Nippon, a life changing game?

I bought my first board game of the modern era in 2004. I’ve been playing boardgames mostly since. At first miniature wargames were the main thing with board games filling in the gaps. This started to invert and board games became the main event. I had a fallow period of maybe a 1.5 years after a falling out from 2012 to 2014 but have been really in to playing ever since. With all that time elapsing I’m going to break 100 games owned soon. I have 98 with 5 kickstarters inbound and 8 preorders (I don’t count expansions in this count).

This fact, covid times and playing Nippon for the first time have led to some serious contemplation. I got Nippon in a maths trade. I’ve played Nippon twice. I’ve had fun both times, Nippon is a good game. Maybe a very good game. However both times I’ve not been wowed by it. I think a big part of the problem is I have other games that are as good but I’ve got history with or I’ve got games that are similar but I think are better.

The next factor is recently I’ve started playing games regularly with @lalunaverde and a heavy games group is starting to form from one of his friends and 2 of my friends. There’s enough match up in tastes that I’m finally getting to play some of my favourite games regularly. Plus no serious and consistent AP players in the group :partying_face:

As a result of all these things I’ve given myself a pledge to buy no new games until 28th February 2021 at the earliest. In the time frame I will place no preorders and pledge to no kickstarters.

This is part of a wider drive to buy less things over all.

While an impending corona winter makes getting games to the table difficult I think In the long run I should to be kinder to myself and to the environment.

Kinder to myself of not being under constant pressure with learning new rules sets, not feeling bad for not playing games more and not being addicted to the anticipation of a new thing turning up and then being overwhelmed when it does more often than I hit a gem. Not every game will land with me as well as Teotihuacan as Nippon has proved.

Looking at diet related impacts on the world I am still suspicious that while giving meat would lessen my trail of destruction I think manufacturing maybe has a worse impact overall. Boardgames are maybe not the worst offenders but there’s a general lifestyle attitude that I’m seeking to change. I buy clothes rarely and really wear them out before getting replacements. I’ve got a pair of trainers on a 4 year life so far which is a big improvement for me.

This didn’t start out about environmentalism bit typing it has helped me realise that’s what I’m most concerned about. So hopefully this will allow me to extend the no purchases beyond the initial date. Thanks for reading.


Good for you dude and good luck.


Thanks for the message @EnterTheWyvern, I think it is a great strategy.

I am only really about a year in the “New Era” and I can see how easily I could end up in a similar situation. I admit I have had my odd compulsive buy (Gloomhaven comes to mind) but I tend to think well before making a purchase (how often will the game hit the table, how much am I going to get out of the game in terms of “experience”, will it be a game that my family enjoy, or that I can take to parties, etc.). Still, I have managed to buy a good 15 games in that time, and I know there is another good 20 on my wish list. If we put on top whatever novelties are on the horizon, I can see myself being in a similar position in say, 5 years.

I think board games are an amazing hobby, and I did never felt that I needed to consider all these issues when I was buying video games through my 20s and 30s, for example (which I should have). It was quite a liberating experience when slightly over 2 years ago, I went to trade 2 or 3 boxes of old video games, and took a box of books to a friend to keep and 3 or 4 more to the charity shop before moving to NZ. Painful, but liberating.

Not that I am planning to move anywhere else any soon, but I know if I had to go through the same experience now with my board games, it would be challenging (boardgames take a lot more space, so there would need to be a lot of sacrifices to be made).

I think that is where going to a club or sharing games can make a huge difference. I know there are games that I like a lot, but knowing that they have them in the club I go to, I don’t feel like buying them. Splendor and Arboretum have been the only two games I repeated, and it was because I know they will hit the table with family and friends, and they have.

Still, I think it is great that you shared your thoughts. Thanks.


I’ve been in a similar state of mind for a long while, and not just for purchases - I am so over constantly playing new games that don’t have anything to offer me.

Online boardgaming helps a bit - the wider net means I can actually find people with similar interests - but has actually resulted in more purchases that I would otherwise never have made.

Maybe I need to just stop buying altogether too.


Ok. Today is the day I set for not buying new games until.

Result = Failure

I preordered 1837. I loved 1824 so this happened after initially planning not to.

I also bought a copy of 1876:Trinidad because my partner is Trinidadian and the opportunity came up, there was also an opportunity to add 1870 so I did.

6 months 3 games bought. I appear to have replaced euros with 18xx.

I did stuck to my mini buying rules and have maintained my other wise frugal/eco buying of other things so pleased to see I haven’t just shifted fully the purchase lust.

Not a complete collapse but can do better.

Edit: in a moment of self deception seems like I forgot backing Primal the Awakening.

Total collapse happened it seems by making the 4th game excessive in money and content :flushed:. Still how many 18xxers have mini heavy slug fests alongside? Like being a teenager I’ll pretend that’s more unique than it is and therefore console myself with some self aggrandising narrative of being special :grimacing:


“So each time you want to lay a hex, you play out a miniatures battle…”


The closest I’ve played to that is Napoleon in Europe which combines a strategic whole of europe map game with a minis wargame for the individual battles as your forces clash around the map. Amazing of impractical game. Also notable for having ‘political action points’ and pap does seem a good description for it.

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Interesting question. I can only imagine your friends to be both. Mine: no. (Not even Zak)

I still have my mini fest games. Would probably have more if space allows. 18xx seems to replace Euros to me, rather than the multiplayer tussling area controls

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Back in the day I had a glorious vision of a wargame that could start with Brezhnev giving the order to roll the tanks and scale down to one scared guy with a rifle hiding behind a wall. The problem, of course, is that most of those scared guys don’t have a measurable effect on the bigger picture that you wouldn’t already get out of a brigade-level game, and it’s easy for the game duration to get out of control.


In a team game the Brezhnev player would probably have more to do.

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Life changes are hard. Failure is OK, as long as you make progress.


That is sage advice. Thank you.