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. Some of my cheap recommendations:
    7 Wonders Duel
    That's So Clever
    Cockroach Poker
    Codenames (Dual)

  2. I love board games and host game nights weekly. Board games have become mainstream and there cafes all around my town. I try to budget myself about $50 a month for a new game to add to my collection because it’s my hobby and passion. I agree that board games offer so much as a hobby and you can enjoy it with people.

  3. I'm never really embarrassed about any of my "geeky" hobbies. Certainly not Board Games. I proudly tell people I have several closets full of games. With probably 75% of them not even opened yet. My issue is I can't find enough people to play the games with on a regular basis. Be proud of it, if you aren't embarrassed by it then I think you make it more normal.

  4. I’m a woman over 50. I wear shirts with logos/sayings about board games all the time, even to work. At least once a week, I’m asked the “Oh, like Monopoly?” question by a stranger, and then I get the chance to tell people about all the amazing games that are available and how fun and easy some of them are. If they seem intimidated by having to learn rules, I tell them that there are Roll & Writes that are like Yahtzee. If they don’t like competition, I tell them about Pandemic and other co-ops. If they know Uno, I tell them about LLAMA. Four times a year, I go over to my boss’s house and teach his entire family three or four new games.

    Not only am I proud to be a board gamer, I am the Pied Piper of games! 😊

  5. Monopoly Deal is a fantastic bargan game. Don't let the name put you off, really fun.

  6. Board games are nerdy and geeky, EMBRACE IT! If you love board games and she disapproves of your hobby she’s not the one buddy… On to the next one….

  7. Wait! What? You're a twin? and how do we know when its Mathew on our screens and not 'The Twin'? Good episode buddy.. love watching you play nothing and just chat chat chat..

  8. I think you SHOULD mention your boaedgaming up front. Why waste your time finding a life partner that does not accept such a huge part of your kife?

  9. Not that worried about people knowing i am into board gaming. Might just be that it is more accepted in Germany.
    And gaming on a budget might just mean you have to wait for the new hot stuff to reach the used market.
    But buying used games is extremely budget friendly. Also libraries often carry boardgames.

  10. Loved the discussion and love your list. Definitely going to try some of them

  11. I think boardgames are seen as childish for folks who have not played modern ones.

  12. Thank you, Matthew, for your honest answer. As another single guy in his thirties, I feel you. It might still come with some embarrassment, but I'd decided a while back to let my geek flag fly. When you are into cosplay, fantasy in general, etc., I feel like board games are the least geeky thing in my hobbies. Still doesn't shield you from the occasional sting of discomfort when the other person doesn't get it, but that's life, I guess.

  13. As a single lady, I would appreciate if I found someone who was proud of being a board gamer! Guys, please don't be embarrassed about it – I would only judge you if you said your favorite game was Monopoly.

  14. I like your take on gaming as a luxury hobby. A modest collection is something easily achieved.

  15. I think you have the wrong association with the word geek.
    It's just someone who is passionate about a subject, typically a pop culture subject.

  16. I'm right there with you. On top of being "geeky" or "nerdy" (both of which piss me off as well), I think it's framed as being childish. "Games are for children, playing games isn't for adults, you need to grow up and have adult interests", stuff like that you know. So being interested and owning games is related to being imature.
    And while the geek word was repurposed to be an identity thing in a more positive light, I think only the mainstream stuff still are acceptable (Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix adaptations…), but not where they come from (the books, video games, mangas). It's big business, so sure it got turned around that way.

    But it's also a generational thing. I feel older people than us don't get it and younger people are into other stuff.

  17. I appreciate your honesty regarding how much you wear your boardgaming on your sleeve. I also feel like I have to ease people into the idea that it’s okay and even interesting that I have so many board games and live playing them. I lead out with “it’s about spending time with others”. Then we talk competitive/co-op, then mechanisms, then theme. I usually hook folks for a trial game at that point, then it’s okay to open up a bit more about the depth of my hobby love!

  18. I'm confused when people call board games an expensive hobby. For each game, you pay a price tag once and then you own this physical thing that you can play until you die (assuming you keep it in good condition). That's tremendous value.

    Further, you'll eventually reach a point where your collection will be big enough and you will never need to spend another dollar on the hobby again.

  19. When I started the hobby, I was so surprised at the cost of admission. The per person/hour value for a game I thought was amazing. Then my collection grew a bit and I'll admit I'm a little embarrassed about that.

    I think as my collection grew, I got a little more embarrassed about talking about my hobby for another reason. My collection's range of rules complexity and theme grew and talking about the game I was excited about could sometimes felt super "geeky." Like recently I got Lowlands and sheep breeding in the lowland, I find is a hard sell

  20. If a hobby takes up a significant portion of your time, it’s probably at least worth mentioning in the likes section of your dating profile. The only reason I even met my wife was because we were 100% open and honest about ourselves on our profiles. We were a 99% match. The other 1% was that we lived 440 miles apart. She joined my D&D group, and we would spend quiet evenings together playing Stardew Valley. After visiting her a couple times, and by the time winter came in Stardew Valley I asked her to move in. Then came our next anniversary, and I popped the question. I did it at our favorite bookstore. then we had a nerdy ass wedding, with anime music, fantasy themed tables, and more. and now I’m a dad. I would’ve missed out on all of that had I not dropped the name of a D&D podcast I love in my profile. All that to say just be yourself, there’s no one else you can be. I’m only 28, but I’ve been told my soul is much older. So who knows. Best wishes! And don’t me afraid to share something your enthusiastic about. My wife could care less about how battery technology has evolved over the past couple years, but she still listens whenever I excitedly tell her about it. I do the same for her and crime shows.

  21. At one point in my life I definitely was embarrassed by the hobby and my interest in it. So far that even a few friends and family would make comments about how could someone at my age still like these things. The friend group I made since really getting into the hobby are easily the best Ive ever had. The relationship Im now in (our first date was playing board games at a brewery) is the best Ive ever been and we will be married soon. There is nothing to be ashamed of for being yourself and liking what you like. The world is huge and life is too short to give power to anyone who wants to shame you for loving board games.

  22. Hi Matthew, as a married man in the late 40s I can tell You that I am proud of being a slightly nerdy guy who loves boardgames. In fact I told my hubby about my hobby up front. Worked out fine. All the best from Germany. Thanks for all You do.

  23. No, not nowadays, but remember when i was younger in the mid 80s and playing a lot of RPG:s. You kept that a secret from anyone besides the groups of people you were playing with. You didn´t want anyone from school to found out about it.

  24. Interesting picks. Nightmare Chess sounds insanely fun.

  25. Matthew, I have to say this- you haven't let anyone down, and you're a wonderful ambassador for the hobby! I think "embarrassed" is the wrong word for how you feel about telling people about your passion for gaming; I think "hesitant" is a better fit. Before I tell someone about my hobby, I try to gauge how they will react. I've had instances where I can see on their face that they are mentally adjusting their opinion of me, but that's okay, because when that happens, I mentally adjust my opinion of them, too. I'm not personally into cosplay or LARPing, but when I see people enjoying themselves doing those things, I think "Yeah, good for them, that's awesome!" Anyone who looks down on board gamers has my pity, because they have no idea what they're missing out on.

  26. Chess is the most well-known UNBALANCED game. :p

    And the added cards to Nightmare Chess makes it NOT abstract. 😉

    But yeah I get the gist.

  27. I just bought and played Living Forest a few days ago and I was so surprised at how much I loved it! Instantly one of my favorites!

    Also Cosmic Encounters is my favorite unbalanced game. Is it fair? Not at all. Is it a hilariously good time? Hell yes!!

  28. Wingspan is currently at or slightly under $40. Everdell can be gotten for under $40 on sell, b2g1 Target sell happens a couple times a year. Past I have been seen Terraforming Mars for 37-39 pop ups the last couple of weeks. All 3 are in the most popular games of all time and are worth being there. Point is most games can be had for a good deal with patience and so long as you don't have to own the Kickstarter upgraded parts.

  29. Good answers all around! Except I don't have any problem with "geek" or "nerd" and am not embarrassed about being a board gamer. Of course I'm not dating and I'm old enough to not care that much about what others think anyway… Get off my lawn!!! 😂

  30. I've never considered having board gaming as a hobby something to be embarrassed about any more than things like working on art, enjoying movies, reading history and science fiction, or playing football and soccer. They are just activities we enjoy and, while a part of us in some respects, don't define us as people. There are many other aspects that are more important than these things. If others don't understand that's okay, and if they go further and think less of us because of this, that's pretty shallow and their problem. Ultimately, it's one's character and that of those that we choose to be around that matters.

    To answer one question that that you posed about bringing up board gaming as a hobby while dating, I would absolutely do so. It's something that we might have in common and would enjoy doing together. But, if not, that's okay. If something like board gaming proves to be an actual obstacle in a relationship, then there are more serious issues which would indicate that the relationship very likely has no future. So, why not bring it up when getting to know each other and talking about interests?

  31. When I was a kid, the words "geek" and "nerd" meant "freakshow". Nowadays, I think most people mean them to mean you are brainy or passionate. I am personally proud of gaming, because I got into it when my fibro was bad and I felt like I had lost most of my ability to read & comprehend complex text, instructions, and remember well. I love to talk about the hobby because it reminds me I'm improving and I'm better than I was! <3 I love your "think alouds". You're a great part of the hobby and we're so glad to have your input! <3

  32. Fantasy Football is just as "nerdy" or "geeky" as board gaming or any other nerdy thing I've been around, if not more so, but since it's tied to sports its not seen the same by the larger population. I completely agree that you can find a board game for anyone. But I totally get where you're coming from. I don't start off conversations with new people telling them I spend hours of my time painting minis, but maybe I should.

  33. I don't talk to new people much nowadays but yes, I used to be somewhat embarrased about talking about the board game hobby (unless I was talking to someone that I knew also liked board games). And I've been nerdy my whole life so I'm used to having nerdy hobbies and being identified as nerdy. But usually when someone would ask what my hobbies are and I say board games, I'd start out saying it with kinda an apologetic smile and a laugh.

  34. An excellent game that sometimes goes on sale is Fabled Fruit, maybe even for $20. There's a fantastic expansion (Lime Expansion) too. I feel like you can play & play this game, and the cards come in and out and make each experience novel for a long, long time. We've played a dozen times and are not nearly through the whole deck–it's a MASSIVE deck. Rodney does a video on it on Watch it Played.

  35. I embrace getting called a nerd by my friends. They are all into football and UFC and they certainly don’t consider themselves nerds. But they have also learned to embrace board games and they always ask me to bring some games when a Getty is going on. So I win. Lol

  36. I'm rarely (if ever) embarrassed to bring up the fact that I love board games. Where I HAVE felt some slight embarrassment is when a non-gamer sees my collection for the first time 😳🙈 they're astounded I would have as many as I do (~100), how much money I've spent, or how much time I've invested.

  37. I work at a remote Oil Field on the north coast of Alaska in the Arctic with a predominantly very masculine group. (They are called rough necks for a reason) . I make it a point to show off the pictures of my games, miniature painting, game room. Talk to tons of these guys about it and heck have even brought up a smaller game and gotten some of them to try it (Terraforming Mars Ares Exp) . Once per hitch I have an online / remote D&D session that I very loudly state to anyone who wants me to do something in the evenings (We live at the job site for 2 week stretches) that I have D&D tonight and they are always "Oh shit, don't wanna miss that!" I've had a couple guys try to start off with the macho man shit on me but I quickly in a positive way spin it back around and they usually immediately change their approach on the subject. I am 51yo. I grew up when playing D&D meant you were a satanist and a murderer. I absolutely refuse to not be excited about the hobby with everyone I meet. If they don't like it, it's their loss really.

  38. 1. I have social anxiety so I am embarrassed to share anything about myself, any time. I will still share my geeky interests but only after I’ve got a read on the other person as to how open minded they are, a professional acquaintance, or someone from an older more insulated environment is more likely to judge me for it. In the spectrum of “geek” culture I still feel it’s safer to talk board games than video games, anime, or (fan)fiction as the stigmas and stereotypes are worse for them.

    1a. Unfortunately as a counterpoint, even when talking with other “geeks” I have to watch myself… I am ridiculed for the fact that I genuinely like a certain Star Wars movie (and a certain fan-unfavorite character) for instance and was promptly chased off the Dune community for starting with the wrong book. There are people out there that are living up to the negative stereotypes… so I’ve learned to never let my guard down and to try never to give the impression of gatekeeping when I do reveal the geeky side of me. Mostly I just try to avoid social media, haha!

    2. It took me a while to start adding lighter games to my collection but it’s nice to have a few ready to pull out, and they tend to also be budget friendly. Santorini New York is one of my favorite budget games at the moment.

    3. As long as it isn’t a brutal steamroller situation where I legitimately feel like I’m only playing the game if I am playing it a specific way, I don’t care if it’s balanced. Furthermore I will go into every asynchronous game expecting imbalance and will sometimes even use it to my advantage (giving the more powerful faction to a less confident player).

  39. I only have a year of being into board games (I used to play them once in a while, but now I research, play them regularly and have my own collection), but before that and even now, I play a lot of videogames, I play them in tournaments and even organize those tournaments and a lot more… I used to be embarrassed about it, but a couple years ago, when I got single and started dating again I thought "You know what f that, I don't have to be." and when someone I went out with asked about what I liked to do, I told them, openly and honestly, and you know what? Not a single one of them went away because of that, some even wanted to see a video or something about them, out of curiosity.

    If someone makes fun (In a mean way) of something you love on a date, I think it's a red flag and clear signal that things are not going to work out.

  40. Single woman in my 30s. I pretty much own my geek side, otherwise what's the point? I don't want to waste time on someone who judges me for something that brings me joy. I'm also a rabid reader (from graphic novels to non fiction) and video gamer so no point hiding the board gaming. 😅

  41. I'm proud of being a Geek/Nerd, I love it when people notice that about me. My belief is sometimes you just gotta own it, you like what you like so who cares what people think. Eventually you will find someone who likes( has always wanted to try) your nerdy/geeky hobby.

  42. I got someone INTO board games and role playing games. She's into murder mysteries so I introduced her into mystery games and murder mystery games, both role playing games and board games.

  43. Matthew, I need to know: L.L.A.M.A. or Fuji Flush, if you could only have/bring one for a group of 5 players, which would you bring?

  44. Im more embarrassed about boardgame being seen as childish than geekish actually…

  45. People I know would say about boardgames here in the Philippines. They say its for rich people, its only for intelligent people. There are some would see it positively as its good for entertainment, interaction and helps to get to know how the person strategizes.

  46. As another man in his thirties who solidly enjoys the board game hobby, I totally identify with you. I really do. I recently met someone and was of the same mind as you thinking, “I should probably hold back my geeky side for a few weeks until I’m more comfortable”. Several minutes later, I messed up by talking about some of the board games I had received and ordered on kickstarter. Long story short; our first virtual date was on a board game site that she introduced me to.

    Personally, I don’t like that I was ready to hold back an inevitable piece of myself while looking for someone important. Having someone actively want to connect with you over something you are excited about is purely amazing. Chef’s kiss.

    It always seems so obvious when you tell someone to “be themselves,” but think the advice doesn’t apply to you. Lol, I know this too well. Thing is, the parts of you that give you the most excitement and joy (and aren’t hurting yourself and others) are probably the best parts of you.

    Let everyone experience the good parts!

  47. Thank you for doing this series Matthew. I love watching these, and somehow you always give me a new perspective to questions I thought would be open and shut.

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