What is the greatest board game

The Biggest Board Game Bad Buy - And How To Avoid Them!

Board game bad purchases are annoying, because you are not only disappointed with the game itself, but have also thrown out hard cash.

In the following, you will find out which board game bad purchases have already happened to me and why this happens.

I also give 4 tips on how you can avoid such bad purchases in the future.

The biggest board game bad buys

A bad buy doesn't necessarily mean that the board game in question is bad. Bad purchases can also happen if you just don't like the game you bought, i.e. you don't like it personally, even if it is objectively a good game and has a lot of fans.

Nevertheless, it comes down to the same thing for yourself, because bad purchases hurt. They're not fun and they also cost you money.

Why do bad purchases happen?

That's a good question, and there are a lot of reasons for that, some of which I'll list here.

  • FOMO effect

    FOMO is the abbreviation for "Fear of missing out". In the board game world, this is often a reason for bad purchases, because in contrast to digitally available computer games, board games are physical goods and they can therefore simply be sold out.

    Due to the boom in board games, many games are now sold out very quickly. Then you either have to wait a long time for a new edition or there is no further edition at all if you are unlucky.

    I notice this again and again at the SPIEL trade fair, for example, because some of the innovations available there are only regularly available in stores months later and that's why you often strike at the trade fair.

  • Crowdfunding

    Kickstarter (and other crowdfunding platforms) is closely related to the previous point. Here you can financially support games that only appear many months or even years later.

    And if you are completely honest, you are buying a pig in a poke, because in some cases the rules are not yet finished, there has not yet been any fine-tuning and no editing. If you spend the money on it, you don't know whether that will actually happen in the end and result in a good game.

    Nevertheless, many strike, because here too the FOMO effect is strong. Many campaigns lure with exclusive extras that are only available in Kickstarter and some games are then only poorly available.

  • Nice cover and great illustrations

    I'm also someone who is immediately appealed to by a nice cover and great illustrations and draws attention to a board game. But that can also lead to bad purchases.

    After all, the cover and design say nothing about how good the game will be in the end. Nevertheless, many of them can be voted positively and may only buy a game because of the look. It has happened to me too.

  • Appealing topic

    The topic of a board game can also lead to bad purchases, because each of us simply has a preference for certain topics and settings.

    For me, for example, it's space travel that I just really like. I immediately became curious and have already struck many times without analyzing the game myself as precisely as possible.

  • Mechanics sounds good

    The board game mechanics of a new game are often well known and are listed e.g. on BoardGameGeek. And if you have a particular preference for one or the other mechanic, you may strike faster with a novelty with exactly this mechanic (or a combination of your favorite mechanics), so he or she should.

  • bargain

    There are always cheap offers for board games on the Internet and of course you like to save money. Unfortunately, this often leads to games being bought cheaply, which then turn out to be bad purchases.

    Just because a game is cheaper doesn't mean you like it better or you like it more. Therefore, one should be very careful here too.

  • Peer pressure

    A certain group pressure can also lead to the fact that you buy board games, of which you are then disappointed. If various YouTubers and podcasters report very positively about a board game or if thousands of supporters join a game at Kicktstarter in a short time, then you might want to be there too.

    Who wants to be the only one who doesn't have a say in the end?

My board game bad purchases

These are certainly not all reasons for board game bad purchases, but they are among the most important. I have to admit that all of them have applied more or less strongly to me.

In the many years that I've been back in the board game hobby, my collection has grown steadily. Among them were a lot of great board games that I still love today, but also bad purchases.

For me personally, for example, bad purchases include Codenames. This is a popular and certainly very good game, but personally I don't really like it and that's why it was a bad buy for me. Codenames duet I find it much better, however.

Meeple Circus is also one of the bad purchases for me, as it was praised by many, but in the end it just isn't my kind of game and therefore unfortunately didn't pick me up at all. For many others, however, it's a great game. Hanabi was game of the year, but I didn't like it at all. At least it wasn't expensive. :-)

My Little Scythe sounded like a great way to get my little daughter to play a more complex game, but neither of us really liked it. Otys I bought it directly at SPIEL a few years ago, mainly because of the topic, and then didn't think it was great.

And of course there are some Kickstarter that have since arrived and that I am disappointed with, partly because they are really bad games or because I just didn't get enough information back then.

At SPIEL there is always a lot of loot and great games, but also one or the other bad buy.

Avoid board game bad buy in the future

Over time, of course, I became aware that the errors mentioned above lead me to make bad purchases again and again. That's why I've been trying a few things to consider for some time before buying a new board game.

So here are 4 tips on how you can reduce the risk of making a bad buy board game.

  1. Inform well

    The most important thing is for sure that you don't immediately hit something that arouses your curiosity, e.g. the cover, but rather that you are well informed.

    This includes, for example, reading the rules and reviews. You can also find YouTube videos for many new games and in general there is useful information and forum discussions at BGG, for example.

  2. Alluding

    This preliminary information is important, but it is even better if you have been able to play a game before. This can be at a trade fair or another board game event. With a little patience, you can allude to many new products at SPIEL right away.

    If there are still no playable copies, then it is worth taking a look at the Tabletop Simulator or Tabletopia. There you will find, for example, many current Kickstarter that you can play. I don't like playing full games on these platforms, but they are good to play with.

    E.g. me Carnegie Very irritated a few months ago, which was just financed on Kickstarter. I found the topic good, the design great and the mechanics interesting. I then alluded to it on BoardGameArena and realized that it wasn't mine after all. Without this test game, I would probably have supported it.

  3. Don't fall for FOMO and offers

    You should try not to let FOMO and cheap offers have such a strong impact on you. It's also difficult for me and with some titles I don't want to risk losing my position later on, but I keep asking myself what it would be like if I didn't get the game.

    If I don't get a stomach ache with this thought, then I don't need it so badly and can heed the fourth tip if necessary.

  4. Waiting

    In general, it can be a good idea to just wait for a while. During this time, the first reviews and Let's Play videos often appear, in which you can get a good impression of the game.

    In addition, good and successful games usually get new editions, so that you do not go away empty-handed. In addition, these later editionsb usually have the advantage that errors and quality defects in the first edition have been eliminated.

There is also the question of whether you really have to have every board game yourself. I have a collector's gene, but even for me it is now enough if someone has certain games in the gaming group and cannot play.

What to do with bad purchases

But despite the tips, there will always be board game bad purchases. What do you do with it?

For example, you could give the game away to someone who might like it better. The local library or the games club may also be happy about the donation. However, you shouldn't be giving away board games that are really bad.

Of course, it could also be sold. eBay, Facebook groups or forums are ideal for this and for most games there is someone who likes it.

Alternatively, it would also be conceivable that you simply try it out again. Maybe the first game just didn't go well, you made mistakes in the rules or had a bad explainer. Or maybe it wasn't the right group for the game.

With most games it is definitely worth playing a second game to make sure you really don't like it or to be surprised that you do like it. My first round of Nusfjord wasn't great, but in the following games I learned to love it.

What were your biggest board game bad purchases?

So that was my overview of board game bad purchases and my tips on how to avoid them in the future.

Now I would be very interested to know what your biggest board game bad purchases were and how they came about?

I am pleased about your comment.

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