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What was I thinking?
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Have you ever had this happen before?

You pull your new game out of the shipping box, hold it before you and soak up the wonder of it, flashes of great game moments yet to happen playing before your eyes. You carefully remove the shrinkwrap, relishing the kinda-sticky-but-not-really cling, and somewhere between that instant and the moment you start punching out cardboard bits, it hits you.

What was I thinking? you ask yourself. I'll never get this game to the table.

I had this moment hit me for the first time recently, and was so overcome by it that I had to sit down. I thought I would relay the experience and offer up the chance for anyone else to share their moment of crushing realization, so that we can come together and console each other.

Or maybe just laugh at each other for making that purchase, whatever it was.
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1. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:111]
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My moment occurred as I pulled out 1830. Perhaps I'm crazy (or should I dispense with the "perhaps"?) but I'm fascinated by the 18XX genre. The concept that you can have an entire game with absolutely no randomness whatsoever, simply pitting your wits and sense of timing against your opponents in a chess-like (but without the abstracted bloodshed) battle royale, draws my imagination like a moth to flame.

So when I finally convinced myself to take the plunge and order this from CoolStuffInc, I waited impatiently for the box to arrive. Finally, the moment of much-delayed truth arrived (I'm too cheap to pay for faster shipping!) and the box finally sat on my kitchen table. I opened it slowly, pulling out Smallworld, one of the Smallworld expansions and Leonardo da Vinci (hey, it was cheap!) before my fingers lighted on the box of 1830.

Now I knew all about the misprints. I'd read extensively about how useless the starter game was. I'd prowled about the 1830 forums (fora?) for months and new exactly what I was getting. So I was shocked, absolutely shocked, when I pulled off the shrinkwrap to lay my eyes on this beauty when that moment occurred.

What was I thinking?

My current gaming group consists of a wife that really WANTS to enjoy gaming but doesn't quite and my 11 year old son who really does enjoy gaming but, well, he's 11. They're not likely to sit down with me to play through this. I don't have the spare time to find a group, especially considering that 18XX'ers don't exactly grow on trees.

Looking briefly over the components, it occurred to me that I already have all of the files I'd need to PnP a nicer copy, time permitting, of course. Could I really see myself using thin chipboard for par tokens instead of some nice wooden tokens like I have in my PnP box?

The strength of this realization struck me with such intensity that I flung the box away from myself with a strangled cry of "What hath I wrought?" Or, maybe I just put it all back in the box, shrugged and put it on the shelf. But it felt more like the first.

So here I sit. An unwrapped but unused copy of 1830, sitting on my game shelf, collecting dust (need to remember to clean more often, there) instead of being properly enjoyed like it should be. I know I'll keep it. And when we get ready to move again, the wife will ask if I want to get rid of it and I'll say no. And every so often, I'll stand there in the closet, looking over the games to decide what to play next and I'll see this, sitting right next to Twilight Imperium 3 and I'll sigh a sad little sigh.

And then grab TI3, because the kid loves it, even with 2 players and sometimes we can actually get the wife to play it, too.
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2. Board Game: Storm of Steel [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:7066]
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
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I have always been a WWII and ACW gamer. But then I found Paths of Glory and really enjoyed the heck out of that game. Started reading books on WWI. Reread the Guns of August. Was on a real WWI kick. So I (foolishly) convinced myself that I could get Storm of Steel and somehow find some folks to play it with me. The error of my ways dawned on me as I was unwrapping the game.....

That's okay though, the game is stored snugly between Advanced European Theater of Operations and War Between the States, none of which are in any immediate danger of being played.
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3. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
Todd Walden
United States
Minneapolis
MN
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I mean, really. I LOVE Arkham Horror. Love it. But I never get to play it because we never have enough time. I've owned it for years and only played it a handful of times. So why in the world would I think that one of the bigger expansions would EVER make it to the table? It breaks my heart every time I look at it.

It's just not going to happen. That makes JesterPoet a sad panda.
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4. Board Game: Xiangqi [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:674]
United States
Minden
Nevada
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I've had that "what was I thinking" feeling so many times now that I no longer even notice when it occurs.

One of many examples: I have a decent Xiangqi set with Westernized pieces. It's not an everyday occurrence (sadly), but I do on occasion manage to convince someone to play. The Western pieces serve their purpose, and the game gets played enough to justify it's existence in my collection.

But something about playing a game with inauthentic pieces bothers me. It evokes a feeling akin playing a bootleg version of a videogame, where Mario is replaced by a Korean snack-food mascot and Bowser is a tomcat with a prominent erection. The important parts of the game are completely in tact, but the experience somehow feels cheapened.

So I bought a second set, with an authentically shitty thin plastic "board" and nice chunky pieces with - crucially - the traditional Chinese characters inscribed on them.

Predictably, the "authentic" set hasn't been played once.



Oh, and with everything I said above, you can also replace "Xiangqi" with "Shogi." Yeah...shake

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5. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:86]
Chris Dugas
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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My husband isn't really into games. He definitely isn't into heavier games. I know he isn't into heavier games. So why, after playing Dungeon Petz once, did I get a copy? Before I ordered it, I even thought of how to teach it in stages to make it less intimidating. I sat him down for his first "lesson," how to use the cards to look after the petz, and, after 10 minutes, he had that "When does this get fun?" look on his face and basically informed me that "Yeah, won't be playing this one." Sure I can very occasionally play it with the friends who taught it to me, although they have so many games, this would only hit the table once in a very long while. And I did send my daughter a "Please play this with me" email, but again, this will seldom happen.

So I bought the most expensive game in my collection why? whistle
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6. Board Game: Batavia [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1620]
Georg von Lemberg
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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For me I think it's got to be Batavia. Seems way too complex for the folks I play light games with, too not-Risk/Axis&Allies/etc. for the people I play Risk/Axis&Allies/etc. with, and looks like it would take too long to explain and then play for me to bring to my game group where we do play more difficult games at times, but usually at least several people are familiar with them already so we can get a quicker start.
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7. Board Game: Graenaland [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1550]
Italian Seismologist
United Kingdom
norwich
Norfolk
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i really like this game, possibly because it was the first game i played at the gaming night i used to attend (long break after having a baby). i like the mechanics used in it and was after a copy for ages. finally got a copy, but it is sooo never going to get played...
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8. Board Game: Vinhos [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:189]
Andy Andersen
United States
Ada
Michigan
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A little different spin here. I haven't bought this, but I know I'm going to and will likely never get it to the table. It looks too "heavy for my wife and I, but we both love the art and the theme.

As soon as it gets to the US it will appear on my doorstep.
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9. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:76]
J.K. Bentley
United States
California
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I'm never going to find five other people plus the time to play this. I'm not even going to bother taking the shrinkwrap off so when my heirs sell this game it will be worth more to them.
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10. Board Game: Mansions of Madness [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:147]
David Ainsworth
United Kingdom
Manchester
Lancashire
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I haven't been into board gaming for very long, and so the only two people I am able to play with are myself and my partner. Now, where this becomes a problem is when you consider that my partner simply will not play competitive games - I don't know if she had some bad times in her past or whatever - and so every single board game I own is either co-op or able to be played solo (so if she doesn't like it I can at least get some table time with it).

So what the hell did I go and buy this for? We got two plays out of it. I even bought every Print on Demand pack released so far and WILL be buying Forbidden Alchemy as soon as it comes into my FLGS. Maybe I'll find a gaming group one day.
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11. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:24]
Paul Boos
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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I have a feeling this will end up in this category. Not because of the game play, but because of the game length. I will try working on that though...
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12. Board Game: Virgin Queen [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:297]
Jason Maxwell
United States
Arvada
Colorado
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I don't even have a game group, much less one with 5 other people that would play this (or the Here I Stand I just got as well). So why do I have this on preorder?
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