Friday, 24 October 2014

no lack of games

I am long past the point where I own more games than I can play regularly. If my records at BGG are accurate, I own 275 games (including 51 expansions). This is a tiny collection compared to the record holders at BGG, but to muggles this is a crazy number. I know there are plenty among my games which I have not played for more than a year. If I don't buy any new game starting from now (heh heh... don't laugh please), there are still many games in my collection that I'm keen to play, and it will take a long time before I get bored with all of them and need a new game. So in theory, I don't really need to be still reading about the many new games that are released every year. Boardgame articles, blogs and discussions are mostly about new games. People don't really write about experiences with older games much, which is a pity. But I still read boardgame articles. And I still buy a new game now and then, just not as frequently as I used to. Not many new games excite me. I mostly skim the descriptions and then move on. I still get to try new games regularly, because the friends I play with often bring new games to the table. I'm perfectly happy with that. What's important is playing and having fun. Doesn't really matter which game.

There is fun to be had in trying out new games. New experiences can be eye-opening. The process of learning something new and understanding how a game works is satisfying. Currently I don't need new games, but I certainly don't mind trying them. I still enjoy being a game taster, although I put little effort in pursuing the new and shiny.

Boardgame makers and boardgame retailers won't be happy with boardgamers like me - the jaded old gamers who complain that most new games are boring and thus rarely buy new games. If every gamer thinks this way the boardgame industry would crumble. Thankfully the industry continues to grow healthily, with more new gamers joining our ranks, and more game designers coming up with new ideas. Two new games that I have my eyes on now are Alchemists and Tragedy Looper. I hope to be able to try them when they hit the Malaysian shores.

There is one game in my collection which I know can last me many plays if I get sick of all the others - Android: Netrunner. I have the base game and all expansions from the first expansion cycle. I like it, and even with just what I have now, I believe it already provides a lot of replayability. My problem is this is a lifestyle game, like Chess and Magic: The Gathering, i.e. something you need to commit to and play in depth to fully appreciate. I simply don't have the discipline and the focus to do this yet. I think Spartan Games Arena still does weekly (Wednesdays) Netrunning.


Paul Owen said...

I can certainly relate to the phenomenon of having a backlog of unplayed games. You might have read my "list of shame" post from last July, which actually calls out all the unplayed games in my collection.

Times have certainly changed from my childhood, when there were a few staple games that everyone knew, and only a few new mass-market games came out around Christmas time (many of which disappeared a few years later). It would be a different world if we were all satisfied with chess, cribbage, and bridge. But I think Acquire was the knock on the door that started the influx of innovative, lasting games.

It would be interesting to see a histogram of games by the year of their release.

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

Ha ha... yes, I do remember reading that post. Thankfully my list of shame is much shorter. This year due to my one-long-game-a-month effort, I managed to get Paths of Glory and Wilderness War played. However I have given up on trying to play Advanced Third Reich. I bought it a very long time ago not knowing what I was getting myself into.