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HELLO AGAIN (or HOW TO PURGE THE GARY WAY) - The In's and Out's (and In Agains) of a Solo Gamer
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I have been a solo board gamer since the end of 2013.

In that time I have earned the reputation as someone who doesn't understand the word 'Purge' and regularly re-acquires games that have already been sold off or traded.

It's a tad harsh but unfortunately, it's also true.

So why do I keep going back to games I've parted with?

Hopefully this list will give you (and me) an answer to this question, or at least some access to the stuff going on in my brain.

Or maybe it's just a bit of fun.

Either way, I'll keep this list updated as games come and go in the future (or maybe I sort myself out and they don't ).

Finally, the idea for this list came thanks to a passing comment by
Stefan Schneider
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on his geeklist Kickstarter: How bad was it? And do I really want to know..... So thank you Stefan... I think.
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1. Board Game: Core Worlds [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:572]
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RE-AQUISITION SUCCESSFUL

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 1

This game is the reason that a list like this exists, so it's fortuitous that it's first on the list (well, for now anyway ).

It's a game I tried and liked but for a stupid reason (in this case, I told myself I didn't like unofficial solo variants) I got rid of it.

Then, when I re-acquired it I gave it a proper go and fell in love with it. This was my #2 solo game in 2018.

All of the games, on this list have been re-acquired with the hope of achieving this. See evevryone - this list is about hope.

I traded my first copy of Dungeon Crawler for this back in the summer of 2014. However, as I said before I traded it on after just 7 plays for the stupid reason I mentioned above.

However, after watching a great playthrough of the soloplay variant for it I won it and the first expansion in Maths Trade in early 2016.

Since then this game has won me over royally. I have the other expansion too and this is the closest experience I get to my #1 solo game and it has a better theme than that too.

This is my #2 solo game last year and will be staying around for good.

Chances of re-acquisition again: n/a
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2. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:717] [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

I bought this in May 2014 after seeing a video playthrough of a decent solo variant.

I played it 23 times over that summer. I bought the DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite expansion and wrote a solo variant for that.

Heroes Unite Solo Variant Rules

However, it was quickly eclipsed by Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. I decided I only needed one super hero deck builder and so I sold this in August 2014.

By November 2017 I no longer had any super hero themed games in my collection and whilst shopping at my local TK Maxx I noticed it was for sale at £10. I bought it. This will not be the last stupid impulse buy on this list. shake

I tried to play it once and just couldn't get back in to it (I want more from my deck builders these days) and so I put it up for sale. It left the building in March 2018.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 5%

I'm still a massive DC comics fan but if I ever re-buy a super hero deck building game, it will probably be Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game.
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3. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:79]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

After Myth didn't work out (the first time) I wanted a fantasy dungeon crawler. In September 2014 I got this and Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Forgotten Souls so it could be soloed.

I quite enjoyed it but it felt limited and I'm not a fan of just choosing a limited number of actions. I prefer card play or dice allocation to add to my decision making process when choosing actions.

It was gone after just a couple of months.

The release of the app and still lacking a fantasy dungeon crawler I decided to re-acquire this in Autumn 2016. It was a good experience but not a great one. I bought a load of expansions but still felt I was just settling for a mediocre solo experience because I couldn't find a great one.

By August 2017 I had discovered Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower and that was so much more fun to play. This couldn't compete and so my entire collection of it went out the door.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 5%

I think Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower and Myth (recently re-acquired) are much better fantasy themed dungeon crawler/miniatures skirmish games. Therefore, I can't see this getting back on my shelf.
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4. Board Game: Dungeon Crawler [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:6472]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

I first bought this in February 2014. I fell in love with it and it inspired me to produce two player aids for it.

Solitaire - Rules Reference

Solitaire Play - Glossary of Terms and Attributes

However, in the Summer of 2014 I decided I wanted to trade it for something new. Back then I didn't have a lot to spend on games so to try new games I usually had to move another one out. I decided to part with this as it was starting to feel a little samey after 21 plays.

I regretted it for the rest of the year and re-acquired it locally in December 2014.

10 more plays followed in 2015 but after that I just lost any interest in playing it. I think the fact that you had to build the dungeon and crawler deck just wasn't something I was interested in (see my entry on here for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game) and larger dungeon decks meant the game ran longer and felt more sloggy than I liked too.

In the end I decided to part ways with it in August 2017. This followed a long period of gathering dust on my shelf.

This one makes me a little sad inside and I do miss it but probably not enough to re-acquire it again.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 20%

For a while (a few months in 2014) this challenged Mage Knight Board Game for my #1 spot and for that reason alone I can never write off it's chances of a return.
 
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5. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:485]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

An early solo purchase back in 2013. However, after 13 plays it helped show me that I'm not a dice game fan (or they're not a fan of me - I'm not sure which). I moved it on.

Then they released Elder Sign: Gates of Arkham and I'd heard that it changed the game up significantly and it was now a better game. I bought it again (and the expansion) to see if this was true.

5 plays showed me that the game was improved and definitely different. However, it was still a dice game and I couldn't see me choosing to play it over other games in my collection (of a similar weight) so it left again.

I'm glad I tried it again though.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 10%

Never, say never Mr Brooks but I'm not a Cthulhu fan and I'm not a dice game fan so it's chances are slim.
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6. Board Game: Fireteam Zero [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1277]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

Looked similar mechanically to one of my all time favs (Gears of War: The Board Game) and as that isn't supported any more I thought this might surpass it.

Whilst it was fun to play a few times, I had this during a period when I was being brutal about my collection and decided I'd rather play GoW. Bye bye FTZ.

Several months later it was available in an OLGS sale so I purchased it again and thought I would give it another look. However, it just sat on my shelf unopened for ages and I then decided to trade it.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Over 25%

I like the theme, it looks good and has mechanics I like so there is a chance this darkens my door once more.
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7. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:623]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

I initially liked how this played after getting it for Christmas 2013. However, after 12 plays or so I became aware of my dislike of the Pandemic like mechanic of the ever increasing flood rate.

I just couldn't get past this and I stopped playing it. I sold it in September 2014.

I honestly can't remember why I purchased it again in January 2017 (possibly it was a good price in a sale, maybe I'd forgotten my issue with it and felt it should have another crack, who knows?) but I did.

Two aborted plays (I got bored snore, sorry Dave - I lknow you love this) led to it being sold before the end of the same month.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 5%

Not even being able to get through a single game of it the second time probably means I am done with this. Probably.
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8. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:207]
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RE-AQUISITION SUCCESSFUL

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 1

I got this for Christmas 2013 and it was gone by January 2014 after just a handful of plays.

I had decided in my mind at the time that games that weren't scenario based just weren't for me.

I happily ignored it for 3 and a half years.

Then I read some old thoughts by Mo on it and the expansion Ghost Stories: White Moon and it re-kindled my interest. Combine that with the fact that the scenario based nonsense had left my brain and I decided to get it again in October 2017.

This time around I really enjoyed it and it made my top 20 in 2017. It has since fallen out of my top 20 but is still a really solid and fun solo game so it's sticking around for the foreseeable future - which in my case when it comes to games, is about 20-25 minutes or so shake.

Chances of re-acquisition again: n/a
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9. Board Game: Helionox: The Last Sunset [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:4012] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

Technically, the second time I acquired this it was the Deluxe Edition so I'm not sure this should be on the list. whistle

However, if you twist my arm I'll keep it on here.

I bought and played it back in early 2016 but after half a dozen plays I wasn't convinced. It was OK but despite a good theme I just didn't get excited by it so I traded it in May 2016.


However, a couple of my fellow geeks that I follow on BGG seemed to love this so I decided to make a last minute purchase of the Deluxe Edition at the UK Games Expo in June 2018.

Another half dozen plays and I was convinced. This game just wasn't for me. I was getting thumped by the AI and sometimes that's an inspiration to spend time learning the game better. However, I just wasn't interested in doing that so I accepted a trade offer it in November 2018.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 5%

The theme is good but 12 plays still haven't convinced me I like it. Very unlikely to return again.
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10. Board Game: Level 7 [Escape] [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:4393]
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RE-AQUISITION SUCCESSFUL

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 1

I played it once in January 2016 and liked it but I then went through a period where I felt overwhelmed by the amount of unplayed and barely played games in my collection so it was purged.

I always regretted it as I love the theme, exploration and that it was more about running and hiding than stand up fights. I also felt I'd never given it a proper shout.

Anyway, that constant niggle wouldn't go away and in autumn 2017 I re-acquired it. This time I gave it a proper go and I really enjoyed it.

More plays in 2018 led me to buy the expansion and track down the bonus scenario in the publisher's magazine.

It made my top 20 last year and has a good chance of repeating that in 2019.

So this one is safe... for now.

Chances of re-acquisition again: n/a
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11. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:743]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

After parting with The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game the first time I was desperate for a LotR hit.

In March 2014 I was able to pick this up for next to nowt and was immediately taken with how thematic and tense it felt despite the seemingly non-thematic mechanics.

It also has cones.

I played it 17 times and enjoyed most of them but after nearly a year on the shelf without any table time I parted company with it in July 2016. I just never wanted to play it and had other games that were more interesting to play. However, they didn't have cones - no game is perfect.

After another lengthy LotR (and cones) void in my life I purchased this again (along with War of the Ring (Second Edition) - more on that later ) in November 2017.

However, I only played it once more and this time I didn't really enjoy it. This was probably why the previous copy went unplayed for a year.

I put it up for trade and it eventually left again in May 2018. Taking those lovely cones with it. cry

Chances of re-acquisition again: Over 20%

The theme will always bring me back (and the cones - did I mention them?). Don't be surprised if reappears in my collection at some point.
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12. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:108] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED (TWICE) sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 3

Number of times traded/sold: 3

The first solo game I ever bought back in October 2013. It took me a while to understand how to play it and I really enjoyed it up until the point I discovered I hate pre-game deck construction. I sold it in January 2014 after playing it over 40 times.

A year or so later I bought it again after thinking that I would just play the saga expansions on easy mode. I sold it again before I ever played it. I realised the reasons I'd gotten rid of it still applied. shake

In December 2016 I acquired it a third time after reading the following thread - BACK TO BASICS: A Killer deck using only cards from a single Core set.

I decided I'd just use that deck initially and then maybe tweak it a bit using cards from the saga expansions which was all I wanted to play.

After 13 more enjoyable games I came to the decision that I wasn't really playing the game (pre-game deck construction is a core part of this game IMO) and I wanted to play the saga thematically which would mean I would have to create a thematic deck. I'd have to do some deck construction after all. No thanks. yuk

I sold it again in March 2017.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Over 50%

I still think that playing the saga expansions on easy with thematic decks (that someone else has tested) would be brilliant and so this one is always on my radar. Always.
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13. Board Game: Myth [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:2040]
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thumbsupthumbsdown RE-AQUISITION STATUS PENDING thumbsupthumbsdown

Number of times acquired: 3

Number of times traded/sold: 2

Played the retail edition 3 times back in 2014 and enjoyed it but it felt like an incomplete game so I reluctantly traded it in the autumn of that year.

I always said that when I had the money I would buy a KS copy as it would be the complete game and I did in the summer of 2015.

However, it sat on my shelf untouched for over a year until I sold it in November 2016. Looking at all the cards and KS extras just felt overwhelming and I felt it best to move on.

I'd regretted that decision ever since and just before Christmas last year I bought another KS copy (with some Journeyman stuff too).

It is on my table as I write this and I'm really enjoying it. I think it's going to be a keeper. (But I've said that before...)

Chances of re-acquisition again: n/a
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14. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.65 Overall Rank:2]
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RE-AQUISITION SUCCESSFUL

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 1

I bought this back in 2016 as it was getting good buzz. However, I sold it on unplayed as I couldn't justify (in my brain) spending money on a game that becomes obsolete when completed and especially a game based on Pandemic which I don't like.

However, then
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loved it and it became available at a reasonable price. I bought it again and binge played it over the Christmas holidays that year.

Was it worth it? Oh, yes. A wonderful experience. It was my #4 solo game when I submitted my list to Kevin in October.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Less than 5%.

I definitely won't get this again for solo play but maybe if my gaming buddy Keith wanted to play it I'd go 50/50 with him on another copy. It's a very small maybe but it's still a maybe.
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15. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:719]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

The follow up to one my most played games ever - Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set. I really enjoyed that from 2013 until early 2015.

I bought this just before I got rid of that but sold it before I played it as I thought I was ready to move on to something new that didn't involve a campaign.

However, I regretted the decision instantly and bought it again within a week or two.

I played it a bit in 2015 but then it sat unplayed through all of 2016 so I decided to get rid of it. By this point the dice based mechanics and lengthy campaign were things I wasn't interested in any more.

It was sold in March 2017.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 5%

I have definitely moved on from the PACG series and have almost zero interest in them now. Not totally zero though, it's me obviously.
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16. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:298] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

Another early solo purchase. The theme and card play really drew me in. The bookkeeping of all the modifiers, effects, etc pushed me away. I sold it in November 2013.

Nearly 2 years later in autumn 2015 I tried it again (I'm still looking for my perfect super hero game) and found some good ways to track all the modifiers. I enjoyed it enough to buy a ton of expansions.

However, this time I noticed the grindiness of whittling away the HP of the villains and realised I didn't like that at all.

With a heavy heart it left the collection again in late 2015. I'd played it another 13 times though so I think it had a decent shout.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 10%

The theme and the price always keep me interested but the grindiness of it remains and I've got it on my phone and I only feel compelled to play that a couple of times a year.
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17. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:376]
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thumbsupthumbsdown RE-AQUISITION STATUS PENDING thumbsupthumbsdown

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 1

Another one that technically shouldn't be on the list. Firstly, the second acquisition of this hasn't arrived yet (it's a KS that has yet to be delivered) and secondly, the new copy will be Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set (a totally different game ).

However, as I've paid the money for it and you lot might protest - I'm sticking it on the list.

I first picked this up in my FLGS's January sale back in 2016. Despite being a high score solo game (I don't like them) and having a dull theme, I bought it because of the price and because of
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His love for it and 4 of our top 5 solo games being the same at the time made me interested.

I found it a nice tense game and enjoyed the different scenarios you can play. I traded for a load of expansions.

However, eventually the high score nature of the game and not loving the theme made me trade it at the end of 2017.

I did regret it a bit and when I heard the new Deluxe Set would have an AI opponent I jumped on a KS group buy.

Looking forward to this arriving in 2019.

Chances of re-acquisition again: n/a
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18. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:550]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

Yet another purchase from late 2013.

I played it quite a bit (nearly 30 times) as I loved the hand management aspect of the game and the theme. I bought all 4 expansions too.

However, dice rolling to resolve the actions I'd picked with the cards was always a frustration. Eventually I stopped playing it and after a short while on the shelf I traded it in December 2014.

I acquired it again in December 2016 because of the People's Choice Top 100 that year and the fact it remained so popular. It was also going OOP and I thought I wouldn't get another chance.

However, as soon as it arrived I realised I'd made a mistake and sold it in January 2017.

This was definitely an impulse buy and I should have thought it through. Sometimes I wonder if I'm actually a grown man. shake

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 10%

It's OOP and I'm not drawn to it any more. I don't need that evil little red die back in my life.
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19. Board Game: Space Infantry [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:3480]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

First owned and played in 2014. After sitting unplayed for a while I decided to purge it. The chit draw mechanism wasn't my favourite but it was a generally solid game. However, it didn't excite me and was traded.

I saw a very cheap copy in the bring and buy at Airecon last March and decided it was too cheap to pass up.

A quick re-read of the rules reminded me why it was traded and it left again without being played.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 25%

I still love the theme and if a new edition is published (it has been said there will be one) I might re-acquire it again.
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20. Board Game: Thunderbolt Apache Leader [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:758] [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

A Christmas present in 2014 but it only saw the table once. I'm not sure I enjoyed the load out aspect of the game and that is a key part to it.

However, thiose who love it, REALLY love it so I got another copy in 2016 but it sat on the shelf for a few months and was traded again before I ever played it.

I remembered why I hadn't liked it and it's long time on the shelf were it's downfall.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 10%

I can never quite get the leader series out of my head but if I did ever acquire another game in the series it would probably be one with a theme I preferred (Phantom Leader is a good example).
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21. Board Game: War of the Ring (Second Edition) [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:13]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

Another game purchase that I will plame on Justin. I got this in late 2017 and played 3 times (played both sides). I really enjoyed it (so much, that I bought both expansions) but after it sat for a few months unplayed I realised that it would only get limited play (maybe once a year) and would require lots of rules refreshing every time which would affect the game experience. I sent it on it's way.

However, further love from other 1 Player Guild members meant that it wouldn't leave my brain and in a moment of stupidity and affluence I bought it again.

It didn't take me long to realise my mistake and I moved the new copy on before I'd even opened it.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Over 25%

The theme is a massive draw and I did enjoy it (even playing both sides). There is a reasonable chance I own this again in the future.

I'm a hopeless case.
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22. Board Game: Zulus on the Ramparts! [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:1502]
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sauronsauronsauron RE-AQUISITION FAILED sauronsauronsauron

Number of times acquired: 2

Number of times traded/sold: 2

Purchased in January 2014 and I played it nearly 40 times. A very enjoyable game but for some reason I had tired of it by February 2015 and traded it via the UK Maths trade.

Nearly 2 years later I got an unopened copy as part of a trade on BGG but I never opened it and it left in the UK Maths trade in February 2017.

I just didn't feel any urge to open it. Now I sort of wish I'd tried it again though.

Chances of re-acquisition again: Under 20%

I like the theme and the hand management in this game. It's the best of the States of Siege games I've played and it sets up and plays super quickly. I can't rule out getting this one again at some point but it's not a likely any time soon.
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23. Board Game: One More Time [Average Rating:3.67 Unranked]
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The following games left my collection but I either never opened them, never played them or never completed a full game of them.

These are a bunch of games that have left my collection but I have played (some quite extensively).

They all had good things going for them (theme, mechanics, etc) but left my collection for various reasons (the solo mode was too easy, my tastes at the time, too much time on the shelf, too similar to another game, etc).

Apocalypse Chaos
Asgard's Chosen
Baseball Highlights: 2045
The Big Book of Madness
The Cards of Cthulhu
Caverna: Cave vs Cave
Coldwater Crown
Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game
Dark Souls: The Card Game
Defenders of the Realm
Dragonfire
Field Commander: Alexander
Fleet
Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game
Freedom: The Underground Railroad
Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp
Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Mice and Mystics
Mistfall
The Networks
Onirim
Patchwork
Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Runebound (Third Edition)
Shadowrift
Tiny Epic Defenders
Urbion
The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary
Yggdrasil

However, the good things about them have always made me feel I should give them another go but I never have... yet.
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24. Board Game: Remote Possibilities [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:12408]
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The following games left my collection but I either never opened them, never played them or never completed a full game of them.

Albion's Legacy
Apocrypha Adventure Card Game
Between Two Cities
Chrononauts
Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62
Field Commander: Rommel
Grimslingers
In Magnificent Style
Island Of D
Jupiter Rescue
The King's Armory
Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?
Legion of Honor
Navajo Wars
Nemo's War (second edition)
Pax Porfiriana
Rise of the Zombies!
Star Wars: Rebellion
Tiny Epic Kingdoms

I always wonder what some of them would have been like if they had got a fair crack of the whip. That means, I can never write off re-acquiring them at some point. shake
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