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Subject: What advice would you give to a new gamer who wants to start a collection? rss

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Driver 8
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And no, I'm not the new gamer, but I was thinking recently about how I would've started my collection differently if I had to go back and do it all over again.

One question I have is this...
Would you recommend that the new gamer begin with new releases that are generating a lot of buzz? Or would you recommend the new gamer start with games that have been around a couple years and are a bit more 'proven'? Part of me says to wait to see how a game weathers the test of time to see if it's really worth it. But another part of me says if there's a buzz, buy it now before it's OOP and gone.

One piece of advice that I'd give is to diversify and try to keep your collection varied to appeal to changing tastes and player interests/numbers. I've known a few gamers in particular who started with Dominion, Ascension: Deckbuilding Game, Thunderstone, etc (with expansions!) and ended up with a lot of nothing when their tastes changed.

I know just about every day I see someone posting a thread about what games to get to start their collection. I was just hoping we could generate some solid principals to consider rather than just specific titles to start with.
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My advice is dont start a collection. Get 4 or 5 Games, play them, trade the ones you dont like for other games that interest you. If i ever have to start from scratch again, i will adhere to this advice, for the simple reason that baout 30 % of my collection havent been played yet, and about 80 % have not been played more than twice.
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Steven McBride
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borgfather wrote:
My advice is dont start a collection. Get 4 or 5 Games, play them, trade the ones you dont like for other games that interest you. If i ever have to start from scratch again, i will adhere to this advice, for the simple reason that baout 30 % of my collection havent been played yet, and about 80 % have not been played more than twice.


Easier said than done...

My advice would be to not limit yourself to so-called "gateway games" at first. Just dive right in with whatever you think sounds fun/interesting/will be well received by whoever you play with.

Also, dont get the Ticket to Ride app if you like TtR. It killed the game for us.
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Michael Carter
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Don't get distracted by the shinies.
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Driver 8
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borgfather wrote:
My advice is dont start a collection. Get 4 or 5 Games, play them, trade the ones you dont like for other games that interest you. If i ever have to start from scratch again, i will adhere to this advice, for the simple reason that baout 30 % of my collection havent been played yet, and about 80 % have not been played more than twice.


Over the years I've traded quite of few games away. I suppose if I had to do it all over again, I would've never bought them in the first place. So I'd say that trading games is more of a means to an end rather than the end itself.

And yes, I too have many games that haven't been played more than twice. But someday...someday.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Buy games you will play.
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Michael Knauss
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START SLOW!.
Find a game you may be interested in, buy play it and see if you like it or not. Keep track of the mechanics you like or don't like. Find other games with different theme but perhaps comparable mechanics.
Build a set of base games that are always good to play. Find something for small game sessions like 2-3 players. Mid size groups 4-5 players and larger groups etc.
You don't need hundreds of games many of which will never be played.
I went through a phase where I bought everything that looked neat without reading the rules or reviews ahead of time. I ended up with lots of games I would never lay and 100's of dollars that could of been spent on better ting. (Like games I would of played!)

My best advice is just to take it slow and find out what you like and don't like and build from there.
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Henry Ho
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My first advice would be: Board games aren't something you want to collect. They will take up a lot of room, and the values for most games will only go down.

My second advice would be: Try playing the game first. If you like it and think you will re-play it a lot, then just purchase it.

I wish someone had given me these 2 advices!!! It's all too late for me now! shake
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Print and plays are cheap ways to figure out what type of games you like, and then you can buy the commercial ones that match up well - or just keep playing PnP games!
 
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You first get a few games that interest you (or try out friends' games). Then you play them, play them enough times. Then note what things you really like the games, and what things you dislike in a game. These can very well change depending on who you play with, or what the player number is. Remember how you feel playing each game.

Try different types of games. At least a few types that gives you more 'data' for the selection of the next game.

Now you can research games keeping that in mind. Scratch games that have too many of your dislikes without any of your likes. Try to find different types of games that have your likes, and go from there.

When you know a bit better what you and the group likes and dislikes, you can ask us for suggestions. We've been there, and continue the search for new games, just like you. If your 'path' through games looks familiar, then we have very easy time to suggest games that you have a high probability of liking too.

(Edit: You need different games depending on the player count. That is unavoidable. You will need shorter and lighter games even if you like long and complex games. There is no game that would satisfy all situations. But in time you will get there. Just don't rush.)
 
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Joe Cohen
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Keep in mind solitaire playability when purchasing a game. It cuts down on the number of games you buy and never play when you're able to play it by yourself. Just watch out for tacked-on solo options, and stick with a game that plays with the same (or nearly so) rules as the multiplayer version.
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Driver 8
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GleamingTerrier wrote:
Keep in mind solitaire playability when purchasing a game. It cuts down on the number of games you buy and never play when you're able to play it by yourself. Just watch out for tacked-on solo options, and stick with a game that plays with the same (or nearly so) rules as the multiplayer version.


Yes! Most of the games I bought in the past year are solo playable.
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Nick Henning
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When you buy a game, think about WHO would play that game with you. If one of those people already owns that game, then dont get it!
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Joe Cohen
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Driver 8 wrote:


Yes! Most of the games I bought in the past year are solo playable.


Hah! Didn't even notice your solitaire microbadge until now.
 
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Rob Robinson
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Be a game player, not a collector. Keep games that hit the table frequently, and trade/sell the shelf huggers.
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Before I gave any advice, I'd ask the new gamer why he wants to start a collection.

Sometimes it makes sense. If you're into Runebound (Second Edition) or Arkham Horror or Agricola, and you really like it a lot, maybe you'll want to collect all the expansions--before they go out of print. But don't be too hasty. Make sure you love the base game first and expect to always want to continue playing it.

If you're just newly enthused about board games in general, and you want to own some of the more appealing ones, relax. There are more games out there than you can ever possibly collect, much less find time to play. Collecting games can be like counting stars. Better to just get one game and play it, then see where your interest leads from there--and go slowly. There's no joy to be had in accumulating shelves full of games that never get played.

Each time you buy a game, consider who's going to be playing it with you. If no one, or if you're in doubt, get it only if it's solitaire-friendly. Otherwise, ask yourself if the people you expect to play it with you will still be available in several years, or if you expect to have other willing opponents by then.
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Josh Chen
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As a relatively newbie to the hobby, I kind of wish that I've didn't spend so much money on expansions! In my case, I am talking about Dominion.

I was in a completionist fever when I started buying games and I have snatched up all the expansions of Dominion within a 4-month period since I've bought the base set. Don't get me wrong, I still love to play Dominion. This is not a rant of how my taste has changed and I regret buying the "gateway" game.


The reason why I put Dominion on the spot is that, one day, my sister-in-law (part of our 4p group), threw down the cards out of frustration and proclaimed that she will not play Dominion ever again. So my brother, being a good husband, asked me not to bring Dominion on our weekly game night. Right now my big box full of Dominion cards is sitting on my shelf waiting to be played. My girlfriend would entertain me sometimes by playing it with me, but it is not her go-to board game.

I love Dominion, and I never regret buying all the expansions, but due to monetary constrain, I can't buy any more new games anytime soon.

My advice to the new guy is that hold off your money on expansions. Play the base game until you are sick and tired of it and then if he still wants more of the same game, then it is time to consider the expansions.

Otherwise, I am sure his taste (or his gaming group) will change as time goes by. It would be silly in retrospect that he has spent so much money on games that will not hit the table again.

Personally, I consider $1 dollar per play for any game is of great value for me. So far only a few game that has hit that mark in my collection, and they are fillers such as Lost Cities and Archaeology: The Card Game. I am about 50ish play into Dominion, and that has just break even with the cost for my base set. I am still about 400 plays short of reaching my personal goal. ($1 per play for any game)

Something for your friend to think about especially he only has a limited amount of money he can put into this hobby. If he has expendable income, I am sure he can start collecting and never look back.

edit: grammar
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Leonard Moses II
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Don't buy what is highly rated. Buy what you like the theme of and set the bar at 7 minimum for some and 6 minimum for the rest as far as average rating. Maybe a few higher 7.4 or higher generic looking games. Try to figure out specifically what you like and then buy 60 percent just variations of that.

Buy oop games sometimes from bgg.

I like animal themed games, tribal themes, island themes, and prehistoric type games the best as far as a theme. Usually pg rated titles as far as content.
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Jennifer Derrick
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I'd say buy the games that really interest you, regardless of whether or not they're getting a lot of buzz. Look for themes that really interest you. So what if game's not in the top 100? A lot of really good games don't make that level. Buy what you want to play. A game might be really great, but if it doesn't hold your interest for whatever reason, it's crap to you.

Also, be realistic about who you'll play with and purchase accordingly. Don't but a lot of games that need high player counts to be good if you realistically might play with those numbers a couple of times per year. If you know you'll do most of your gaming with a roommate or partner, stick to games that you know you can get to the table with that person.



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Christopher Boat
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nighthawk326 wrote:
My first advice would be: Board games aren't something you want to collect. They will take up a lot of room, and the values for most games will only go down.

My second advice would be: Try playing the game first. If you like it and think you will re-play it a lot, then just purchase it.

I wish someone had given me these 2 advices!!! It's all too late for me now! shake


I will agree that board games take up WAY too much space. I have a rather large wall dedicated to just board games and I still need more space...

As for the value of games going down- I disagree. Of all the entertainment mediums, I've found board games are the most likely to become rare and go out of print. I used to collect Video Games and DVDs but now I realize there is no point in buying these things new. They will almost always be in production and eventually go dirt cheap. I've paid my rent multiple times just selling games I've had sitting around for a while. They hold their value surprisingly well!
 
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The Gamer Curator
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I would definitely go for quality over quantity. When I started last year, I picked up everything that sounded fun and overwhelmed myself resulting in not playing anything. Currently, I am getting rid of games I don't play for new games rather than adding to my collection.

Overall, quality over quantity.
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Phil Hendrickson
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Before I gave any advice, I'd ask the new gamer why he wants to start a collection.


Definitely this. Determine how your game "collection" will be used, and that should help define how big it should be. If you are buying just for your family, start with only 1 - 3 core titles and see if you are really a gaming family. If so, SLOWLY add titles if it looks like you need something new to keep things fresh. But if you are having fun playing what you have, don't spend money just to spend.

If you are the alpha gamer for a social/gaming group, then you might have to buy a few more titles to keep game nights fresh. But hopefully you can spawn a few more game buyers in your group to spread the expense. Also, having more buyers means your group will end up with a more diverse selection of titles to play, as no two people have exactly the same tastes.

When selecting something new, try to ask yourself, "Does this add something that is missing from our collection?" If the new title is just a fresh presentation of a theme or type of game you already have and are happy with, don't bother with the new one.

Having said all that, it is hard to avoid getting bit by the game-buying bug if you have funds available...


 
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Thanee
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Step 1) Get a well-paying job.
Step 2) Buy, buy, buy!

Bye
Thanee
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Find people (individuals or clubs) that have a ton of games and play all of their games. Learn your tastes before diving into the purchasing world.
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Kevin Brown
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Fresh return to board gaming after... I dunno, 25 years or so. The way I got back in? Relentless research. Reviews. More reviews. Look at boxes. Reviews. No impulse purchasing. Then buy games, but do not duplicate mechanics. My collection is stupid small, expands at a glacial pace, but there is not a game I've bought in the last 5 years that I wish I hadn't.
Do not duplicate mechanics.
No impulse purchasing.
Good gateway games are always good. Crap gateway games introduce the hobby. Don't buy crap gateway games.
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