I realize how blessed I am overall with 3 regular gaming groups (2 weekly and 1 quarterly) plus a family that plays games. In addition to that I have a wider group of friends who enjoy games but do not play regularly, only when we sporadically get together. This leaves my choices of games split into multiple categories, my hard-core gaming groups, my family games, and party or lighter games my extended friends would enjoy. I can be fairly honest in saying Gaming itself has become my hobby. This is a shift from being focused strictly on miniature games where the "hobby" was defined as the gluing, building, painting side of the game activities.
Readers may wonder what type of expense my current game hobby carries. I've been very aware of this and watched it fairly closely over the past two years. Kickstarter has helped a great deal in managing the overall expense of collecting games to play on both the board game and miniature side of gaming. I'll occasionally have spike of expense in a month where a really exciting kickstarter is coming to a close or where a lot of stuff is released all at once. Those months can push my totals up to $200 - $300 spent, although they are not overly common. On a regular basis, outside the spikes, I'm spending $50 - $100 per month on games. Add in a spike for Gencon or Adepticon then two big kickstarters a year and I'm averaging a yearly gaming expenditure around $1800. Keeping in mind that's just to put new games or game accessories in my hands, not including any travel or lodging for events or such.
I don't think that's too bad. I could even take time to look at what I'm playing and how often to try and figure out if I'm getting that much value from my spending. I could, but it wouldn't make much sense. Overall I have the overwhelming feeling I with I had more time for games simply because I'm not playing all the games I want to play enough times. This begs the question, what are all the games?
All The Games
Psudeo-BoardgamesCurrently I have five (six) games in my roster which fall under Pseudo-Boardgames. These are games with models that should be built and painted, some level of character or force customization, and are played primarily on a board of some type. I have 2 more "campaign" style games coming toward the beginning of 2017 which fall into this lot as well.
Star Wars X-Wing and Star Wars Armada fall firmly into this category due to being played on an open table (often on a space printed mat) but not requiring any painting or assembly of the models used. I picked up both of these games to play with a combination of my daughter and a couple key friends who played them. On both fronts the drive to play these games has dropped off but I'm not yet committed to selling off my collections. To be fair, my collections are fairly conservative in relation to some other games so if I get these games on the table twice a year with either my daughter or key friends then I feel like I'm ahead.
The Board Games
ThoughtsI am blessed to have the disposable income and understanding family that let's me obtain, own, and play all these games. I'm blessed to have the available leisure time to do so much gaming. A big part of the second has to do with a combination of multiple groups of great friends plus making time to exercise my gaming hobby. I set aside specific time each week to join friends at a local store and game. This is similar to TV time for most people, I just cut back and don't watch as much TV.
I'm both intrigued and mildly concerned that I cut off my board game list with at least 4 additional games plus a category of party games still to go. I felt this overall article was getting pretty long for reading. I'll definitely revisit the part game portion in an article of it's own, as I think readers would be interested in a list of good games for 5+ players.
I often consider my experience gaming and my contacts in the gaming industry with an eye toward moving my career and livelihood into that space. I've not yet found a way to maintain my current lifestyle and income level moving into the board and tabletop gaming space. Although it's a large industry it's still made up of low margin and small increments of income when compared to the executive management of IT and IT Consulting space I'm currently in. It's staying as my retirement plan for now.
Rome Rise to Power
The Group Games - Front Line No Komrades, Dark Dealings, Nevermore, Evil Baby Orphanage, Libertalia, New Salem