Collecting SDJ: Part 2
Updated: Jan 21
Next I found Enchanted Forest (1982) which is an awful game, and paid £18 for it and two other games, Ghost Party and Spy Ring. Enchanted Forest is easily the worst of the three. Ironically, Spy Ring is actually pretty ok. It does mean that for £6 at best Enchanted Forest is one of my more expensive SDJ buys, for almost certainly the worst game. And I saw it a week later in another charity shop for £1.
On the subject of charity shop pricing, this over pay for Enchanted Forest was my own fault, since I saw it in the stock room rather than a shelf and asked for a price. Most charity shops are fair and sensible but certain shops have started over pricing their games. I saw Scotland Yard in a charity shop labelled for £12 because that's what it cost on E-Bay. Now, I understand and respect that charities have a duty to raise the maximum money possible, but an unsold boardgame is clearly raising nothing. Aside from that the E-Bay pricing was at the highest end of the scale, and the person who finds Scotland Yard on E-Bay searched for it specifically, they didn't spot it underneath a pile of 6 jigsaw puzzles. Not to mention that E-Bay has millions of people passing through each day. On top of all that Scotland Yard is available new for £19.99 from a chain store that provides a loyalty card meaning that I ended up paying £8 for a new copy.
I love Scotland Yard (1983). Previously the only hidden movement game in my collection was Pandemic with the Bio Terrorist expansion, though I had played others. Which is odd because hidden information is one of my favorite mechanics when handled well. Scotland Yard handles it perfectly. Additionally, I enjoy a game with learning potential and Scotland Yard has an elegant learning curve.
Christmas 2017 I got King Domino (2017) from Santa and its a pretty much perfect little drafting and tile laying game. The final scoring is a touch anti-climatic but the game is a neatly crafted gem.
Picked up Alhambra (2003) from the Bring and Buy section of Handy Con for £15. Now, I have a gaming club that I go to weekly but its a miniatures gaming club mainly. I have a second fortnightly miniatures gaming club and I'm constantly at conventions, but that's essentially a work thing these days. Which means that I don't often get to play boardgames with the sort of crazy folk who will play any boardgame any number of times when they get the chance. So a lot of my boardgame purchasing is taken up trying to figure out other people's tastes. Now, as I said, my wife and I loved Carcassone and sure, Alhambra is different, but not that different so I thought it was a lock to become a new regular choice. How wrong I was. Hatred is a strong word but she wasn't a fan, and I found it ok but wasn't going to fight for it. Tiles need to be built and scored based on their colour but bought based on the colour of their market place location. The disjoint of these elements was confusing at best and infuriating at worst as she repeatedly bought the wrong tile or saved the wrong money. Its a small element which drove her totally mad.
Dominion (2009) I picked up at ColCon Bring and Buy for £15, under the nose of the organiser it seems who had been told to pick it up but missed it. I like Dominion, I like deck builders, but despite Dominion being the daddy and still one of the best, it has suffered from putting out a brilliant simple concept and it being done to death. So I'd seen three lesser deck builders before Dominion, but the affect in me was to lessen Dominion's brilliance. It'll be my first choice deck builder now, I just might not often choose to play any straight up deck builder.
Dixit (2010) I pulled from a charity shop for £3. Again, I have Mysterium and at least two sets of friends with Dixit so I was not looking forward to paying up for this. Which is no reflection on the game, if anyone hasn't played either Dixit or Mysterium (Dixit is vs, Mysterium co-op but the base concept is essentially similar) play one of them. They are unlike anything else and their concept and execution is simple genius. The thing I'm happiest about with buying Dixit is I can finally start buying its expansions.
Hare and Tortoise (1979) I picked up from a charity shop for £2. The 2010 Gibson's Games edition has a board that is oddly themed to a British tour considering its story line is an ancient fable. The game itself is wonderfully ageless and feels far more modern than say, Enchanted Forest 4 years later, so an attempt to update it feels odd. Which now means I have a solid run of the first five SDJs, '79-'83, and a running total of 15/38. Of course the next chronologically is Railway Rivals (which is £100 on E-Bay, when it comes up) and then we hit the '86-'92 run where a few have no English edition or limited translation edition runs but I've still got plenty of later soft targets for Bring and Buys and charity shops.