Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Friday, March 30, 2012

BGTG 121 - Secondhand Games (with Greg Pettit)

I'm still trying to keep podcasts coming out more frequently, and now I've got friends who are actively pushing me along. That can only help! In this case, it's Greg Pettit, who I thought of immediately when I decided to do a podcast about secondhand games. Whether you're acquiring Out-Of-Print classics or being economical about the Cult of the New-To-Me, sometimes buying used games is the way to go.

As for selling, sometimes it's about subsidizing your hobby by turning a little profit on thrift store treasures, while other times you just need to clear some shelf buy more games. Either way, it's handy to know how best to be a seller of secondhand games.

Finally there's trading, which has the potential to be the biggest win-win of all. Both of you exchange a game you aren't playing--or don't even like--for one that's exciting to acquire. Whether you ship them across the continent or hand them off at a local game convention, trading can be a great experience.

Greg and I discuss the many ways that all of these transactions happen, and some of the tools and marketplaces we use. There's ebay, of course, but BGG Marketplace is often better for all parties. In-person deals at big & small conventions are discussed, and we tiptoe into the hobby-within-a-hobby of thrifting.

At the very end of the show I raise the question of whether I ought to migrate the (future) show notes & comment feedback system over to BGG instead of here on my own blog. I resisted that in the beginning, but now in 2012 I'm beginning to think it makes more sense. I'd welcome feedback on that topic.


Here are Greg's links to several resources relating to secondhand games

Thrifting for You List:
This is an interesting part of the thrifting community on BGG. Basically, you add a game that you’d like to have. If someone finds it, they’ll send it to you for the cost of shipping. It’s completely voluntary, but over a hundred people have received games this way.

OLWLG JeffyJeff
Stands for “On-Line Want List Generator.” I call it the Owl just because I can never remember the acronym. This is an awesome tool for anyone participating in Math Trades (it may even be required these days). It helps you search through the often very long lists and prioritize what you want.

Math Trades
This is the BGG Wiki article explaining Math Trades.

BGG Auction Meta-List
A nice meta-list for people to advertise when they’re holding a list auction. Subscribe to this list and you’ll be notified of new auctions as they appear. Administered by ColtsFan76.

BGG Auction Aggregator
This is a brand new tool jdludlow cooked up that searches BGG for List Auctions and compiles them in one handy list. Even better, you can enter your username and it will filter it to just games on your want list.

Spielboy Pricing Utility
You’ve probably seen this one before. This is really handy when pricing items for the marketplace or auctions. It pulls data from BGG and shows you the historical sales prices for those games. Sometimes there are outliers that skew the graph, but they’re easy to spot. Plus, it gives you a better idea of the market trends, as opposed to the “average” that BGG offers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BGTG 120 - Favorites of 2011 (A Few Acres of Snow, Pergamon)

What?! Two episodes in the same month?! When was the last time I did that? Unfortunately, it's been a while. But as I say during the early part of this podcast, I've got a little more free time now, and I hope I can use it to publish podcasts a bit more frequently than it's been. This could change at any time, but for now I've got my fingers crossed.

In this episode I do a few things. Most of the time I talk about my two favorite titles from 2011, A Few Acres of Snow, and Pergamon. The first is Martin Wallace's deckbuilding wargame about the French & Indian War, while the second is an historically themed, 1990s-style euro in a field increasingly dominated by plastic spaceships and special powers. I also use the opportunity to quickly recap the games I played in 2011, at least the totals and Five & Dimes.

Finally, I dig through the musty mail bag to read some feedback "on air." That was always a favorite part, for me, and maybe if I keep posting some more podcasts I can get back into it.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

BGTG 119 - Euro Train Games (with Dave Arnott)

Train games mean something special, at least to train gamers. Usually they involve the 18XX system and hours of deep gameplay. Oddly, though, sometimes it means a very light game such as Express. Within hobby gaming, the term predates the German style of boardgames typified by Settlers and the like. Are there games that include some of what "makes" a train game, but also includes the design/gameplay & production advancements of euro games? I think so, and I discussed the topic with my buddy Dave Arnott. We cover the little bit of 18XX I understand (for context), then dive into titles such as Chicago Express, TransAmerica, Paris Connection, Union Pacific, and Railroad Barons.