5 Board Game Collecting Tips I Don't Follow (But Should!!) – A Board Gamer's Guide



I’m very into being rational and logical about my collection. Take the emotion out of it, strip away the FOMO and shiny, and see what actually makes sense. But even I’m not always that way. It’s one thing to have a set of rules, it’s another thing to break them.

In this video there are 5 tips, 5 suggestions on how to economically and soundly grow your collection….that I don’t follow myself. The first 4 are merely rules I break from time to time, whereas the 5th rule I simply never follow. But I should. And you should. This is just me admitting my mistakes. Don’t tell anyone.

0:00:00 – Introduction
0:01:34 – Never Get Games That You Can’t Feasibly Play Given Your Own Constraints
0:03:19 – Tangent: The Point of Rules & The Point of Fun
0:04:02 – Never Back A Game That You Wouldn’t Buy
0:06:25 – Never Let Shiny & Pretty Get In the Way of Getting Rid of a Game
0:09:05 – Never Get Games You Won’t Get to the Table Within 3 Months
0:12:05 – Never Get Expansions for Games Until You Feel You Need Them
0:14:43 – Tangent: Terraforming Mars Kickstarter & Expansions & Solo Play

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44 thoughts on “5 Board Game Collecting Tips I Don't Follow (But Should!!) – A Board Gamer's Guide”

  1. A great list – which I can definitely relate to (apart from the expansions – which I find feel like a money grab too often)

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  2. Haha omg I love this Hobby. I am totally the same. I almost always keep rules 1 through 4. But I am a huge sucker for expansions lol. Even if I play a game once and love it I immediately want the expansion even if I dont play it again for months lol. I played Western Legends once and I immediately bought the expansions for the extra content.

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  3. Oof. I frequently get the base game AND the expansions all at once… BEFORE I have even played the game 😕. Someone told me to get The big box version of Istanbul… what can I say? It’s got resell value if I decide I don’t like it 🤷‍♂️

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  4. I bought Deception a year ago and still haven’t got it to the table( never enough players available)

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  5. I’m having a hard time giving up Res Arcana. The one time I played it with 3 people didn’t go so well. Everyone included you says it’s great with two, but honestly i don’t really like two player games. Is it good with more than two players?

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  6. One important key I try follow is distinguishing between really wanting to play something Vs needing to own it.

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  7. i never buy a game if a didn´t play the last one that i bought , with expansion is a different story. i keep expansion of games that i like a lot that sealed for years before i have the time or the mood to play it

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  8. I used to be a rampant expansion buyer, but I actually started pieceing expansion that I did not enjoy back out of base games to sell them… And I've really gotten that under control since. Terraforming Mars is a great example. Venus Next is so pointless and adds no value and no fun that I'm taking it out. I tried my friend's Colonies, equally pointless. I refused to back Turmoil because it doesn't even look like the same game… But I do have and enjoy Prelude and Hellas boards.

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  9. Thank you Alex for the tips.
    After crossing the 400 games threshold, I have become more cautious about my purchasing choices.
    I think your first tip is the most important as I learned (the hard$ way) that you have to put the taste of your gaming group above your own.
    As you, I am fond of expansions and have to get all in for the games I love.

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  10. Lol! It’s like a smoker warning non-smoker to not start. Ha ha ha. I don’t disagree with you. I myself am a victim to those bad habits. Lisboa is unplayed because it is larger than my table. I have games my wife won’t play so it’s gathering dust. Sigh. While others are worrying about starving, we board gamers are worried about our unplayed pile.

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  11. What's funny with the first thing, my problem is the opposite, once I get a epic campaign game I start it right away with my game group, and leave it up until its is done. Then the problem I have is I never play any of the smaller games I have. Like I just got Gloomhaven a couple of months back and I am still playing it. Before that I had finished Descent First Edition's final expansion. The Runebounds tend to never see any love though, which is a shame.

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  12. I think a big reason for this is the scarcity and FOMO (perceived or otherwise) you see in boardgaming. I first got into the hobby about a year ago, and especially having come from a more video game background, it was weird seeing so many highly recommended games be unavailable for one reason or another. Maybe it was just bad timing, but when I first started seeking out games based on recommendations, games like TI4, Sheriff of Nottingham, and Cosmic Encounter where out of stock.

    I'm one of those people who has over 1k steam games (mostly due to humble) and over the past year or so I've been able to stop myself from buying video games, as I know they will always be there when/if I actually want to play them. With boardgames though, some part of my brain thinks that if I don't pull the trigger now, I might miss out on a game forever. Same thing with expansions. When I buy a game with an "essential" expansion, I find myself worrying that the expansion won't be in print by the time I'd be ready for it.

    I know this is just me being crazy, but still.

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  13. know the struggle lol.i usually try to watch videos related to the game for like a year..if it still looks fun after a year and it meets my player count criteria, then ill buy it.that way i know its going to get to the table, and the buildup makes the release amazing lol

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  14. I'm better with the kickstarter thing than I was a few years ago. However, I have a theory on why kickstarter have that effect.

    When I buy I game in my FLGS, I spend money NOW, expecting a product NOW, and I'll play it this week probably. The distance between the spending of money and the review of the quality of that spending is extremely close. If I buy something I don't like that much, it will be extremely frustrating. However, if I buy on kickstarter, I am not expecting anything before a year or more. When the product arrive it's almost as if it's free (I mean the credit card bill has been paid for a long time). The distance is larger and thus it's a lot harder to link a possible deception with the spending of money. It somehow limit the critical effort I make before spending said money.

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  15. The worst thing is when your collection hits 1k or more, you need sooo much time to clear out that mess…my goal is downgrading to 300 games…I feel you at 7 Wonders and Terraforming Mars…Great advice.

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  16. when you mentioned Near And Far,While it is one of my most proud to played and purchased game, I am glad I haven't jumped in for its expansion after 4 games. The game is great but I have not finished, most stuck or need to start over with new players. I am motivated after watching this and start playing it by myself start from tomorrow. So thank you.

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  17. Hey great video. I’ll start by saying that those are definitely the same rules I constantly break when skimming through KS campaigns and BGG lists 🤣
    I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m more of a collector than a gamer, so that would explain most of my inability to be rational enough when it comes to buying games.
    I’d like to elaborate more on the breaking of rule 5. It happened to me a few times now that by the time I came into knowledge of an “old” game (released 4-5 years ago or more), the thing was nowhere to be found: not on BGG market, not on eBay or at least not at a reasonable price or in decent conditions. This sometimes makes me go all-in on a game, fearing that by the time I decide I’d like to get some expansions, they’d be hard to come by.
    Another reason is that I prefer buying games in my native language (of course), which is Italian. And unfortunately there are not that many games that get translated into Italian. And when they do, it usually happens a 2 to 3 years later the core game has been released. For example, we’re looking at a Q4 release for Spirit Island, core game only. By the time it’s out, Jagged Earth will be on the market. This has led to some frustration, like for example Warhammer Invasion LCG having stopped Italian releases just before the Apocalypse Deluxe expansion. What I hate the most is being forced to have a mixed language game because translations have stretched out too much in time that the later ones are no longer worth translating. This leads me to get the game and all expansions as soon as I can, which usually means in English language, which in turn means my playing group will be less interested in playing the game.
    Fortunately many games that I like are language independent since they only use symbols and numbers on cards and boards; but most complex games like Spirit Island and 7th Continent, for example, require a good amount of reading.

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  18. Don’t bother with Near and Far. It’s decent, but I think there is better and Sleeping Gods will likely replace it.

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  19. Great video Alex, good rules – I have been trying to dial things back myself recently. Your value proposition rule convinced me to back out of the recent Kickstarter for "Ausonia" after watching one of your videos…then your next video you mentioned buying into it regardless. I had a bit of a chuckle.

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  20. I definitely break some of my own rules (some of which are the same as yours) because of potential OOP FOMO, as I've had to pay a huge amount extra to get them after the fact. This probably affects me most during Kickstarters with exclusive content or which will not likely see a retail printing. I won't speculate on a game that I don't think I will like (for example, I skipped both of the huge Batman KS), but if it looks like a game I'll like, then I do get tripped up on it. Another thing that causes me to break rules are extremely good sales (or yard sale/thift store finds), which will result in me buying games that I won't play any time soon.

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  21. OMG Alex, this video made me literally laugh out loud! Why? Because it is SO true! (And I think you were on a sugar high! 🙂) Thank you for this. It will help slap me back into reality when I make future purchase decisions.

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  22. Damn dude, brother from another mother! We even have a similar collection. I have all the same issues , and barely rationalize my purchases ever….

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  23. Do as I say and not as I do! 🙂 I break rule # 4 a lot, especially with games that I know will go out of print (forbidden stars, many GMT games). Ok I laughed out loud at #5…totally break that always!

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  24. I never collect just for the sake of collection. That is just stupid. Unless I intend to play it I'll pass. I finally got Gloomhaven after thinking about it for quite awhile. I'm actually playing it after having it for 2 weeks. I'd love to get TI but it would never get to the table. Same thing with a lot of expansions. I only got some expansions for Descent because people showed interest in playing them. The only game I got on impulse was Star Trek Frontiers because I love it solo.

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  25. You nailed it. You said exactly what i think about board games.
    Nothing better then living the experience of this 5 tips to understand the problem and pass the message.

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  26. FYI…you can easily play Captain Sonar with 6. You combine two roles to make an actual harder role to play. I suck at it but my only plays have been with people that are really good at it and even getting killed : it's a wonderful game experience.

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  27. One additional rule I made up: Check with my group. One of my biggest mis-buys was Mythic Battles: Pantheon. Dont get me wrong, I love this game, our group plays it at least twice a week. But the problem is from our 7-8 people from our group (we usually get 4-5 up for a game), 4 bought the game, all in. And we play almost everytime with the same version (the one from the guy who can actually really good paint the miniatures 😉 – which means 3 are collecting dust in the shelves. Since then we synchronize, so not everybody in our group backs the same game (which happened very often, as we all have a similar taste). This alone drastically reduced the number of games I/we backed (of course sometimes there are games so good, and we still have other/different gaming groups that there is the desire/need that more than one back a game, which is still ok, but is now more the exception than the rule).

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