise in a game. I like deep games, which allow me to me to explore different strategies over many plays. While that may seem a joke from a guy owning 100+ games whistle, I do prefer raising my level of play over the number of plays I play. That is why some people will be happy with hundreds of plays of Agricola, and never care about Tzolk'in, etc. Although not as dedicated, I do prefer to restrain myself somewhat in order to play more the games I have.

As far as I can perceive, my guiding principles in developing my collection are:

1 - have a diverse collection that is representative of the state of contemporary board gaming (in terms of game mechanisms)
2 - prefer games that resonate thematically (for example, I live in Brussels, Belgium, so Bruxelles 1893 was more meaningful to me than Tzolk'in. Also many of the games I own are related to the age of sail)
3 - restrict the collection by limiting overlap within the collection, and trying to avoid duplicates with the games my gaming partners own (ex: Caylus, Agricola, Eclipse).
4 - have a flexible collection that cares for playing with gamers, spouse, kids, and while travelling. (4 and 3 are contradictory, so I compromise)

These are just guiding principles that help me maintain some consistency. So for instance I bought Voyages of Marco Polo almost on impulse, but later realized that this acquisition negated me buying Troyes, a game I had eyed for the longest time, but OOP cry.

If I don't keep to these principles then I'll just buy Troyes, Tzolk'in, Agricola, etc, and will only stop at storage capacity, which is a hard constraint that rubs me the wrong way. shake

Among the games you discuss Keyflower seems to be another one worth investigating: I wonder if the route building/delivery mechanics are important enough to set the game apart and make it interesting to acquire?
 
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Sam Lam I Am
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AlexFS wrote:


left unchecked I'll end up stuffing my collection with them


That's exactly what I try to do.

AlexFS wrote:

The only reason I don't own Caylus is because a friend already has it

I will only buy them if I get sick of the WP games I have and get rid of them.


I have learned that friends move away and good games go out of print. So now I grab up good games when I have an opportunity.
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Dan
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Drafting Games
7 Wonders - up to 7 players
Sushi Go! - up to 5 players. Lighter than 7 wonders.
Steampunk Rally - drafting + dice placement race game

Life/Relationships
Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy - build your own family tree and gain prestige
CV - some describe it as The Game of Life + Yahtzee, but it is more complex than either of those games.

Grail Games
Glory to Rome - the best tableau building, multi-use card game ever
Food Chain Magnate - haven't played it, but it looks amazing (check out the "sit down and shut up" review video)

Hidden Action Selection Games
Wars of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York - really amazing game. Everyone chooses their actions in secret each round, then all the actions get executed.
Revolution! - a much lighter take on the same mechanic.

 
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Anthony Simons
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AlexFS wrote:
Games that I feel might be redundant:

Terra Mystica, Keyflower - Route/network building, variable powers, worker placement - I discounted these games because I already have a lot of worker placement games. I wonder if the Route/network building aspect is sufficiently prominent to set these game apart from others in my collection... (I have got and pickup and delivery covered with Black Fleet, for instance)

You might have pick up and deliver covered; however, the route/networking aspect really needs to be covered, especially if you have never played Steam or Age of Steam. Rail games; that's what's missing!
 
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Joshua Hibbert
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Having recently played Tzolk'in for the first time, I can safely tell you it's unlike any other worker placement game I've ever played! It would definitely warrant a spot in your collection.
 
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Scott O'Brien
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AlexFS wrote:
sao123 wrote:
[...]
• I would not make the assumption that all worker placement games are created equally, or are the same. For example: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar while you place workers, they have to stay on a gear given track until you pull them off, and because the way the gears move and have multiple spaces, it is non blocking. I would never say that Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and Agricola feel or play the same... ever.

Keyflower is more of an tactical auction / bidding game with a side of worker placement and route building / delivery mechanics.

Terra Mystica the mechanics Workerplacement / Route building-- neither correctly describe this game... it is an area control game with multiple scoring tracks. It has more in common with Kingdom Builder or La Isla than any of the games you lumped it with.

Saint Petersburg and Splendor are nothing like RFTG. I could see a comparison of RFTG with San Juan or Puerto Rico. RFTG is a role selection game at its core. Saint Petersburg feels much more like a feld point salad game. Splendor has no roles, no phases, no income/production/shipping, it is a multi-currency abstract game. They are nothing alike.


• A word of advice... if you are relying on the generic classification of a game according the mechanics in the little silver/grey box... you are going to miss a LOT of great games.

• Using your logic, I could justify that you should not have The Voyages of Marco Polo (A great game), because you have Rory's Story Cubes because they are both dice rolling games.

• I suggest you stop looking at what mechanics 2 particular games share and actually delve into the feel of the game, because 2 worker placement games could be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.


You are of course right that the mechanic's based approach is incomplete, and I may be using it at a much too coarse level. But that is precisely why I opened this post, so that I can benefit from people's input and experiences.

For instance I have discounted Terra Mystica a long time ago, but your and jbloomquist comments have helped me realize that I misunderstood this game (which I have never played). I will look more into that game, specially since I love Kingdom Builder (owned by a friend).

Still, I'm wondering : is Scythe (a game I eliminated as a "dudes on a map" style of game) an updated version of Terra Mystica, or is TM still relevant? I wonder because both games are often related in the reviews I have read about them. Kingdom Builder definitely is not a dudes on a map game, I suppose TM isn't either...

This being said, I think I have to accept that there are great games that I am going to miss in my collection, simply because there are too many great games! We are spoiled for choice.

Also, there is an issue with building expertise in a game. I like deep games, which allow me to me to explore different strategies over many plays. While that may seem a joke from a guy owning 100+ games whistle, I do prefer raising my level of play over the number of plays I play. That is why some people will be happy with hundreds of plays of Agricola, and never care about Tzolk'in, etc. Although not as dedicated, I do prefer to restrain myself somewhat in order to play more the games I have.

As far as I can perceive, my guiding principles in developing my collection are:

1 - have a diverse collection that is representative of the state of contemporary board gaming (in terms of game mechanisms)
2 - prefer games that resonate thematically (for example, I live in Brussels, Belgium, so Bruxelles 1893 was more meaningful to me than Tzolk'in. Also many of the games I own are related to the age of sail)
3 - restrict the collection by limiting overlap within the collection, and trying to avoid duplicates with the games my gaming partners own (ex: Caylus, Agricola, Eclipse).
4 - have a flexible collection that cares for playing with gamers, spouse, kids, and while travelling. (4 and 3 are contradictory, so I compromise)

These are just guiding principles that help me maintain some consistency. So for instance I bought Voyages of Marco Polo almost on impulse, but later realized that this acquisition negated me buying Troyes, a game I had eyed for the longest time, but OOP cry.

If I don't keep to these principles then I'll just buy Troyes, Tzolk'in, Agricola, etc, and will only stop at storage capacity, which is a hard constraint that rubs me the wrong way. shake

Among the games you discuss Keyflower seems to be another one worth investigating: I wonder if the route building/delivery mechanics are important enough to set the game apart and make it interesting to acquire?



Talking as the guy who buys every game until I run out of space (and sometimes) wish I didnt... I understand the need for limiting the collection size...
I can safely say I know there is a subset of games in any collection which see the most play....and others sit idle. If it were possible everyone should strive to buy just that subset...

For me that subset lies in the top 100 euro strategy games. (Not top 100 overall) a place I believe you should explore... I think the games in the top 100 are there for a reason... they are better than most of the rest.
From the top 100 strategy of which my group has 75, there is still a best 10-15 that get the most play.

Terra Mystica
Agricola
Puerto Rico
Eclipse
Keyflower
Marco Polo
Tzolk'in
Splendor
Dominion
Five Tribes
Troyes
Star Realms
Bruges

If I go the next 100, there's only half that count which see regular play.
Notre dame
At the gates of loyang
San Juan
Grand hotel Austria
Abyss
Among the stars

I have to go to the 400 just to find any more...
Fleet
LA Isla

Within that list there is overlap of mechanics, but each game is different enough to warrant owning and lots of play. None of them feel alike.


As for Terra mystical vs scyth... the creator of scythe says he use to as his inspiration for creating scythe... but having played both, they don't feel all that similar to me, and yes tm is still the better, more relevant game. (Scythe is much more a dudes on a map game, like euro version of small world) TM is not.

As for keyflower, the route building is minimal, and the delivery is situational (only useful on about half the tiles)... but again it's more of a bidding auction game. It's a hidden information game. It's a game of pure tactics, can you look at the choices before you, analyse them and determine the best course of action? Each round there are 7 tiles to bid on... what tile do you bid on? how many do you bid? And what color? Maybe you don't bid, but you spend meeples to activate a tiles ability?


Heres another example of why mechanics are a bad example of how to compare games... you mentioned splendor, and olympos. They share no mechanics... but if you had to explain olympos... I'd say splendor with a map. The way they play is similar. It's just the way that buying things in 1 category, makes everything else in that category cheaper... they feel alike.
 
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