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Subject: Getting all of your games to the table: your approach? rss

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Tim Nagels
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Hi everybody! (Cue: Hi, doctor Nick)

At the beginning of the new year, I promised myself to play all of my games at least once in 2017. As I have a collection of only 110-something games, this should be a realistic goal.

You may wonder why I would try to achieve this. The reason is quite simple: I paid a good chunk of money for my games and that investment should pay off. Games I have not played this year, will end up on the sell pile (except for the odd exception). That's right, I am not a board game collector as I prefer playing games over just storing them.

So I have made a "plan" consisting out of 10-12 titles to play each month. If I can play every game on the list for that month, I will have played all of my games at least once before October. However, games should always be fun to me so if my group/girlfriend/I don't feel like playing a "planned" game, we just play something else of course.

Up until now, I managed to play everything on the list so it's going smoother than expected.

I've made this intro just to ask around if people around here have a similar approach or plan when it comes to getting all of your games to the table in a set period of time?
 
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Violet Mackerel
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I made the same promise to myself (and to encourage my 6-year-old to "declutter" games no one in the family likes to play), but we only have about 60 games. So my goal is 5 per month and so far we're on track. I don't really have a plan of attack. I just try, when we're talking about playing a game, to pull out something we haven't seen in a while. And I'm keeping track of plays on BGG and a phone app, so that I can check in on my progress.
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April W
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I participate in the 365 Play challenge and that encourages a lot of plays. Each week and weekend somebody posts mini challenges there which get games to the table that otherwise might not see a lot of play time.

Some people don't like challenges because playing games should be about having fun, not meeting goals, and that's why I limited myself to just one challenge this year. I would likely play 365 games anyway because my husband and I usually play at least a short game in the evenings, so it's not really a chore for me.

I haven't made it a firm goal, but I am thinking if something doesn't get a lot of playtime this year I will probably get rid of it.
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Duo Maxwell
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I hear you my friend. Only problem for me is that the influx of games exceeds my ability to play them. I have a game group that meets once a week but sometimes they can't meet and the stockpile grows. If I played 30% of my new games, I would be happy. I try to play these games with people in my household but a lot of times my girlfriend is not in the mood - and that statement was also a double entendre.

I think, I will need to join or form a second meetup to play these games.
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Gabe Hawkins
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When you have a large collection of something, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of choices you have. I can't tell you how many times I've stared at my collection of games, and while several of them appeal to me, I end up either playing a game I've played several times before or not playing at all.

It also could be that I'm just weird and this doesn't apply to you But if you find yourself falling behind on your goal, maybe limit the number of games you choose from in a given week. It sort of removes the overwhelming choice problem.
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Ryan Feathers
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I play whatever games I or the group decides they most want to at that time. I'm gaming to have the most fun. For me that means playing whatever I or the group most want to.

Sometimes I don't "get" some of these challenges. Unless playing through each of your games is truly going to be the most fun for you, it seems you're sacrificing a bit of fun just to ensure you get a better return on the investment of buying a game. But that's my perspective because to me it would be less fun to ensure I play through every game I own.

I have about 100 games now too and not all of them get played every year. The few that don't get played at all anymore and I'm never reaching for go on the trade/sell pile. No need to keep them around and try to get them played for me. Instead I'll just keep playing the games that I love the most.

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Casual Gamer

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ghostpants wrote:
When you have a large collection of something, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of choices you have.


Amen, brother.

I store my games across multiple shelving units. Any games to the left have not been played. Any games to the far right have been played most recently. Everything just kind of gets shuffled around. It's very tempting to grab your "favorite" game from the middle to play again, but I always stand there staring at my unplayed games trying to figure out what to play and knowing I will need to read through the rules first.

I try to take two games I haven't played with me to my gaming group each week to see if we can end up playing at least one. However, I also take a few other random games I enjoy, particularly filler and big group games for after playing a big brain burner game, or it gets late and you just want to play one more game.
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Rich Keiser
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Personally, I don't let my collection be my master. I play what I want, when I want, and ignore the rest. And 10 to 12 times a month (or that many different games a month) sounds like a nightmare to me, at my age, with other pursuits.

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Violet Mackerel
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"I don't let my collection be my master."

Me neither. If I wasn't having fun trying to play through my collection, I would stop trying to play through my collection. Different strokes.
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nat tact
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My outlook is this, Do I have a game that is similar that I like better? For example for easy/never ending/gateway games I decided that Smash up base edition is going to get chosen over Machi Koro and Munchkin, so I got rid of the last two. Smash up only really gets played if people are sick of playing King of Toyko or a party game.

I own three campaign, miniature games and I like them all so if I am going to pick another one up it has got to be crazy good.

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Rebecca Jensen
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I'm doing the 100 challenge (play 100 different games) for the first time this year, which is my indirect way of attempting to play most of my collection (about 70 games) and then some.

But I don't want to obligate myself to play games I don't really want to play, so I won't be strict about playing every single one. Rather, I've implemented some (loose) culling rules to get these games (that have lost my interest) out of my collection.

Culling plan:
1. At the end of the year I'll add a note to any game that has gone unplayed for the past year.
2. Those games will either be auctioned away at my FLGS's spring auction (which gives me a few more months to play them), or given one more full year to hit the table.
3. If a game doesn't hit the table for the second year, then there needs to be a compelling (probably unique) reason to keep it, or it'll get culled.

If you're feeling like you can't reach your goal to play them all, remember that you can burn the candle from the other end by reducing your collection!


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Bart R.
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darthhugo wrote:
Personally, I don't let my collection be my master.

This. Choosing what game to play is simple: what do we feel like playing now? Even if that's a game we've played 20 times, we prefer that over a game that's been sitting unplayed on my shelves for a year. Sometimes, we feel like playing something new and that's when the new games get played.

That doesn't mean I don't feel the need to weed out my collection from time to time, but I'll rarely get rid of an unplayed game, and never just because it is unplayed.
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mortego
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I have made notes in my BGG collection to play games this calendar year, I've already marked off a few, it feels good.

A list I want to come up with next is a "Play 3x's this year" list.
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maf man
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"getting all of my games to the table" isn't wuite right for me, its more of a "do I stand a high chance of playing each game if X" as far as my collection is concerned. Not reason to push myself to trim my collection. But since I do like playing diffrent games I tend to do the following:
I have about 8 main games at a time and every so often replace one with another from my larger collection. Just kinda what happens rather that an attempt to expose more games though as the fresh game is usually picked from the whole collection to play rather than make it to the top 8.
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Dale Prather
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This sounds like it could be stressful. For me, it's just about having fun and playing what everyone is in the mood for. Forcing something isn't fun and thus misses the point of the hobby and could even turn someone off of the hobby. But, if this challenge is enjoyable to you and your playmates, then perfect!

I'm hesitant to trade a game away that I like just because it hasn't been played in a while. Maybe I won't play a game I enjoy for a couple years, and then I finally get in the mood or find the right person to play it with and then it becomes hot for a while. I traded away Tobago a while back and now that my kids are the right age to enjoy the game, I wish I had it back.

I do feel you though. As my collection approached 100 games I started feeling this pressure too. And then I relaxed because it was starting to become a small source of anxiety, which defeats the whole purpose of a hobby.
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mortego
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dale12 wrote:
This sounds stressful.

For me, it's just about having fun and playing what everyone is in the mood for. Forcing something isn't fun and thus misses the point of the hobby and could even turn someone off of the hobby. But, if this challenge is enjoyable to you and your playmates, then perfect!

I'm hesitant to trade a game away that I like just because it hasn't been played in a while. Maybe I won't play a game I enjoy for a couple years, and then I finally get in the mood or find the right person to play it with and then it becomes hot for a while. I traded away Tobago a while back and now that my kids are the right age to enjoy the game, I wish I had it back.

I do feel you though. As my collection approached 100 games I started feeling this pressure too. And then I relaxed because it was starting to become a small source of anxiety, which defeats the whole purpose of a hobby.


I suppose if I acquired my collection based off of what my family & friends like rather than what I like this wouldn't be a problem at all but my collection is solely based off of what I really like.....soooo, I'm going to do what I can to get it to the table even if it means solo play (which is pretty cool for me).
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Dale Prather
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
dale12 wrote:
This sounds stressful.

For me, it's just about having fun and playing what everyone is in the mood for. Forcing something isn't fun and thus misses the point of the hobby and could even turn someone off of the hobby. But, if this challenge is enjoyable to you and your playmates, then perfect!

I'm hesitant to trade a game away that I like just because it hasn't been played in a while. Maybe I won't play a game I enjoy for a couple years, and then I finally get in the mood or find the right person to play it with and then it becomes hot for a while. I traded away Tobago a while back and now that my kids are the right age to enjoy the game, I wish I had it back.

I do feel you though. As my collection approached 100 games I started feeling this pressure too. And then I relaxed because it was starting to become a small source of anxiety, which defeats the whole purpose of a hobby.


I suppose if I acquired my collection based off of what my family & friends like rather than what I like this wouldn't be a problem at all but my collection is solely based off of what I really like.....soooo, I'm going to do what I can to get it to the table even if it means solo play (which is pretty cool for me).


Yes! You hit the nail on the head for me too. This was my problem too as I built up the first half of my collection. After I realized they weren't going to be hitting the table much, I tried to start tailoring my purchases a little more towards what I thought I could get to the table with my family and friends. It has worked out pretty well so far and has been a fun challenge to figure out what they like. I have to like it too, of course ! But, I still have those games that I love sitting on the shelf waiting for the right people to play them with. And, I think that time has come with some guys at work.
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Rich Keiser
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Neuromanced wrote:
"I don't let my collection be my master."

Me neither. If I wasn't having fun trying to play through my collection, I would stop trying to play through my collection. Different strokes.


I do go through my collection every so often and weed out 50 or so that no longer are of interest.

My interest changes, my perspective changes, my preference changes.

But I do understand the point of your exercise. For me, it just sounds exhausting.

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Russ Williams
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My wife and I have a long-running tradition of "monthly tournaments" in which we play a game each day based on some monthly theme. It could be a single specific game we like a lot (e.g. we did a month of Greed), or games which have something in common (e.g. games designed by a specific person (e.g. Luis Bolaños Mures), or games on a hexgrid, or games with money, or games whose titles end in the letter "o", or games with hidden information, or whatever we feel like). That latter kind of monthly theme often gets games to the table which we hadn't played in a long time.

E.g. see the many different games with hidden information which we played in February. Some hadn't been played in a couple years!
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Joe Salamone
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I'm lucky if I get all my games to the table once every 7 or 8 years. I need several months of serious binge gaming.
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Tim Nagels
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Ranior wrote:

Sometimes I don't "get" some of these challenges. Unless playing through each of your games is truly going to be the most fun for you, it seems you're sacrificing a bit of fun just to ensure you get a better return on the investment of buying a game.

Maybe it can seem that I sacrifice fun just to monitor an investment, but I look at it this way: I bought every game I own for a reason, so I should have fun playing any game in my collection. That being said...if I reaaallly would not like playing a certain "planned" game at that specific time, I'll just play something else I (and my playmates) feel like playing.

darthhugo wrote:
Personally, I don't let my collection be my master.

This personal "challenge" does not entail that my collection is my master imo. Every game in my collection is equivalent and I'm not setting a hard target, just a guideline. Plus I would see it as an achievement to be able to claim 100% played-status

PlayBosco wrote:

If you're feeling like you can't reach your goal to play them all, remember that you can burn the candle from the other end by reducing your collection!

Exactly! That's part of my intention

dale12 wrote:
This sounds like it could be stressful.

Well, not to me anyways. It's just a small goal or feat I'd like to achieve with a slight economic agenda behind it and I am not racing to play games that I've planned. But if I happen to achieve this goal, that would be great but it will always be more important to have a good time and that can involve any game really

russ wrote:
My wife and I have a long-running tradition of "monthly tournaments" in which we play a game each day based on some monthly theme.

That sounds like a lot of fun! I might try that in 2018!
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Dale Prather
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Now that you put it that way, it sounds like you're going to have a grand time trying to reach your goal. Awesome.

I'm inadvertently doing something similar. I have a 4 man, once a week, lunchtime gaming group at work. We have a rotation. We each get two consecutive weeks to choose a game to play.

We can:
1. Choose a new game that needs to be learned. If we choose this, then we must (unless we unanimously agree it sucks) learn it the first week and play it again the second week.
or
2. Choose any game that is already in our "library", meaning already known to all four of us. The game can be different on week 1 and 2 as long a we already know it.

We've been doing this for 7 months now and I'm loving it. What it has turned into is all of us bringing in our games that we have yet to play / learn. This has been a great way to work through our collections and learn the games that have been sitting on our shelves unplayed and has made me feel better about my purchases.

Interestingly, we have yet to choose a game that's already in our library. I'm curious to see which game is the first to get a repeat appearance. I enjoy going deep on a game, but this has been a great system and a lot of fun. I could always choose to play one we've already learned on my turn, but I'm always inclined to learn one of my games that I haven't been able to find anyone else to play with, as is the rest of the group.
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Kirk Roberts
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Towpowyeah wrote:
The reason is quite simple: I paid a good chunk of money for my games and that investment should pay off.

Sometimes the only enjoyment ("pay off") you'll get out of a game is the excitement you felt when you discovered it and purchased it. And sometimes that is more than enough.

Towpowyeah wrote:
I look at it this way: I bought every game I own for a reason, so I should have fun playing any game in my collection.

Sometimes a game seems like it will be fun but just isn't. And tastes can change over time.

I'm just throwing this in to help you/me not feel bad about having unplayed/low-count games on the shelf or in the release pile. I'm okay, you're okay.
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mortego
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kirkroberts wrote:
Towpowyeah wrote:
The reason is quite simple: I paid a good chunk of money for my games and that investment should pay off.

Sometimes the only enjoyment ("pay off") you'll get out of a game is the excitement you felt when you discovered it and purchased it. And sometimes that is more than enough.

Towpowyeah wrote:
I look at it this way: I bought every game I own for a reason, so I should have fun playing any game in my collection.

Sometimes a game seems like it will be fun but just isn't. And tastes can change over time.

I'm just throwing this in to help you/me not feel bad about having unplayed/low-count games on the shelf or in the release pile. I'm okay, you're okay.


Solution: Solo Board Gaming!


Seriously, I love Eldritch Horror & Elder Sign and that's the only way I'll get them to the table. I LOVE solo board gaming.
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Kirk Roberts
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
kirkroberts wrote:
Towpowyeah wrote:
The reason is quite simple: I paid a good chunk of money for my games and that investment should pay off.

Sometimes the only enjoyment ("pay off") you'll get out of a game is the excitement you felt when you discovered it and purchased it. And sometimes that is more than enough.

Towpowyeah wrote:
I look at it this way: I bought every game I own for a reason, so I should have fun playing any game in my collection.

Sometimes a game seems like it will be fun but just isn't. And tastes can change over time.

I'm just throwing this in to help you/me not feel bad about having unplayed/low-count games on the shelf or in the release pile. I'm okay, you're okay.


Solution: Solo Board Gaming!


Seriously, I love Eldritch Horror & Elder Sign and that's the only way I'll get them to the table. I LOVE solo board gaming.

That has been my solution as well! Still plenty on the shelves from before, though. ("plenty" being relative, of course)

Back on topic, I built a randomizer a few years ago to help unearth some of the overlooked games on my shelf. Could be easily replicated in low-tech by drawing from a hat (so to speak). Allows for some choice because you can put something back in the hat and choose again. Once it's played, leave that slip out of the hat.
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