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What TOADS are you SHELVING?

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13 Apr 2021 22:42 #322032 by Jexik
Shelf toads have loosely been defined as (often expensive) games that you sit on a shelf and rarely play, but also refuse to give up for sale or trade. Why are you not playing them? Why are you keeping them?

Here are mine.

GLOOMHAVEN: JAWS OF THE LION- We're on like scenario 12 or so out of 25, and it has been about two months since we've played. I want to pick it back up before we forget the rules, but we've both started new jobs and just don't have the energy for it most nights.

HEROSCAPE- I downsized my collection immensely, but it's still pretty unwieldy, and I probably haven't played for at least a year. But it's the game that got me back into board gaming and out of MMORPGs originally. To say it has some sentimental value would be an understatement, and the pieces I have remaining are hardly worth trying to ship to someone.

TRAGEDY LOOPER & 2 EXPANSIONS- One of my favorite off the wall games around. My ex-wife's #1 favorite game, which we found played best with just the two of us. We played through all the scenarios in the base game, which has some water damaged cards which I put weird sleeves on to fix the problem. I've played it enough that I have trouble teaching anyone to just hop into the expansion content, and the odds of playing with my old partner are zero. Because of the damage and weird sleeves I don't want to try to trade it, but part of me also maybe wants to try to get some new people into it when I completely forget the scenarios - I was not as into being the mastermind; I found it stressful.

SUMMONER WARS 1st Edition stuff: I don't see myself playing this again, with the new edition coming around the corner. I also hadn't played it in years, but again, my involvement in the early testing makes it a somewhat sentimental item. Ironically, I'm not even 100% sure if I have a copy of the deck named after me.

MOST OTHER GAMES: Because of the pandemic, most other games have acquired a bit of dust and I'll have to re-evaluate in a year or so to see which things my group even wants to play again. Getting my second shot in about 2 weeks, so in about a month I'll probably see some of those folks again...
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13 Apr 2021 23:20 #322035 by Jackwraith
All of them? Like you, I look rather mournfully at my shelf full of games on a daily basis and bemoan the fact that they don't get played. I've recently been in touch with some of the regulars in my group, though, and everyone is on the path of vaccination, so soon-!

I usually trade stuff that I'm just not going to play anymore, which is why I have things currently on the trade or sale list like Tales of the Arabian Nights and Warhammer: Diskwars. So, I don't consider those "shelf toads" because I'm actively trying to get rid of them (and they're in a storage bin in the basement.) But stuff on the shelf that have been sitting there and will likely continue to do so that I haven't quite gotten to the aforementioned list?

Year of the Dragon
Ultimate Warriorz
Assault of the Giants
Paths of Glory
Britannia

I like all of them. My copy of Britannia is from the 1980s, since I've kept it since then. But will I put them on the table when looking at everything else waiting to be played? Probably not.
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14 Apr 2021 02:04 #322039 by Frohike
For me a true Toad needs to possess a certain quality that compels you to begrudgingly accept its presence, in a "quoth the raven nevermore" kinda way. You know it'll occupy that perch on the shelf for awhile, but something prevents you from dismissing it (scarcity, admiration, principle, sunk cost). And in the back of your mind, you hold on to the fantasy that it'll come out of hibernation like those burrowing frogs that emerge from the mud after years of sleep. Some candidates on my shelves:

Pax Pamir - practically perfect in every way, but how am I going to teach it.

COIN stuff (Pendragon, Falling Sky, Cuba Libre) - this is just straight up admiration for me. I don't have the group for this system in any of its complexity levels.

Duel of Ages II - the eclecticism, 90's graphic design, the outsider art vibe... paired with a wargame rule set that I just don't have the energy to draw 2-3 casual players into.

Cave Evil - very similar reasons, but with added metal gravitas. Trying to rid myself of this would be like trying to burn the book in Babadook.
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14 Apr 2021 04:56 #322044 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic What TOADS are you SHELVING?
I am looking forward to Steve's five thousand word essay on the subject :D

I took the painful step of killing all the toads, it's so worth it, but there are still one or two that got away.

Technobowl - love the game but the counter-intuitive nature of play seems to throw a lot of people off. I know that there is a vibrant online community for this one but my TTS gaming at the moment is occupied by more exciting things and if and when I get back into it I want to go in deeply rather than having a sporadic handful of plays. I just cannot kick this one out though, it's such a unique and clever piece of work.

SW: Rebellion - this just reached a point where the strategies we were grinding out became very samey. So we took a break and just haven't gone back to it, the time sink it requires also being a bit of a barrier.

I'm getting the impression that Root may have toaded for us as well. My kids are currently more interested in other games and pretty much nobody in my local group is interested so its not going to get a new lease of life when we can start meeting up again. Turning this into cash might be a better option.
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14 Apr 2021 05:25 #322046 by Erik Twice
I guess my Netrunner collection and soon my Legend of the Five Rings collection are shelf toads.

Jexik wrote: I was not as into being the mastermind; I found it stressful.

It is stressful, but I've found it makes you give your anime villain.

My girlfriend loves the game, but we still haven't found others who take it seriously enough. I should try with one of the guys we play Sherlock Holmes CD with, that group is great.
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14 Apr 2021 10:59 #322061 by Shellhead
As a lifeline collector of games, comics, books, and music, I tread a bit close to hoarding territory, and I am finally making a real effort to change. Most of my shelf toads have been permanent residents, but I managed to sell Mansions of Madness (1st edition) last Saturday. I belong to a big local facebook group called Twin City Geeks, and a woman asked the group last week if anybody would be willing to sell their Mansions, specifically 1st edition. I was happy to part with it for $30, especially since it was a short drive to do the deal in the FFG Event Center parking lot. We talked for a bit, and it turns out that she and her boyfriend are big fans of Mansions of Madness (2nd) and needed the 1st edition to play some scenarios that the app upgraded for 2nd. They have been quarantining for the last year with their 3 housemates who also play board games, so they have been playing the heck out of Mansions.

Why was Mansions of Madness a toad for me? I swooned for those lovely cardboard tiles, and ended up using a few of them in my Ptolus campaign. And I liked the puzzles in the game, and kept meaning to imitate that style for some more interactive challenges for my next rpg campaign. But after 3 plays of Mansion of Madness, I knew that I would probably never play it again.

Maybe I'm not really a hoarder. The idea of throwing away things that are not literal trash is painful to me, but I love the idea of finding a happy new home for the possessions that I no longer need.
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14 Apr 2021 11:21 #322064 by Rliyen
Replied by Rliyen on topic What TOADS are you SHELVING?
Good God. Where do I begin?

BLOOD FEUD IN NEW YORK: Got this in 2007 from that ramshackle game clearing site and it's never made it to the table.

DUNE: It has sat on the shelf since 2003, unplayed. I do bring it out from time to time to add to the pile on GD, but it never gets picked.

EARTH REBORN: Picked this up in 2013 and I tried to play it, and found it rather mindbending. Have it for trade, but the trade has to be something I really want.

JAMES CLAVELL'S FASA SERIES (TAI PAN, NOBLE HOUSE, SHOGUN, WHIRLWIND) I have all four and only one was played (NH) and that was in 2003. Never pulled them from the shelf to add to the pile. May do Tai Pan or Whirlwind. Noble House is a stock market game with a lot of backstabbing, and may never make it to the table. =(

MAGIC REALM: Hasn't been played in 25 years. It's a good game, but the time investment is rather hard to swallow.

MARVEL HEROES: Got played ONCE with my group, back in 2012... Hasn't seen the table since.

NEMESIS: Ohhhhhh. This one is a temporary shelf toad, due to COVID. Once my group is back, this will be on the table. I bought it mainly for my wife, who's an Alien freak fan.

SUPREMACY (and expansions): Heavily played in college, 30 years ago. Last played, 1995. I wish I could bring myself to bring it to the table, but playing a fancy, schmancy Risk just doesn't seem like a good investment.

TITAN: Haven't played the AH version in 30 years. Got the HVG version and have YET to get it to the table. It's the time length that prevents it from making it to the table.

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14 Apr 2021 11:35 #322065 by Shellhead
I wish you were local, Rliyen, because I would play at least half of those toads. I even own Blood Feud, Dune, and Magic Realm. Blood Feud in New York is definitely one of my shelf toads. I picked it up on clearance from a story that almost never does clearance. I got it on the table for one partial game, but two of the players rebelled due to the unwieldy shopping math. It would be ideal to have a laptop handy with a spreadsheet to enable the shopping process, plus I put together 3 music mixes to enhance the setting. There is a playable game in the box, and everybody loves the helicopters, so I will find a way to get it played.

Everybody says that Dune needs six players, and everybody is wrong. The game is also good with four or five players. Realizing this makes it possible to get it on the table more often.

Learning to play Magic Realm last spring was a great way to get through the early months the pandemic. I might still be playing it if I hadn't gotten distracted by other games that offered solitaire play, like Silver Tower, Blackstone Fortress, Marvel Champions, and Masters of the Night. And I will soon receive both Cursed City and Sleeping Gods, but I will likely re-visit Magic Realm later this year.
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14 Apr 2021 11:37 #322066 by charlest
Blood Feud in New York is a very weird one. I played it several times a little over a decade ago, and I'm not sure it's any good, but it's interesting at least.

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14 Apr 2021 11:39 #322067 by JoelCFC25
A dispassionate, steely-eyed assessment of my shelves finds 4 standout contenders for TOAD status:

Tales of the Arabian Nights: Literally been years now. I don't remember, is there anything inappropriate in here for a 9 year old? Would she even be interested? Do I care?

Titan: I've played enough online that I don't feel bad hanging onto it. Real life play is a totally different proposition, as mentioned previously.

Space Hulk 3rd Ed.: Didn't they swear up and down at the time of release that this would never come back? Couple years later, sure as shit it did. They got me. I did play a decent number of times, but it's been eons now.

Napoleon's Triumph: Really flummoxed by my first couple tries at it, and no amount of clever player aids have helped ever get back into play (yet?)...
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14 Apr 2021 11:48 #322069 by Rliyen
Replied by Rliyen on topic What TOADS are you SHELVING?

Shellhead wrote: I wish you were local, Rliyen, because I would play at least half of those toads. I even own Blood Feud, Dune, and Magic Realm. Blood Feud in New York is definitely one of my shelf toads. I picked it up on clearance from a story that almost never does clearance. I got it on the table for one partial game, but two of the players rebelled due to the unwieldy shopping math. It would be ideal to have a laptop handy with a spreadsheet to enable the shopping process, plus I put together 3 music mixes to enhance the setting. There is a playable game in the box, and everybody loves the helicopters, so I will find a way to get it played.

Everybody says that Dune needs six players, and everybody is wrong. The game is also good with four or five players. Realizing this makes it possible to get it on the table more often.

Learning to play Magic Realm last spring was a great way to get through the early months the pandemic. I might still be playing it if I hadn't gotten distracted by other games that offered solitaire play, like Silver Tower, Blackstone Fortress, Marvel Champions, and Masters of the Night. And I will soon receive both Cursed City and Sleeping Gods, but I will likely re-visit Magic Realm later this year.


You and me both, my friend. I'd love nothing more than play the Shelfy Shelf Toads of Shelf +3 with you.

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14 Apr 2021 11:49 #322070 by Rliyen
Replied by Rliyen on topic What TOADS are you SHELVING?

charlest wrote: Blood Feud in New York is a very weird one. I played it several times a little over a decade ago, and I'm not sure it's any good, but it's interesting at least.


It's a stripped down, SHOGUN/SAMURAI SWORDS with math.... Lots and lots of math.
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14 Apr 2021 12:14 - 14 Apr 2021 12:14 #322075 by Msample
Someone should organize TOAD CON, where the only games allowed are ones that have been owned for more than a year but not played.
Last edit: 14 Apr 2021 12:14 by Msample.
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14 Apr 2021 12:19 #322076 by jpat
Replied by jpat on topic What TOADS are you SHELVING?
I wouldn't really know where to begin either, although I have slowed down on acquisitions and have moved some things out. Let's talk about the mammoth toads.

Cthulhu Wars. Pandemic hit this one, but so did my declining interest in playing. Have most everything up through the second KS. Selling would be a pain, but that's probably the next step.

Tide of Iron. I wavered between going in on the "new wave" stuff and not. "Not" won, probably wisely, but I still have the coffin box, Days of the Fox (in the coffin box), Normandy, and the book. Little play at all, as it (at the time) was cool looking but bulkier in every sense than Memoir (which I did get rid of) and not amenable to lunchtime play (like Memoir). Rules are OK but caught a bit between "thematic" game and wargame.

Space Hulk. Where to begin even on this one? I bought a copy when the fourth printing came out. My wife wanted to paint, so we did some cutting (which incurred some damage) and some painting, which was never up to her satisfaction, though most of the aliens got done. She even, on her own initiative, bough a second copy as backup for ostensibly poor paint jobs on the first set, and that's remained sealed. I've never played either version. I deserve to burn, but in my defense I do not have a fully up-and-running copy.

Conan. Why did I back the third KS? Original King pledge plus the KS-exclusive add-ons. Played thrice, I think? I enjoyed it and would probably play again but wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it.

Star Trek Ascendancy. Again, not a bad game. Again, I kind of suck at it, and, to my discredit, I suppose my drubbing in it at a convention left a bad taste. I'd move it but for the fact that I never succeeded in replacing the damaged tokens from the unshrinkwrapped sheets.

Imperial Assault. I've played this a few times and even started the core box campaign, but it never seems to stick. I have (I think) everything up through the Hoth campaign, including the lieutenant packs, mostly in shrink.

I could keep going. To my credit, I did divest myself of my Heroscape (sold a big set to a reseller, driving across the state to do so) and 1e Star Wars X-wing (which I gave away to a young guy who was fascinated by it and was helping paint our house interior).
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14 Apr 2021 12:32 #322079 by Joebot
Replied by Joebot on topic What TOADS are you SHELVING?
Here's mine:

Star Wars: Destiny -- I was all-in on this game through the first 3 or 4 box sets. I played it with my kids a bunch. I bought a huge collection from Mr. Barnes himself (thanks, dude!). It had a great run. But ... it's been a long time since I busted this out. The thought of sifting through all those cards to build a deck is too daunting. I just want a game I can plop on the table and get going.

Star Wars: X-Wing (1e) -- I sometimes I forget I own this game, because for some reason I keep it in my bedroom closet, instead of out in the open on my shelf. But it's there. Collecting dust. Making me feel bad about myself. Again, it has a similar problem to Star Wars: Destiny in that the pre-game work of building a squadron just seems like too much effort these days.

Empires of the Void II -- This game is just so so pretty. But it's also weirdly complicated and fiddly as hell. I played it 2 or 3 times, but it hasn't seen the light of day in a couple of years. I think it's too complicated for my son, and the one time I tried it with a couple of buddies, it fell flat on its face. I can't bear to part with it though. Did I mention how pretty it is??
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