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Subject: Getting started with board games... am I normal? rss

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Cody Konior
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I'm 31 and I got started with board gaming. No house (I rent), no kids, no loans, so I'm okay on that front!

I did have HeroQuest (plus expansions) and Space Crusade as a kid, but they were long since destroyed and hilariously I had no friends at the time to play them with anyway. Then two months ago I saw a picture of HQ online and thought, "Wow, I have a girlfriend I can rope into playing this now!" and started reading up on what had happened to boardgames in the past two decades... which led me here.

Cue a massive spending spree. HeroQuest plus a few expansions from eBay, Castle Ravenloft and Ashardalon ("Wow, I heard about D&D as a kid, I wonder what it's like), then Arkham Horror ("Cthulhu sounds so cool!")...

Then Space Hulk ("It's a limited edition, there's not many left!"), Claustrophobia ("Painted minis!"), Mansions of Madness ("Arkham Horror was sooo fun!"). Battleship Galaxies ("Space!"), Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Adventure ("It's a lot like HeroQuest!") and expansions.

Then I had to buy a bookshelf just to store the games, plus a few coffee tables (and chairs, cushions!) to play them on! My housemate has started to complain about the sound of late night dice-rolling interrupting his sleep so I will have to keep it down in future.

And now I'm DAILY scouring the boards, compiling a HUGE list of "wants". I'm able to eliminate a lot of them with solid willpower and maybe even lies ("Call of Cthulhu? Elder Sign? Nah I already have Arkham Horror and it's better." and "Space Hulk card game? Nah, the board game MUST be better." and "Mansions of Madness card expansions? Nah, I haven't even played the main game yet!" and, "Eruption? It looks cool but the reviews were so-so," and for other games, "Nah, it requires 3 players.") I can also resist paints for now, but it's going to come up soon despite having no artistic ability whatsoever.

But the list is growing. Survive Atlantis looks like fantastic fun and so simple to play compared to everything else. There's like 8 more expansions to Arkham Horror I want to add. Drizzt is mandatory in my mind to complete the D&D stuff. Then there's a lot of newer stuff I'm really interested in; DungeonQuest, Chaostle, Talisman, Star Trek Captains, Race for the Galaxy, Zombies!!! (available with all 9 expansions, or Last Night on Earth with only 2 expansions, or even Postumous Z which looks fantastic!). Don't forget Dreadfleet, which looks fun, or next year's Descent 2 (I think I'm probably really a Descent player, but have to hold off, because the first round of expansions are too rare and expensive now)!

Every day I'm build and rebuilding massive shopping carts of games on a couple sites plus Amazon (looking for the best deal and also places with stock, being in Australia sucks, our online stores which I often use run out of stock and don't give ETAs while holding onto your money, PLUS cost more, then again sometimes Amazon refuses to ship to us or eBayers will rip us on postage so much it's impossible to buy something). Then deleting those shopping carts once they reach like $500. Then finding more stuff, putting it in, then cancelling it.

I love telling myself, "One day when I have kids, I can play this stuff with them!"

But... I've definitely had to put a hold on myself just the past few weeks to rest my credit card balance. I mean, it's down from a couple thousand to $400. No big deal ... ... until I spend more, and more, AND MORE!

The crazy parts are; I haven't had that much time to play the games I have, but I'm also hit by urges to own "complete sets" of expansions, AND I'm also distinctly aware that the brand new expansions go out of print and become unavailable faster than cheerleaders.

So, quick question. Is this normal?

And a secondary question, do you think it will burn itself out? I have a feeling I might be able to spend $1-2k and "have everything I want" and have it last me a while before the desire for another huge order comes up. Or is it, as they say, just a trap?
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Markus
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cody_au wrote:
So, quick question. Is this normal?


Yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is a good thing. I think many people here start with a huge buying spree. The next step is where they start getting rid of games they should not have bought in the first place - that's where I am right now. That, or they become collectors that simply buy games without necessarily playing them. The question is, where do you want to go?
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Adrian Hague
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Compare and contrast: wants vs. needs
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Christian Marcussen
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Are you normal? I don't know, and I doubt people here care the right ones to ask

I'm kind of different. I tend to only buy/play very few games. I find out which I love and then stick to these games and mostly only checking out other games to stay up to date.
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Brian McCormick
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For BGG, yes, perfectly normal.

You sound like you have a full-blown case of Cult-of-the-new-to-you-itis.

I will tell you (and more experienced BGGers will also tell you) that it doesn't last, nor should it. The notion that "I gotta buy this game or else it might go OOP and I'm sure I'll play it someday" pays off about....0.5% of the time.

Play the games you own. Enjoy them. Explore them. Fleshing out your collection is great fun, but fleshing out your understanding of your own tastes is far more valuable, because it'll let you dodge games that are a dud for you, and it'll let you laser in on games that are a perfect fit for you.

Buying complete sets of expansions can be a death-ringer for the game in question, because you might not enjoy the game with the expansions. Plus, it's always a temptation to crack open that expansion before you've enjoyed the base game, and again, the expansion might color your enjoyment of the game.

Oh, and welcome to BGG.
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Patrick Hanley
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If you hang out here, you're not normal, but that's what makes it so much fun.
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Andy Andersen
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What's the big deal about being "normal?" devil
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Johan Haglert
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I think your money will last longer and you will feel better if you spend less at once and get the possibility to add a little now and then instead.
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Johan Haglert
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quardlepleen wrote:
If you hang out here, you're not normal, but that's what makes it so much fun.
It was also already answered here:
cody_au wrote:
I had no friends at the time to play them with anyway.
But don't worry, you're probably not alone with that here. I've been there to and the difference is I still don't have a girlfriend. So I can't play with her either
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Shayne Gray
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Welcome to the hobby (obsession)

I find it amusing that you mention you will probably end up painting because my wife just recently suggested that I should start painting the miniatures.
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Christopher Hill
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Cody,

See a doctor immediately. You have the disease......
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Guido Gloor
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Welcome to the madhouse You'll fit right in
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Dan Williams
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I feel so sorry for those who have no passion for anything.
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Diz Hooper
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It's pretty typical of people just getting into the hobby. You'll slow down about a year into it when you realize how many games that you own that you haven't played. You'll slow down and try to play get more of the games you already own played. If that happens, then it's just the normal cycle of getting into the hobby.

If a year passes and you're still keeping up that pace, then it might be a problem.
 
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Jeffrey L.
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Just remember they're just games. Make sure to play them and get your moneys worth, and then after that if you don't like it, give it away or sell it (if you have to) in order to buy something else. I think too many people get caught up in having a bunch of games sitting around that they don't play very much or at all. I buy them, play them, and if I like them I keep them. If I don't think I'm going to play it, I'll give it to someone else. I consider money spent on gaming as entertainment spending. I don't eat out much, I don't go to the movies much, never rent movies, don't buy books etc. I'm not thinking of gaming as an investment, but I do like to see the games I've acquired and it is fun for our family to have games as a hobby. We like to look at older games we might like to play, and always keep our eye out for new stuff coming out.

Good luck with your new hobby and have fun!
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David Debien
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How many of the new-to-you games have you played? I would play them all at least a couple times at this point. Figure out which ones you like and use that as a way of making intelligent decisions on future purchases. Also, you can trade away the games you don't want for games that fit your style.
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Ocean Druen
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Sound healthy to me!!

Really how you want to spend your money is your choice, if it makes you happy so be it. Two things though. 1) If you feel bad buying games and not playing them then you’ll need to evaluate what gets played and concentrate on those areas. Some people do not mind owning games and not playing them, but many others want to play the games that they have. If you want to play the games that you have then this should moderate you a little because there is just so much playing time that you have. 2) check out an auction at your local game store or convention if you are able, it is a great way to buy a lot of games for cheap.
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Gert Meyer
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My personal experience has been that during times when I do not have the chance to play much I become MORE obsessed with researching and buying games, possibly as a way to compensate.

So my advice is to spend more time playing and maybe then your urge to buy becomes less immediate. And as a bonus you get more out of the money you already spent

I think you need to find more people to play with in addition to your gf. If you can find a group of established gamers it would also allow you to try out many new games on a regular basis without putting down cash for them first.

Try posting for gaming buddies here on the geek or find a local game store and check out what is going on there. And do not be shy. You really do not need to have much more in common than the gaming hobby to have a good time together playing games.
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Brian Schroth
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cody_au wrote:

And a secondary question, do you think it will burn itself out? I have a feeling I might be able to spend $1-2k and "have everything I want" and have it last me a while before the desire for another huge order comes up. Or is it, as they say, just a trap?


IT'S A TRAP

You will never "have everything you want". It is the natural human state to continually want more. However, unless your finances are in a dire state, don't worry about it!

Board games are simply not an expensive hobby, in the grand scheme of things. Compare it to anything else people spend money on, and it won't seem like a big deal. Compare it to something very similar: Video games. They're both games. The price point for the new hotness AAA titles tends to be about the same: $40-$60. But do I ever hear any of the video game players I encounter worry about their awful spending habit? No. I see board game players worried that their single $150 order for the year is some terrible expenditure- meanwhile the video game player is spending $180 per year on their World of Warcraft subscription alone!

It's possible for board game spending to be "too much" and out of your budget. But it's unlikely. I buy more board games than I can find time to play, and I still spend under $500 annually. Even if you go all out and buy ridiculous amounts of board games, you can still keep it under $2000. Is that really a huge amount? Well, obviously that depends on your budget, but for plenty of people that's really not that much in the grand scheme of things. Look at your budget rationally, and compare your board game spending to your spending on other discretionary items, as well as percentage of your income. It probably won't seem like something to worry about.
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Joe
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I have to agree with everyone who's saying make sure you take the time to get to know the games you have.

I'm early in the hobby as well. One mistake I made early on is I added Castle Panic, Pandemic, Forbidden Island and Ghost Stories to my collection in relatively rapid succession. Now these are all good games, but the problem was, I didn't realize how similar these games are because of their Co-Op nature. I had too many of the same thing.

Now, when I research games, I try to find the right balance of different kinds of games with different mechanics. Like right now I don't have any heavier games so I know that a near future purchase will be Dominant Species. I also know that I'd like to own a high-player interaction game with some Euro themes because I found I like Carcassonne, but want something with more choices and frankly more fun. So another near future purchase will be Carson City.

Make sure you learn your tastes? Are you a fan of Ameritrash? Are you a Euro Gamer? A theme-o-phile? That will help inform your purchases and dicate what to buy next. You may also find yourself buying less and being more satisfied with each purchase.
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your percentage of unplayed games is something you need to always consider before you purchase your next one.
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Hoyle A
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Not normal at all, but common here. My advice is to slow down and play all the games you can, rather than buying all the games you can. Join a game group or four and play everything. Realize that you CAN'T own everything or even play everything. There are 800 new games a year, plus thousands of good (often better) older ones.

Also check out boardgameprices.com since they list 8 .au stores that might save you some money.
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Brian Homan
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The difficulty with this hobby is the enthusiasm it instills. There aren't many hobbies that I know of that spark such an interest that players of games become creators of games, ever looking for a better way to refine a mechanism or create a new one that serves the purpose better.

I got into this hobby about three years ago and got so "into" gaming that I've tried my hand at creating some of my own. They are a long way from publishing, but I found a passion for this hobby unlike any I ever had before. It's my creative outlet now, which is not something you would necessarily expect from a scientist.

I have about 175 games now, which is a lot more than the 25 or so I had before I was a "gamer". I enjoy the collecting, the playing, the discussing and the creating of games. Is this normal? I don't know. What I do know is that I have made new friends, discovered a great community, found a passion and spent countless hours engaging excellent people rather than sitting around watching TV. If this isn't normal, then I think that's a good thing.
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Andy Andersen
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My collection has gone from about 40 in December, 2010 to about 340 today. Too many? - of course. And I am slowing down the purchases, but selectively winning auctions. It's one of two hobbies I have, reading is the other, and right now we can afford to spurge a bit. There is no normal for hobby enthusiasts, just a lot of fun.
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Donald Walsh
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No worries, if your collection is at 13, you'll probably double that without batting an eye. You can double again to around 50 and there's lots here that would call that "modest". What I would caution against is buying the SAME game over and over again. There's nothing wrong with buying the "dungeon crawl with cool minis flavor of the week" like 30 times, but you will miss out on a lot of good games in other categories, and one day you will look at your "more than modest" collection and realize that you have like zero diversity.
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