My collection of games is pretty small. I have some standard board games, only one tabletop miniatures game, Munchkin with some expansions and then my top shelf is my RPGs (which was recently filled!). I’ve poured a ton of money into putting this collection together, and although I love my games, it probably wasn’t the best idea. Before I’m greeted by gasps of horror and cries of, “Heretic,” just give me a second to explain: I don’t regret my purchases, in fact, I am absolutely grateful that I have been able to create the collection I have. What I do regret, however, is how little time I have to play all them. There’s at least three books on that top shelf that have been merely skimmed, but not played. Through these mistakes, I’ve come up with some solutions to managing the use and obtainment of your gaming collection that you actually want to play.
A gaming collection usually spins out of control after you find one or two games you like. Sometimes you play these at a convention, other times it’s just a fun game night at a buddy’s house. After that first time of playing Dungeons and Dragons or Settlers of Catan, you could be thinking to yourself that you’d like to purchase it. Hell, you may even want to host a game night with the first game you play. That’s great, your enthusiasm is what keeps gaming alive. On the flip side, you have to start by saying to yourself, “Do I have a group that would come play with me regularly?” D&D can be expensive when you factor in miniatures, accessories, module books, etc. You don’t want to drop heaps of cash on that stuff unless you have a regular group. Catan is arguably cheaper than the previous example, but even that has expansions. For me, my regular game is 13th Age and its expansions, yet I own a bunch of other books that my regular game group hasn’t had a chance to play yet.
If the answer to your self proposed question is, “Yes, I have some people,” you should still start small. Game groups are notorious for being dodgy. Between life struggles, family relations, pets, moods, and anything else under the sun you could imagine, you’re going to miss some games. Playing your game to the point where you actually feel like you need to branch out with it is a good rule of thumb that no one follows. I have some ships in my FFG X-Wing Miniatures Game collection that have only seen one use, and those little bastards get expensive!
Enjoying what you have is incredibly hard, especially if you have the money to spread around. For the people that get bored of games like they change their underwear (hopefully), there’s an alternative solution to playing the same game for a hundred hours. Let’s make an imaginary scenario here. You went to Gen Con, you tried a bunch of games that you became enamored by. Who knows you better than you, right? As you think about it you come to a conclusion that just buying one won’t last very long. This could squash your interest in starting to collect! So what do you do?
Out of the 10 or 15 games you may have played at the convention, narrow it down to maybe three or four. Purchase them as you can, and start a rotation with your group. Three sessions of this, three sessions of that, and so on. This way, you’re satiating your need to be doing something different without breaking the bank buying a new game every week. As soon as my 13th Age campaign ends, I’ll be following this format. I love playing different role playing games, way more than I do standard board or adventure games. The problem is that RPGs take a long time to get accustomed to. I already have enough RPGs to keep my occupied for probably a year, at the length I enjoy experiencing games. With that thought in mind, there’s another thing to consider.
Your group’s play style. If your group absolutely loves one game and doesn’t want to branch out as much as you do, you can see the conflict here. Learning the people you play with is important to every single aspect of gaming, even the collecting. Maybe your group didn’t care for that one time you played D&D, but absolutely loved Catan. That could very well tell you that your group doesn’t care for RPGs. Now, this doesn’t mean you should never suggest them, but always do that before buying one. From there, you give it a shot, and move on if the group didn’t care for it. Luckily, we live in the age of technology and can get rid of a book or game that we don’t want fairly easily.
There are a bunch of groups on social media to privately sell gaming stuff. Hell, even eBay is still afloat. There are always options, though you’ll likely take a small monetary hit for it. Stop rolling your eyes so hard, I can hear it from here. There’s a solution to having a group that doesn’t play what you want to also.
Have multiple groups. If you have the time to do it and no other demanding hobbies/responsibilities, why wouldn’t you? Your home group only likes board games, so what? Maybe that’s your Saturday game but you also have Tuesdays available. Go find some people to role play with on Tuesdays. That could be joining a group or starting another one that you host yourself. It makes no difference in that department, as long as you’re gaming! Once you get a collection together that you use regularly, then you’ll start to dive into the vintage stuff that you probably won’t ever play. Boy, let me tell you; that is a completely different story…
But for now,
Stay Metal \m/