How to build an amazing board game collection for $10!

bananas and fascists and farkles and feelings and mutants and jellies and MORE
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Quinns: Ladies, gentlemen, non-binary folks, and anyone else who's left a comment over the last six years along the lines of "ARRRGH STOP MAKING ME SPEND MONEY." Today, SU&SD amends for its capitalist crimes.

We talk a lot on this site about how we want board games to be "for everyone", but to an awful lot of people the games we recommend are prohibitively expensive. That said, putting together an amazing board game collection can be cheap. Below, we've assembled a list of the very best games that could collectively cost you less than ten bucks, depending on your situation.

This isn't some unsatisfying sampler platter. What lurks below is a moveable feast of some of the greatest games ever made. Were you to gather all of these games, I'd prefer your collection to ones I've seen costing $1000.

If you approve of this feature, please do share it far and wide! It represents a lot of work for both Team SU&SD and our donors, who we bothered about cheap games we might have missed (special thanks to subscribers Amanda and Jeff, who were especially great).

Let's get started.


Feature: A Day in the Life of Matt Thrower’s Game Collection

reeking of solvents, bloated with hope, an early sumo, a vital box
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[Our series on the collections of our writers continues! Today it's the turn of long-time contributor Matt Thrower. If you missed our previous entries, you can now navigate to them using those buttons on the right. Enjoy, everybody!]

Thrower: Well hello there! Nice of you to stop by. Hope you had a good journey. It's rare we get the chance to entertain adult visitors, with all the space the children take up. So, please, let me show you round the house.

The first thing you learn as a parent is that every other parent lives in a pristine house. Even when chasing after kids has left them looking like exhausted pandas, their houses are still clean and tidy. Naturally, ours has to be the same. We'd all be happier if everyone could drop this charade and wallow in their familial filth. Anyway, it's nice to have someone here who might appreciate the results.

Hang your coat up over there...


Feature: A Day in the Life of Matt’s Game Collection!

a good ol' flecking, matt's hats, big-boy joys, it's all about the soup
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[Following on from our expedition into Quinns' board game collection and the polite visit to Paul's, it's now Matt's turn. Enjoy, everybody!]

Matt: Contrary to popular belief, I am not a man of infinite luxury. Paul has an entire cupboard just for games - Quintin has a cavernous loft to explore. Many have climbed that ladder and never been seen alive again, fading away to become a new addition to the dark and dusty collage of cardboard and bones. Basically those boys have space to play with. I however, have a shelf.

But it’s a big shelf! Oh my. There’s plenty of room in the rest of my flat, but my wife is a bit of a cheery dictator when it comes to interior design - so the sins of the husband must be tidied away. It’s occasionally annoying, but it does mean I get to live in a genuinely beautiful, tidy place? Swings and roundabouts, life is compromise.


How to Play Skull!

maybe it's not a skull, i bet that's a skull, is that a skull, oh DAMMIT
If you ask us what our favourite game is, it changes with the weather. If it's a sunny day, Cosmic Encounter. If it's wet and windswept, Consulting Detective. If it's a sleepy autumn night, Memoir '44. And so on, forever and ever, until we get tired and go to sleep.

But if you ask our team which game they've played the most, you'll only get one answer: Skull*. Arguably the best bluffing game ever made, and a glittering showcase of just how much game you can get out of a minimum of rules.

If you're still not sold, check out Matt's review and a recipe! Skull with Fresh Pizza.

*Though Quinns' Netrunner habit and Paul's Carcassonne addiction do offer some competition.




Skull

Skull

Skull is the quintessence of bluffing, a game in which everything is played in the players’ heads.


The Opener: Skull & Roses with Fresh Pizza

cheese & cheese & cheese, yeasty stuffs, lost skulls, raw souls
We end Simplicity Week with a bang, and the bang in question comes from you executing your friends, one after another.

Skull & Roses is the game Matt's reviewing here, although throughout the review he calls it Skulls and Roses, and actually, the new, gorgeous edition is just called "Skull".

But never mind our charming incompetence! This isn't just one of the simplest games we've ever played. It's one of our favourite games, period. And just to make sure your friends come over and get involved, Matt's also going to teach you the single darkest secret known to SU&SD. How to "make" "pizza".

But what if I were to tell you that for the next Opener, we're planning something even better? Ah, it's a good time to be a board gamer. A very good time.


Games News! 09/12/13

crunchy toast, coin spew, cuboid vikings, dirty bombs, nanogames
Games News! 09/12/13
Quinns: Hello! Is it time for Games News? I feel so jetlagged that this is quite likely to be a terrible dream. Any second I'll wake up still on the plane, one of my eyes gummed shut, the overweight man on my right having spilled an entire vodka miniature in my crotch.

Best to just enjoy this reality while it lasts, with its crunchy toast, hot coffee and board game news.

First up is the mighty Eurogamer, which has published a couple of articles about Chess 2 and Pandante, games that attempt to "fix" chess and poker, respectively.


Games News! 23/09/13

tea-off, knucklebones, no roses, dice-building, mushroom-nibbling
Games News! 23/09/13
Quinns: What a news segment we have for you this week! Disasters! Pillaging! A game made of bones! Another game made of SKULLS! It's all a bit much. I'm going to start off with a nice cup of tea, and a nice game of tea.

Yunnan will be arriving later this year, and it's a game of controlling a Chinese TEA DYNASTY. That distant, jangling noise you heard was the noise of our entire English readership simultaneously reaching for their wallets.