Board game shelves around the world #31

Hi, my name is aLeXiS and I’m addicted to boardgames (pauses for response). Yes, I do stylize my name that way, and yes I write “boardgames” as one word. Sure, they’re kind of bonehead maneuvers, but that’s me in a nutshell.

I live on the west coast of the United States, like a real G, Westsiiiide whaaaatt!! …Or whatever the youth of today say… I guess that’s more the youth of the 90s.

I’m just about a noob when it comes to boardgames, only being deep into the hobby for a little over two years now. Aside from gaming, I’m into most niche-geek hobbies – comics, videogames, close up magic, Disney parks (mainly WDW), filmmaking, pinball… if it got you beat up in highschool, I was into it.

analog games

How did you get into this world of non-digital games?
Actually, I transitioned from party games… it all started with a little game called Werewolf. My cousin Rhayea, aka BoardMagic on YouTube, introduced our family to that game one time at a party, and we all instantly fell in love with it. Now, the way we are, when we get into something, we really get into something. We would play Werewolf for 5 hour stints every weekend for 5 months straight. We had so much fun that we started getting more and more party games, mainly The Game of Things and Say Anything.

After that, like any good crack dealer, Rhayea introduced me to Wil Wheaton’s TableTop and eventually The Dice Tower videos. At first, I made fun of her for being so into this weird hobby. Now, my own personal collection is 200 strong.

My first few games were bought all at once at a FLGS sale: Concept, Betrayal, P.I. and… some other game I can’t remember. It’s been all downhill since then.

The rest of the family slowed down, and Rhayea and I are the only ones left hardcore gaming; however, we all still love getting together for giant sessions where I can introduce everyone to new acquisitions.

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How often do you play?
In terms of how many games per week, never as much as I’d like. For a while there, I averaged about 7-10 games per week, mainly played on the weekends. Now it’s only about 2 games per weekend, with an odd, single player, rule learning/refresher game during the week. But at times, it’s none. Those are the rough weeks; the dry weeks.

analog games

Can you tell us something about your shelves?
Sure, they are the de facto standard, Ikea brand, Expedit shelves. Instead of a nice 5×5, I started slowly with a 2×4, never thinking my collection would grow as it did. Eventually, I added another 2×4, and then another…and then another… I’m currently at capacity with four 4x4s for a total of 8×4. If I ever overfill these shelves, that’s it… unless I move to a bigger house.

There is a lot of fat that could be trimmed, but until I absolutely must, I refuse to cut off any of my toes.

As far as the contents, there’s a lot of amerithrash in there, but euros are sprinkled liberally throughout. I tend to lean toward cool art and theme, but if a box doesn’t have gripping gameplay (for me) then it’s just a box… a beautiful box full of delicious cardboard.

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What is your favorite game at the moment?
At the moment? So, at the moment I’m having a love affair with Viticulture, specifically with the Tuscany big board expansion. It’s one of the latest games to really grab a hold of my grapes… I mean… um… because you make wine in the game.

But, and this is going to sound cliché, but whenever someone says, ‘what’s your favorite game’, I immediately say Cosmic Encounter (with Dead of Winter nipping at its heels).

My family LOVES “take that” sort of games, and games where we could screw over each other, make deals against one another, stab everyone in the back… a lot of people hate that sort of stuff, but we find it hilarious. So Cosmic fits right in there.

analog games

What is your most special or obscure game?
I follow the pack a lot, so there isn’t much in my collection that’s obscure to other gamers. To non-gamers, all my games are obscure.

I tried to venture forth and try out games based on the back of the box and not on what someone on YouTube or Instagram says about it.. and I’ve failed several times. Those games never get played and will be the first out the door when it comes time to choppy choppy.

So… obscure? Maybe Corto? Thrash and Roll? Succession? Illusio? Those seem like a lot of gamers would know about though.

Most special… to me (and maybe only to me) Dead of Winter. Nothing rare or hard to find – just a game that I protect with my life. I even bought a newer copy, even though my old one was in mint condition, and donated my other to my cousin who borrowed it a few times. I was afraid it was getting dinged up while away from home, so I replaced it.

analog games

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Something you would like to add?
I can talk on and on about games and stuff. It’s awesome to meet others in this hobby who understand the obsession and aren’t bothered by the incessant blathering about ‘which boxes are the best?’ or ‘how do you organize your shelves?’ A little while back, I met in real lifesies, for the first time, an online gamer friend, @nettersplays from Instagram. We played some games and then spoke a little about how we sometimes just like to stare at our shelves and look at all the games, and I thought “oh COOL, I’m not the only one!”

It’s that feeling of camaraderie and that sharing of even the oddest ritual that makes meeting others in any hardcore hobby so fun.

Anyway, I’d just like to say thank you for letting me share a little of my madness with you. And I hope you all keep playing, as much as you can.

Photo credits: LJ Caoili
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