The Daily Worker Placement

Monday, April 22, 2024

The Art of Collection

by | published Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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.


  • Sean J.

    Sean is the Founder and Photographer for the DWP. He has been gaming all his life. From Monopoly and Clue at the cottage to Euchre tournaments with the family, tabletop games have taken up a lot of his free time. In his gaming career he has worked for Snakes & Lattes Board Game Cafe, Asmodee, and CMON. He is a contributor to The Dice Tower Podcast and has written for Games Trade Magazine and Meeple Monthly. He lives and works in Toronto.

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3 thoughts on “The Art of Collection

  1. shipwreck says:

    First, I love the blog. Good writing with nice, big pics. So thanks for that.

    In response to this article, one’s collection can go in any number of directions based on a number of factors. For myself, I find the economy of my collection to be really tight: it expanded quickly and now, because of space and finances, I’ve become very selective. If I’m not going to play a game with some regularity then I just won’t buy it.

    Collectors with bigger game rooms and/or more disposable income, I feel, should be equally selective. Why have more games than you’ll ever play? There is the notion of occasion as well: buying a game to play it once or twice because of a special instance seems right.

    I defy my own principles with Tolkien-related games. I’d like to own every game related his writings at some point, even if I never play them. In that I am a collector in a truer sense.

  2. Anatol says:

    It’s really hard to say good bye to some games of your collection… I always finde any good thing on a game, sometimes even if there is a newer, reedit version of the game… (example Ave Ceasar, Puerto Rico)…

    Sometime the mind is just not sensible when it comes to games (purchase or separation) – probably that counts for every habit 😉

    Who’s collection is on the picture?

    I found a nice impressive one here – a little over the top…

  3. Vanessa says:

    We always say the perfect amount of boardgames is our entire collection… Plus one! Haha :0)

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