Topic of the Week: Played out and Rebought

What games have you played out? How long did it take? What shifted?
(Assuming sufficient love that it was a true fall-from-grace, not just a game you sold after a bit)

Any games you have rebought? What happened there?
Or maybe just a sudden passionate save from the cull pile…

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Played Out: Munchkin, in all its varieties. Used to be something we’d play regularly with our friends, but while it is funny at first, eventually the jokes are routine and the play always goes the same: someone gets close to winning, everyone dumps cards to stop them, someone eventually sneaks in to win once everyone is out of cards. I would still play if someone really wanted to, but so far that hasn’t happened.

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Played out:

Lost Cities: 25 plays? Thought it was cool. Got bored. Saw some wrinkles in it that brought me back and thought it was cool again. But I got to the end of those wrinkles and got bored again. I think it is a game where interesting things happen, but those interesting things are driven by what you draw, not what you do. And you will make decisions but they aren’t good or bad, they just work out or don’t, again, by what you draw or by what your opponent decides with too little information.

I’d play, but I sold. Actually, this is a twofer as I’m considering rebuying it for the kids.

Ticket to Ride: ~100 plays. I never actually loved this one. But it was good enough. The app rightly killed it as it let me go through the process too many times.

Race for the Galaxy: ~300 plays. Ummm. I’d still call this my third favorite game. And I haven’t really plumbed many of the expansions. Never selling, all in for the next expansion. But I find myself not wanting to play it. Scrolling past it on BGA, finger moving on on the tablet. I’m wondering how far past the honeymoon I am now. Have I played this out??

Maybe it’s just too automatic. I’m playing by reflex. I think if I slowed down to focus on the game I’d both play better and re-engage.

Dominion: ~300 plays. This is also a twofer. I was an active detractor for maybe 10 years before I suddenly saw some hooks and twists in the game that I really loved. Suddenly fell deeply in love with it. Too much Androminion may have killed it, though. I have the new Temple Gates app, and 6 expansions in my basement, and I find myself always moving on when I have the opportunity to play.

Raiders of the North Sea: 2 plays. Does this qualify? I thought it was amazing my first play. The second play was almost identical to the first and it suddenly seemed to me that all the variation in the cards and cities was meaningless and I was completely bored. 2 plays doesn’t make a trend but I think my two reactions were strong enough to document.

Castles of Burgundy: 30 plays. Oof. This is another one I’d rather not put here but I kinda have to. You’re aiming for roughly the same outcome each game. As the dice roll and the tiles come out you have to make a lot of decisions and do things in a different order - putting this in the Agricola/La Granja school. But the re-ordering of things doesn’t come with many painful trade-offs and the process doesn’t feel different each time. I’ve grown a bit apathetic.

I haven’t really dug into any of the expansions or modules, though. I just put this back on the “play soon” list after unboxing La Granja and perusing that game’s modules. This may be one of the rare times that I need an expansion because I’ve “finished” the first game rather than I just think it looks shiny.

San Juan: 30 plays. Another see saw. Liked it, got bored. Had a renaissance where I focused on the game and saw new valuation in some different cards and strategies, and really engaged with the game’s “progress in inches” ethos. Then I got bored again. The winning archetypes aren’t varied enough and the path to get there isn’t interesting enough. No one wants to buy my first edition copy and I don’t have motivation to buy-and-try the second edition.

Small World: Bought this in a frenzy sometime in the 00’s. One of my first sales. Figuring out why I didn’t like A Brief History of the World crystallized this one for me (the games are similar, and Small World is better). The lack of random elements during most turns makes most of the game deterministic. The only truly interesting part of the game is which race to take and where to enter the board. That done, the next three turns or so play themselves. And a 45 minute game with 3 interesting decisions cannot support itself.

Isle of Cats: 5 plays. Loved this! For several games. At game 5 I realized that the deck velocity is too high (usually I complain about the opposite). Most cards come out each game, and most games end up with the same scoring objectives. I felt it was in a rut and lost motivation to look for more in the game (especially when I’m overbooked on polyominoes to begin with).

Rebought/Renaissance:

As already noted, San Juan, Lost Cities, and Dominion were all saved from the cull pile for a renaissance before a second “played out” event. Lost Cities might be rebought.

I rebought Castles of Burgundy 1e after playing 2e. 1e fits in a single plano and we were so frustrated by the tiny iconography on the yellow tiles. I still have both, though 2e is going to get sold after the deluxe arrives.

I thought I’d played out Istanbul until I lost, hard, to the app. Playing a strong opponent is often the best way to see what you missed. Istanbul is back in favor now that I’ve reached a deeper level of reading the initial board and have learned more options for paths to victory. I still tend to come in second to the hard AI.

I also recently wrote about Carcassonne and Puerto Rico. Both games had stewed on the cull pile for too long and it was time to make a decision. Both got 5 plays in 5 days, and both revealed themselves before the end. I like Carc, like really like it now. And I’d say I understand Puerto Rico’s reputation now. I don’t love it, but I find it interesting.

Can’t they just properly 2e it, though? Even the decolonized reskin failed to address the known balance issues and proven solutions…

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4k games against hard bots in the app. I agree with your sentiments though.

I’ve bought and sold Castles of Burgundy three times. Some of it is motivated by my wife will play it. However she views games as an activity to play with friends when they visit.

Currently sold, as we usually break out Lords of Vegas in that situation.

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A game I’ve really burned out on rather than simply coming to dislike is Letter Tycoon. I played this a lot on BGA and got pretty good at it (at one point I think I was the #7 rated player on there). And then suddenly it wasn’t fun any more; I had a playing procedure which was just about as good as it could be, and whether I won or lost against another high-rated player depended on who got the B and J bonuses, which is effectively random.

I used to play a lot of Battletech and similarly got into the competitive game there. But when I played it as a pure numbers exercise I did better than when I played it as a simulation, and that stopped being fun.

I’ll argue that Munchkin (and Fluxx) would be much better if you could reliably make them end after about half an hour. Games of either that only go on that long can be quite fun. But sometimes it drags on. I don’t know whether there’s a term for COMaestro’s point about winning when everyone else has run out of “stop someone winning” cards, but I think there really ought to be.

Possibly getting outside the scope of this thread, but the reason I sold Alien Frontiers was that I’d learned too much about game design and realised that the reason it always took ages is that you can’t start planning your turn until the previous player has finished theirs (and you know which dice placement spots will be free).

My only rebuy so far is Haggis; I had the IB&C printing years ago as a demonstrator freebie but wasn’t into trick-taking at the time, never played it, and sold it in shrink. Now I’ve joined captbnut’s Kickstarter pledge for that and others.

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Played out, yeah, quite a few.

The main one for here would be Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia. I liked the setting and theme idea, the dice as workers and booting mechanism was cool. Hidden and open characters is fun. The balance between cards and dice is fun as well, with the cards being a deck of 36 in 6 suits. Unfortunately it’s all on top of a very shallow game. The balance of efficiency of spaces means your second character should always be green as that’ll be the one definitely revealed and you get a bene when they’re activated. The timing you need to get ahead in the booting of workers sequence is just really about rolling a doubles timing. There are some bits that are so pointless as to be impossible to get working in the game. I am particularly bitter about this one as I got bored around 8 games in and ended up playing to 17 as one friend wouldn’t let it go. So it was flogging a dead horse and now I get conniptions at the thought of playing this one. I think the balance issues and shallow game with bells and whistles seems Mr Stegmaier standard so I’ve not played anything else of his.

Race for the Galaxy here too. Again app and many games. I ended up retreating from hard difficulty to medium and now play it weird. A zone out time.

Gloomhaven still one of my favourite games of all time. Played 200+ sessions with almost no losses/scenario repeats. Now though I am so at one with the puzzle no form of this interests me to play anymore. Frosthaven I also think is made worse by the bowing to demand and splitting the scenarios up in the book. I can get a character down in a read of the deck now so the exploration thrill just isn’t there anymore. I even crushed computer scenarios using a tinkerer which is poop for effectiveness. Yep, loved it but now it’s gone. Like a beloved pet dog.

Gnomes of Zavandor was amazing for 4 plays. The gambling on building mines and a really dynamic seeming market were a huge draw. Game 5 and it became apparent how flawed it was and the market wasn’t actually dynamic or interesting. So much promise, so much flop. I’d like someone to be inspired by it and make a good game from the promise and idea

Santa Maria was a favourite for a long time. The dice dropping and crossing was a cool little puzzle and the euro resource conversion was done well. Just played it so much I stopped enjoying it as it got limited.

There are a lot of euros I’ve played and gone through. Expedition to Newdale, Lords of Waterdeep, Lisboa, Pulsar 2049, The Colonists and many more. I like a euro puzzle but I view them as limited. There are some with longer legs but I also don’t view as lesser these ones that were good or excellent games with a limited life in terms of the puzzle being grokked enough and now that’s the end. I have a strong suspicion Sol is in the category. I’m still happy to buy a game in this category and enjoy the plays while it lasts in principle.

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The first one that comes to mind and the strongest fit for the thread is Terra Mystica.

  • It was my first plunge into boardgaming as a hobby.
  • It was also the first game I played 2-handed or even 3-handed because I couldn‘t get enough of it.
  • It also spelled the end of me and my partner being equally into games. This is the game we split on (as gamers) or maybe it is the game we just noticed what was already there… or maybe I took a different direction from what we were playing before.
  • This previous point is also the reason it eventually fizzled out… soloing a game that had no solo mode just didn‘t cut it (I have the one that came out years ago and have not played it)
  • Spirit Island was the final thing that killed it. It provided me with the same depth of gameplay but solo-able in a way that TM was not.
  • I still love the idea of TM but I got bad at playing it over due to years of playing SI instead. I noticed this during a BGA game with some forumites where I did very badly. I still have TM and am very unlikely to sell it… but I have not even played the last big expansion… Gaia never took off for me either and I skipped Terra Nova and am not truly interested in Age of Innovation. I will totally play if our friends bring it to the table during our upcoming vacation. But I am not that keen anymore.

I am not sure I rebought anything. So far. I bought the anniversary edition of Bohnanza and then got rid of the old version… doesn‘t count though. I never planned to be rid of Bohnanza.

Other games I just burned out on:

Ruined by people that made it fun were no longer available:

  • Arkham Horror 3rd. We played this a lot. But there came a day (it might actually have been when Terra Mystica was published) when I wanted less random and more gameplay.
  • Talisman. That was a long long time ago. I hunted down a very expensive used 3rd edition because I loved it so much. But by the time I found a copy my tastes had changed and I realized this was not a game I wanted to play anymore. So I sold it on again. This like Arkham very much needed a certain group to play it with. When one particular friend from that group moved away… all those games fell apart.

Too much stuff:

  • 7 Wonders. I still love duel. I will play the OG but… I have too many expansions and it feels so hard to get it out…. so unless I am really really pressed for lack of alternatives my copy is unlikely to ever hit the table again. It‘s a Collector‘s Item now.

Ruined by the people I played with

  • Catan. This is the first game I ever burned out on. This is entirely due to the people I played with ruining the experience. And maybe the flood of expansions and variants is also to blame. One just couldn‘t keep up with that.
  • Cards Against Humanity was incredible fun at first I have to admit. So much so I bought a bunch of expansions. It took quite a few plays for the humor to turn ugly in our group and even then it was less the ugliness of the humor but that of „competitive humor“… in any case it was a relief when I eventually sold it. This one I will refuse to play.
  • Base Pandemic: quarterbacking friend

Ruined by the app:

  • Istanbul: what a nice game that was. Before expansions and before the app trivialized it. I sold it on without regrets. I also never played the app again
  • Kingdom Builder. We played this all the time. It was one of those games that worked with anyone. It didn‘t need a lengthy teach. The first expansion just made it better through more variety. Then I got the app and played it to death. I couldn‘t believe my friend who kept hunting for the expansion she had missed out on… until they bought Winter Kingdom and we played it and now I also own Winter Kingdom. This is not an exact rebuy—but they are close enough. Admittedly my copy of Winter Kingdom has yet to be played but I have only had it for half a year…
  • Smallworld. I almost forgot that one. I can‘t quite let it go but I think I am done with the idea of it. Probably also because of the app. But it was great playing this back then. I don‘t know if it aged badly or if I have other games with similar gameplay… I just don‘t feel like playing it anymore.

Solved the game:

  • „Fertig“ the FF solo game. I played this a bunch on the app and bought the cardboard version later. After about 200 or so plays, it turned out I was „fertig“ with „Fertig“ and so I sold it on and never played the app again. I think I had more or less „solved“ the game by the end. I will still highly recommend it as a solo.
  • Hana-Bi. I loved this game but we played it a lot with those same friends and we developed a strategic meta-language more or less that allowed us to communicate without communicating and … it felt like we had solved the game. I am considering rebuying it if I ever see the deluxe version I probably will. It‘s been a while, I bet it would feel fresh and great all over again.
  • The Isle of Dr. Necreaux

Various other reasons:

  • Kalimambo: overplayed this for a while. It was a fun simple game that was more strategic then its simplicity let on. I really regret selling this as it is not available anymore. But we had played it too much for a while and I thought we were done with it. I think sometimes games just need a bit of a break from the table. If I see a new version I might rebuy this
  • Smashup. I thought this was the best. A bit like Smallworld. with the 2 factions. Here you mix the cards of two factions and find broken combos. It was also one I soloed because after losing 2 games my partner hated it. For him it is one of the games that fell into the category „people who played a lot of MtG have an unfair advantage“ … but I kept buying decks for a while hoping to get it back to the table. Solo-ing a game that really wasn‘t made for it ended up making me like it less and less until I eventually sold it.
  • Ghost Stories. Newer games are better. One of our first coop games. I think we got this before Pandemic. We played this and lost a lot. This was the first cooperative game I owned that had an official solo variant and I played this a bunch. But then came a bunch of easier games and I think probably better games? With less random feeling , less punishing gameplay. I still have it, it has joined the Collector‘s Shelf.

Rebought:

  • Res Arcana: fell flat in BGA async. I got this, played a few games with my partner. Enjoyed it. Then played it on BGA with a friend and online it fell flat—we played async maybe that was an issue? So I sold it. Then someone talked about it here. And I thought it would be nice trying it again on my table and I saw it really cheaply with both expansions and rebought it. Haven‘t had time yet to try it.
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It’s a sad category of games. Res Arcana. Ginkgopolis. Architects of the West Kingdom. Fine to good (to great, Ginkgopolis) games that are an absolute chore async.

Different reasons for each one, I think.

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This reminds me or makes me realize another one of mine. I played a lot of games of Hardback on BGA with my friend over 2 years… we took a break because we burned out on it I think. We recently put it back in our rotation (when 7 Wonders Duel needed a break) and I think I might be done with it for a good long while. Or maybe I just can‘t concentrate enough on it because too much goings on right now. But it is not as fun as it used to be.

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That‘s probably the reason I was looking for. It has been so long since it was on my table that I couldn‘t figure out why it was not going to get back there. But it is one of those pretty early Days of Wonder wonders that I just can‘t let go.

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Played out: I think the only one I can list probably Werewords (nearly 100 plays); at some point it was our filler for every board games night. Then we moved on. I still bring it to friends as it takes hardly any space, but it also has died out a bit with them.

And perhaps Splendor (nearly 50 plays)? At some point it was my go to game to play with my partner. And she literally whooped my ass nearly every time. Then I got better, it became more competitive, and it sort of fizzled out a bit. We still play it now and then with the girls, but not as often as we once did.

I have never rebought a game, but I admit I was close to go for Hero Quest when it got a new edition a couple of years ago. Pure nostalgia, I know. But I was strong and did not give in to it. Now I regret it a bit as the minis would be great for my D&D sessions… (my original game is in Spanish back at my parents house in Spain)

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I felt similar. I wanted to love it but it just felt like I was searching for the trick rather than exploring strategies. Fighting together felt revolutionary to me at the time.

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Played out:

All played out within 5 or so plays -
Betrayal at House on the Hill
King of Tokyo
Smash-Up
And, er, Pandemic. It’s fine? But I’ve seen all of the base game now?

Oh, that’s a great category. Entirely because it automates the cards/dice/scoring and I can’t go back to doing that by hand:

Onirim
One Deck Dungeon
Elder Sign (which they haven’t updated for the latest android so no-one can play it now)
Sagrada (being shown where is valid to go is too useful)
Splendor (same)
Maybe Lanterns?

I did nearly rebuy Heroquest. I probably would rebuy Advanced Heroquest.

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Defo (extra letters for comment acceptability)

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Oh, this is a good call, too. Haven’t played in a long time, and even longer since King of New York, which I have on the sell pile at this point. Will keep KoT because it is good for the occasional game, and hopefully may be something I can play with my kids someday. If the older kid stops ripping things up randomly.

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Betrayal is in the same group as Talisman and Akrham. It was a very specific set of people it was fun with. I later bought my own copy… and … it just didn‘t work in a different setting.

King of Tokyo could also have been on my list. My nephew has my copy now.

I never really played Onirim, One Deck Dungeon or Elder Sign outside of the apps. I didn‘t even own the first two (all the sequels to Onirim that I tried failed for me, both Aerion and Stellarion were sold on after 1 or 2 games). Elder Sign was quite horrible to play on the table after playing the app first.

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And Ghost Stories was revolutionary. And its mechanisms were very fresh and it was fun puzzling out what you could do on your turn. But the amount of unmitigated random was very high. Back then we had so few cooperative games, we didn‘t quite realize how hard it was to win. We won a few times but we lost a lot more. I don‘t think I would find that quota palatable today.

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I think the real game here is “work out how to build a communication protocol”.

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My issue with Hannabi is how people that have a sort of meta communication system tries to impose it on other players… Whenever I have played it with fresh players, it has been enjoyable. Not my cup of tea or first choice, by a long mile, but enjoyable.

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Now Talisman is one that I can play again and again (on the app), even though I’m swearing at how bad it is the entire time.

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