How I resist the “Cult of the New”…most of the time

 Author ianoble    Category Board Games, Quick Bits     Tags ,

With so many really intriguing new games coming out these days, along with my Twitter followers always trying and recommending new games, I’ve had to come up with some guidelines in order for me to resist becoming the newest member of the “Cult of the New”.

Photo by Emiliano Liverani

First and foremost, it must be something that I can play with my fiancée. This means the type of game has to be one that we’ll both want to play, along with having a 2 player experience that holds up just as well as playing with 3, 4 or 5. Sure, Through the Ages, Dominant Species and Memoir ’44 might be great games, but they will all just sit on my shelf and never see the light of day, except for that rare time they might get played at game night or a convention.

Another thing I try and pay attention to is not buying a game that one of my gaming buddies already has in their collection. As far as I know, all of them wouldn’t be opposed to me temporarily borrowing or trading for a game if I wanted to try it out. Obviously if I’m confident that we will want to play it multiple times or it’s just a game that I really want in my collection, I will make an exception. But for the most part most games will only need to be played once or twice before determining if it passes all these conditions. Usually that can be accomplished at a game night by the person owning the game bringing it to the table.

Photo By Todd Rowland

Lastly, say a game plays great with 2 players and none of my game groupers own a copy, there is still one more thing that will keep me from pulling the trigger: similarity to something that I already have in my collection. A great example of this is Thunderstone. Sure it works just fine as a 2 player game and none of my buddies have picked up a copy, but we really enjoy Dominion and I just don’t see the need to add another deck building type of game, especially one so similar in its approach. Stock piling games that give me an experience that is not all that different from something else, just doesn’t make sense to me. Of course if a game manages to make that experience better, then I might just keep the newer one and try to find a new home for the older one. Not really any point keeping the older game around if I have a better alternative available, in my opinion.

Of course this limits the games that make their way into my shopping cart, but I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. Recently I have found myself wanting to really delve into some of the games I already have rather than getting the next big thing. 7 Wonders, Mansions of Madness and Nightfall all look like really cool games and I would love to try them, but I would almost feel guilty for picking up any of those when I have more than a handful already on my shelf with less than 2 plays.

So how do you resist the “Cult of the New”? What about that top game on your wishlist, what keeps you from placing an order for it right now? Heck, maybe you don’t resist, but hopefully you have given the games in your collection a fair shot before moving to the latest and greatest.

4 Comments to “How I resist the “Cult of the New”…most of the time”

  • jonathan Liu April 3, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Very admirable! My dilemma: my wife actually plays very few games with me, so by that criteria I would have very few. But around here, I’m pretty much THE games library—most of the games in my 200+ collection are the only ones in town. I actually avoid 2-player-only games because most of the time if I get to play, it’s because I have a game night and (hopefully) I’ll have more than 2 people.

    I do try to avoid similar mechanics/experiences as well, though I’ve really gotten into the deck-building genre and I have to say that I feel Thunderstone is quite a different experience than Dominion. I like both, but they work for different groups of players and have vastly different feels to them. Nightfall is even more different, but I’m leaning toward Thunderstone still.

  • ianoble April 3, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Thanks for chiming in Jonathan!

    Yes, I am very lucky that, in the right mood, Lisa will play just about anything with me. I was even able to teach her Earth Reborn! I’m also lucky that the other gamers in my group have very nice collections, so just about any older game that I haven’t played yet, they’ll be able to bring it over.

    Thunderstone was fun for a few plays, but after a while it got very stale for me and my gaming partner. It was the first deckbuilding game I played, so I was put off with that type of game for a little while. Then I picked up Dominion and it just plays so much crisper and Lisa really loves it, so I can’t argue with that. :) I’m looking forward to trying Nightfall, although it’s not one very high on my purchase list.

  • Trent April 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    While my wish list is very long, I’ve found what holds me back from picking up all the new games that look really cool is the lack of time we have to play the games we already have. I love playing games with my kids, those days are fewer and farther between as they’ve gotten involved with some many other activities as they’ve grown (which I’m right there with them for support). So we’ll pull out a game for some down time, and in those moments they want to play games they’re already familiar with rather than learning yet another new games.

    It’s tough to hold off because the desire is so strong. But when I face the reality of life moving by each day, if I can just hold off on pressing the Buy button for a bit, it will pass.

  • Wolfie April 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I’m just working on building up my collection. That being said I’m kind of a collector and I have no problem stocking up my shelves with all sorts of games.

    I don’t mind having games that are enjoyable but still played rarely. It allows me to focus on my favorite games, but also have some other things to play when I feel like switching it up.

    I also generally avoid buying games that my friends already have, though there are a couple that I want to add to my collection for use in playing with Family, etc. so I guess I’m more likely to buy a more family-friendly game like Carcassonne to add to my collection than, say, Arkham Horror, both of which are owned by friends.

    Ultimately, it comes down to how much money I have available to spend on board games, and what I want to try out next.

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