Your Thrift Store/Bargain Grail Item(s)
Laura B
United States
Texas
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Ok Thrifters... We want to know what your grail find is. The one (or two or three) game(s) that keep you coming back week after week to the smelly tape infested thrift shops. You probably could get it via a trade but you don't, because you just can't quit hoping that it'll be there waiting for you at the next Goodwill store.
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1. Board Game: Waterworks [Average Rating:5.53 Overall Rank:17647]
Board Game: Waterworks
Laura B
United States
Texas
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It's not very exciting and most thrifters have a copy or 10, but I would be VERY thrilled to find a really great copy of this on the shelf- complete with bathtub and little metal wrenches.

This was one of my favorite childhood games and my BFF and I would sit up and play it over and over on sleepovers.
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2. Board Game: Catan: 5-6 Player Extension [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
Board Game: Catan: 5-6 Player Extension
Laura B
United States
Texas
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This was my gateway game and my family loves it (esp my 10 yr old DD) but we can't play it when their cousins come over since that puts us up to 6 people. And now the new edition is out and I'm having a hard time finding this version. I guess I could just pony up the bucks and buy the new version along with the expansion to match, but I just keep hoping it'll be sitting there on the shelf at the next Goodwill I walk into. That would make my day.
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3. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:299]
Board Game: Dune
Jeremiah Lee
United States
Milan
MI
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I'll never get a chance to play this, so I won't spend $50-80 for it. However, I'll spend $2.82, which is what my local thrift sells games for.
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4. Board Game: Space Hulk [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:549] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Board Game: Space Hulk (Second Edition)
Jooky
United States
Canton
IL
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This is one I would really like to find. With or without the expansions it doesn't really matter. Hell, I don't even need the figures that came with it. This one seems to turn up from time to time on the thrift lists, but it seems to me that most of the finds are in the UK.

Man O War is another one I would like to find as well, but given the choice between the two, I would have to go with Space Hulk.

So far I have found Dark Future, missing most of the vehicles, but including the expansion, and a pristine copy of Blood Bowl 2nd Edition. Hopefully someday I will find what I am looking for.
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5. Board Game: King Oil [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:7045]
Board Game: King Oil
Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
Washington
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This would have to be mine. I've been doing heavy duty thrifting for about 4 years, and though I've had some crazy good finds, (Twilight Imperium III and Combat Commander: Europe) for example, this game I used to play as a kid has pretty much risen to the top of my grail list. Merchant of Venus would be right up there as well...
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6. Board Game: Sky Galleons of Mars [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:6572]
Board Game: Sky Galleons of Mars
Justin Hoffman
United States
Ashburn
Virginia
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I've got a whole host of "want to find to sell/trade" titles, but those don't qualify as Grail games. Grails are those games I want to actually own and play.

This one is toward the top of the list. Fractaloon's recent find of this box with 80+ ships [but no actual game] would be a nice side bonus [and my personal Find of the Week nominee.]
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7. Board Game: Magic Realm [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1204]
Board Game: Magic Realm
Justin Hoffman
United States
Ashburn
Virginia
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But this one is at the top. It crops up on lists often enough that I've got some hope.
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8. Board Game: Fortress America [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1696]
Board Game: Fortress America
Justin Hoffman
United States
Ashburn
Virginia
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And the other Gamemaster title I'd really like to find--actually, I'd like to find 2 as it's great ebait but it's one I'd also like to get to the table too. I recently just missed one [Boos snagged it], but have found a couple of GM titles around here, so I know there's a good shot of coming up with it either at thrift or, more likely, a yard sale at some point down the road.
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9. Board Game: Talisman [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:2189]
Board Game: Talisman
rich steed
United Kingdom
Stoke-On-Trent
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There are several reasons why this is my thrifting grail:

1)I used to play it all the time with some friends when we were kids so it has high nostalgia value.

2)I've been thrifting for close to 10 years and STILL never found a copy!

3)I used to compare thrift finds with a guy I knew at work and I asked me to look out for a copy of this for me (we used to swap some finds especially old console games). So he comes into work one Monday waving a copy of Talisman at me. Great I thought my time has come. He then tells me he wants £50 for it as that's what it was worth on ebay. He did the same with a copy of Cosmic Encounter and Dune as well. so they're thrift grails for me (actually already got a copy of Cosmic Encounter) Surprisingly I stopped talking to him after that

The flip side to this is that I actually have a copy of 1st edition Talisman (given to me by another thrifter), 4th edition Talisman and an unboxed 2nd edition with a couple of expansions which was given to me by a mate.

So I don't need the game I just want to find it.
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10. Board Game: Poisson d'Avril [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:7657]
Board Game: Poisson d'Avril
Olivier Lamontagne
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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I know that somewhere on a dark shelf of the Renaissance, this game is waiting for me
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11. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:277]
Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis!
Survive. Survive, Survive, Survive!

Some that I've finally broken down and just bought at a full price are Bounce It-In, Monster Mash, and Can't Stop!

My favorite of my thrift finds are Magic Realm, Diplomacy (Hasbro), Caesar at Alesia, Twixt, Acquire, and a 1981 Can't Stop! The Can't Stop was found about a month after buying the new Face 2 Face one.
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12. Board Game: The Powerpuff Girls: Villains at Large Game [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:7240]
Board Game: The Powerpuff Girls: Villains at Large Game
Julie Taylor
Canada
Waterloo
ON
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I know that this game would be of little or no value to anyone else, but I LOVE the Powerpuff Girls and have two other games in that line (as well as a box full of PPG stuff) and it would really complete my little collection. Unfortunately, when I was looking through the owners who currently have it, not a single on is Canadian, making me wonder if it was ever released here. Which would make it impossible to find at the thrift store, damn it.soblue
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13. Board Game: Broadsides and Boarding Parties [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:5510]
Board Game: Broadsides and Boarding Parties
Dwayne Hendrickson
United States
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma
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Back in the 80s I learned about the Gamemaster series and the games looked fantastic. I was able to get my hands on A&A at a garage sale but the new games cost about $60 (IIRC). Then there was a store in Tulsa going out of business and they had this for only $10. Sadly, money was very very tight since I was working 2 jobs and had a wife & 2 kids.

I have managed to land Samurai Swords and Fortress America, but THIS one is the one I would like to try at least once. I know it had a lot of problems but it would be like catching the one that got away.

On the other hand, I mainly prowl the thrifts looking for gaps in my collection and things that I can sell to pay for other things (like my annual trek to BGG.con)
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14. Board Game: All The King's Men [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:12409]
Board Game: All The King's Men
SMESS, THE NINNIES CHESS!!

I would love to find a working copy of this game with all the brains and ninnies. I remember playing this game in the library at my elementary school in the mid '70s(god that sounds old). I think my kids would enjoy this one.
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15. Board Game: Dark Tower [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2488]
Board Game: Dark Tower
Iken Owens
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
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I really want to find one of these so I can rub it in to my cousin who dropped $100+ for one off of Ebay. As for something I'd like to have for playing, that would be Fortress America.
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16. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:90]
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates
Armando Gurrola
United States
Houston
Texas
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I really want to find this one. I know it is rarely found, and I will probably just end up buying it. But damn would be great to find it. Also any newer euro games, is good...or War of the Rings...yeah War of the Rings.
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17. Board Game: Fireball Island [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:3000]
Board Game: Fireball Island
Thomas Murray
United States
NorthPole
Alaska
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This is the one i've been looking for.The lost grail of Fireball Island!
Then I need to hunt down Dark Tower and dungeon dice.The games I never got as a kid.
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18. Board Game: Tyranid Attack [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:12566]
Board Game: Tyranid Attack
Michael Roop
United States
Three Rivers
Michigan
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I know it's not much different than the above Space
Hulk, but I have found one copy of the Space Hulk
game and one of it's expansions, but it seems noone
gets rid of Tyranid Attack, they either keep it
forever or throw it away.....
Weird thing is, I just happened to remember the
Space Hulk game from my 20's and thought it would
be cool if I could buy one. So that night I typed
into Craigslist, found a copy 15 miles away, ran up
and bought it the next day, and have never ever seen
a copy on there since..
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19. Board Game: Machiavelli [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:2006]
Board Game: Machiavelli
Teppo Saarinen
Finland
Piikkiö
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This one's been my grail since the late 80's when I last played it. I'll probably have to get a copy one way or another eventually, but until that, I'm hoping against hope to find one in a thrift shop. It's not entirely impossible though since I met someone a while ago who had found one for 2.50€ in a web auction. (Needless to say this made me turn various shades of green for a moment... actually, quite a long moment).

I have already found a really nice copy of my #2 grail (Diplomacy), so I'm content to wait a few more years still
 
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20. Board Game: Assault on Mt. Everest [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Board Game: Assault on Mt. Everest
Andrew Finke
United States
Cumming
Iowa
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I just realized this is my grail. There is so much mystery surrounding it. Only a handful of Geeks own it. It rarely surfaces, and when it does it is crazy expensive. Nobody is willing to post the rules so others can make DIY versions because nobody can figure out who made the game and get permission. Mix all of this together and I can't stop thinking about this game.
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21. Board Game: Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:746]
Board Game: Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit
Paul Boos
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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After much pondering, I believe this will be the game I most want to find in a Thrift. My son loves Star Wars, total nut for it; and since this is also supposed to be a good game, this is definitely the one I most want to find. Well this and both of the 3M Jatis (just to round out my 3M bookshelf abstracts collection).
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22. Board Game: Feudal [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:4445]
Board Game: Feudal
Matthew St.Lawrence
United States
Apex
North Carolina
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I grew up playing this "horsey game" as a kid, never by the rules but I must have put tens if not hundreds of hours into setting the minis up and fighting it out. I would love to get my hands on this and play by the real rules.
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23. Board Game: DungeonQuest [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1604]
Board Game: DungeonQuest
Kent Fletcher
United States
Saratoga Springs
Utah
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I am awaited in Valhalla!!
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This is it for me. The expansions too of course. I'm just waiting for the day I walk into a DI and see this waiting for me on the shelf.
 
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24. Board Game: War of the Ring [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2885]
Board Game: The Games of Middle Earth
Chris Hansen
United States
Riverton
UT
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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Beep boop.
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I'd love to grab this old SPI title. For some reason it intrigues me way more than that other War of the Ring.
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25. Board Game: Jutland [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:4272]
Board Game: Jutland
Martin Stever
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
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As a kid I had 3 or 4 Avalon Hill games. They were EXPENSIVE. My favorite was Starship Troopers. I would look through the Avalon Hill catalogs they inserted in each game until the catalogs were essentially worn out. Every catalog had a page devoted to Jutland. I never saw Jutland at the two game stores my dad would take me to, Jerry's Hobbies in Garden City, MI and a game/party joke store that also fronted a bail bondsman in the basement of the Westland Mall. At some point Jutland became a myth in my junior high mind. The ad page in that Avalon Hill catalog made it look so cool!

I've found several, perhaps most, of the Avalon Hill big flat games of the 60's, but so far no Jutland. It remains a white whale.
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