Gaming on a Budget 2017
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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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26. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – Blood on the Altar: Mythos Pack [Average Rating:8.28 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.28 Unranked]
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – Blood on the Altar: Mythos Pack
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Put in a pre-order for Arkham Horror: The Card Game – Blood on the Altar: Mythos Pack and The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Beneath the Sands, since I don't think anything else is coming out around the time these do.

Available Funds: $487.26

UPDATE - This order was cancelled
 
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27. Board Game: Charterstone [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:280]
Board Game: Charterstone
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Miniature Market opened up pre-orders for Charterstone, so I pre-ordered it. I know Jamie is "discouraging" this kind of behavior, but the fact of the matter is that board games are a physical commodity that stores can run out of, and it's very common in the case of hot games. If the actual price ends up being lower than what I paid, I can always cancel the order and re-order it, but if it's higher than what I paid I already locked the price in.

Available Funds: $437.85
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28. Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster – Pathfinders of Death Crossover Promo Expansion [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster – Pathfinders of Death Crossover Promo Expansion
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The pledge manager for Kingdom Death 1.5 was sent out, and I went ahead and added Pathfinders of Death to my pledge. I originally had this as part of my pledge when the Kickstarter was live, but figured I could wait until the pledge manager to add more funds. This is a crossover expansion with Paizo that brings iconic Pathfinder characters into the world of Kingdom Death with a custom hero-mode campaign. Sounds like there will be less focus on the settlement (or none at all) and more focus on leveling these individual heroes. There are also some variants of the nemesis monsters from the base game, which I assume means some new AI/abilities for them.

Available Funds: $377.85
 
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29. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion
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I noticed that Amazon sellers were selling the Xeno Invasion expansion for Race for the Galaxy for $13, which is lower than online retailers like CSI. I went ahead and grabbed it, since I love RftG and this sounds like an interesting variant/expansion. I traded in a bunch of old video games to offset the cost, so it only cost me less than a dollar in total.

Available Funds: $376.98
 
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30. Video Game: LEGO Dimensions [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:1194]
Video Game: LEGO Dimensions
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The wife wanted me to pick up the LEGO Batman Movie story pack for LEGO Dimensions to play together, so I ordered a copy on Amazon and got the Prime savings on it. Still pretty pricey for a six-level game, but since my wife requested it, per the rules of this challenge I'm only taking half of the cost out of my game budget.

Available Funds: $355.24
 
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31. Video Game: Zero Time Dilemma [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:1880]
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Traded in Zero Time Dilemma for a couple bucks.

Available Funds: $365.22
 
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32. Board Game: Power Grid: Taxes [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
Board Game: Power Grid: Taxes
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H&R Block had an offer where if you took your federal tax refund as an Amazon gift card, you'd get an additional 10% back. I decided to go for it, so I got an additional $260 in Amazon gift cards! Granted, now I have a lot of money tied up in Amazon, but we buy so much off of Amazon it shouldn't be an issue.

Available Funds: $625.22
 
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33. Board Game: Forbidden Stars [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:103]
Board Game: Forbidden Stars
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Amazon had a Lightning Deal for Forbidden Stars for $50, and I impulse bought it. Probably the last chance I'm going to have to buy this game with the FFG/GW partnership ended, and I'm a fan of asymmetric dudes on a map games. I'll keep it in shrink unless it's actually going to get played, worst case I could flip it later when it's permanently out of print.

Available Funds: $571.30
 
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34. Video Game: Sorcery! [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:1650]
Video Game: Sorcery!
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I bought the Sorcery! Bundle on iOS. I really enjoyed 80 Days by the same studio, and was inspired to get this because of news of their latest project Heaven's Vault. I also have wanted to try a Fighting Fantasy type game, since those were major inspirations for 7th Continent.

Available Funds: $554.31
 
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35. Board Game: Sword & Sorcery [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:324] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Board Game: Sword & Sorcery
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I had Kickstarted Sword & Sorcery back in late 2015, but at this point I've lost interest in it. Gloomhaven is far more compelling of a dungeon-crawler campaign than this probably will be, and with baby coming soon I probably won't have time to play this. I ended up getting a refund from the publisher (minus KS/PayPal fees). I had contemplated not including this refund into by budget, but if I had just sold the game upon getting it, what would have been the difference? To the budget it goes!

Available Funds: $718.34
 
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36. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Beneath the Sands [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked]
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Just some corrections to my book keeping:

1) I realized I had ordered The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Beneath the Sands twice in two separate orders, doh! I have adjusted my orders accordingly and added some funds back.

2) The Amazon gift card bonus I got from H&R Block should be split between my wife and I, so I'm taking $130 out of the fund.

Available Funds: $602.81
 
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37. Board Game: Unlock!: Escape Adventures [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Board Game: Unlock!: Escape Adventures
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Things have been busy, and I haven't gotten around to updating this list for the past couple of weeks.

The problem with putting multiple pre-orders in the same CSI order is that ultimately something doesn't get released when you expect it to, and then your order sits in pre-order purgatory for weeks/months. Such was the case for my orders that had the US Unlock! scenarios in them. I ended up cancelling those orders and actually found it was cheaper to buy the UK version off of eBay. It already came in and we've played the first scenario (The Formula) so far.

Available Funds: $720.03
 
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38. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Miskatonic Museum: Mythos Pack [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked]
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This was part of one of my cancelled CSI orders, but now it's out of stock in the US. Bought it from a UK eBay seller for the same price it would have been to get it from CSI.

Available Funds: $703.28

 
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39. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:304] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures
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Also part of a cancelled CSI order that I just ended up buying off of Amazon. Plan is to finish all the cases and sell it, similar to Mythos Tales.

Available Funds: $655.29
 
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40. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Essex County Express: Mythos Pack [Average Rating:8.35 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.35 Unranked]
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Essex County Express: Mythos Pack
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This also was part of the cancelled CSI orders. I re-ordered this and the three nightmare scenarios for Lord of the Rings in a new CSI order. Also got my reward points for my Amazon credit card for the month which helped offset the cost.

Available Funds: $638.73
 
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41. Board Game: Unknown [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:5402]
Board Game: Unknown
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Somewhat of an impulse purchase, although this has been on my wishlist for a while. This is a Kickstarter game that went under the radar for most people, but has gotten pretty good reviews. I actually have my name printed on the box because I pledged $1 to the campaign at the time. I've played it once so far and it's pretty neat!

Available Funds: $578.73
 
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42. Video Game: World of Goo [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:331]
Video Game: World of Goo
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Bought World of Goo for the Switch. I already own it for the PC, I mainly bought it to have another title for my Switch to play. Gives me an excuse to revisit this game. And it's made by a classmate of mine from grad school.

Available Funds: $568.74
 
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43. Board Game: Codenames: Pictures [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:309] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
Board Game: Codenames: Pictures
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Ordered Codenames: Pictures, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Race Across Harad, and The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Siege of Annuminas from CSI.

Available Funds: $525.72
 
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44. Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories: Lumen Fidei [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories: Lumen Fidei
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Pre-ordered on CSI.

The last scenario, Expedition Endurance, was OK, I'm hoping this one is more interesting with its "moral choices, a powerful opponent and new mechanisms."

Available Funds: $495.26
 
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45. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:34]
Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2
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I pre-ordered the yellow box for Pandemic Legacy Season 2 on BoardGameBliss, since they are surprisingly the only store taking pre-orders that I am aware of. They're a Canada-based retailer, and I think the math works out that it's slightly cheaper to buy it from them then eventually buy it from CSI/MM. They're also a cool company!

Super excited about this game, hopefully the wife and I will find the occasional evening to play it later this year!

Available Funds: $424.31
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46. Board Game: Crappy Birthday [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:12959]
Board Game: Crappy Birthday
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Things have been busy (baby is less than 2 weeks away!!) and I have been lazy about updating this list. It was my birthday this month, and I splurged a little in my purchases with gift money, but I also sold some stuff. Things I got included:

Cthulhu Wars expansions
Baseball Highlights: 2045
The Voyages of Marco Polo (plus the promo expansion)
Fury of Dracula (Third/Fourth Edition)
Ethnos
Oh My Goods!
Terra Mystica (iOS)
Mario Kart 8 (Switch, bday gift)
Gloomhaven healt/xp trackers and solo scenarios

Available Funds: $430.20
 
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