I SHALL NOT SURRENDER THIS GAME LEAVING ANY AVAILABLE CARD UNPLAYED

I think it's fair to say that many of us in the gaming community are accumulators. That is, we love acquiring new games. It hardly matters that we have closets full of the things, more than enough to satisfy a lifetime of playing, there's a certain desire to acquire more and more. What's our favorite game? The un-purchased one of course. Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration but one that holds a kernel of truth. It's always the "next" game that grabs our attention and interest. (This phenomenon is not limited to game-players I know people who own 80 hats.)

One side effect of all this is that your purchasing can overtake the pace at which you actually play the games. It's pretty common for me (and, I assume for others) to have an "unplayed list". A collection of games that were purchased, placed on the shelf and have, for one reason or another, never seen action. Some games I purchase knowing full well that they'll never get played, I bought them because I admire the system or the artwork or the designer. I rarely play Carabande because it's awkward to carry around with me and I almost never play games at my home anymore. Wargames are infrequently pulled out as we often have four or five people together at a session. Still, I think it's a shame to have them waste away on the shelf so, every now and again, I'll write down the list of such games and make a concerted effort to bring them to game night. For the most part this works really well and I'm often surprised by how enjoyable one (or several) of them are. (My latest such discovery was Knizia's En Garde. Very addictive!)

I'll rarely get all the games crossed off the list before adding more to it but it's still a good exercise as far as I'm concerned. The ironic thing about my latest attempt was that I told myself "no new games until I had played everything on the list" (and this time I meant it!). Of course, this was thwarted by the rash of review copies that arrived en masse that week. Sigh. I've said it before but as problems go, this is a pretty easy one to deal with.

-Greg Aleknevicus

I'm not a huge fan of two-player abstract games, particularly ones that do not involve luck of some kind. I can appreciate that Chess and Go are among the greatest gaming achievements of our civilization but I do not enjoy the process of playing. Perhaps it's that they possess too much depth and that I feel a need to master them when I play? Of course this is impossible and so they feel very much like work to me. However, there are some that I enjoy and I suspect it's because they're deep enough to reward thoughtful play, but not so deep that they require academic study. Zertz satisfies this criteria and I've recently added Hive to the list as well.

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