I've been in this hobby a little over a year now (i.e. that's when I found boardgamegeek, before that I actually had some disposable income), and already I'm starting to mature. Last year was a delicious year of discovery - finding great games, finding places to buy them, researching everything I could to bring the games that I wanted into my collection. Of course, now a great many of them are here, and the study is kinda clogged up. I am definitely having storage issues, and there's that nagging question, Do I need more games? Of course, the answer is yes, but why?
Well, games tend to get consumed a little like books around here - you play them once, then you've done that and it's time for something new. Even when I have the urge to play a game more, it's hard to find opponents - my kid has the attention span of a gnat and the compassion and tolerance of a Doberman. To be fair, whereas my thematic interests are often historical, he's into killing and... more killing. Anyway, after a few weeks of being unable to find an opponent, the game gets shelved and something new comes along and the cycle starts again. So there's definitely a demand for new games around here, but I haven't finished playing the old games yet, so I'm going to keep them. I didn't search the world for them only to dispose of them just because they don't get played.
I am trying to be somewhat more hard-nosed though, which is where the Year of the Expansion comes in. The best way to get new games played is for them to be expansions of old games which do manage to get played. Although the kid has definitely gone cold on Memoir '44, he still likes it enough to play a game if I beg. I have ordered the Runebound expansions, because I will play that solitaire in any case. In fact, it's better without anyone else, because there's no down-time and I can quietly contemplate my next move. I also got the Mystery of the Abbey expansion when I ordered direct from Days of Wonder, because the kid and the mummy and I play that together. (That's a curious thing actually - there are heaps of games that the kid will play with me and someone else, but he won't play just with me. Maybe it's not the games he hates, it's just me :-).
Also on the to-buy list for this year is the Gipf Project. My brother-in-law thought he disliked games, until I got him to play DVONN with me last year. He liked the way it stretched his brain, and I also think he appreciated the way that it wasn't clogged up with distracting theme. After that we tried YINSH (very good) and TAMSK (not as good, but the timers are cool), and just recently GIPF itself (very good, but hard work). Of course, now I have to get ZERTZ and PUNCT (and DVONN and YINSH which I don't actually own), so there is plenty of game shopping to be done there. Of course, all of the others are just expansions to GIPF, but if brother-in-law and I ever play GIPF with all the potentials it will be a massive effort, worthy of a complete session report.
On the other hand, I'm not really interested in the Bohnanza expansions. I like the basic game, but I get the feeling that adding Bohnaparte and that sort of thing would distract from the trading which I find to be the fun part.
So, here's the plan for 2006. Only buy games for which I have an opponent. Arkham Horror plays solitaire, so I think that one's coming soon. The best way to make sure you have an opponent is to use the one you've already got, and just buy an expansion. So expansions are IN. Now, if only I played Carcassonne, there'd be a reason to get a whole lot more games.