Stephanie Prince
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It's an attempt to fill the empty void in our sad, lonely lives... soblue
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JC M
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Maybe it has to do with it really being a cheap hobby to be in compared to others. For me it is looking for the next "hit" with my group (and me), but then more come games come out with great reviews and you have to/want to try them. I do agree that too many games is a headache.
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Josh Walton
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I think for me I have two reasons. One, I don't get to play nearly as often as I would like to, so buying games gives me another way to interact with the hobby. And two, I just really like trying all the new brilliant ways these geniuses keep coming up with to make cardboard pieces and pretty pictures so interesting.
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It is an interesting question, which of course begs another question; Why do we play games?

It seems from your post that you enjoy mastering the game. However, for others, this might not be the goal. Some really enjoy learning new systems and a few plays is enough. Others enjoy narrative and prefer some games with strongly limited replayability.

Luckily, this hobby has something for everyone
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Francisco Gutierrez
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People value different things when it comes to board gaming. Personally, I think it would be a waste of time trying to "master" any game.

I buy different games because they offer different experiences. All my games are fun, and I play different games when I'm in the mood for different things.

"Sticking to 10 games" sounds to me like reading only 10 books. I don't care about committing books to memory or learning all the academic discourse surrounding them, I care about reading them when the mood strikes me, and discovering as many "good" books as possible.
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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Three main reasons for what I can see.

Group A prefers to have lots of new gaming experiences, rather than exploring a single game multiple times.

Group B have board game collecting as their primary hobby, not board gaming.

Group C are overly hopeful about their chances of getting their games to the table.
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^...^ ALIEN ^...^
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For me it went something like:

Discover BGG...Wow look at all the games!
Discover online game stores...Wow look at the cheap prices.
Discover BGG auctions...Wow look at how cheap I can snag games.

All of this coupled with the fact that games go in and out of print all the time exacerbates the whole situation.

It took me a long time to figure out what I and my family like, and I definitely made some mistakes. I don't regret owning all the games that I do. Not really playing that much right now, but I know we will eventually. Will I get the chance to explore the depths of every game I own? Probably not. I'm OK with that. I like playing chess, but don't want every game I play to feel like I am playing chess.

My last thought would be this- I really don't think most games are that complicated that they require a lifetime to master. In fact, a couple plays will do.

Happy gaming!
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Quantum Jack
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1. variety of experience.
I like mastering things as well. getting to know a game inside and out. all the subtleties and side-cases that you can use/abuse to truly wring every action out of the game. BUT, sometimes you want to do something different. I have Magic Realm to try and master over my lifetime. but sometimes a 4 hour brain burn-fest is not on the menu. time (and free playing space) is often at a premium.

2. games for different groups.
I have some games that i bring out among my "gamer" friends. I have another set to bring out around family, kids, etc. In addition, i have ones that play better at different play counts.

3. sometimes its just time for Zombies!!!
Intellectual pursuits are all good and well, but sometimes i just want to pull out Zombies!!! and kill me some undead.

4. competition level.
When playing a game with my family, some are casual, funtimes. you play with the aim of winning, but the laughs are worth more at every step of the way. Other games are light enough to play with family, but i want to still play cutthroat and try to out strategize them at every step. Still other times i pull out Forbidden Island because we want to play and have somewhat of a challenge, but not be against each other.

similarly when i'm with core gamers, different levels of competition/conflict are called for. Direct conflict/war games. Blocking moves, parallel play, pure co-op, and traitor co-ops each provide different experiences.





just fulfilling the above categories (player count, game weight, competition level, and thematic pull) with 1 game per unique set could quickly bring you a large number of games. Games that scale well, or that have variable competitive states can overlap, but the "need" for an optimal solution to each situation drives more game purchases.

then, if i have a perfect game for each situation, games can continue to accumulate when i find a BETTER game for a niche, then don't want to, or don't find an easy opportunity to get rid of the old one. for example, i don't know when i will ever play Risk again (Axis and allies, wallenstein, and ASL fulfill all of the roles i could have wanted for Risk) but it has some sentimental value (all those hours with friends moving around maps, those legendary moments where 1 guy in south america defeats a complete army of 10+ and completely re-balances the game) and i have not yet had a decent offer on it for me to get rid of it.

I definitely understand your sentiment. Mastery of a few things rather than access to tons and tons of games can be appealing. There are always more things on my "wishlist" but i am actually nearing my optimal game pile. It should stabilize here in a couple of years. I do not fall victim to the "cult of the new" and most new games just seem lackluster. Still, I will probably continue buying/trading for new games in the future. I like learning games. The first few plays of a game are immensely enjoyable. that initial learning curve is basically the biggest reason i still want more games.

Hope this helps see the mindset of the other side. A little searching you can probably find a few dozen other threads on similar topics. Maybe once every couple of months someone brings up such things (i have myself in the past). The answers are varied and interesting to read.
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Leo Zappa
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If I see a game that looks fun, I buy it. The game has to either grab my attention due to the subject matter or theme, or it has to fill a niche in the collection (e.g. Two player engine builder). I couldn't care less about mastering a game. I like having a big library to chose from among my various gaming friends, be it my wife, or my wargaming buddies.
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Because we as the human race have a short attention span, we are always looking for the next best thing. robotzombie
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ace hawkster
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Because I can
Because I can afford it
Because I have serious compulsive buying issues
Because I have lots of storage space
Oh yeah and I love games with minis, coz like all grown men I'm a big kid at heart.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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It may be a mistake to assume that the games people have marked as "owned" here on BGG are games they have purchased. In my case, a bunch of the games I have are either games that were given to me or games I traded for.

A related question is "Why do people own so many games?" In my case, the collection I have on BGG is a records of all the games in our house, so it includes games that might be considered as belonging to any of the 4 of us. We have a bunch of children's games, for example, which we occasionally play with our daughter (or which we are hoping to play with her when she gets older and is ready). We also have a number of games that I would be happy to sell/trade/give away, but someone else in our family wants to keep them.
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Andrew Kluessendorf
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How much does it cost to go to a movie these days? I can buy a game for probably less than it would cost to take someone to a movie. I can play the game a few times and sell or trade it if I want to. Or I can keep it and play it often and try to master all of the strategy around it. If I don't end up playing it, I can sell or trade it too. But I wouldn't want to go see the same 10 movies over and over. Even if I only get a couple of fun evenings out of a game, I've gotten my money's worth.

And I also buy a lot of wargames. These types of games often have only small print runs and many of the games wait years for re-prints and often are never reprinted.
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Caleb
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Why do people buy so many shoes?

Why do people buy so many golf clubs?

Why do people buy so many Precious Moments figurines?

Why do people buy so many books?

Why do people buy so many movies on iTunes

....


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Jeff Wood
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Because he (or she) who dies with the most toys wins.

How has everyone forgotten this? meeple

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Pete
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Because you never really know which one is going to be your group's next smash hit.

Pete (was completely unprepared for how much his group loves Las Vegas)
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Quantum Jack
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Wolf_Dude80 wrote:
I was referring to competitive games, there's just so much strategic depth in so many of those games, playing it a few times only just scratches the surface. Truth is with many games nowadays it's only the theme that separates them, there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to mechanics, often new games have multiple mechanics which are borrowed from other previous games.


it is true that there are many games that just rehash old things. But, you could easily fill a 200 game collection with games that are completely unique.

Also, reusing old mechanics is not necessarily a bad thing. Geoff Engelstein from the Ludology podcast compared it to film. The first game to use a mechanism is like the first film to use a particular camera or lighting technique. Later films use those things and build on them. In particular, he was talking about Lords of Waterdeep.

When it came out it was sorta bland seeming because no one aspect of the game was "new" but it was a well-crafted implementation of things established in other games. It was not innovative, it took those things and used them WELL.

and there are definitely NEW things coming out.
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Francisco Gutierrez
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Wolf_Dude80 wrote:


I was referring to competitive games, there's just so much strategic depth in so many of those games, playing it a few times only just scratches the surface. Truth is with many games nowadays it's only the theme that separates them, there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to mechanics, often new games have multiple mechanics which are borrowed from other previous games.


I won't argue with you if you think that "many games are only different because of theme," in fact, I'll make my point admitting it.

I have multiple games on the exact same subject Richthofen's War, Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series, Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France, Dawn Patrol, and Flying Circus: Aerial Combat in WWI are all competitive games about WWI dog fighting. Each one feels different and I play each one under different circumstances (although I haven't played Dawn Patrol yet).

I don't need themes and mechanisms to be different, I need the experience while playing it to be different.

You might be happy playing Dawn Patrol for the rest of your life and becoming a quad-ace. I'm happier playing experiencing "the same things" in different ways. As far as I'm concerned, each of these games plays differently enough and covers a different enough aspect of dogfighting.
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Russ Williams
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Another reason: many people buy many wargames (and other historical or simulation type games) because they enjoy learning about real-world situations by replaying those situations, just as one might buy and read more than 10 books about history.

Wolf_Dude80 wrote:
I was referring to competitive games, there's just so much strategic depth in so many of those games, playing it a few times only just scratches the surface.

One doesn't exclude the other. Many of us have some games we explore deeply (e.g. Go and Shogi for me are two good examples), playing them many times and reading about them, doing problems, etc, and various other games we enjoy playing more casually.
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Jesse
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The never ending quest for the Perfect Game. It is out there. I will find it...


...and then I will play it for a while and start the quest anew like a true hero.
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Juan Valdez
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Wolf_Dude80 wrote:
I was referring to competitive games, there's just so much strategic depth in so many of those games, playing it a few times only just scratches the surface. Truth is with many games nowadays it's only the theme that separates them, there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to mechanics, often new games have multiple mechanics which are borrowed from other previous games.


Ah... ok then, competitive games.

Speaking only for myself, I am very careful about adding competitive games to the games I own. Of the games I own, I definitely play Hive competitively, Ogre/GEV semi-competitively, and I recently picked up Quoridor to see whether I liked it enough to play competitively. Verdict hasn't come in for Quoridor yet. I'm also learning Game of Thrones, LotR and Netrunner LCGs. I may decide to play one (but not more than one) of these competitively. Or not, haven't decided yet.

So, let's be generous call that 5 of 84 games.

The other 79 games I play for fun or history, not mastery.

If I were dead serious about truly competitive gaming I'd just limit myself to poker.
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El Dorito
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This is the same as going into a drug den then asking the drug addicts there why they buy so much drug...


Tabletop gaming is a much better investment
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Sweetgotham
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For...um...*reasons*

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Derry Salewski
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I like the potential to do things. It makes me happier sometimes than actually doing them (though sometimes due to things like anxiety.) I have to actively fight this. If I buy a new guitar (I'm a drummer. I'm not even in a band for that. Surely if I can find a band it will be the instrument I am actually capable of playing professionally . . . ) it needs to be cheap because as much as I like having different cool guitars, I have basically no use for more than a couple. I need to make sure games I buy have the possibility of being played someday, even if it's just soloing a wargame. I buy books faster than I read them but I assume I will someday . . .

Luckily I have enough money (mostly) to do this some. I don't take vacations. I don't go out to eat much. I work overtime. My gf already has kids. I make choices to accommodate the lifestyle of buying a house then filling it with fun hobbies.

Assume I bought everything pretty cheap online. Look at my collection. If I want to sell it, I doubt I'd actually lose any money. So whatever. Boardgames are somewhat unique in that they hold value pretty well due to low online prices and out of printness.

I actually do love games. They're more like books or movies (you wouldn't actually ask someone why they keep reading or watching new ones, would you? There just aren't game libraries yet) then they are like something you study forever. sure some movies or books I experience over and over. Some games I play way more than others. But variety is nice too.

I like having collections of things. It soothes me. Lot's of people do. Lot's of people don't. There's not much wrong with it until you start hording.
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I don't quite get it, either. I went through a phase for a few years where I really tried to buy games like crazy. I'm not sure what my collection got up to. It was probably never much more than 200 games, which isn't too bad. My friends have collections 10-20 times that size.

But in the last year or so I realized that buying a game that you don't get to play is a waste of money. So I stopped doing that.

Then I realized that keeping a game that you haven't played in several years is a waste of space. So I've been culling my collection.

I buy pretty rarely now, and I'm culling more and more aggressively. The games I buy/keep have to either be:
- A really great game that I've played before and know that I love *and* one that my friends don't own
- From a small publisher who I'm trying to support just to help out
- A really cheap deal (in which case I'll usually just salvage it for parts and throw most of it way, so that doesn't really count)

My collection is down to about 130 (not counting expansions and little kids games). I can easily see it getting down 100 before too long...
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