How big is your game collection? How big do you want it to be? This is a tough question for any gamer. How many games is enough?
I grew up with a collector. My dad collected cameras and hockey cards. Sometimes selling part of one collection to acquire items for the other. There’s definitely a sense of pride we feel with the things we collect no matter if it’s books, movies, games, toys or anything else. What you choose to add to your collection says a lot about you and collectors are always refining their horde to the point that they feel like it is truly complete…yeah right. Like that ever happens.
I worked for three years at Snakes & Lattes the board game cafe and that was both the best and worst thing that happened to my collection. Working in a place that grants access to so many games really reduces the need to actually buy them. That didn’t stop me though. For the first couple of years I was there I was on a buying frenzy. I bought games that I liked and wanted to add to my collection, but as it grew I started to realize the trappings that can come with having too many games. Too often games will sit on the shelf so we can play the latest and greatest addition.
For the last little while I’ve slowed down on my purchasing and focused more on games that my groups will play, but not necessarily own. That ensures that I can get them into the mix every once in a while.
There are some games out there that you just need to own. Games that everyone I play with has a copy of, but considering the amount of time they hit the table it makes sense. I’m talking about games like Carcassonne, Puerto Rico, Lords of Waterdeep etc.
On Board Game Geek people list their collections and on Reddit every day there are COMC (Check Out My Collection) posts. They range from people just starting out in the hobby to collections that span decades and hundreds or thousands of games.
Collecting of any sort can be addictive. Whether you’re picking up the latest expansion for your favourite game or you recently tracked down a grail game you’ve been after for a long time there is a great satisfaction in adding that game to your collection. I get a definite endorphin rush when I add a game to my shelf.
So here are some questions you might want to ask before your next purchase.
Will I get to play this?
Is the game the type you can see playing on a regular basis with your gaming group? You may love the mechanics, theme, art or whatever about the game, but you also have to consider your audience. If it’s going to be a battle to get it to the table each time you may want to take a pass.
Do I have another game that fills this need?
There is the Jones Theory that if you have two very similar games, choose the one you’ll play the most and get rid of the other. No point in having five different dice rolling, push your luck games. This is easier said than done. It’s the subtle differences between games that make them unique, so while they may both share a mechanic it can be tough to decide on which one is a better fit for you.
Is there anyone else I know with this game?
If someone in your group already has this game it may mean that you don’t need to shell out for it. At the very least it gives you an opportunity to try the game first. With different board game cafes popping up in major cities across North America and most FLGS offering demo copies, there’s very little point in buying games before you’ve given it a shot.