Thursday, February 12, 2015

Being a Realist, Making a "Real"-List

Buying new board games is as exhilarating to me as playing them, but sometimes "the cult of the new" can get out of control. I've went into detail once before about stepping back and analyzing if you REALLY want to buy that game or not, and it's that same frame of mine I'm adopting in my New Years Resolution for 2015 - a board game list.

So, a Wishlist.

Not exactly. A "wishlist" is a list of desired items, almost left open-ended to no monetary limit. It implies that an item may be granted, almost wish-like, to the person. It removes any responsibilities from the wishlist owner over what's added and fulfilled,

No, mine's just a list. A consolidated list of items through a series of self-disciplined filters to weed out what I truly desire. A realistic list. A "real"-list, if you will. Anything on this list will fulfill and meet certain criteria before being added to it:

  • If it has a solo variant
  • If it has a theme/mechanic that I personally find interesting
  • If I believe I can get my wife/game-night friends interesting in playing
  • If I believe I can gather enough players to enjoy the game

Any game that can meet one or more of this criteria will be added to the list. This list may grow throughout the year, but it will so ONLY if it meets these rigid demands.

Good for the Year

Another important aspect of this "real"-list is that it will serve as my order for the ENTIRE year. This not only imposes a stricter budget on money spent to acquire these games, but it prevents me from chasing the "cult of the new" dragon. As long as I run new games through the set guidelines from earlier, the list should not exponentially grow. This makes the list much more feasible to acquire over the course of the year.

Pacing the purchases is really important. Not only does it allow much more dispersed wallet-draining funds, but it will allow more opportunity for me to enjoy the games I DO have in my collection, which is just as equally important. Many other games in my collection are still unplayed, and getting new ones doesn't change that fact. Keeping my purchases at bay will ensure I spend more time with the games I already have.

And Kickstarter?

These games, too, will be included in the list, but only after their OWN criteria:

  • If it matches any of my own list's requirements
  • If the KS exclusives are REALLY worth the funding or not
  • If there are no KS exclusives, and I can wait until its release
  • If I can afford it

I've ranted before about Kickstarter, and one fact still applies: it should be treated always, ALWAYS as an investment, and NEVER a store purchase. Even when it's from a trusted publisher, even when it achieves funding...accepting that it's an investment makes the sting of disappointment a lot less painful.

For me, if anything sparks my interest, the "remind me" star is my salvation to keeping tabs and notifications on projects. And I only fund when I am absolutely sure I will fund; I'm not the type to fund and pull back if I can't fulfill on a pledge.

And it's not easy this year, with plenty of good games asking for funds. I've turned down a few so far, and the coming months will test my endurance. I know there are some games coming up that I've already decided will fund, but still...they will go through the gauntlet of rules before I hunker down and actually back the project.

What's on My "Real"-List

In no real order, this is what's currently on my radar, with extra comments in parenthesis. Whatever's in bold and red has been already ordered/acquired:

  • Kanban (heavy euro)
  • K2 (solo)
  • DungeonQuest (solo)
  • Blood Bowl: Team Manager (BGG solo variant)
  • Specter Ops (hidden player)
  • Scoville (PEPPERS!)
  • Brew Crafters (heavy beer euro)
  • Roll for the Galaxy (dice)
  • Kemet
  • Rallyman (racing, solo)
  • Last Will (spending money)
  • Citris (clever tile game)
  • Sylvion (solo, yet to be released)
  • Onirim (solo)
  • Pixel Tactics 1-3 (BGG solo)
  • City Hall (interesting mechanic)
  • CO2 (solo)
  • Star Realms (solo)
  • Legacy: The Testament of Duke De Crecy (Solo)
  • Paperback (game to introduce to wife)

That's the main list I'm sticking with so far. That's about...19 titles? For the entire year. Of course, it may grow or shrink in time, but that's a reasonable list that works for me in particular. I've also taken some time to research which games may have a fan-made solo variant, which also weighed the game more in favor of being on the list (Blood Bowl: Team Manager and Pixel Tactics).

What do you guys think? Is there any that should be on my "real"-list? Are my list requirements too strict? Let me know in the comments!

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