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Formerly a PC-exclusive gamer, Kae was introduced to the tabletop world by gateway of the World of Warcraft TCG. Since then, her interests have broadened with her favorite games including Battlestar Galactica, Pathfinder, Lord of the Rings LCG, WarmaHordes, and more. Kae is willing to try just about any game and loves learning new strategy.

Gaming Investments : How Much Is Too Much To Pay?

tales of the arabian nights

We’ve all been there, standing in your local game store, gazing at a game that we long to have in our collection. Maybe you’ve got some extra cash available, but is said game worth the price-tag? On the other hand, there are those of us who have determined a game worthy of nearly any price, and are willing to pay a bit more than one would for another game. So the question is, how much is too much for a board/card game? There’s several factors you can look at to make this choice.

Have you already played it?

As with many other retail purchases you’ll make in life, you never know exactly how something works, or if you’ll like the actual mechanics, until you have personal experience with it. If there is any room for doubt in your mind that a game may not be for you, I’d suggest finding a way to play it before picking it up. If your local game store has a copy in its library, find some folks to play it with you, bonus if you find others who have already played it and can give you insight and tips!  Place an ad, alternatively, looking for someone who already owns the game and give it a test run.

Is it something you’ll want to play years later?

Many of the large purchases I make are ones that I’ve deemed worthy of extended playability, which can further justify a higher price on a game that’s really great.  This factor pretty closely ties in with knowing if you like how the game plays. And it is true that your preferences will change over time, so that is something to take into consideration when you’re looking at the game’s price.

We got the chance to play the WoW Miniatures game through a game auction.

We got the chance to play the WoW Miniatures game through a game auction.

This point can also be manipulated a bit with the growing popularity of game auctions. If the case mentioned above happens and you find yourself years down the road no longer interested in a game, you may find the option to put it into an auction and use the money earned from that to purchase something that is more relevant to your current liking. And often, you’ll get games for dirt cheap.

Is the game reasonable for your social accessibility?

I know this question is worded strangely, but hear me out. If you’re really wanting a game that is for 3-5 players, but you can only regularly engage one other player, could that money be better placed in a 2 player game? If you have access to a large gaming group or some friends that are also interested in the game, then it is probably well worth the money.

For example, I live in a great town for tabletop gaming, with two local stores, and many friends who play a variety of games. On the other hand, I have another consideration to make, and that is that I’m also a mom! When your kid goes to bed at 8pm, heading out for the evening isn’t exactly an option. So, frequently, Raine and I find that having plenty of 2 player games around is the best option. We do have friends that are awesome enough to come over and play after the kiddo’s bed time, and we are always happy to bust out a game for 3+. But a large portion of our collection is playable for 2.

battlestar galactica


Only you will know what games are best for your situation, but hopefully this guide can help those that want a few guidelines. Too many times do we read about folks who’ve made large gaming purchases and later regretted it due to lack of play, whether there weren’t enough players around or they opened it only to find that it wasn’t as fun as they’d hoped. We never have full assurance against this happening, but some careful consideration can steer us in better directions. Good luck in your investments, and happy gaming!

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5 Comments on “Gaming Investments : How Much Is Too Much To Pay?”

  1. Albedosrighthand April 21, 2014 at 4:45 PM #

    This post is so true. I’ve always wanted to get into Wargaming, but the options out there are just too pricey. If I wanted to get into Warhammer 40K or Warmachine it will cost several hundred dollars to get myself an army. It starts to feel like a money arms race where I keep having to buy more if I want to be able to play against the others who enjoy the game.
    Tabletop rpgs are more my thing now. Yes, a core rule book can be 40$ but after you have it, you can run games and never need to make another purchase.

    • Kae April 21, 2014 at 8:37 PM #

      I get that. I wanted to get into Hordes but wasn’t sure if I was willing to make a $50 commitment for a battle box. I actually got my starter Circle Orboros set from a discount shelf at a game store in Missouri for $25. The models were older, but they worked just the same, and I still have them. I’d highly recommend game auctions for models like that (often times they are even assembled already, which I consider a win because I hate gluing miniatures together with every fiber of my being).

  2. Black Locust Games (@BlackLocustGame) April 21, 2014 at 6:06 PM #

    I make sure I have played the game at least once at my local game group. The 2nd filter is how often I think I will play. This may sound silly but I use something I call the dollar system. If I am certain that i will play the game at least as many times as the dollar cost of the game (to make the cost of the game less than a $1 a play) then it is a buy. For example, for a $75 game, I would need to be fairly certain that I will play this game at least 75 times before I am willing to trade, sell, of shelf the game. Again, just something I think about to get the most bang for my buck.

    • Kae April 21, 2014 at 8:40 PM #

      That’s an excellent way to think about it. I know some games that we’ve picked up (like Battlestar Galactica, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Hanabi, etc) have more than proved their worth by your dollar system!


  1. Today in Board Games Issue #163 - Heavy Steam - Today in Board Games - April 23, 2014

    […] Gaming Investments : How Much Is Too Much To Pay? – Initiative: Tabletop […]

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