Collecting Games, Playing Games, and the “Cult of the New”

I collect games.  Whether I like to admit it or not, I collect games.  My collection has grown so much over the last two years, I certainly can’t deny it.  I’m trying to limit my game buying to games I actually KNOW I’ll play, now, but that’s still a pretty big list.  I’ve been thinking about my collection lately, and how much of it has been influenced by what’s newly coming out.

A lot of great games have come out in the last year.  The new edition of Descent, X-Wing, Smash-Up!, Libertalia, Seasons, Indigo, Mice and Mystics, Android: Netrunner.  I’ve not jumped on every thing that’s released that I’ve wanted, but I see a definite trend.  I’ve played all of the games I just mentioned, and I liked them all immensely.  But I’ve also picked up some new releases that have never made it to the table, or once I read the rules, I lost interest in trying them.  Hirelings: The Ascent, for example.  The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game is another, though I’m still hopeful on that one.

Sometimes, as collectors, we get caught up in the new and shiny.  We’re in a golden age of game releases.  Hundreds of great games released each year, with hundreds more not-so-great ones.  But for those of us who came to the hobby a decade into this renaissance, we need to remember that there are a lot of great games with a couple of years behind them, that are worth looking at.

The other issue is “Will it get played?”  As an exercise, let’s look at my game acquisitions for September, 2012 (The month after GenCon).  Games that I got AND have played:  Core Worlds, X-Wing, Android: Netrunner, Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan, Dos Rios, Dixit.  Games that I got and have NOT played:  Nounsense, Descent (1st Edition), Pirate Fluxx, Cthulhu Flux, Set: Junior, Little Dead Riding Hood, The Current Number of the Beast, Dominion: Dark Ages, Neuroshima Hex! Duel.

Several of these I got as courtesy copies, and likely wouldn’t have bought them myself.  But notable in there is Dominion: Dark Ages and Neuroshima Hex! Duel.  I bought both of those, fully planning to play them, and now, 7 months later, still have not.

I’ve decided focus my collecting, in the near future, on games that have stood up to the test of time.  Games that aren’t the new hotness, but slightly older games, that still have a good following, and continued support.  Now that I have a daughter to raise, I need to work within a budget a lot better, and I want to make sure I get my money’s worth out of the games I buy.  I’ll still probably pick up most every expansion Fantasy Flight puts out for my favorite games, but y’know… addict.

This past weekend, I picked up Agricola.  I’ve wanted this game since it released. For some reason, I’ve never managed to pick it up.  Worker placement is easily one of my favorite types of game, and I’ve heard so many great things about Agricola, that I’m positive I’ll enjoy it.  A few months ago, I got the 2-player spin-off to play with Jamie, and we certainly enjoyed it. (There’s a new game cropping up again).

I hope to play Agricola within the next few days. If so, it will be the next game I mention in my collection articles.

Next up, I’ll be talking about Living Card Games.

Cheers!

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