How and Why We Buy Games…

So the results of this week’s poll are in…

Just stare at it with wonder… 0 (0%)

Caress it…  2 (18%)

Sit cross-legged on the floor and play with all the bits…  3 (27%)

Carefully bag up every component…  2 (18%)

Read the Rules, Cover to Cover…  2 (18%)

Read the Back of the Box…  1 (9%)

Toss it aside and grab the next one in the pile…  1 (9%)

Thanks to everyone who voted. What conclusions can we draw from this..? Who knows!

This week’s poll was just a bit of fun really for me to see if I’m any different from the rest of the board gaming community when it comes to buying new games. I have to admit that when I tear the shrink wrap off I generally bag everything, then sit cross legged on the floor, pour out all the bags and play with the bits, so I’m glad to see I’m not alone.

So, since Christmas I’ve bought a lot of new games and expansions and I mean a lot! I don’t get review copies or anything like that so to keep reviews going on the blog I have to buy new games and I have stack now so deep I shouldn’t need to buy a new game for the rest of the year. Lets take a look at what I’ve bought…

  1. Warhammer Invasions – Every Battle Pack plus Assault on Ulthuan
  2. Carcassonne – The base game plus Traders and Builders, Princess and the Dragon, River II and Siege, Cult and Creativity.
  3. Red November
  4. Colossal Arena
  5. Cosmic Encounter
  6. Stone Age
  7. Killer Bunnies
  8. Risk: Balance of Power
  9. Space Crusade
  10. Runebound – Walkers of the Wild
  11. Myth: Pantheons
  12. Agricola and Farmers of the Moor plus all the Mayday components.
  13. Settlers of Catan the Card Game Expansion
  14. Battlestar Galactica
  15. Zooloretto and Zooloretto Exotic
  16. Talisman Fourth Edition

That’s 21 games in 5 months. Now I probably should add that I got them all at bargain prices, Zooloretto Exotic for example was £5.49 from Board Game Guru, so I’m not massively out of pocket. Also, a large number of these are now in boxes in the loft to be kept as birthday/Christmas presents so they wont all see reviews in the near future.

But Why?

So why do we buy the games we buy and how do I decide what to buy? If you take a look at the list above, there is a good mix of games. There are tile laying abstract strategy games, there are Ameritrash games and Euro games, card games and collectable games, war games and co-op games. If you had asked me a couple of years ago to play a board game I would have broken out HeroQuest or suggested playing Warhammer instead, if you had asked me to play a board game about farming in the 17th century I would have politely laughed my socks off.

As you can see my tastes have expanded, sure I still play those dungeon crawler type games and I love a good rpg or wargame, but at the end of the day, these are not games my family will play. So, as the only game buyer in my family and my group of friends I buy an eclectic mix that will hopefully keep everyone happy.

But that still doesn’t explain how I make my choices. Of course, there is no “one way” that I choose new games to buy, but generally my first port of call is The Dice Tower. I watch all of Tom’s video reviews, mainly to be kept abreast of new games that may become part of my collection. I also listen to the Dice Tower podcast, which not only has a news segments about new games, but will often cover old and even out of print games. In this way I find out about games that I might have otherwise have passed over.

For example, based solely on the box cover and rather pretentious looking name, I overlooked Carcassonne for years. Stone Age, Agricola, Settlers would have been passed by in favour of a big box with a dragon breathing fire on the front. However, the Dice Tower only really gives me the spark, sometimes I’ll buy a game based solely on Tom’s review, but more often that not I’ll keep looking around. Board Game Geek is often my next port of call where I will read the shortest reviews and I will generally try and find a negative one so that I can get a jaded view of what the bad points of the game might be.

THIS DOES NOT ALWAYS DO ME GOOD… For example I read so many bad things about Runebound that I became jaded about it myself before even playing the game. That coupled with a bad first couple of games soured me a little towards the game.

I also scout about on the publishers websites, primarily Fantasy Flight, Z-man and Rio Grande in the hopes of finding the next best new game in my collection. Of these FFG is the best, they publish, on average, 3 posts a day about new/upcoming/recently published games and all this publicity does a very good job of getting me excited about a game.

Finally I will check around for other video reviews, Scott Nicholson and Board To Death Tv are two of my favourites. Once I’m happy that I like the look and sound of a game I hunt it down. Once it’s in the post I think… “Oh… It might be a good idea if I read the rules.” This is because I am a genius, and that, was sarcasm. Luckily I’ve never really been burned by doing this.

So but Why???

Why do I buy games? Well for many reason. Some games I buy to play with my family, some to bond with my friends. Other games I buy because I love the look of it, Battlestar might fall into this category.

Other times I buy games to bulk out an order. For example you can general add the small box Carcassonne expansions to any order without increasing the postage. Or to see if the hype is justified (see my purchases of Carc and Agricola as proof).

However, I guess the major reason why I bought all of these games is because they were cheap. Farmers of the Moor £15, Space Crusade £5, Talisman £20. Where I live in the Uk the cinema costs £7, you’re average pub meal £7, a diet coke £2, add in popcorn and petrol and you could easily buy most of the games on the list for what it costs for one person to go and see the latest Marvel film… and that my friends is why we buy board games.

And that is it for this week, next week will see another game review, you’ll have to wait and see what it is though (because I have no idea!) I will also put up a new poll at some point during the week when I get some time.