David Horm
United States
Bothell
Washington
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PROBLEM:

After recently getting into the boardgaming hobby, and a handful of purchases, my wife declared that we’re running out of room for new games cry I looked at our current collection, and wasn’t super satisfied with what we had. I suggested condensing our game into plano boxes, but we kind of like to show off our boardgames to our guests.

SOLUTION:

I needed to find “my definitive collection”. If I’m going to limit myself to (an arbitrary number of) 30 games, then I would focus on collecting games that showcase many mechanics, and themes, and scale well for different number of people. I notice that when I recommend a game to play, I look at the number of players, and desired length of gameplay. That’s why I created a Game Buying Plan matrix to help me organize my proposed collection.



Games in bold means that it is the sweet spot for recommended number of players (i.e. at least 40% voted it best). Games in italic means that it may not be best, but is still recommended for that number of players. I used [POLL] The real playtime - All in one, or the listed time, to help determine the length of gameplay.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Am I missing a mechanic, or theme? Are there any games in the collection that are too similar? Please let me know if I’m missing anything in “my definitive collection”, but also recommend which game I should replace with your suggestion.

PREFERENCES:

My wife and I tend to stick with light to medium weight games (although we haven’t had the opportunity to play any heavy games). We’re not a fan of wargames, miniatures, or dexterity games. We mostly play 30 – 60 minutes with the occassional 90 minute game, but I figure “my definitive collection” should maybe extend to 180 minutes. I’d also like expandable games because I’m not counting expansions towards the number of games I own devil Also the ability to try games online or via iOS would be cool too.

CURRENT LIST:

30ish minutes
Hey, That's My Fish!
Neuroshima Hex!
Boggle
Dominion
King of Tokyo
Space Alert
Say Anything
Wits & Wagers
The Resistance
Telestrations

60ish minutes
Carcassonne
Galaxy Trucker
Pandemic
Samurai
Cosmic Encounter
Formula D
Dixit

90ish minutes
Puerto Rico
The Castles of Burgundy
Small World
Citadels
Time's Up!

120ish minutes
Letters from Whitechapel
Agricola
Power Grid
Imperial 2030
Steam

180ish minutes
Le Havre
Dominant Species
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John Varan
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Have you tried Citadels ?
 
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Danilo
Brazil
Águas Claras
Brasilia / DF
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I guess that it's impossible create an definitive boardgame collection!
 
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Rick Blaha
United States
Plainfield
Illinois
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What a Terrible Night to Have a Curse.
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Myth: You can run out of room for boardgames.
Truth: Not all walls are load-bearing.
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David Horm
United States
Bothell
Washington
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TheGreyOwl wrote:
Have you tried Citadels ?


I haven't. The only games I've played is mainly my current collection, Small World, and Carcassonne.
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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No 7 Wonders?
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Tony Carbone
Australia
Elizabeth Vale
south australia
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I've been trying a similar thing myself - each new game I buy has to offer something "different" from the others... whether that be a unique theme, or a new mechanic, or whatever.

You've got quite a few of the games that I have bought and enjoy there...so maybe I can offer a few ideas that might round out the collection a little?

Carson City - I just bought this one, and it's deceptively deep! Played it twice, both as 4-player games, and you spend a huge amount of thought power trying to predict what other peoples motivations and next moves might be..and then defending/attacking as appropriate. Interesting mechanic, but refreshingly it's one of those games where the game mechanics seem to support and enhance the theme! And besides.... it's a cowboy game. You don't have a cowboy game

Acquire - Reasonably light, assuming that all players are capable of arithmetic using numbers up to 25 It's pointless playing with 2-3 players though.... really needs to be a 4-5 player game. A great "quick game" with a healthy dose of luck... it's a good opener for a games night.

Ticket To Ride - Excellent fun! It's not often you find a train game that's light enough to be enjoyable to all-comers! But there's enough meat on the game to give pause for thought, and it's one of those where a good strategy with a little competitive/aggressive placement will see you on top in most occasions. A great game for introducing "Monopoly-gamers" to "real games". Plays well with most group sizes.

Zooloretto - "No Dad! Don't kill the Panda!". devil I never tire of hearing comments like that from my teenage daughter lol! An unusual game mechanic, and the game works well with most groups - we've had the "family fun" style play where people play relatively independently, and also the "hard-core" group where people were deliberately blocking others (and executing the odd animal!). There's a couple of cheap expansions that add some new dimensions, which are also worth having. The game is simple to learn, and a lot of fun for a quick 30-45 min game. We also add our own house rule which doubles the starting cash, just to open up options in the early stages.

Clans - Sometimes, the simplest mechanics can make t=for the most intriguing games. Just like Chess or Go, this game is elegant, and deceptively simple. Plays well with 2-4 players (I love 3 player games), and most games are over in 30 mins. I got this game at about the same time as I bought Carcassonne, both were meant to be "in-between" games so that some people could sit down and bash out a quick game while others got up for a smoke and/or drink.... but surprisingly, both of them were actually replayed time and again all night long! We never got to the "next" game lol!

Saboteur - And finally, a brilliantly devious and fun game, which plays best in large groups and always hypes our game groups to their most vocal! A very quick game, we love the variant suggested on BGG where after handing out the "role" cards, you instruct the group "Everyone close their eyes..... now....saboteurs open their eyes....... now close their eyes..... and we're ready". It allows the saboteurs to get a grip on the lay of the land, and potentially co-ordinate efforts. I can't recommend this one highly enough for large groups of gamers

Hope some of this was useful to you...or at least, an interesting read laugh
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Chris B
Canada
Victoria
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Good luck keeping it to 30 games!
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David Horm
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freddieyu wrote:


What would you replace it with? It was on an earlier version of my matrix, but my wife and I didn't think it brought anything new (or exciting) after watching a playthru.

Hairboy wrote:
Carson City - And besides.... it's a cowboy game. You don't have a cowboy game


You're right, I don't have any westerns in my collection. But it is a worker placement, so maybe I should put it in for Agricola or Le Havre?

Hairboy wrote:


I've played these before, and loved them. I saw that Eric Summerer would replace Acquire with Imperial, I picked the 2030 version because it was rated higher according to A somewhat surprising Top 100 hundred game list, based on BGG ratings… AND SCIENCE!. Hmm, Eric also says Agricola replaces Puerto Rico. Maybe I should drop PR for Carson City.

And while I loved TtR, when I first played it, I think it's almost too light for my taste now. Maybe I want more interaction? It is a classic, and I do want a bunch of gateway games in my collection, so maybe.

Hairboy wrote:
Clans - meant to be "in-between" games... but surprisingly, [it was] actually replayed time and again all night long! We never got to the "next" game lol!


Yes! I want none of my games to be "filler" games, but rather games that people would want to play over and over again. The secret scoring also reminds me of TtR, so that's another knock against the classic.

Hairboy wrote:


It sounds too much like The Resistance.
 
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John Varan
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Personally, I would include Summoner Wars: Master Set in any list, but I'm not sure if it would fit your preferred style of games.
 
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Harper Hobbs
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I would put Stone Age before some of the other games you mentioned. In our house it actually fired Agricola because it scratches the same itch, and plays in 1/3 of the time.
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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davidhorm wrote:
[q="freddieyu"]No 7 Wonders?


What would you replace it with? It was on an earlier version of my matrix, but my wife and I didn't think it brought anything new (or exciting) after watching a playthru.




I don't think it replaces anything. It plays via a card drafting (I think there isn't a game in your matrix now with this mechanic), and scales really well whether it's 3 players or 7 players, and can be finished in 30-45 minutes. The 2 expansions (leaders and cities) also add more options to the game, although the base game plays just fine.

You should try it first before discounting it. I recommend 3-4 players for the best experience.

 
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