Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Rest The Wallet

Last year, 2017, I decided to stop buying board games for the majority of the year. Or, maybe, to try to stop. I love board games. It's hard for me to not add games I enjoy playing to my own collection, but, in an effort to see if I could, I set this personal goal.

Because I bought it through an online store, I can tell you that the last board game I bought before taking this decision was bought on March 7th, 2017. It was Inis, a game that would go on to have a huge impact on me, but that's a story for another post.

My personnal purchasing prohibition extended to Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sources as well. This was important because I had developed a problem of backing too many games this way, especially if they offered exclusives. Luckily, I had hit winners almost every time, getting really fun games htat I enjoyed getting to the table.

Setting out, I gave myself one exemption. I had tickets to the first ever convention by board game website Shut Up & Sit Down, SHUX, being held in October. I would be allowed by one game at the convention. I would also be receiving new games through Kickstarters that I had backed prior to March, so my shelves would still see fresh additions throughout the year.

Over the following nine or so months, I played the games I owned a lot more than I have in recent years. I often buy games that I'm really excited about, play them once or twice and than buy the next game I'm really excited about. Rinse and repeat. This year, I racked up a lot more plays on a lot less games, especially my new favourite, Inis. I also cracked open some old classics that I love buy hadn't played in years.

By the time I got to SHUX in October, I actually didn't feel like breaking my self imposed sabbatical, but I did end up buying the expansion to one of my favourite games, Sheriff of Nottingham. I know this gets onto the table regularly, so I didn't feel bad about it being my cheat.

But then Christmas rolled around, and an obvious in hindsight, unforeseen wrinkle. Boxing week sale. Several of the nearby board game stores have massive sales in the week after Christmas, ending on New Years Eve. One puts a blanket 25% off everything in store. It would be hard to resist not availing of that offer.

Or it would have been any other year.

Looking around the store, I just didn't feel like buying anything. Nothing exciting jumped out at me. Those hot games that appeared throughout the previous year had now cooled and lost their shine.

I walked away, my goal securely intact for the last week of 2017.

This was a fantastic, refreshing action for me to take. It opened my eyes to how easily I was spending money on board games. As of this post, I haven't backed a Kickstarter in 2018 yet, nor do I have any desire to. What few games that have shown up and peaked my interest I've chosen to let come into retail so I can see how things shake out over time.

There are a few games that I've added to my collection since January 1st, but all of them have already proven to be worth my time, either because I played them a bunch at Meetups, or because continuous reviews suggest they're my kind of game. Reviews of them will be coming.

This was an amazing experience, and one I'd recommend to anyone. It'll hopefully have a lasting effect. I'd like to say I'll be more reserved with my future purchasing, but only time will tell for that.


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