Games That Got Away

twixtI imagine that everyone has heard of the term buyer’s remorse, that horrible feeling you have after spending money on something that you really shouldn’t have purchased, like that package of waxy chocolate donuts or that collector’s edition Blu-ray box set of the second season of Heroes. I wonder if there is a term for the opposite of buyer’s remorse? Something we could use for those times that we pass on purchases for whatever reason and then regret it later.

I started thinking about this after playing The Golden City by Michael Schacht. The game comes with paper money. Okay, it’s not really money, but letters of business or something like that. I don’t really care. It’s small rectangular bits of light-weight paper with numbers on them, so it’s paper money as far as I’m concerned. I really dislike paper money in games. I don’t care how pretty you make it. I will still prefer having some kind of token, chip, or card to keep track of points or funds. Anyway, I started thinking about how I should have purchased that small set of mini poker chips that used to be available online. I knew it existed and I knew how to get it. I just never pulled the trigger on it. Now it’s too late. You can get something like it, but you can’t get the chips with marked denominations anymore.

One day I was wandering through Barnes & Noble and found a copy of the Carcassonne expansion Abbey and Mayor in the clearance bin for something like four bucks, and I didn’t buy it. I remember standing there with it in my hands and telling my wife that we don’t play a lot of Carcassone anyway, and when we do, we tend to play Hunters and Gatherers. She told me I was being an idiot and I should just buy it. I didn’t. I walked away with some smug sense of four dollar frugality. I returned about three hours later when I realized how dumb that was, but it was already gone.

A couple of years ago, Amigo published a card game by Tom Lehmann, called The City. A few of my friends ordered copies of it, but again, I was being frugal and decided I should hold off on the ten bucks it would have taken to pitch in on the German order from I got to play it and really enjoyed it. I figured there would be a domestic release of it, but that never happened for some reason. I’m sure it’s still available, but I should have picked it up when I had the chance. Yes, I’m just bitching at this point. I expect that what remains will be more of the same. If you want to read something different, you can bail now. Try my review of energy drinks or Mississippi Queen.

I don’t usually pass up on good games that I find when I check the thrift stores, but last year I saw a copy of Twixt and didn’t buy it for some stupid reason. Twixt was the first 3M game I ever played. My fifth grade teacher kept a copy of it in the classroom, and we played the heck out of it. I think my kids would have liked it too. What was I thinking? When you find a great deal at the thrift store for a game that’s almost 40 years old, then just buy it. You can sell it later if you don’t want it, or give it as a gift.

I would be really interested in hearing some of your stories about the games that got away. Share your tales of regretful frugality!

8 thoughts on “Games That Got Away”

  1. Although I don’t imagine it would have ended up getting a ton of plays, I regret not picking up the first edition of Barbarossa (the recent Japanese deckbuilder, not the former SdJ winner) while I was in Japan. Oh, and a Japanese copy of Power Grid, just because.

  2. Oh, you’re not going to like my answer. I can’t remember any time I’ve regretted my game-buying frugality.

    Partly because I’ve been in the hobby long enough to have grabbed copies of For Sale and Exxtra for about 5 euros apiece. Partly because I’ve seen sought-after titles like those get reprinted, so I figure I’ll always have a chance to get the game I want if I’m patient. Partly because I’ve got a wide circle of gamer friends, and I’m content to play their copy of a game.

    Mostly, though, I look at my shelves of more games than I’ll ever play frequently, and think I’ve got enough.

    1. Now hold on there… I know for a fact you’ve purchased games and then gotten rid of them only to purchase them again later. Doesn’t that count?

      1. Oh, hmm… you may have a point there. It’s true that I’ve done that. But even then, “remorse” seems too strong of a term. I felt that I no longer had a need to keep/own a certain game, and got rid of it. Later I had an opportunity to get it back again, and thought maybe I’d like to do that. I’ve never paid top dollar to get one back. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. Twenty bucks? Yeah, sure. It’s almost like I’m renting the games.

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