Gaming on a Budget 2017
TJ
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With my first kid coming in less than 5 months, and my wife and I likely switching to be a single-income household, I have been looking at places to save some money. We're already pretty frugal, but the one place where I splurge is gaming (both board and video), and I end up with a never-ending backlog of video games to play and a bunch of board games that sit on a shelf and collect dust.

I am challenging myself in 2017 to only buy board games and video games with money I receive as gifts, from selling and trading in games, or anything else I wouldn't consider "taxable income". Basically, as long as I'm not spending money from my job or investments, it's fair game! Also, if my wife requests I buy something, then only half of the cost comes out of my personal game budget.

The challenge starts now, December 26, 2016!
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1. Board Game: Christmas Chaos [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Christmas Chaos
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I still have $800 in cash and gift cards from previous birthdays/Christmas's, so I'm going to count those towards my initial budget.

I also received $602.50 in cash and gift cards this Christmas (some of it was a joint gift for myself and my wife, so I split it 50/50), bringing my total to $1402.50. Don't worry, it's not going to last long when the Kingdom Death: Monster Kickstarter ends!

Available Funds: $1402.50
 
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2. Board Game: Subdivision [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2565]
Board Game: Subdivision
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I put in a CoolStuffInc order for a number of expansions coming out in January I was planning on getting:

T.I.M.E Stories: Expedition – Endurance
Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Dunwich Legacy: Expansion
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition – Beyond the Threshold: Expansion
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Mûmakil

I've done enough business with CSI that I get a pretty decent discount off my purchases, so they'll probably be my primary source of buying games over the next year. They've also recently introduced a $5.99 flat shipping rate similar to Miniature Market, but it's even better to get free shipping at $100. My order wasn't quite close enough to hit the free shipping threshold, so I started looking around their New Years Eve sale. They were selling Subdivision for $9.99 (typically sells for $34.49). That along with a $0.75 cent Magic card (a near mint foil forest, ooh la la) brought my total to $100.00 exactly, $95.94 after discounts. My order would have cost $91.68 without Subdivision, so I effectively got a copy of Subdivision for $4.26! It has a solo mode, so I know it will get played. And let's not forget about that sweet forest card!

Available Funds: $1306.56
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3. Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster [Average Rating:8.70 Overall Rank:35]
Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster
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Kingdom Death: Monster has become my favorite game of all time over the past year, and when the 1.5 Kickstarter launched on Black Friday I grabbed one of the limited $777 pledges for all the new content that would be revealed over the course of the campaign. Final death toll of my pledge included:

Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 Upgrade Pack
Gambler's Chest
The First Hero Expansion
Nightmare Ram Expansion
Screaming God Expansion
Frogdog Expansion
Oblivion Mosquito Expansion
Pariah Expansion
Gryphon Expansion
Black Knight Expansion
Red Witches Expansion
Campaigns of Death Expansion
Death Armor Expansion
The Inverted Mountain Campaign
The Silver City Expansion
Honeycomb Weaver Expansion
Ivory Dragon Expansion
Abyssal Woods Expansion
Super Survivors Promo
Role Survivors Promo
Anonymous Survivor Promo
28 Pinups
T-Shirt

This totals to be $1570 worth of stuff ($2505 MSRP), so I got a pretty sweet deal. I'm not interested in the pinups, but even when you account for the shipping fees of the pinups, it's still $272 cheaper than having gotten all the expansions ala carte. I can also possibly sell the pinups for a couple bucks (it's over $400 worth of minis!)

I was tempted to add an additional $60 for the Pathfinder crossover promo, but I showed some restraint. I'm 99% sure I can add it to my pledge at a later date if I end up wanting it, no point in tying my money up earlier than I need to!

The only thing I'm aware of shipping in 2017 is the upgrade pack, and that comes with an additional $10 shipping fee.

This is why I included the $800 extra dollars to my budget, since technically I wasn't making this purchase until 2017


Available Funds: $519.56
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4. Video Game: Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:1898]
Video Game: Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
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Steam winter sale, 75% off for $3.74. Played and really liked the first one.

Available Funds: $515.82
 
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5. Board Game: Mechs vs. Minions [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:39]
Board Game: Mechs vs. Minions
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Sold to a coworker for $50. Could have probably gotten more for it online, but it's too big and bulky to deal with shipping!

As a solo game, the fiddliness to satisfying gameplay ratio was a little too high for my tastes, and there are other solo games I'd rather play. Don't think this would ever hit the table with my group since it's a campaign game, and we typically don't play coops.

Available Funds: $565.82
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6. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.43 Overall Rank:4]
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
TJ
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Sold on BGG, took advantage that it's between print runs to sell it at a premium.

Getting rid of it because it's too long of a game to ever hit the table at game night. The solo mode is interesting, but I'd rather just play Race for the Galaxy's solo mode.

Available Funds: $629.97
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7. Board Game: Dragoon [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:2649]
Board Game: Dragoon
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Sold on BGG, never even taken out of shrink-wrap!

Available Funds: $675.05
 
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8. Board Game: Fabled Fruit [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:735]
Board Game: Fabled Fruit
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Sold on BGG, once again taking advantage of it being out of print to sell it at a premium (I think I actually turned a profit on this one!)

An interesting concept, but a little too light for my tastes

Available Funds: $710.10
 
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9. Board Game: Trade In [Average Rating:5.92 Unranked]
Board Game: Trade In
TJ
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I went through a bunch of my old video games and traded them into Amazon for $160.52 of store credit. There were some that weren't worth more than a buck or two, so the wife and I are just donating those and a bunch of DVD's (making room for baby stuff!)

Available Funds: $870.62
 
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10. Board Game: Alchemists [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:106]
Board Game: Alchemists
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Been playing Alchemists on BoiteAJeux and really enjoying it, so I want to pick up a physical copy I could play with my wife or friends. I put in an order with CoolStuffInc to get it, the expansion, and a couple to-be-released scenario packs for AH:TCG and LotR:TCG

Alchemists
Alchemists: The King's Golem
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Race Across Harad
Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Miskatonic Museum: Mythos Pack
Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Essex County Express: Mythos Pack

I don't expect this to ship for a couple months, so I can cancel it if I change my mind.

Available Funds: $768.52

UPDATE - Swapped out the LotR and AH expansions with Terminal Directive, price adjusted later in the list.
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11. Board Game: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1881]
Board Game: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
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Put in a pre-order for First Martians when the pre-order page went up today. One of my most anticipated releases of this year! I could have saved money pre-ordering it through CoolStuffInc, but pre-orders from Portal are getting produced in Poland and directly shipped to pre-orderers a month earlier than the commercial run coming from China. Getting this game sooner rather than later may actually allow me to get this played a little before the baby consumes our lives for a while! There will also potentially be upgraded components and bonus content as "stretch goals" are met with total pre-orders.

Available Funds: $683.52
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12. Board Game: Big Points [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:3164]
Board Game: Big Points
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I redeemed cashback rewards and and a Target gift card from my credit and debit card for about $275 total. It sounds like the Nintendo Switch is going to be $300, and might go up for pre-order tonight/tomorrow, so this would cover most of that.

Available Funds: $960.08
 
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13. Board Game: Amazons [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:4012]
Board Game: Amazons
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I signed up for the new Amazon Prime Visa and got $70 gift card on the spot! We buy a LOT of stuff on Amazon, getting 5% back on Amazon purchases is crazy good!

Available Funds: $1030.08
 
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14. Video Game Hardware: Nintendo Switch
From gallery of Slyght
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The Nintendo Switch went up for pre-order tonight, and I grabbed one. All those rewards and stuff should cover the cost! I also pre-ordered a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I really like that the Switch can effectively be a handheld gaming device, so I can play it during my lunch break if I don't have time at home to play it.

Available Funds: $651.65
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15. Board Game: Android: Netrunner – Terminal Directive [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked]
Board Game: Android: Netrunner – Terminal Directive
TJ
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Swapped out the LotR and Arkham Horror LCG scenarios with Terminal Directive in my 1/12 CoolStuffInc order for Alchemists, which refunded me about $4.

Terminal Directive is effectively a legacy campaign expansion for Android: Netrunner where the runner and corp are trying to solve a murder of a human by a bioroid. Either going to play it with somebody at work or with my friend, to be determined.

Available Funds: $655.86
 
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16. Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster [Average Rating:8.70 Overall Rank:35]
Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster
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I'm working on a storage solution for Kingdom Death: Monster that makes it a little more portable/smaller (which is part of a bigger project I'm working on to make it feasible to play bigger solo games over multiple lunch break sessions in my office at work). I have a Hobby Lobby wooden artist case with a Broken Token card organizer from back when I played Android: Netrunner, and it's been sitting in a closet unused. I was able to fit all the cards from the base game (sleeved) with room to spare for expansion content and even some of the smaller models! The one thing I need is something to hold/organize the tokens and smaller terrain tiles, so I bought a Broken Token bits box to slot into one of the card rows.

Available Funds: $639.34
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17. Video Game: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:1379]
Video Game: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
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I was originally going to wait on getting Resident Evil 7, because I have a backlog of games already and I figured I could make it a birthday gift or pick it up cheaper later in the year, but my wife wanted me to get it. I get a 20% discount on pre-ordered games, but it also turns out I still get that discount up to 10 days after a game is released! This is pretty cool, because this means I can actually wait for reviews to come in and make sure it's a good game, while still getting the discount. I also traded in The Last Guardian and Robinson: The Journey for credit, so with the discount it was a net loss of $13.80 to get RE7.

Available Funds: $625.84
 
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18. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:301] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures
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CoolStuffInc order:

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures
Unlock!: Escape Adventures – The Formula
Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Miskatonic Museum: Mythos Pack
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Race Across Harad

The wife and I played the free PnP demo of Unlock last night and liked it. Didn't hit the free shipping threshold, but decided not to try to justify buying something else just to get free shipping.

UPDATE - Right after I made the order, CSI put some LotR Nightmare decks up for pre-order, so I added those to get free shipping:

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Nightmare Deck: The Treachery of Rhudaur
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Nightmare Deck: The Dread Realm
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Nightmare Deck: The Battle of Carn Dûm

Available Funds: $529.62

UPDATE - Cancelled this order, budget adjusted later in the list
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19. Board Game: Mythos Tales [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:977]
Board Game: Mythos Tales
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Sold on BGG. I just finished the final case, so there's no real replay value to it. I was surprised that it sold within an hour of posting it on the marketplace, maybe the Kickstarter edition was in higher demand than I thought!

The old me probably wouldn't have bothered going through the process of selling a single game on BGG just to get $20 back: I have to drive to the post office to get a box, order and print a shipping label, pack the shipment, drive back to the post office... But hey, an extra $20 in my budget means one more expansion or cheaper video game I can buy!

Available Funds: $550.27
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20. Board Game: Unlock!: Escape Adventures – Squeek & Sausage [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:869]
Board Game: Unlock! Squeek & Sausage
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Another CSI order for some smaller items I was planning on getting:

Unlock!: Escape Adventures – Squeek & Sausage
Unlock!: Escape Adventures – The Island of Doctor Goorse
Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Essex County Express: Mythos Pack
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Black Serpent

Available Funds: $495.17

UPDATE - Cancelled this order, budget adjusted later in the list
 
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21. Video Game: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:1379]
Video Game: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
TJ
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Burbank
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Microbadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Solitaire GamerMicrobadge: Kingdom Death fan - Watcher CrestMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Gloomhaven fan
The wife and I kinda binged through Resident Evil 7 this week and finished it over the weekend. I was ready to trade it in, but the wife requested we hold onto it for DLC content. So not only won't I get the $35 trade in credit, I ended up spending $30 more on the season pass for DLC.

I'm debating if I should make some sort of exception in my rules for games my wife explicitly requests. Maybe go halfsies on the costs?

Available Funds: $465.18
 
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22. Video Game: Dishonored 2 [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:768]
Video Game: Dishonored 2
TJ
United States
Burbank
California
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Microbadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Solitaire GamerMicrobadge: Kingdom Death fan - Watcher CrestMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Gloomhaven fan
Also finished Dishonored 2 over the weekend (played as Emily, low chaos) and traded it in. Fun game, some really standout level design.

Available Funds: $483.91
 
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23. Video Game: South Park: The Fractured But Whole [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:2448]
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TJ
United States
Burbank
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Microbadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Solitaire GamerMicrobadge: Kingdom Death fan - Watcher CrestMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Gloomhaven fan
Alright, new ruling: if I buy a game at the request of my wife, only half of the game's cost comes out of my budget. The challenge of this budget was to exercise self-control on how much money I spend on my own personal gaming, I wasn't accounting for shared gaming (ie, I probably wouldn't have spent $80+ on Resident Evil 7 the week it came out). Rebating myself half the costs of TIME Stories: Expedition Endurance and Resident Evil 7 (and DLC season pass). I also had pre-ordered South Park: The Fractured But Whole for as an X-mas gift for my wife, so I'm going to subtract half the cost of that from my budget since I'm going to play it as well.

Available Funds: $511.63
 
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24. Board Game: Big Five [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:7124]
Board Game: Big Five
TJ
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Burbank
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Microbadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Solitaire GamerMicrobadge: Kingdom Death fan - Watcher CrestMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Gloomhaven fan
Amazon was running a promo where if you bought a $100 gift card, you get $5 extra dollars.

Available Funds: $516.63
 
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25. Video Game: Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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TJ
United States
Burbank
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Microbadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Solitaire GamerMicrobadge: Kingdom Death fan - Watcher CrestMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Gloomhaven fan
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin comes out later this month, and I got a small discount for pre-ordering it. I realized I can buy Playstation Store gift cards of Amazon so I can get 5% cash back. I also got my first month of cash back from my Amazon card which covered the cost of the game with a little left to spare!

Available Funds: $517.81
 
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