Board Games on a Budget, Game Balance, & MORE! - Your Board Game Questions Answered -

Board Games on a Budget, Game Balance, & MORE! – Your Board Game Questions Answered

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Matthew Answers The Internet!

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00:00 – Are you embarrassed to discuss the hobby?
04:37 – Can you provide a budget friendly top 10?
12:52 – How important is perfect game balance?

#watchitplayed #boardgames #FavoriteBoardGames


  1. Excellent segment! Well done. I think that you ARE being a good ambassador for the hobby by being honest about it. And by dispelling myths and misconceptions. I’ve built a nice board game collection on a budget. You just have to be patient and persistent (thrifting and trading), and not too picky about game condition. (The 3 P’s?)

  2. Hi Matthew. I, unfortunately, also share a bit of the hesitancy to just say that I like board games not because I'm ashamed of liking board games themselves, but because most people's limited experience with board games makes them think they're either childish or only a very specific type of person plays them. At the same time, I would hope you can find a future partner that is excited about the idea of sharing board games with you or getting into them with you. If I was single, I would be so thrilled to find a guy that was into board games!

  3. Jeez… I love my hobby… All of my hobbies. Board games, wargames, RPGs, comics, art, anime, movies, the lot.. And I love my geek nerd nature and will proudly and passionately discuss it if the conversation comes up.

    The fact you don't embrace who you are, genuiney, will cause you more of a problem when meeting and talking with anyone, let alone a romantic interest, than pretending to be someone you're not… denying your passions is not a good thing, as technically thats no different than lying about yourself.

    I have always embraced this side of me, even at a time when it wasn't widely accepted and embraced like it is right now. I find it odd you see the hobby that way, when I don't, at all… I absolutely do not agree this comes with negative assumptions and conotations, these days, no more than any other interest. I think thats far more your outlook than those of others.

    As someone who has been tabletop gaming for 40 years, I think the hobby, even the most niche aspects of it, like D&D or Warhammer, or historical wargaming, are an almost entirely embraced culture now. Certainly compared to when I was a teenager or up until your age.

    Nowadys, if people are not involved, then they're curious at the very least. I honestly cant think of a single person I have told I play board games, wargames or RPGs who hasn't instantly said they want to try… I played summoner wars and unmatched in my local starbucks recently, and most people were far more intrigued and interested than anything else.

    Any negative side of this hobby is down to a judgement on the person discussing it, not the hobby itself… Yes, if you put the generic cliche, of the big bang theory, magic the gathering mega nerd there, and had them discuss it with the general population. yes, like big bang theory it might get judged. But they are judging the person, not the interest, as when anyone not fitting those cliches discusses this hobby with passion, no one questions it. I have never faced ridicule about the hobby, not even back then… and certainly not these days, the worst I may get is an almost friendly jab about being a hipster… nothing more.

    And to be quite honest, on the romantic side of things, why would you want to be with a person who would potentially look down on you due to your interests? So why wouldn't you just be open about it. They don't have to like them, or be a part of them, but they shouldn't look down on them and nor should you want to be with someone who might. To be quite honest I would even question why you would want to be with someone who would not at the very least give them a try, even if they didn't understand…

    I have yet to show someone Gloomhaven, D&D or Arcadia Quest who didn't want to try… let alone gateway games… which I don't even believe in to be honest… If they;re going to try Catan, why not try Arcadia Quest, or Gloomhaven (Jaws of the Lion of course 😉

    This isn't a knock on you, dont feel ashamed you feel this way, as you say it's just something you maybe need to think about and address in some way. As honestly, I think hiding something so important to you you're willing to talk about it with any authority on a platform like Youtube, and as you said, wanting to be an ambassador for the hobby… is like using a fake photo on a dating profile ;).

    As my rather lengthy waffle might show… I'm honestly surpirsed that was your response… get out there, let your nerd flag fly. It's not a dirty word, or even an insult… geek, nerd, they're compliments to be proud of. 😉

  4. I had no idea this was a Board Game Questions video until you said it in the intro. I love these videos and would like something more clear in the thumb nail or start of the title to make it more obvious if possible.

    Since board games shouldn’t be purchased before necessities and some people have no funds left over after necessities games are inherently a luxury good in that sense.

    Also, I played Targi for the first time yesterday and couldn’t believe how “big” of a game I got in a small box for $15. I recommend that one for a budget game if you play at two.

  5. There are tons of really good games at Goodwills and other thrift stores all over the place. Just off the top of my head, I've bought Decrypto, Forbidden Island, Machi Koro, Snakesss, Just One, Tsuro, and soooo many others, and none of them cost me more than $6, and they were all complete (some were brand new).

  6. I like Boardgames. What I don't like is the hoarding aspect to it. I think that is part of what makes people label it as a geeky hobby. I think is that is better to play more and collect less. Do you really need 500 games? Probably an updatable collection of max. 50 would be more than plenty.

  7. I think it does matter if a game is perfectly balanced…….. otherwise it will fall of the shelf if it isn't 😉 Excellent stuff as always Matthew keep up the good work 🙂

  8. Also Codenames is so replayable, needs 4+ people though

  9. Awesome questions and very nice answers… And to expand your horizons on the Love Letter universe, you can also try Infinity Gauntlet or Jabba's Palace (these I own, but there are at least 5 or 6 more versions of this game) I'm sure you'll have a blast, enjoy! 🥳

  10. One of the things my wife says about my hobbies, yes hobbies, is that it is then me doing drugs :). I had gone on a couple of dates with her before she saw my main hobby, tabletop wargaming, lots of mini's and terrain and a permeant gaming table, When we bought a house together the table did not survive the move, but my mini's and other games and books, did survive.

    My wife also says Geeks make the best husbands :).
    Be proud and let that Geek flag fly!!

  11. The only thing about boardgaming that I'm embarrassed about is how many games I own. Fortunately, I don't have a shelf of shame.

    I agree there's a board game for everyone, but not everyone needs to play board games.

  12. Board games are one of several forms of entertainment that are (or were until recently) thought to be "for kids" by people who aren't into the hobby. See also: comic books; animation.

  13. You are a Twin?
    How do we even know it's you on your show?

  14. I've given up on being embarrassed by liking board games, it's too much effort to keep letting it get to you ^^.

    It's other peoples' problem if they're upset/bothered/whatever by it, not mine.

    Of course it kinda helps that I also enjoy other "weird" hobbies like Aerial Silks – I can imagine that if board games is your only "weird" hobby it might be tougher to get over any embarrassment since you likely do plenty of other stuff that make you feel "normal" and it'll be your odd hobby out ^^.
    I hope you find a way to improve how you feel about it though!

  15. The embarrassed question is tricky. I would say yes, but mostly because I find it difficult to explain modern board games to people whose context is Monopoly. Its so much more than that, but I don't have the social skills to describe the hobby without making it sound worse.

  16. For us it's kind of an oxymoron as we are BG content creators, but at the same time slightly embarrassed to allow people to see them in the house. I have always been a geek and mostly hid it, and even now when geeky things are popular still fall into the habit of trying to hide it.

  17. Is balance important in a game? I think the answer depends in who and why the player(s) are playing. Yes will be very important for a competetive players that just have fun when winning. But, it will not be important at all to players who enjoy the good time with friends while trying to win a game.
    And there are the people on the middle who will like to win but will probably never the game was imbalance.
    I would say choce the type of game is for you and the people who you play with. Theee are soooo many of both sides of games.
    Thanks Mathew for the video.

  18. There are some really beautiful games for under 30 GBP. Games like Floriferous, Sunset over Water, Cafe, etc. There are also the print & play roll and write games, such as Voyages and Aquamarine. Some card games like Sushi Go or Point Salad are cheap but give you excellent gameplay. I like what you said, the hobby is not necessarily a luxury hobby. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.

  19. Wiz-War, barely contained chaos of cards and spells. So. Much. Fun.!!!

  20. I don't have any embarrassment about loving this hobby. If others don't like it, well that's their problem.

  21. Matthew, Don't let embarrassment from school-based stereotypes follow you. Confidence is a turn-on, and you are a celebrity geek!
    I do think this gets easier as you get older, at least got easier for me as I finally started aging out of caring what people thought around my mid-30s ; and right around then is when the people around me seemed to catch-up. The one thing I would change about my 20s and early 30s would be more confidence about what I actually enjoy and not wasting time with things I didn't care for to impress people I was dating.
    Especially when it comes to a dating partner, ya got to put your likes and dislikes up front. The last thing you want to do is trap yourself into a long term relationship where you continually feel embarrassed about your favorite things (trust me!). And there are PLENTY of people who find various varieties of geek a turn-on these days.

  22. If your embarrassed about board games, try being into model railways. And the biggest fact is I don't care what they call me. I've got a hobby and they haven't .

  23. It’s interesting how to approach board games/gaming interests and a future partner. When I was dating, I put it out there in my interests because I felt it was as important to show it was a part of me as much as who my favourite sports team was.
    However, as it always is, you do you! There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to lead with hobbies. Ultimately, it’s always about finding that player two (even if they are reluctant).

  24. This is an excellent episode with great answers. Thank you!

  25. I would say solo board gaming can end up being a luxury hobby but like you said, it's building the collection that gets expensive 😛 Games for more than 2 people, not so. Plenty of games to be had for cheap. But I often pay big bucks or an expansion because I don't have anyone to play with most of the time, and I pay more because it's not included in the base game or only in the deluxe edition or lower-priced (not on sale) games just don't bother much with solos. But yes, there are good ones to be had for around $40 CAN (so surely less in the USA): Meadow, Canvas, Villagers, Walking in Burano, Café, Calico-Cascadia-Verdant, Flamecraft base game coming out soon, Terraforming Mars Ares, Canopy, Chronicles of Crime, Destinies, etc. For bigger games, it gets harder but I got many more when on sale that were near $45 (plus tax of course) like West Kingdom series, Imperium Classics & Legends, Museum, Honey Buzz, Merchants of the Dark Road. Those are really solid games that feel like you paid a lot more for them.

  26. I'm not embarrassed of the hobby, but that people might think that I'm really into Monopoly and Yahtzee.

    And Red Cathedral was one of my favourite releases from that year. It's a great find at an amazing value!

  27. Everyone is ultimately a nerd about something they are passionate and have a lot of knowledge about. Some stats Post Malone is a killer MTG player, Henry Cavill plays and paints Warhammer, Vin Deisel plays D&D, Will Wheaton and the list goes on. You sir will be able to have a blast with a lot of celebrities, not sure others can say the same.

  28. Matthew – I LOVE Knightmare Chess – it is a tremendous way to level the playing field and then set it spinning like a 20 sided disco ball!!

  29. If people would be honest about who they are and what they like, they would find people who share their interests to grow old with. Let me tell you from experience, having hobbies you can share with your partner is the most important thing in a relationship.

  30. Am I embarrassed to discuss my love for the boardgame hobby? My answer is pretty much the same as yours, unfortunately. I say unfortunately because no one should feel embarrassed for enjoying geeky things. I do agree with you though that unfortunately the terms geek/geeky and nerd/nerdy tend to still have more negative connotations and assumptions built into them. Even if such things are more popular now a days, they are often still seen as not the norm. If you're geeky or nerdy the assumptions might be you're more socially inept, only like other geeky things, those things are for kids, and generally they don't have a more positive association. As opposed to saying you like sports something seen as more social/socially acceptable as a hobby. Reminds me a bit of being a choir or drama club kid in school vs being a jock or at the vo-tech (trade school) classes. Even if you were accepted you were never really part of the cool crowd.

    I think the part that bothers me personally the most is the idea that people think you only like other geeky things. Sure, I love Mass Effect, Dr Who, anime, manga, books, and I'm a huge Star Wars nerd. I also love watching car restoration videos, heavy metal concerts, going to parks, wine and whiskey tastings, or other non-geeky hobbies. If you tell someone you love boardgames though it seems like most of the time if they don't as well people will fall back on those negative, or perhaps "dated" is a good word, opinions on what being geeky, or enjoying a geeky hobby, means.

  31. I fall under the proud gamer. I feel like you either accept me for what I am and do or we can just part ways. Own who you are and never be ashamed of what you do.

  32. I thought matthew jude was in Bulgaria! 🇧🇬

    If I’m being honest, yeah I don’t want to discuss board games with some female friends because they start becoming judgy. “Why are you playing board games”. Like I should grow up. I’m sorry I like to think? Why is it men can play games and not be judged? A guy can have a game console and THAT’S okay? What is this garbage?

    I think it is because historically women took on house chores and never had time for leisure activities like hunting or sports and it was “unbecoming”. And women are supposed to talk and socialize and gossip. I honestly get bored of talking but if my friends enjoy it, sure I can talk in circles and express my feelings and complain about my life and blah blah. And then they console me and offer advice. Multiple times until I agree to take their advice. I guess I’m not embarrassed, I just have a low threshold of irritability and would rather stay friends.

  33. Another inexpensive game that is incredibly replayable is Innovation.

  34. Hey Matthew! I used to be uneasy about what people thought of my interests (D&D, fantasy books, etc) when I was younger because it was (and still is I suppose) considered "geeky". I learned that the people who judge others and think they're better humans (for whatever ridiculous reason) aren't worth being embarrassed over. Hopefully some of em realize the amazing people they're missing out on and change their judginess (that's a word right??!!)
    Also, Knightmare Chess looks really fun!!
    Thank you for doing what you do for all us board gaming folks!

  35. Great answers! Also love your list of cheap games.

  36. A game like Cosmic Encounter would not even remotely be the same if it was balanced. However I completely relate to your response… as there are certain games I want to be balanced as well (Anachrony). I have never given any embarrassment a thought for this hobby. Granted I wear my nerd badge proudly. If someone ever felt the need to judge me because they thought my hobby was childish or something, that is on them. I would rather be making friends that shared my interest anyway.

  37. As a single woman, I would be thrilled to find a single man who loves board games, and is as delightful as you are

  38. I am not embarrassed to talk about my hobby, I find that the friends I already have are very supportive and open minded to everyones hobbies and they are a great crowd of folks. I also find that the board game community is a really strong one, i can go anywhere in the world, find a board game group, and make some friends for the night, or friends for a lifetime and i LOVE that. And its important to me that the next person i date also enjoys board games because its such a social and fun thing to do and i would love to have little date-nights-in playing a board game and drinking wine with my partner.

  39. Also a (currently) single man in his 30s, I am completely unashamed of being a board game collector. I don't lead out the gate with it lol but if I'm asked what my hobby is, it's the first thing I'll mention. I'll tell you Matthew, no one has ever called me a nerd or geek when I tell them about our hobby. It might happen in the future, but I do find that people are more open and accepting of others' hobbies now.

    Last thing – you're not a bad person for having insecurities man, that just makes you human 🙂

  40. As someone who is recently back in the dating game and hasn't been single since starting the hobby, I can confirm it's not the best thing to bring up on a first date.

  41. Everyone should strive to be proud of all of the things they love and that make up who they are.

  42. I use to be embarrassed about board games. I found out the hard way in high school (1990’s). So I stopped playing for a long time. Then in 2010ish I stumbled on a board game channel on YouTube and didn’t know all these games existed. My wallet has been empty since. Still trying to catch up. 😂

  43. As a single lady in her mid 20s, you have to at least like playing board games with me 😂 you don't need to be as in love with them as I am but it is a must for my partner to enjoy playing board games with me. Be proud to be yourself! Thats the only way to find the right person for you 😊

  44. The most unbalanced game I can think of, and yes I know I am using the term lossly here but any trick player will tell you it's unbalanced, Jekyll vs Hyde. Hyde is so much easier to play as imo, but it is by far one (if not is) my fav trick taking games I have found.

  45. Completely with you on your stance on the cost of the hobby!

  46. Although I don't have a problem with the word "geek," but maybe "enthusiast" is a more appropriate descriptor.

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