Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Upcoming Show Topic: Gaming on a Budget

The next episode of the Great Big Table podcast (http://greatbigtable.com) will be all about gaming on a budget. Once you've been infected by a deep seated love for board games, you've probably also quickly become aware of how expensive a hobby it can be.

Let's face it, while board gaming is gaining in popularity, with more gamers coming to the table every day, most games are still printed in boutique level batches. A popular game may only have ten thousand copies printed across it's lifetime. There's no economy of scale to help keep the prices down. Add to that the cost of shipping lately and you start to see why games can cost a pretty penny.

So, what's a new or renewed board gamer to do?

How do you get into hobby board gaming without breaking the bank?

What tips have worked for you to help you spend your gaming dollar wisely and get the most bang for your gaming buck?

We've said from the beginning that Great Big Table is a conversation about expanding the board game hobby. Luckily our listeners have stepped up to the table and helped to keep up their side of the conversation.

If you'd like to share some of your tips, post them below. If you post a comment in this thread, we may read it on the show.

Don't want to post a comment? Great, give us a call and leave a voicemail message that's less than three minute's long.

Our phone number is (401) IT IS BIG or (401) 484-7244.

You have more to say than will fit in a three minute voicemail, send us an MP3 audio file that's 5 MB or less in size to podcast@greatbigtable.com and we may use all or part of it in the show.

If you don't like the sound of your voice or don't trust our editing skills, send us an email to podcast@greatbigtable.com and we may read all or part of it in the show.


Jim Jones
co-host, Great Big Table podcast


  1. Great topic! I wrote about this once upon a time (http://www.islaythedragon.com/2011/11/board-gaming-on-shoestring.html). My favorite tips are frequent trading and working with your friends to create one collection that fills one another's gaps.

    My wife and I get $15 of spending cash each month to spend on whatever we want. She usually buys yarn; I buy board games. $15 doesn't go very far when games are $50 each, but $15 more than covers shipping for trades, so I usually pass along games I don't love and only keep the ones I do.

    I also try to tailor my collection around what other members in my group have. If everyone has a copy of Dominion, I might not need one. (Okay, bad example: everyone needs a copy of Dominion.) But we only need one copy of Space Alert, or Power Grid, or Ra, and so on.

    1. Re: "try to tailor my collection around what other members in my group have."

      We do that. I still don't have Dominion because my cousin has it and a couple of people that I regularly game with also own it. I get your drift though.

      Thanks for the link and the comment.

  2. Finding existing board game groups and playing their games is an easy way in.

    I'm a game developer who's trying to come at this problem from a different direction, however. Ever since I first played a game that took two people a half hour to set up, I've wanted the board itself to be digital. So that's what I'm developing now: A board game that's completely digital, but that still plays like a board game and not a video game. The "board" would exist on a tablet or a computer (if you're reading this, you must already have a computer, right?), and everyone playing the game would pull out a smart phone or tablet to "control" the game and view private information.

    We're starting out with an "RPG cooperative adventure" style game (though in a "steampunk Feudal Japan" setting), but we're planning on branching out to other genres and game types once the platform is stable.

    The net result is a game that's as complex as an existing $60-80 game, but for only $20 (or less on sale). And still only one person needs to buy the game, just like a board game, so you can still mooch off your friends' copies if $20 is still too much. :)

    Let me know if you are interested in a sound byte for your blog. I'm at a cafe right now, but I could send you an MP3 later.