Monday, March 7, 2011

Saying Goodbye to a Few Games

All who've come over to my house have seen that my games live on a medium-to-large Ikea bookcase in my study:

Unfortunately, as you can see, it's bursting at the seams.  When it was getting close to 75% full, I made a promise to myself to only own as many games as will fit.  It's already overflowing now, with games on top of, underneath, and beside the bookcase.  I'm not going to have extra caches somewhere else in the house.

The reason for limiting my collection is two-fold.  Primarily, it's because 80+ games is more than enough for me.  It's a way to force me to value "quality over quantity", and to ensure my hobby doesn't turn into "collecting games" rather than "playing games".  Also, purely from a practicality standpoint, my wife and I live it a very small house.  So until I get that elusive gaming room in the basement finished, I'm going to have to make do with the Ikea bookcase.

It's because of this that I'm saying goodbye to a few games this month: an erstwhile friend, four acquaintances, and two complete strangers.  I've already boxed them up and will be sending them off to their new homes today.

The Strangers

Modern Art - I bought this game solely because of its provenance - it's designed by Reiner Knizia.  I've never even played it, and I've decided I don't really feel the need to own a game based primarily on an auction mechanic.  The idea just doesn't appeal to me.

Runebound: The Frozen Wastes - Initially, the theme of this expansion to Runebound both appealed to me and revolted me.  I liked the idea of an adventure in the frozen tundra of the North, but the "alien race" aspect of the game seems completely incongruent and entirely unnecessary.  Ultimately I just couldn't move past it far enough to play.  Instead, I should have gotten the Sands of Al-Kalim or The Island of Dread, both of which I've played and liked.  Another reason I'm selling it should be obvious when you read on.

The Acquaintances

Aton - I played this game a few times and liked it initially, but ultimately I just ended up being bored by it.  The Egyptian theme I had hoped for simply isn't there.  While I have plenty of other games with "pasted on" themes, with this one, the lack of theme is blatant.

Last Night on Earth - This is a game I really wanted to like; what's not to love about zombies?  I actually do like one of Flying Frog's other games, A Touch of Evil, but this one just didn't do it for me.  I played once and liked it, but subsequent plays just didn't seem fun.  Other players in my gaming group didn't like it either, so it just hasn't seen much playing time.  I'm hoping I'll find another zombie-themed game I like better, and have been considering making a copy of the print-and-play game Dead of Night.  I'll also be trying Zombie Plague at an upcoming game night.

Witch's Brew - I liked this game OK at first, but then the "I am Herbie", "Not I", "So be it" script lost its charm.  Also, I am terrible at simultaneous action selection games.

Loot - This game may also have been purchased because of the designer.  I was really impressed with Tigris and Euphrates and decided I needed to try others, thinking they'd all be just as excellent.  So, I bought this game to play with my wife, and let me just say for the record, it's very ill-advised play this with two - not fun.  Lost Cities is a great two-player game by Knizia, for sure, but Loot is not (even though it is advertised as such).  This one is actually headed to Goodwill; no one bid on it.

The Friend

Runebound - It was much harder to say goodbye to this game than any of the others.  I've played it many times and always found myself getting lost in the adventure.  However, I have always had three major complaints about this game that ultimately led me to playing it less and less frequently.  First, the playing time with more than three players is intolerable.  Even with two or three, the game is long.  Secondly, the movement dice can be needlessly frustrating at times.  Lastly, over time, I began to find that the combat resolution became a little rote after a while.  In addition to the complaints, my tastes have shifted more towards Euros anyway.  But as I boxed it up yesterday to ship it off, I had some regrets.  In an almost wistful way, I counted up all the health and exhaustion counters.  And as I put the lid on, I even told myself that I could always buy it again later if I wanted to.  But it's going to a good home to a buyer in Iceland, along with The Frozen Wastes expansion.  Adieu, Runebound!

And now I'll end this blog post rather abruptly:  Who wants to help me finish off a gaming room in my basement???


  1. Well, Doug, I might help out with the gaming room if you were closer... and didn't get rid of games that I liked (I'm a fan of Runebound and Loot... definitely not 2 player Loot, though). I've definitely felt the experience of trying to make sure your hobby is playing games and not collecting them, though...

  2. What a great read - enjoyed your take on the topic. funny, informed and good vocabulary. Grins from alex

  3. The place to have a truly excellent game room is definitely in the attic/bonus room. And I'm up to 4 bookcases with overflow into two closets. But I don't have a problem... I promise!