A year or so into the hobby. Ten lessons I have learned.
Seth Wright
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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I guess I'm writing this because I'm feeling introspective about the games I have in my collection since I'm getting ready to pack them up for a move.

I have tried to keep a level head about how I go about this hobby but despite that, I feel as though I could have done things better. Not that I regret anything I've learned along the way, but I do feel like I have gained some small insights that would have been useful to know a year or so ago.

In this list, I'll share some of my insights that you may or may not be able to relate to. But either way, hopefully it will be a fun read at the very least!
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1. Board Game: The Pursuit of Happiness [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:650]
Board Game: The Pursuit of Happiness
Seth Wright
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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Lesson #1: Games are about having fun

It's fitting that I go into this lesson first. To me, board games are all about the fun and happiness it brings you as you have face to face interactions with people around the table.

There was a time early into the hobby where I wanted to dive face first into the deep end. I wanted to challenge myself with some heavy games to learn.

This was my ego getting the better of me. I quickly realized that most of my mental energy is spent during the work day and around other mentally taxing life things. The last thing I want to do is add yet another burden to my brain.

Beyond that, I realized it wasn't just my happiness that I should be concerned with but also the people I'm playing with. They may not want to invest the mental energy or time to a heavy game either.

Maybe when things settle down I'll ramp up into some heavier games but for right now I've found my niche and I'm happy.
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2. Board Game: Istanbul: The Dice Game [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:843]
Board Game: Istanbul: The Dice Game
Seth Wright
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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Lesson #2: Sometimes the dice game version is better

I realized that very rarely are there occasions where I want to spend more than an hour and a half at the table for a single board game.

My ideal game night is where I can knock out a few 30-45 minute games. I have found that the dice versions of bigger games streamline things considerably and often provide the feel of the bigger game without the time commitment or set-up time.

More and more lately I find myself appreciating these cleverly designed spin-off games that don't take a considerable amount of time to play.
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3. Board Game: Onirim (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:571]
Board Game: Onirim (Second Edition)
Seth Wright
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Jacksonville
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Lesson #3: Sometimes the app is better

I took a trip recently and one of the smartest things I did before the trip was to download Onirim on my phone. This was not only my first modern solo card game but also the first modern game that I've downloaded to a device.

From what I have gathered from other players that have played the Onirim app this is the ideal way to play. And I can see why! There is so much shuffling in this game that it really is nice to have the app do it for you.

I have also heard good things about Through the Ages as an app so I'll be checking that out some time soon too.
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4. Board Game: Evolution [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:454]
Board Game: Evolution
Seth Wright
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Jacksonville
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Lesson #4: Digital versions of games are a great way to learn how to play

I could have placed any digital game here but this is the most recent one I've learned how to play. I was very much impressed with the multi-part tutorial that walked you through the various game mechanics. Really fun game too!

I have found that one of my favorite ways to "try before you buy" is to get the app to see if it clicks with you or not. It's a much cheaper option and it doesn't take up the room in your house.
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5. Board Game: Wingspan [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:20]
Board Game: Wingspan
Seth Wright
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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Lesson #5: It's okay to not own every highly regarded game

For a long time Wingspan sat very high on my wishlist. For most of this year it has been impossible to purchase. Recently however, I have seen it sitting on shelves at various game and book stores and I have come to the point where I realize there is no huge rush to own it.

I'm sure it's a great game and I look forward to playing it one day but I'm happy with the games I have for now and I'll get to Wingspan one day.

And guess what? This one is getting an app too. So I'll be able to try this one out before I decide to purchase it physically as well.
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6. Board Game: River Dragons [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1844]
Board Game: River Dragons
Seth Wright
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Jacksonville
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Lesson #6: Old games are cool too

According to BGG River Dragons came out in the year 2000. This was my junior year of high school and the only games I played at that point in my life were things like the occasional game of scrabble, risk or sorry! with my family. When I felt fancy I would challenge my brother to a game of chess.

Being new to modern board gaming is kind of overwhelming in that there is this constant stream of great new things coming out but I find that I'm enjoying old games that I was never aware about just as fun.
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7. Board Game: DOS [Average Rating:5.08 Overall Rank:19964]
Board Game: DOS
Seth Wright
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Jacksonville
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Lesson #7: Know who you will mostly play games with

These days I mostly play with my fiancee' so I'm thankful there are no shortage of 2 player only games. I also have a soft spot for games that scale well from 2 for the occasions we do have opportunities to play with more.
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8. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:979]
Board Game: Machi Koro
Seth Wright
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Jacksonville
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Lesson #8: It's okay to let go of games that no longer do it for you

A friend showed me Machi Koro and I was immediately in love with it. Everyone getting something on everyone's turn was a revelation. It made waiting for turns a non-issue. Eventually though, the game fell very flat.

So when I heard Space Base being called a "Machi Koro" killer I was immediately interested. Turns out Space Base IS a Machi Koro killer and I can't see this game leaving my shelf.

Suffice it to say, Machi Koro has been "retired" and that's okay.
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9. Board Game: Limit [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:10833]
Board Game: Limit
Seth Wright
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Jacksonville
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Lesson #9 Set a limit for the games you own

This is a just for me thing but I'm sure everyone has their own system or not. And that's totally fine.

For me, I own a 4 tier industrial rolling shelf unit and a 2x2 Kallax. My "hotness" goes in the Kallax and the library stays on the shelf unit. Whatever fits in those is what is the amount of games I will keep. It's not a hard number but it is some kind of nebulous limit I have set for myself. I have a bit of room left still but soon I'll reach the "if one goes in, one goes out" rule.
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10. Board Game: Shakespeare [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:506]
Board Game: Shakespeare
Seth Wright
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Jacksonville
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Lesson #10: "To thine own self be true"

As with anything in life it's important to know what you like and what you dislike. The more games I play the more I'm getting to know myself and the types of board games I like to play.

This will be a continual process of refinement and I'm curious to see what kinds of games I'll be playing in the next 10 years.

And who knows? I may make this list a yearly thing.
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