Saturday, December 16, 2006

Of falling trees and unplayed games

Now most of us have heard that old “if a tree falls in a forest but there is nobody there to see it fall, did it really fall” question. Now, in terms of games on your shelf, do you classify the game as one of your “unplayed games” if you have actually played somebody else’s copy but not your own? Or should I just be playing a game instead of proposing a stupid question?

I was looking through the shelves and we have quite a few that fall into this potentially nebulous category. In the order that I noticed them on the shelf, they are:

Age of Steam - I have played this, or one of the expansions a few times now, but never my set.

Santiago - We played it and liked it, yet our copy is still sitting in shrink. Why?

Princes of Florence - In Melissa’s top one or two games, yet our copy is unpunched.

A Game of Thrones - Now I like this game, and now that Melissa has finished the books perhaps she will too. Quite long though and I am not sure about how our home game group would take to it. If I want to play it at Dockers there are other people with copies, which would be the ones I have actually played.

HeroQuest - Played somebody else’s copy lots many years ago, I picked it up cheap and it has been sitting on the shelves ever since. I think I assembled the furniture but that is all. Perhaps I should introduce Daughter the Elder to this?

Civilization - Well this one is understandable. I only picked it up via eBay a year or so ago. When Daughter the Younger is a bit older we might be able to arrange a proper game of this. The important thing is I have it.

Wallenstein - Again no real excuses, the game is not difficult, Melissa could handle any translation issues and most of our home group would probably like it.

Risk - I picked up a copy for a few dollars at a games convention some years back. Melissa has so far refused to play it with me. Daughter the Elder prides herself on her dice rolling skills in Pirate’s Cove perhaps I should try this with her?

History of the World - Played somebody’s copy some years ago and liked it. Saw it (the Avalon Hill edition) cheap at a games convention and bought it. Still unpunched.

Vinci - If I remember correctly Melissa has expressed an interest in this, I’ve played it a few times and it was dirt cheap at a MilSims sale.

Techno Witches - Actually I am pretty sure Melissa has played our copy, but I haven’t.

Saboteur - I’ve played it or watched it a few times, but our copy is still in shrink.

Atlanteon - I have played this at work, but our copy has never seen the light of day. Given that Daughter the Elder seems to have a knack for abstracts she might enjoy this.

Bang! and Bang! - Dodge City - Much like Saboteur and some other card games, one or both of us had played them, like them and couldn’t resist picking them up at a 20% off sale at Mind Games.

Die Macher - Our teacher brought around his own copy and it just hasn’t come out at home. One day it will, promise.

Seafarers of Catan - Have I told you the story of how Melissa’s brother used to work at a games store and we made a reasonably large purchase through him just before he left? This was one of the games bought that day. Actually it is probably one of at least three games on this list.

Shadows Over Camelot - That 20% off day. Melissa really wanted a copy. We got it.

Maharaja: Palace Building in India - Dirt cheap at a MilSims sale. I have played MrSkeletor’s copy a few times at Gamers@Dockers, but ours in unpunched.

Mü und Mehr - I have played this a lot at work, particularly The Last Panther, but our copy at home is still in shrink.

6 Billion - Again played, but not a home. Perhaps we should invite the designer over to christen our copy?

The Garden Gnomes Society - We played a friends copy up in Albury and almost got ours out but then realised that we didn’t have English rules or player aids and only one German speaker on hand, so played something else that night.

Block games
Following up on my previous blog entry the Columbia Games order arrived, and I have put the stickers on the blocks for Hammer of the Scots and Rommel in the Desertm but so far Melissa has expressed no interest at all. In fact the only family member to express any interest was Daughter the Younger, but that was because she wanted to play with the blocks :-)

Gone Gaming Awards
Don’t forget that the nominations for the The Gone Gaming 2006 Board Game Internet Awards are now open. Click on the link for more details.

Have a great Christmas or whatever you do or celebrate around this time of the year. We will be kicking back and enjoying the sun.

Mmmm meeples taste like...


Melissa said...


Biggie has actually played Risk at school.

And I believe the words, "oo, Hammer of the Scots, I'd quite like to try that" were uttered - maybe when you ordered, rather than when the order arrived.

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Apparently, meeples taste like ginger bread.


jwandke said...

My opinion is hidden within the following barrage of questions for you to help you answer this question for which each person must find their own answer.

What is important, you or your games? Do you want to keep track of the things that you have done, or the things that have happened to your collection of cardboard?

If you got a used game, you would not count it as a "game played." If I play one of your games at your house, but you're not playing, you wouldn't count it as a "game played"

Why wouldn't you want to count playing my copy of a game you own as a time you played it?

If you set a pole vaulting record with a borrowed pole, you'd still count it.


I guess it depends on what you are counting.

Why are you keeping track in the first place? To record your accomplishments? To show how many times you have played a game? To validate your purchase? To show the relationship between you and this particular physical game?

If your Amun Re caught on fire, and you bought a new one, would you have to start your count over at zero, because you're counting plays of THIS game?

I need to go cool off.

ricmadeira said...

Just go play a game and don't worry; if your Boardgamegeek list of plays/collection says that you played a game, then you have played it, LOL. :)

PS - I can't recommend Hammer of the Scots enough!! Go stick those stickers, setup the game and then just wait for an opponent to magically appear on the opposite chair... it usually works, eheh. It's a beautiful game, and you can teach it in 10 minutes, although it will take many plays and plenty of grave tactical/strategical errors before one begins to master the complexities of all the different strategies and possibilities.