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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Buy, buy, buy!

When I first started playin Euros with RipCityGamers it was mostly at Doug's or Dave's as they were the ones with the games. I started by buying those games that I'd enjoyed playing. At some point it became time to branch out and start taking the pressure off these guys to buy all new games. It didn't seem fair for them to have to put up all the money for games that only made it to the table once, (if at all!) only to be decried as not to be worthy of another play. So I started buying more games that I'd never played before. (Nor anyone else in the group.)

This, of course, brings risk and choice. How do I evaluate which new ones to buy and which to leave alone. I use the geek a lot, and I have a few people there whose opinions I trust as their likes seem to trend after my own. I'll also trust the designer; if he's produced a few good games that I enjoyed then I'll be more likely to take a risk with a new one. I don't place too much on the publisher, pretty much all of them have produced game I like and dislike.

However, price doesn't really figure that much into my Euro purchases. It does for more wargamey games. An example is Europe Engulfed, a game I'm very interested in as I like the block system and the subject and scope is very interesting. I'm not buying it because I just don't think it'll get played much. If at all. I'm not too worried about Euros sitting on the shelf, and I'm prepared to accept that some of the games I take a chance on aren't going to get much play time, or may even be stinkers. (Tortuga, anyone?)

I will also consider what other people like when purchasing. Puerto Rico is on my shelf even though I'm not a huge fan. (It's a OK game, but it ain't no 10.) However, I won't buy games that I actively dislike. Except when I'm buying before I've played it. (Just before anyone brings up Frank's Zoo! :) No point in only getting games that you and no-one else likes, especially if you want to be on the hosting rota.

Of course this is all subject to change. With prices going up, I may have to start bringing price into the decision tree. This Essen may be that first time, as some of the games look to be quite spendy. Again, however, I'll get a chance to try some of them before splashing the cash, and there will be a lot of gamers there to get some buzz from.

I do also keep a track of all my games, how much I paid for them, how often they get played. Part of that is also average cost per play. In fact I highlight those that either haven't been played or have a high cost/play price. I'm always interested in focussing on those particular games and bringing them to the table.

As for Dave's 'non-discriminating' comment, like Doug I think I'm in that grouping. However, Dave's and my tastes in games do differ considerably, so a particluar purchase that he may call 'non-discriminating' is a game that I actually like, or think I may like. Each to their own.

So, there you have it. I'll try to post from Essen next week.


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