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Subject: What Makes a Grail? rss

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Stephen Hall
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The other day, I heard someone say that Wingspan and Everdell were their grail games. For this person, these games had earned such lofty status because at this time, they are not easily available, at least not at what they deem a reasonable price point. Basically, for them, out of stock = grail.

For me, there are three factors that give a game "grail" status:

1. A grail game is something that I want (duh).
2. As mentioned, it is not easily available in my desired price range. This is often due to it being rare/OOP, or perhaps because of licensing issues, etc.

BUT ALSO...

3. The game is unlikely to become easier to acquire in the future. Obviously, surprise reprints happen, but as far as anyone can speculate, the game will remain elusive.

In your opinion, what makes a game a grail?
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Eric Engelmann
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Much desired and very difficult to acquire.
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A game that I want that goes for more than I am willing to spend.

Like the Gorgonstar version of Titan. I know people willing to sell it, but I am not willing to pay $600 for it. Ergo, it's my Grail.
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Rich Keiser
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The thing that keeps you going.
 
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Michael Rogers
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juggler5 wrote:
The game is unlikely to become easier to acquire in the future. Obviously, surprise reprints happen, but as far as anyone can speculate, the game will remain elusive.

In your opinion, what makes a game a grail?


Strongly agree with this...it's odd for me to think of Wingspan as a grail game, when it's almost certainly going to be widely available at retail within the next few months. I think a certain measure of unobtainability is required for something to qualify as a grail, beyond just "this game is currently in between printings and I can't get it right this instant." Otherwise, King Arthur's quest for the Grail would have been much less heroic: "I can't seem to get a hold of it, but if I just wait a few months and make no effort at all to hunt it down until then, it's sure to be mine!"

As for me, Macao has become something of a grail game: out of print, unlikely to be reprinted (as far as I know), and beloved enough that people generally aren't willing to sell or trade it for less than an arm and a leg.
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Carl_S Gamer
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For the most part it is in high demand but low supply. But also, the desirability can vary from one gamer to another, so one persons grail games can be a lot different than another's. I guess that's pretty obvious but there, I said it!
 
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Charles-David
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For me:

- I really really want it
- It's out of Print
- And it's very difficult to acquire

Price is not necessarily a criteria, but Oop usually makes the game more expensive.
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Andrew
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A game that's permanently OOP from its original publisher and not likely to return soon.

Some grails I've snagged: Ginkgopolis, Glory to Rome.

Some grails I'm still waiting on: San Marco, Dune

And look, Dune is being republished! How about them apples. Vasel's law in effect.
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Gary Heidenreich
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metabulis wrote:
For me:

- I really really want it
- It's out of Print
- And it's very difficult to acquire

Price is not necessarily a criteria, but Oop usually makes the game more expensive.


This would be it, for me, for the most part.

 
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Stephen Hall
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aaj94 wrote:
A game that's permanently OOP from its original publisher and not likely to return soon.

Some grails I've snagged: Ginkgopolis, Glory to Rome.

Some grails I'm still waiting on: San Marco, Dune

And look, Dune is being republished! How about them apples. Vasel's law in effect.


I have more or less acquired all my major grails, namely Pueblo, Exxtra, Judge Dredd, and Through the Desert (before the reprint happened, it was fetching a decent amount).

I would still love to get Viva Pamplona and Ave Caesar, but I'm not actively hunting them.
 
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Melissa the Gnome
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I would say a Grail is a game that is out of print and not likely to be printed again. Some grail games I've found thrifting (or my thrifting buddies have found for me) or one of my game buddies has a copy that I can borrow whenever I want to. Some of my grails:

HeroQuest (buddy found it for me thrifting)
Pokemon Master Trainer (black box- Found thrifting)
Omega Virus (buddy has a copy)
Sinking of the Titanic (buddy has a copy)
Orient Express (built a copy with files found on the BGG page)
Key to the Kingdom (buddy had a copy she didn't want)

Some of my grails have come back into print, like Glen More. Most of my grails have been games I played as a child and my mom got rid of them (they belonged to my brother and he said she could get rid of them).
 
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Joe D
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I honestly do not have one. There is no game that would that amazing over what my collection already has, or that a friend might bring to game night. I'm having a tough time justifying getting anything new, honestly, regardless of the hype.
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1. Something I really want.
2. Is difficult to find or crazily expensive.
3. Shaped like a goblet.
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Pete
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A whole lot of people who really think they're going to enjoy playing a game for no other reason than that other people who played it say it's great.

Pete (has found most grail games to be letdowns)
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Sporktopia Games
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If you drink water out of the game box and don't turn into this:



You have found a grail game.
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Caroline Black
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I’ve been lucky enough to find some of my grail games- Walnut Grove and The Palaces of Carrara. Both are great games. However, I haven’t managed to get Macao or Ginkgopolis yet. Definitely would not describe Wingspan as a grail came as will come back into print relatively quickly. For it to be grail you have to been looking for it 6 plus months.
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Ludvig Stigsson
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Now THIS is a grail game



Image from
Roland Jacques
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Brendan Slade
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Grails are tricky because if it is so awesome why did they stop making it?
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Scott Radtke
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I wish Wingspan was my Grail game. Wait a couple months and pay less than MSRP? I'M IN!

I suspect they misunderstood the concept of Grail as Perfect rather than Unobtainable/Difficult to get (like the Grail itself. Just ask Indiana Jones).

Dear Pearl Games,

Please make Ginkgopolis my Wingspan.

Thank you.
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Vladvonbounce wrote:
Grails are tricky because if it is so awesome why did they stop making it?


Licensing issues.

The game is terrific for YOU but not for wider gaming tastes.

The game only ever got a small print run - perhaps because it was from a small publisher from a country outside the normal places - and so never gained traction with the wider gaming community, even though it WOULD be popular, if anyone ever picked it up, but they are unlikely to seeing as there are only a couple of hundred copies in the wild.


Edit: On top of this, maybe the game does get made, but you live somewhere with prohibitive postage from international sellers, most kickstarters don't ship to you, there are no board game shops, and a tiny to non existent secondary market.

Or perhaps the game does get reprinted, but you prefer the aesthetic of the original edition.


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Sam Lam I Am
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A grail speaks of a quest.



So I say a grail game is something you would go to great lengths to acquire. I don't think something can be your grail if you have not yet made any effort to locate it. When you show up to a board game flea market, what's the one title you search for above all others?

Years ago I geekmailed everybody on BGG who had one particular rare expansion listed for trade (Pillars of the Earth Expansion). I even found somebody willing to trade!
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Chris Talmadge
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Vladvonbounce wrote:
Grails are tricky because if it is so awesome why did they stop making it?

SOLO cups
 
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Edwin Woody
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Can you see its pleasing glow from far away?
 
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Keith R
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Memoir 44 Campaign Books

Carcassonne old version expansions
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Big Bad Leroy Brown wrote:
my favorite part of the Wolfram Von Eschenbach classic is when Parzifal realizes he could have just dropped like $300 on ebay and gotten the grail, like, years ago! "yeah but that's a lotta scratch!" he thought, as he rode into final battle with Feirefiz..."I'd rather fight my own brother to the death for it instead!"

no game is a grail game. They're all just a matter of setting up an ebay alert and then coughing up the dough. No honor or grand quest in that.


I tend to agree.

However, when you've done that, and been sniped, can't afford the ridiculous prices, attempted to craft the game yourself, kept an eye out in classifieds and garage sales, gone out of your way to check brick and mortar stores, all with no luck, and then you see it sitting on a flea bargain table for a tenner....
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