On the Table: No Longer On the Table

Played a few things recently, most notably Theseus, which is always a good time, and Nexus Ops. Some other stuff we haven’t played in a while, such as Evolution, Olympos, and, reaching way back, Taj Mahal also got some table time. But I’m not here to talk about those. I’m here to talk about these:

That’s 51 games that are all going bye-bye. There’s a mixture of stuff I just plain didn’t like, stuff I like well enough, but it’s not my first or second choice to play, and stuff I like, but which never seems to get on the table. Also a few things where there are newer editions I have, so I don’t need the old one.

The list is here, but unless you’re local to me and I don’t have to mail it to you, don’t ask about anything just yet. I’m first going local with it, then I’ll figure out how I want to get the postal service involved.

Two of those games are Abyss and Pandemic: Contagion. We were at Barnes and Noble this weekend and they were having their red dot clearance sale. Usually these things are picked over by the time I get to them, since I don’t go to B&N very often, but this time there were some good deals to be had, and I grabbed these two plus Survive! for good prices. At the time I thought, “This is a good deal for these, but am I making a mistake?” and the answer was 66% “yes”.

Abyss is nothing special. A fairly average game that feels like it was originally designed to be something else and then turned halfheartedly into an underwater thing. Nothing to get excited about there. It’s got a thing going on that’s sort of like an auction except it’s a little bit safer if auctions give you dangerous heart tremors. You get cards, use them to buy nobles, and use those to buy locations or whatever. You can also go fight sea creatures in a thing that seems completely tacked on. It went into this pile after a single play.

I remember thinking Pandemic: Contagion was okay when I played it at GenCon a couple years ago, but the two plays we had of it this weekend were not great. In the first I screwed up a couple rules, so we weren’t playing right. In the second we got the rules right and the game suffered for it. Basically it’s possible to extend yourself to the point where, in the final two rounds, you can’t really do anything. I guess we know that now but at the time we were all, “uhh, this is not too fun.” I checked the FAQ to see if it said anything about this and the advice it gave was “don’t do that”. Into the trade pile.

When I sent this list to a local guy I’ve only recently started playing games with, he asked me what should be a simple question: “How many games do you have?” It took a while for me to answer. See, if you ask BoardGameGeek, it says 298. But it counts things like expansions, including promos that consist of a single card. So that’s nuts. Filter out expansions and you get 227. Even that, though, is a tricky number. Some stand-alone expansions are still included, as well as things like Spades and Cribbage, which are standard deck card games I added because we occasionally play them. But technically I “own” every such game. It also includes things like Trivial Pursuit which, yeah, I own, but it’s not on my game shelf. It’s down in the basement or something and will probably never get touched again. Maybe I should de-list it. Eliminating most of these edge cases reduces the count down to 211. That 211 also includes the 51 games above I’m looking to escort of the premises. So that would get me to 160 afterwards,

160 games is a lot of games. And many of those have survived several such purges. So the reason that things like Abyss or Artifacts, Inc aren’t sticking around is, they have a lot of competition. And the way I’ve been feeling lately, I’d rather dive deeper into that stack of 160 games than try out yet another worker-placement-only-this-time-with-fancy-hats game that, at best, is “good enough”. I’m okay with, from here out, being really picky about what else goes on my shelves.

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