I don't have the collector's mentality with regard to my games collection. Lack of space is a decisive factor and also a will to de-clutter - although I'm no minimalist and love being surrounded by books, decorative items and boxes. There are a few games I keep for sentimental reasons or because I like their artwork too much to let them go, but, in general, I try to operate on a 'no strings attached' principle. When I don't feel like replaying a game, it means it's time to send it to someone else.
Still, I'm not ruthless enough. If I only kept those that hit the table often, I'd be left with only a handful. Oh well. In the list below I have picked some games I've given away or sold over the years. Revisiting the reasons why I did so, what went wrong, and considering if I now have any regrets.
1. "Not a chance"
Nemesis: Aftermath & Void Seeders: This is the first expansion to Awaken Realms' big hit, Nemesis. I quite like Nemesis although I don't feel like playing it often. After painting the base game minis, I proceeded to painting those of the expansion. Then I took a quick look at the Void Seeders rules and decided I don't want to keep it. Cthulhu-like aliens that only exist in the characters' minds? What nonsense is that? Why bring Cthulhu into an Alien-esque space adventure? The fact that the aliens, who look very physical and not like spirits at all, are just the products of the astronauts' imagination just didn't sit well with me. I never played it and passed it on to a German buyer.
2. "First impressions, last impressions"
Zeppelin Raider: Imperial German Naval Airships: This was an impulse Christmas buy, and quite an expensive one at that. I was fascinated by the game's theme and wanted to try a Gregory Smith design. Let's leave aside the fact that the components emitted a strong chemical stench. Upon completing the first mission, I had such a lousy time with it that I didn't want to play again. Extremely fiddly, with lots of tables and charts that you have to consult every turn. Almost no player agency, with the dice deciding what the hell happens. You use a bit of physics to make the zeppelin fly, but other than that, it's roll-check table-roll-check table-roll-check table-win/lose. I hope the Cypriot buyer enjoys it more than I did.
Greenland: This one I didn't hate but really didn't want to go through again. I played both sides as a prelude to trying the solo mode, which I never got to. I had to re-write the rules in a comprehensible to me way, starting with the bloody setup. Every rulebook starts with the setup, then has the structure of a game round, and then describes each step of a round. That's elementary. Not for the Sierra Madre folks, though, who always prefer obscurantism, even when they claim to strive for clarity. In any case, I quickly realized that the game is best played with other people, and that it has too much dice rolling for my liking. I gave it away to a fellow Greek.
3. "Nice while it lasted"
Apocrypha Adventure Card Game: This is an okay game. It has unique illustrations on the cards, creepy and humorous at the same time, and unusual characters. I found the gameplay mediocre, though, and didn't play through all the content. At first it was exciting to try and gather all the dice you need to defeat the enemies but it soon felt repetitive and therefore boring. It didn't help that the stories were disjointed, with no sense of progression, and nothing to connect them other than an abstract idea of lurking evil. To a local buyer it went.
Sherman Leader: I enjoyed playing a campaign but it wore me out. Too long, with annoying book-keeping in-between battles. This is obviously a matter of taste, as other people love taking notes, but I don't. Good production values if you also have the extra terrain tiles, but the dice rolling can become tedious. Sent to someone else.
Arkham Horror 3rd edition: Again, an okay game. It takes many hours to complete a session but that didn't bother me. I just didn't feel like playing it a second time. I managed to complete the base game but found one of the expansion scenarios impossible to win and that soured me on it. I liked the flavour text of the cards but the map tiles are too dark and overall uninspired. I'm not a big Cthulhu fan anyway. It went to JW who unfortunately hated it.
Herbaceous: A simple, relaxing game. Beat your own score doesn't do it for me, however, so I rarely reached for it. I have many small card games by now, and Herbaceous wasn't addictive enough to compete with the others. Sold.
4. "Seemed promising but didn't deliver"
Champions of Hara: When I first played this game, I was blown away. Fascinating card play, beautiful illustrations, great minis. After a while, all the goodness started falling apart. Moving the tiles around every round was getting on my nerves. Some scenarios seemed unwinnable. The teenager heroes and their petty goals didn't speak to me. I stopped wanting to play it. A Russian buyer was willing to pay for it, and away it went.
The 7th Continent: No other game does exploration better than The 7th Continent. This is the only positive thing I have to say about it. Okay, it also has very nice artwork. That's it. The gameplay is an enormous slog, with puzzles and riddles thrown in to maximize the frustration. I played through the curses of the base game by mostly cheating. When I opened the expansions, I realized the riddles had gotten even more complex. I packed everything back into the box and sent it to Sweden.
Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales: I have played the base game co-op with another person, and thoroughly enjoyed it despite the excruciating difficulty. So I decided to try the expansion two-handed solo. The campaign was okay, it didn't amaze me. The plot could have been better. As for revisiting the base game with the new expansion rules, I wasn't willing to do it. Why change something that doesn't need fixing? I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it, so I sold it to a fellow Greek.
5. "Kickstarter drama"
Unbroken: I am one of the lucky people in Europe who received their game without paying the extra shipping fee. There were two problems, however: one was that the Golden Bell drama left a bad taste in my mouth. I decided not to let this affect my judgment of the game but then I stumbled on problem no2: my tastes have changed since I backed the game on Kickstarter. I realized I had lost all interest in it. I half-heartedly played it once and then sent it to JW who is still expecting his own KS copy.
The list could go on, but let's stop here for now. As new games are coming in, sooner or later I will have to do another culling. I haven't regretted parting with any of the aforementioned games, and only feel a little pang of nostalgia about Champions of Hara because I liked the uniqueness of the monsters. Never mind. The competition is merciless when you only want to keep the cream of the crop. Looking at you, Tainted Grail... say your prayers, because your end is nigh.