Quinns: Ladies and gentlemen, roll up! It’s time for a new series where we take a look a team SU&SD’s board game collections. Come and see! Be amazed. Be aghast. Be envious. Comment with thought-provoking assertions like “why do you have that game it is bad”.
You guys will have seen my collection in the background of loads of SU&SD videos, but I don’t think you’ve seen the work that goes into it. Come with me today as I perform… a CULL.
But before that, let me show you my collection as it stands. It’s both completely ridiculous and not as ridiculous as you might think.
Click to enlarge!
Like the world’s dustiest night club, my collection uses a one-in, one-out policy, because if I fall in love with a game it has to dislodge someone else. In other words this is an unusually proactive night club where instead of waiting for people to leave you get in there and drag someone out by the seat of their pants.
I could get a third set of shelves and make room for more games, but what would the point be? 100 games is already too many. If I played a different one each week for two years I’d have only played each game once. Once! In two years! That’s no way to live. I’m envious of people who get to luxuriate in a single game, as I expressed in our Concordia review. I bet I could cut these two sets of shelves down to one and be just as happy.
I’ll just point out some games that you can’t see very well. On the floor next the shelves on the right you can just make out Bang: The Bullet, Flick ’em Up, Virgin Queen (the Let’s Play of which is STILL coming), a set of poker chips and some extra Star Wars Armada ships (my X-Wing ships are kept elsewhere). In the pile of bags at the bottom left of the same shelves is Mafia de Cuba, Jungle Speed, Hive and Love Letter. Completely concealed behind the lanyards is Witness, and below that is Funemployed. You can also just make out Black Stories between One Night Werewolf and Cutthroat Caverns! After making fun of it last year it ended up growing on me. It’s an excellently silly thing to take to a pub.
Basically, as I get sent games they go into a stack next to my PC, and after we play them they either go into this collection or down the “loser chute” and they end up stacked in the hallway.
This is the current pile of games in my hallway. It’s the bus stop of broken dreams. Here games will wait for weeks or months to be shuttled away. Lots of them are still very good games! But we’re spoiled these days. It’s not about whether you’re good, it’s whether you’re exceptional.
(Sushi Go! is only here because I’m now the happy owner of Sushi Go Party.)
As you might remember from our Caverna review, you get to my attic via a dark and treacherous little hole in the ceiling. My stepladder doesn’t even reach it so you have to hoist yourself up and through the hole like a residential Lara Croft. Does that sound difficult? Now imagine doing it with some board games balanced on your upturned palm like a waiter.
One time I managed to knock the ladder over as I was climbing through, and the ladder knocked over the things at the base of the ladder, leaving me looking down at a 10 foot drop onto some of my housemates’ stuff. That was a bad day! Especially because I was up there to get my suitcase and catch a flight. Haha. Ah.
WELCOME TO THE ATTIC! That might look like a lot of board games but if you want to be technically accurate you’d have to define it as “spider storage where there are also some board games”. Notice how you can’t see any walls? The attic runs the length and breadth of our entire flat. It’s enormous. 60 feet by 50 feet, maybe?
Every so often someone gets in touch to ask if they can have some board games for a charitable cause and we go up into the attic together, which keeps the number of games in my attic relatively static. About 200 of them, I think. Which goes to show that for every game we cover on SU&SD there are one or two that we play but don’t think are good enough to bring to your attention.
Giving these games away is a weird process because I have to give these nice people games that are good, but not ones that are so good that I secretly want to keep them for myself, like a polite English Sméagol. As such over the years my attic collection is slowly transforming into a pile of games that are all either (a) gems or (b) poop.
Oh, and games where I have no idea where they came from.
A copy of Ambush, the solo game from the 1980s? What… when did we… oh right! Paul did a retrospective on this and then gave it to me when he moved to Vancouver.
Literally no idea where this came from. My best guess is that the games up here have started breeding.
There’s also the question of why, if I got sent it, that I chose not to bin it? Past Quinns is a mysterious guy.
Oh my god! Lancaster! A game that I learned for a game night and then we didn’t end up playing it not once, not twice, but three times.
I’ve heard it’s good though. Should we review it? Has it aged ok? A quick google shows that it’s still in stock.
Edit: OK! A few of you have spoken up to say that this is a superb game. I’ve rescued it and will get it played.
Oh man! Alien Frontiers. The saddest board game in my attic.
Paul and I played this game back in 2012, we loved it, we scripted an entire review and then never filmed it because stock ran out. Nobody could buy Alien Frontiers for years. It remains the furthest we’ve gotten through the review process before aborting.
Let’s see if I’ve still got the script… ooh, I do! Have a read if you like. The jokes hold up. Although since it’s from 2012 you need to imagine me speaking way too fast.
Anyway, the reason we’re in the attic today isn’t just to transport the hallway games up here. Every so often I change my mind about the games in my collection and swap a few games around. We’re here to rescue some games, too!
The stack on the left is what I brought down today.
With the news that Alchemists is getting an expansion, I’ve rescued it so we can give it a true review together with that expansion. Ticket to Ride: Netherlands we’re going to use in our upcoming review of Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails. Timeline is coming back down because I love Timeline and I have no idea why it got put in the attic in the first place. Happy Pigs I just played recently but haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, so it’s clearly better than I thought. It can come back down too.
Black Gold is a funny one. You can read our review of it here, the header image of which is still one of my favourite photos we’ve ever taken. This game was part of my collection from 2011-2015, but I realised I never played it so chucked it in the attic. But you know what? I like simply having it around. It’s a box that I have really happy memories with, so whenever I look at it I get a warm, fuzzy feeling. Of course it can stay in my collection. It brightens up the room.
BUT! Our one-in, one-out policy can’t be broken, so I have to remove an equal amount of games. That’s the stack on the right. We really liked Steam Park (remember that review?) but I just never play it. 1775 can leave because I already have 1812 and they’re 99% the same game. Games of Thrones: The Card Game can leave because if I’m gonna play a collectible card game, it’s going to be Netrunner. Dixit can go because Mysterium is so much better. Even though I don’t own Mysterium. Um. And Timeline dislodges Dobble for a quick bit of tin-based fun.
Phew! Do leave a comment with your thoughts. Or better yet, answer the following question:
What’s the crown jewel in your collection? Whether that’s because you love it to pieces, it’s rare, or it’s particularly old? I’d love to hear about it, as one collector to another.