My history of gaming
I have been playing video games since Coleco Vision and then played Atari shortly afterwards. After seeing a Nintendo Entertainment System at a local neighbor's when it was released, I knew I had to have it. Heck, I owned Metroid before I even owned the system. In 1990, I learned my love of RPG's from playing the first Final Fantasy which turned into my first big obsession.
In my youth I played the typical board games such as Monopoly, Risk, Sorry, etc. and they were all pretty mediocre, so I never spent much time at it. In Junior High and High school I delved into the world of pen and paper RPG's (AD&D 2nd Ed) and CCG's (Magic: The Gathering). I bought more than I played of RPG's books. Come to think of it, I've bought more than I've played of video games too and pretty much quit when I got into non-Milton Bradley board games. I was serious into Magic for a while until I knew it was too financially draining, and thus sold my collection.
When I read George R.R. Martin's fantastic series of novels entitled 'A Song of Ice and Fire'. I was completely and utterly enamored. I pretty much collect all things 'A Game of Thrones' (which is the name of the first novel). This lead me to try the 'A Game of Thrones' board game near the beginning of 2007 which I loved. Then I noticed the WoW (World of Warcraft) board game was made by the same company who did the AGoT one. WoW wasn't nearly as good but it it lead me to check out other games by that Fantasy Flight. I don't know how I ended up here but now I'm a board game-aholic and own more games then I'll get a chance to play... Deja Vu. I jest, slowly but surely I think I may manage to play them all and look forward to weeding out the lesser games.
At the time of writing this, I've been into this hobby now for about 5 years and while I like it, I really enjoy the digital direction board games are going towards and could see myself owning many less physical games than I actually have right now. Why? (1) Cheaper, (2) Takes up so much less space, (3) Rules are enforced, (4) Quicker play time due to the tedious things being done by the computer, (5) Easy to find opponents at any hour of the day, (6) Typically you'll find better opponents online than locally, and (7) Online opponents are less likely to suffer from 'group think' as there's a wider variety of opponents. I, for one, welcome our new digital gaming overlords.
---These are features that appeal to me in board games
:Either brisk or very engaging
-A game that exceeds 2 hours has to be extremely interesting and keep me engaged or it likely won't end up being overly enjoyable to me. Why? Well, if it's not engaging, I would rather the experience to end and move to something that is engaging. I think faster games appeal to me more than long ones due to the fact that you can get fast games played more often and thus gain proficiency more quickly. Why would that be important? I find it to be much more engaging to play a game where everyone has proficiency than experienced players crushing newbies.A high level of variability between plays
-Variety is the spice in life they say. I'm completely in agreement. I don't think anyone wants to do the same thing over and over to the point of boredom. So, if a game can provide a markedly different experience from game to game, it's basically a new experience within a nostalgic framework. I think I like card games or cards in board games as much as I do because they seem to be the easiest way to provide variability from game to game. Not only they way cards come out affect the experience but cards are basically a cheaper way to print many variable experience than using tiles, dice, and other materials. This philosophy also is the reason why I love expansions. A new experience with a nostalgic framework. Wouldn't you know that almost all of the expansions/promos that I have for games adds new cards... I want to be the master of my own destiny
-I don't like when games are setup in such a way that they are so restrictive that I don't feel like I have a choice in what I'm doing. That said, I also don't like when a game feels so random that my choices are completely irrelevant. I think we all like to feel like our opinions matter and when you have an opinion you have made a decision regarding the subject matter. Thus, I feel like games with interesting decision drives an engaging experience. I also think that the more options that are available will make your decisions that much harder and tough decisions are one of the things I like in my games. I understand that there can be a point when there are so many options that information overload dictates that there is no interesting decision. I feel it's this way because people will rely on a gut instinct or a consensus has been already established to make the decision easier if things get too bogged down. Everyone just needs to find there sweet spot on how many options they want when making a decision. This will vary from person to person, which is why different people like different games/products in general. Concise rules are a must
-It's hard to write explicit rules without any chances for misinterpretation. Even if you can achieve such a feat it's hard to do in a such a way that that it's laid out in a clear an organized fashion. So, why is this important? I don't really want to have to vote on the rules interpretations in the middle of a game. It's also annoying to have found out that you have been playing a game wrong and have to explain your mistakes to the group the next time you play the game. I bet people have rolled their eyes at your rules mistakes but those eye rollings clearly belong to the person that wrote the rules. Beyond that, ideally you want a simple rules set so that the rules fade to the background and people can focus on the actual game play. Simple rules also mean when you have a long period of time between plays, you're less likely to have to re-read the rules. This also stems back to my point of games being brisk. How many 'wrong rules' plays of a 3+ hour experience are you willing to endure before you just give up? For me, not many these days.
I'm sure there are other points I could go into, but these pretty much sums up what I like. Some games fall into some of the above categories but it's a lot harder to accomplish all of them. There is a reason why my previously owned games almost quadruple my owned games. It's probably even more than quadrupled when you consider my owned amount of games is significantly small when you remove expansions/promos.These are features that don't appeal to me in board games
:I am a game contrarian!!
---How I rate Board Games
Games I rate an 8 - 10 are games I would be very happy to play if requested. They just vary on how much I love them. If I own the game, I have no desire to trade/sell it. If I don't own the game, I would likely seek to acquire it.
Games I rate a 7 are games that I would mostly be happy to play. If I own them, I want to play it more to see if it will trend up to an 8 or down to a 6. Sometimes games rated a 7 are sold or traded if I own something similar that's rated higher (ie Le Havre leaving after acquiring OeL) or I just haven't been able to get to the table in a long time. If I don't own them, I probably wouldn't bother acquiring without more plays unless it works particularly well for one of my groups or I think an upcoming expansion will improve the experience. Please Note
: I never rate promos higher than a 7 rating.
Games I rate a 6 are games that I would be willing to play, I wouldn't try to convince people to play something else, and may or may not enjoy in the end. At a 6 rating, I would probably rather play a new game or a favorite. If I own it, it's on the brink of being sold or traded. It could leave without further play but it might get another play to see if it's rating would increase. I would not acquire a 6 that wasn't in my collection unless it had an expansion coming out that might resolve some of the issues I had with the base game or it works particularly well for one of my game groups.
Games I rate a 5 are games that I would be willing to play but I would probably suggest something in it's place. Games that I own that are rated a 5 are on their way out of my collection. I would not acquire a 5 that wasn't in my collection unless it had an expansion coming out that might resolve some of the issues I had with the base game or it works particularly well for one of my game groups. I would not seek to acquire a 5.
Games I rate a 4 are games that I likely wouldn't be willing to play. It would take a lot of convincing to get me to play it. If I own them they are going to be leaving my collection unless they fill a specific purpose (ie using Bottle Imp to play No Thanks). I would not seek to acquire a 4.
Games I rate a 3 - 1 are games that I would flat out refuse to play as I would consider it a waste of my time. They just vary on how much I loath them. If I own them they are going to be leaving my collection unless they fill a specific purpose (ie using Bottle Imp to play No Thanks). I would not seek to acquire a 3 - 1.
---How I organize things on BGG:
Owned: Games I own and want to keep in my collection.
For Trade: Games I own but want to sell or trade.
Want in Trade: Released games I want to buy or trade for but don't own.
Want to Play: Games that haven't been released yet that I have varying degrees of interest in which sometimes get promoted to 'Want in Trade' when released.
Wishlist: Right now it's a place for me to put expansions I don't want to include on my owned list for whatever reason and for PnP games/expansions/maps I'm interested in but can't buy. Everything in this list is a 5: Do not buy.
My collection, constantly in flux:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/148138/owned-games-gee...
RIP Mica. 09/11/13