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Subject: Is there a point where being a breadth gamer no longer has benefit? rss

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Josh Chen
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Hey BGG Hivemind,

When we started getting into this wonderful hobby of ours, we probably bought too many games way too fast until we hit our storage/budget limit. Then we probably learned our taste by playing those games and some of us started to trim our collection.

Is there a point where being a breadth gamer no longer has benefit?

I feel like I am in a state of knowing my taste but still want to experience new games. I am especially guilty of wanting to play all top ranking games since I am a top ranking junkie.

When is it enough to be more frugal and become a depth gamer?
What are your thoughts?
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No One
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porkchop_tw wrote:
What are your thoughts?




Me getting hung up on shoulds and expectations doesn't help me enjoy my hobby.

~V
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James C
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Since I have to buy 99% of the games I play I feel I’ve always been a depth player. Having 27 games I’ve played more than 20 times since I have been recording games (Jan 2014) I think reflects that.

But, still a firm believer in doing what makes you happy if it’s financially viable and isn’t hurting anyone.
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Bruce Gazdecki
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I would say that it's nto a bad thing.

There are mechanisms I really like so I may buy a game even if the theme isn't great or I have something similar because I like the mechanism that much.

There are mechanisms that I'm ok with, so maybe if I really like the theme or it does something new and different I might be willing to give it a try, or I may not.

Then there's mechanism that I hate, so no matter what the theme or anything else, I know to save my money because I likely won't like it.
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JPotter - Bits77
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A 'breadth gamer'?

[photo of very wide geek]

ROI probably craters after you are taking up 3 seats. Seems like after that, the increased knocking over of stuff starts to outweigh the add'l elbow room gained.


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Brad Miller
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If certain styles/genres don't float your boat...

Cull them and don't buy any more.
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Adrian Walker
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It depends.

Some people are happy to play one game for the rest of their lives. See bridge, chess, go, Magic etc.

Some people like me will always want to see a new design over playing a game they're familiar with, even if the new design doesn't change that much. Or is only new to them.

Most people are somewhere in between.

If you want to focus on ten or twenty or one game, you do you, find people that are happy to do that with you and be happy.

If you still want to see new stuff, do that, find people who are happy to do that with you and be happy.

(If you'd rather do it solo, do that, whatever)

There's no right answer here: so long as you're satisfied with your outcome you've done good.
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Rich Keiser
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porkchop_tw wrote:
Hey BGG Hivemind,

When we started getting into this wonderful hobby of ours, we probably bought too many games way too fast until we hit our storage/budget limit. Then we probably learned our taste by playing those games and some of us started to trim our collection.

Is there a point where being a breadth gamer no longer has benefit?

I feel like I am in a state of knowing my taste but still want to experience new games. I am especially guilty of wanting to play all top ranking games since I am a top ranking junkie.

When is it enough to be more frugal and become a depth gamer?
What are your thoughts?


You set your objectives to what gives you enjoyment. Breadth of gaming make it sound like a job or dictate by the heads of gaming.

I think you really should just not think about this hobby too much. Play what you like, buy what you can afford, and live. The game of life is pretty short, so try to enjoy it.

I have now previously owned more games than I currently own. What I no longer enjoy, I jettison.



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Darren M
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If I had unlimited time, money and storage space... and enough regular playing opportunities I'd possibly own a (much) bigger gaming collection.

Realistically though even NOT taking into account space/budget/time constraints... I feel there is a reasonably logical limit to how many games I'd want to own at once.

I really only want to own the "best" games and not "every" game. Everyone will have their own view of what the "best" games are of course which is why everyone has a different collection and a different number of games in their collections.

Money/Opportunity/Storage/Time is a large factor for most people as well.

ie... The MOST you need in your gaming collection.


Getting back to my own views though... I do sort of a geometric progression of how many games I could/should own...

1
2
4
8
16
32
64
128
256
512
1024
2048
...etc


In looking at all the games out there on the market... I look at all the highest rated, most widely owned and played games that are available.

How many would/should/could I own before it becomes basically excessive/repetitive based on my "goodness" rankings of all the games that are available?

Is 1 enough... no.
Next level... is 2 enough? No.
Next... 4? No
Next... 8... No
...16... No
...32... No
...64... getting to have a decent breadth and level of variety at this point but still NO.

Next level...128... Yep now at this level I feel I'm covering enough of the top games to give a significant scope of what's BEST in this hobby.

Proviso is that I consider all re-implementations/expansions/deluxe editions etc as part of the same family/game system... so I could have theoretically 20+ related games/expansions as 1 "actual" entry in my collection.

Could I go to the next level and have 256 game systems? Sure, but at that stage I realistically am not going to get that many played... and the law of diminishing returns definitely starts to kick in as I'd be playing slightly more derivative games less and less rather than playing and experiencing just the "best" games more often.

Everyone has different views of how they build collections and why they own the games they do and I'd say for many it's just buy stuff... play stuff... don't overthink it. They enjoy the games and keep the good ones and cull the duds (eventually).

I personally like to keep the collection size relatively compact and probably fall somewhere in the middle of that breadth/depth spectrum.
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Scott Radtke
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I think "breadth" gaming is always valuable. However, you can do that while not continually adding to your library. Not all games can hold up to a deep dive, but are imminently worth breaking out every couple of months.

I also think the "top ranked" games aren't all worth a look. If anything the top 100 has become very niche. Maybe it always was.

When I got into the hobby, Twilight Struggle owned the top spot. A niche game for sure. Gloomhaven has since replaced it, and it's another niche game.

Breadth is great as long as you're currently digging deep as well.

The hobby contains multitudes!
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Josh Chen
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nexttothemoon wrote:
wall of text


Thank you for your well thought out input. It does give me perspective. Thanks!
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Pete
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Nothing bad is going to happen to you if you buy a top rated game and try it. Even with Gloomhaven, you're probably going to be set back about $40 if you don't like it (assuming you sell it lazily on eBay).

Pete (thinks there's no need for angst)


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Scott Radtke
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plezercruz wrote:
Nothing bad is going to happen to you if you buy a top rated game and try it. Even with Gloomhaven, you're probably going to be set back about $40 if you don't like it (assuming you sell it lazily on eBay).

Pete (thinks there's no need for angst)




While I agree there's no need for angst, wasting money on a game and wasting time playing that game then wasting more time selling that game, should be considered. You seem to consider time to be "free." It isn't, and it's more valuable than money.
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J.D. Top
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Drift Marlo wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
Nothing bad is going to happen to you if you buy a top rated game and try it. Even with Gloomhaven, you're probably going to be set back about $40 if you don't like it (assuming you sell it lazily on eBay).

Pete (thinks there's no need for angst)




While I agree there's no need for angst, wasting money on a game and wasting time playing that game then wasting more time selling that game, should be considered. You seem to consider time to be "free." It isn't, and it's more valuable than money.


This.
Plus I like to be responsible with what I spend on and not just throw money at every whim or flight of fancy I may enjoy, especially when there's stuff I haven't used much yet.
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I like trying all kinds of games. The breadth of my gaming is limited only by what I can get my gaming partner to play (i.e., my wife). Oh, and the size of my wallet, too.
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Peter Mogensen
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It seems there's a lot of posts about people wondering whether they are "doing the hobby right".

There are probably 2 main groups of people buying board games. Those who primarily like to collect them and those who primarily like to play them.

People should do what they feel is right for them, but if you're in the latter category, there's no need to wonder about anything other than if you get to have great gaming experiences.

At any point in time, you can chose to spend your time wondering which game to buy, - or you can chose to spend it trying to arrange getting some of the games you like played.

I, personally, own ~35 games I haven't played. That's enough for me to make getting those played a primary focus. I know other people who have ~400 out of 1200 games not played. And that's perfectly fine. People are different. Play the games you like. Buy the games you would be sad not to be able to play if the chance arose.

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Christopher Lester
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porkchop_tw wrote:
Is there a point where being a breadth gamer no longer has benefit?


If you want to get real about it (and logical), you simply figure out what your free time can handle.

And it just depends on how you view your collection. Is it a shelf of collectibles, or is it a shelf of playables? For the former, it can grow forever (so long as you have the space), and you can derive the appropriate joy from it.

If it's the latter, it might work like a bookshelf. I'm like you: I tend to want to play the newest stuff. I'm always hoping it's more innovative than what came before. (I think that's generally true. Generally.) But if it doesn't work out, I give the game away or sell it. My shelf stays curated to only those games I know I'll enjoy getting to the table. (Oh, and those games over there I intend to play... someday.)

Of course, I'll play a tabletop game more often than I'll read a book, as that's the intention. A tabletop game is variable, and each experience is unique.

Ha! I just realized that my collection is somewhat of a hybrid: I have collectibles, and I have playables.

Uh oh!

Anyway, great questions and fun discussion! Now let's play some games!
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Breadth gaming comes more naturally if you can find groups where other people bring lots of games too. Then you don’t need to develop a massive collection of games you’ve only played once or twice
I know various people who often try to get their new games played, they’re glad of people with broad tastes who’ll try most things.
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Breadth is best explored, IMO, through playing online. Yucata, Boardgamearena, BSW, and many more let me try 1000s of games, beautifully rendered, before I buy them. Sites like that have saved me thousands of dollars in addition to letting me play with people I love who don't live near me.
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I'm going to nim a thought from Jeff Warrender's excellent blogpost on cognitive load and say that you know it's time to pivot from breadth to depth when you spend most of your play time thinking about what you're allowed to do in the game instead of what you want to do.

When strategy usually takes a backseat to keeping track of the rules, then you're playing too broadly and the breadth no longer has benefit.

This is one part of the idea I had in mind when I asked how well folks know the games they own.
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porkchop_tw wrote:
Is there a point where being a breadth gamer no longer has benefit?


Has it ever had benefits to begin with?
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Josh Chen
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Razoupaf wrote:
porkchop_tw wrote:
Is there a point where being a breadth gamer no longer has benefit?


Has it ever had benefits to begin with?


Yes, to figure out your own taste in games.
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Peter Mogensen
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... or to just play the games you like, regardless of categories.

I don't see why there's a need to put too much thought into why you like both Photosynthesis and Case Blue.

Just play them if you like them.
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T. Nomad
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porkchop_tw wrote:
Razoupaf wrote:
porkchop_tw wrote:
Is there a point where being a breadth gamer no longer has benefit?


Has it ever had benefits to begin with?


Yes, to figure out your own taste in games.

A good point. And I realise your original question is aimed at figuring out exactly what the tipping point is. But at the same time, if someone eats only spring rolls (or PBJs, or whatever), they don't miss any other food (i.e. what they haven't tried). So if you try 1 game (Tigris & Euphrates, of course), and like it (natch), then you need never play another game until you change your mind about T&E (unlikely). This would make your answer "Yes: after the first game you enjoy."
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Maarten D. de Jong
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porkchop_tw wrote:
Is there a point where being a breadth gamer no longer has benefit?

If you formulate the reason why you play games, and perhaps even new games in particular, you have your answer.

I suppose that some are more inclined than others to figure out their tastes... but there are swathes of people who don't care and just want to play a nice game. It's rather like the Connoisseur-comic of xkcd.

In my case: I know reasonably well what I like... and now I no longer really care that I have that particular taste. I no longer explore as much as I used to. I purchase what I think I will like, and sell it on if it turns out I was wrong. I don't keep tabs on What Is Happening, because it's just too much white noise. I certainly don't worry about missing out or being not sufficiently deep in my gaming.
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