So I was recently fortunate enough to win one of the BGA giveaways (Yay me) and threw out a few ideas for what to get, (sadly my no.1 pick #878: Vikings - Invasions of England had snuck above the $60 line a few days before).
I asked the hive mind of BGA for some thoughts and had a lot of positivity for both #Root (I think BGA loves this game more than anything!) and #Spirit Island. Less enthusiasm for the other two. I'll go through each one and why I did/didn't go for it:
Days of Ire: A game that is relatively new on my radar, I liked the 1 vs many or co-op options, thematically it is an area of history I know little about which would make it interesting. I kind of looked like a pandemic-esque kind of game but on the heavier side. In the end I figured while I would want to play it at some point I'm not sure how often I would get it to the table as I have a number of similar games (#Pandemic: On the Brink, #Eldritch Horror )
Spirit Island: Looks incredibly cool looking co-op puzzler (lots of people commenting on it as a good solo game although I don't tend to play solo) lots of replayability with scaling and different spirits. I think if I didn't already know a couple of people with it (and I know it is next on the list for my brother to buy), this one might have taken it. I figure I will get to play it sometime soon, and again, it would be competing with my co-op library for table-time.
Root: I surprised myself by not picking this one, I have loved the idea of Root for years, and for many years it hasn't been readily available in the UK (often just on the second-hand market for ludicrous money) I love asymmetry and Root has it in buckets. I don't know anyone with it and think it is gorgeous with regard to artwork. The only potential con is that I relatively recently acquired #Cry Havoc which is a highly (although not quite to the extent of Root) asymmetric area control game which I absolutely adore (and which I found because I was on the look out for games similar to Root) so would be like getting two very similar games one after the other. however, this isn't the reason I didn't get Root. The reason was I just wanted Catacombs more:
Catacombs: Catacombs is a 1 vs Many dexterity dungeon crawler, one that was on my radar for a while but again seemed non-existent in the UK unless I wanted to pay extortionate prices, So I had mostly forgotten about it until this giveaway fell into my lap. It was one that I tagged onto the list of potential games without thinking I would actually get it, but as I was thinking them over as I went about my days, I kept drifting to thinking about what it would be like to play. I remember talking all the games through with my partner and afterwards her commenting that I sounded most excited about catacombs and I realised that that was true: Even though I thought and still think Root is probably the 'better' game I was just so much more excited to play Catacombs: it is like nothing I have in my collection and I wanted the epic-ness of a flick going perfectly and the hilarity of it going disastrously wrong. I could imagine the laughter and jokes around the table with my friends as we played. That excitement was still there when it arrived, when I spent a whole evening sticking stickers to little wooden disks, and when I first played it with my partner (who has decided that flicking things is too much for her emotionally). I cannot wait until it is safe to bring this to a board game evening and go on a little epic quest with some friends through the medium of hitting wooden disks with other wooden disks.
So yes, basically, heart prevailed over head and I have no regrets. I have tended to buy games second-hand when they are massively reduced (charity jobs don't pay so well) so have often not had free reign to chose 'any game', so was it was an interesting revelation for me to see how my mind worked when I had that option.
How do you go about picking a game to buy and how much does 'excitement' play into your final decision?
Thanks to all those who gave their input and to BGA for running the giveaway!