Hi there folks! It’s time for another installment of Board Game Thrift Store Finds. Due to the nature of thrifting, I never really think I find anything all that impressive. An occasional Risk game here, a complete game of Monopoly there…But by the end of the month, I look at my list and realize I have a pretty good haul. This month I found an old Victory Games classic, a Knizia classic and scooped up a bunch of games during a clearance sale at a department store. Check it out!
Thrift Store Finds in May 2017
The Civil War (Victory Games)
If you’re an old wargamer, then you’ve played or at least heard of Victory Games. And if you’re an old wargamer, you probably played a game that covers the American Civil War. Victory Games made such an epic length game that covers the broad history aptly called, “The Civil War”.
The game holds a strong 7.7 rating on BGG. It’s probably the most ambitious game of its generation to cover the American Civil War. It has three theatres of operations, several scenarios and a campaign game for the truly ambitious.
I perusing a local thrift store when I spied a black box that was about the size of the typical vintage Avalon Hill game. For $2 I got a complete copy! The box showed wear typical for a 30+ year old game. The game had also been played a few times. Notes and other items were in the box where some local gamer waged a virtual recreation.
Lost Cities board game
There is a game series from the publisher Kosmos that you need to know about. It’s called Kosmos two-player series. These are a series of inexpensive (<$25) games that are designed for two players. The series includes Jambo, Dracula and Gone Fishing. Probably the best selling game in the series is Reiner Knizia’s Lost Cities.
On its surface, Lost Cities seems like a boring Rummy variant. But there is subtle genius in this game. There’s a press your luck mechanic to go with a strong card management element. The only criticism is it plays but two players.
Knizia took the main framework of Lost Cities and created his Lost Cities the Board Game. This game plays up to four players. And it captures the feel of its two player cousin perfectly. While most gamers won’t need both versions of this game in their library, it’s advisable to have at least one.
And I found a thrift store copy at the Goodwill on Harvey Street. The game is complete. The only issue is one of the cards is slightly marked. Put the cards into sleeves and the game will be fine.
I’ve been a stronger believer that board games can be didactic. I love hearing from some of the teachers in the Muskegon Area Gamers that they use games in their classrooms or in their extracurricular activities. And I’m not the only one who sees the an educational angle in board games.
Educational Insights has numerous games under its belt. Blokus is their most ubiquitous game. Blokus has proven to be so popular that they made a 3D version. Some versions are called Blokus 3D. I found a copy of Rumis recently–Blokus 3D by a different name.
Players use spatial reasoning to place their three dimensional blocks onto the game board. There are several different boards to choose from to add replayability. The pieces are quite attractive. I also enjoyed the tactile quality of them.
I have found two copies of Rumis last month. And a copy of Blokus 3D the month before. If anyone in the Muskegon area needs a copy, you know where to find me.
Star Wars Chess
I’m not a chess blogger, but I play one on TV. When I’m not playing a television’s greatest chess blogger, you might find me blogging about Star Wars games. Needless to say, any iteration of game that merges Star Wars with chess will be an auto-buy.
I found a copy of the Saga Edition Star Wars chess set at one of the thrift stores on Sherman. The game is complete except for the cardboard insert. The pieces are in good order given the fact that the insert is missing.
I’m hoping to connect this game with a local gamer who hasn’t heard of The Gaming Annex. I’ll let you know how successful I am with that.
Clearance at Meijer’s
I as perusing Meijer as I am apt to do. I headed into the toys and games section. Although Meijer (and Target) have been stocking their shelves with more designers as of late, there is still the typical department store pulp one must wade through. All the designer games are at the far end of the aisle, relegating any serious gamers to the pariah section of Meijer’s toy department.
When I stopped to see what they had, I was flabbergasted! They had Star Wars Risk for $11. You can’t even get this on Amazon for that much. Then I saw Civil War Risk for the same price. And Magic: the Gathering Arena of the Planeswalker for $11 also. I figured I could use these to lure new gamers over to the Annex.
Where the board game thrifting is interrupted only by the board game playing…