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How to Ship Board Games

By |2018-01-10T13:34:37+00:00January 8th, 2018|Categories: amazon, guides, Reviews, shipping|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

How to Ship Board Games is part two to the article Best Places to Sell Your Board Games

Shipping board games is a pretty straight-forward process that a lot of people get wrong. I ship board games fairly often online and handle the shipping myself. These are the tips I’ve learned from personal experience.

Packing The Game

Choosing a Carrier

Most of the time, USPS will be the most cost effective. The only time it may not be, is if you are dealing with an unusually heavy or large box. If you find yourself in that situation, definitely consider FedEx or UPS as an option. For the purpose of this article, we will assume you are using USPS.

The Right Box to Ship Board Games

Since shipping costs are based on package size and weight, you will want to securely pack the game first. This is the step most people cut corners on, but it is the one of the most important parts of the process.

With USPS, your options will be to use a Flat Rate Box or Padded Envelope, or your own packaging. Flat Rate can be lucrative because it is a set rate no matter where your package is shipped to with the USA. For example, a Medium Flat Rate Box will run you $12.40 no matter if it has a 10oz board game inside or a 10lb board game. There are various sizes for Flat Rate, each at different set price points. The actual box is also free, you only pay for shipping. However, even with all of it’s benefits, Flat Rate boxes may not allow enough room to properly protect the game inside, and may even end up costing you more money.

Make sure that […]

Best Places to Sell Your Board Games

By |2018-01-04T13:01:35+00:00January 3rd, 2018|Categories: Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , |

Is your game room filled to capacity from all the board game deals you snagged in our Facebook Deals Group? Time to make room! Below are the best places to sell board games based on my personal experience.

Locally

If you’re lucky, you might have a local facebook group that does a “Buy, Sell, Trade”. For example, I am near Chicago and there is both a Chicago Board Game Trading Group as well as a Milwaukee Board Game Trading Group. I have bought and sold within both groups successfully.

Pros: Since you are most likely to make the exchange in person via cash, there will be no processing fees to sell board games and you also get a chance to meet others around you who share an interest in the hobby. The buyer will also get a chance to check the contents before the sale and there will be no risk of shipping damage.
Cons: You will have a much smaller audience for this type of sale. Also, meeting in person might make some people nervous or uncomfortable.

Similar Local Alternatives: Craigslist, Letgo/Offerup Mobile App, Facebook Marketplace

Online

If selling local isn’t an option, or you want access to a larger audience, selling sell board games online. The three major avenues are:

The Board Game Group Buy, Sell, Trade
Link: THE BOARDGAME GROUP Buy, Trade, and Sell Link
Pros: Since this is a board game community, you often will get the most value and safest transaction via this method. You can see profile information about your potential buyer and chat with them. Posts can be interacted with by other members of the community, potentially giving you more exposure. Best of all: the only fee you will incur is PayPal’s 3% processing […]

BGSmack – Last Minute Stocking Stuffers (Mostly) Under $15

By |2017-12-06T15:22:18+00:00December 6th, 2017|Categories: Reviews|Tags: , , , |

31 Board Games (Mostly) Under $15

Need a quick stocking stuffer or gift for the office parties board gamer? Here are 26 great games, that are mostly under $15. There are a few exceptions, but they are worth the extra couple of bucks.

Please Note: Because of Amazon’s ever fluctuating prices, the below pricing is not guaranteed. However, the average price of these games fall within the below brackets. Price changes may very well work in your favor and result in a lower price.

Special thanks to the following members of the BGSmack Community Facebook Group: Sean Sisson, Sean Meiner, Isaiah Hoffman, Kirk Dennison, Denise Van Peursem, and Kevin White.

BGS Reviews: Civilization: A New Dawn

By |2018-01-06T08:25:19+00:00December 2nd, 2017|Categories: Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Game: Civilization: A New Dawn
Designer: James Kniffen
Players: 2 – 4
Playtime: 60 – 120 Mins
BGS Recommends? YES

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Our empire has stood for many ages. Our knowledge and technology has grown from the domestication of horses, to harnessing the power of steam, to gliding through the air on metal wings. During this time, only one opposition has stood in our way: the Aztecs. While they are fierce opponents, ones certainly worthy of respect, Japan is not about to go down without a fight. And so, we send this glowing ball of light into the skies of your kingdom. Let hellfire rain down upon you all and may Japan rule these lands for all eternity.

Overview:
Civilization: A New Dawn is a spinoff of the popular videogame franchise of the same name. There are also previous board game versions of the game, but this one brings some new mechanics, more refined gameplay, and a shorter play time. Players choose one of eight rulers, with variable bonuses, and work to expand their empire across a pre-defined map. For your first game, it is recommended to use the map build in the rule book, but there are more advanced rules that allow players to build their own maps, making each game different. Players will place their capitol cities, and on each turn work to collect resources in various parts of the map, explore outward and trade with city-states and their rivals, build wonders, and attack each other (and the npc barbarians). This is all an attempt to complete a set of goals chosen randomly before the start of play.

Playtime:
The biggest complaint about previous versions of this game is that the […]

BGS Reviews: Xia: Legends of a Drift System + Embers of a Forsaken Star Expansion

By |2017-10-13T16:51:19+00:00October 13th, 2017|Categories: Reviews|Tags: , , |

Game: Xia: Legends of a Drift System
Designer: Cody Miller and Ira Fay
Players: 1 – 4
Playtime: 60 – 180 mins
BGS Recommends? YES

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The Puddle Jumper skittered through lonesome space until finally docking with Smuggler’s Den. The greasy captain emerged from his vessel, stepped onto the metallic platform, and searched the bustling bay for his employer. He waved the shadowy figure over. They exchanged a little back and forth, and a few minutes later an untraceable missile was being removed from his ship. The employer grinned ear to ear and the captain’s pockets were about four-thousand credits heavier.

Overview:
Xia: Legends of a Drift System, along with the Embers of a Forsaken Star expansion, is a sandbox game; meaning you can almost do anything you would want within the limits of the theme. Your goal is to earn fame points and this is accomplished through completing missions, claiming titles, participating in events, selling resources, destroying other player’s ships, exploring the galaxy, purchasing new ships, purchasing with accumulated wealth, saving a player who has become stranded in space, sifting relics, and plain luck. Wheeewww!…Sound like a lot of options? It is! But, it is an amazing experience that has many stories to tell.

Playtime:
There is so much to this game, that a learning curve is inevitable. Debris fields, ice fields, asteroid fields, planets, nebulas, and stars, all have conditions when you enter them, and sometimes when you exit. You will be rolling dice to determine the damage or energy drain you receive. You may even die. Each of the twenty-five or so ships also have their […]

BGS Member Spotlight: Krista Cox

By |2017-09-27T01:39:20+00:00September 27th, 2017|Categories: Member Spotlight, Reviews|Tags: , , , |

BGS Member Spotlight is our way of saying thank you to top contributors in our Facebook group. These are the people who step up to help others with questions about games and provide other input that makes our community great.

Krista resides in Charlotte, North Carolina and was introduced to the hobby about a year and a half ago. Her brother brought Carcassonne over one night, and from that moment on, her and her kids were hooked. She has been a member of the BGS Deals group, practically since the beginning.

Do you have a favorite game or game mechanic?
Currently, that would be Sagrada.

Which three games hit your table the most?
I would have to say Santorini, Hive, and Kingdomino!

Do you have a grail game, one that’s nearly unattainable. If so, have you acquired it yet?
Carcassonne: The Castle. But, it is sadly out of print.

What do you like best about the BGS Deals group and if you have purchased games through those links, which one was your best find?
I love seeing deals on games that are on my wishlist, as well as discovering new games I had not heard of before. My best find was probably when Amazon Prime Day went live. All of the deals were going really fast but I was able to get six games off my wishlist at 60% off or more!

BGS Reviews: Game Haul: Game Night Board Game Bag

By |2018-01-10T23:39:56+00:00September 14th, 2017|Categories: Reviews|Tags: , , , |

Item: Game Haul: Game Night Board Game Bag
Manufacturer: Top Shelf Fun
BGS Rating: ★★★★★

Click Here to Purchase on Amazon

Like most people, I attend a weekly game night and usually tote my games around in one of the blue Ikea bags. It’s spacious and gets the job done, but it doesn’t offer a lot of protection. After recently seeing that I dished in the cover of Terraforming Mars sometime during the night, I decided to pursue a better board game bag. The re-purposed cajon/ChromaCast bags are nice for the price, but were much too large for the typical three or four games that I usually bring and aren’t truly designed as a board game bag. I ended up stumbling upon the Top Shelf Fun’s Game Night Board Game Bag.  This was prior to it’s official release and my only option was to pre-order. I took the risk and received the bag yesterday. Let me tell you: this board game bag rocks!

Space:
When I purchased this bag, I knew what I was getting into. It’s described as capable of holding four Ticket to Ride sized games, and it does. As you can seen in the pictures, I was able to fit Small World, Blood Rage, Ethnos, and Bloodborne into the main compartment, as well as two smaller card games on the side (Oh My Goods! and The Game). This is the perfect size for me since I usually know exactly what I want to play before I leave the house. However, if you like to bring half your board game library, you may want to spring for a […]

BGS Insight: Board Game Etiquette

By |2017-09-01T02:05:53+00:00August 30th, 2017|Categories: Reviews|Tags: , , , |

Imagine you’re sixteen years old and new to the board game hobby. You’ve played with the regular group at the local game store before and it went alright, but you still stumble from time to time. During a round of a somewhat complex asymmetrical game (Vast), a forty year old man berates you for questioning why he made a certain move. During that same game, the organizer of the group does something similar when another person asks about a rules clarification.

This is the scenario I overheard while playing last night at another table. I have also played with both of these individuals previously and my experience was much of the same.

I understand some people in this hobby may have personality issues, but that is no excuse. This type of behavior in this hobby is disgusting. Board games are supposed to bring people together, not drive them apart.

And so, I have a included a very simple (but thorough) set of rules that any gamer should follow when playing with others. This is a great collaborative list sourced from: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/356571/my-informal-board-gaming-code-conduct/page/3

(1) I will always finish the games I start and assist with the clean up when the game is done. This includes bottles, cups, cans, and other things around the game table.

(2) I will not consistently take longer to decide my move than everyone else at the table. It is better to make a suboptimal move and consider it a lesson learned than to hold everyone up. It is okay if occasionally I say, “oh man, I’m going to need a minute to think about this one” when I hit a really interesting puzzle. But that’s the exception, happening maybe a couple times per game, not the norm.

(3) I will not eat foods that make my fingers messy while playing. I […]

BGS Reviews: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Edition

By |2017-09-01T13:22:35+00:00August 27th, 2017|Categories: Reviews|Tags: , , , |

Game: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
Designer: Christian T. Petersen
Players: 3 – 6
Playtime: 2 – 4 Hours
BGS Rating: ★★★★★

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Disclaimer: Game of Thrones: The Board Game is an emotional game. There are moments where players are ecstatic that they didn’t get attacked and other moments where they are cursing in anger at their former ally who just back-stabbed them. I want this review to be as accurate as possible. For that reason, parts of the text below contain language that might be considered foul by some, and justified by others. Please consider this piece a bit NSFW if that is something that may offend you.

“Don’t you fucking dare!” Joe screamed at the top of his lungs inside his one bedroom apartment. His voice was angry and serious. In most local game stores, we would have been kicked out hours ago. Nick, the target of Joe’s anger, nervously dropped his Baratheon units next to Joe’s and proceeded to attack House Stark; breaking an alliance that had lasted three turns. As the combat round finished, it was clear that House Baratheon would conquer this territory. Joe paced back and forth, taking quick drags off his cigarette. Every now and then he looked at Nick and said “That’s bullshit! Such bullshit! Never ask me for help again.” We weren’t even half way through the game.

The mighty Stark empire which at one time controlled a total of six castles and strongholds was crumbling. By the end of the game, they would only be left with ships that aimlessly wandered Westeros’ lonely seas.

Overview:
Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Edition […]

BGS Reviews: Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu

By |2017-08-29T02:35:25+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Categories: Reviews|Tags: , , , |

Game: Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
Designer: Matt Leacock, Chuck D. Yager
Players: 2 – 4
Playtime: 40 Mins
BGS Rating: ★★★✩✩

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Often times toted as the ultimate gateway game, there’s no question Matt Leacock’s Pandemic has had a massive impact on the board game industry. Its success opened opportunities for several expansions and spin-offs. So in 2016, Z-Man Games seized one of these opportunities to create Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu. It’s no secret the Lovecraftian mythos is well received by the gaming community. From Arkham/Eldritch Horror to Elder Sign to Cthulhu Wars, people go gaga for the tentacled titan. So it seems like a no-brainer to marry one of the most popular board games of all time with the beloved Cthulhu mythos. But does it work?

(Disclaimer: Much of this review is written as if the reader has some familiarity with the original Pandemic.)

Overview:
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Other-worldly gates have been opened by cultists, and the Ancient Ones are preparing to–Oh, so you have heard this one. Of course you have. This is the same idea as nearly every Lovecraftian game. Defeat monsters, fight back the acolytes, and seal the gates before Cthulhu arrives.

Playtime:
The box shows 40 minutes. Our longest game came in right around there, while our shortest was about 30 minutes. I have heard some people mention losing even before all players had a turn. The decks, constructed randomly, have a strong impact on the game’s length and difficulty.

Rulebook:
My biggest gripe is more of a personal matter, but perhaps I’m not the only one. Due to a lack of flow, the set-up page trips me up every time. The graphic design just isn’t intuitive. Again, this one might just […]

BGS Reviews: Clank! A Deckbuilding Adventure

By |2017-07-22T14:25:58+00:00July 19th, 2017|Categories: dormant, Reviews|Tags: , , , , |

Game: Clank! A Deckbuilding Adventure
Designer: Paul Dennen
Players: 1 – 4
Playtime: 30 – 60 Mins
BGS Rating: ★★★★★

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Ryan
: So, Alex, would it be wrong to say that you are a big fan of deckbuilders?

Alex: Absolutely. In fact, if I’m going to get in a game with my wife, most often it will be some kind if deckbuilder. I think part of the appeal comes from “building” something out of practically nothing.

Ryan: Right! Or something minimal, anyways. Something that EVERYONE at the table starts off with. Balance in a game is important after all, and I think a large part of appeal for myself over other card games like MtG. I know if I got into that, I would always be self conscious about the size of my…deck…but with deckbuilders, everyone starts off on the same footing, using tactics and strategy to try and defeat their opponent. We both have experience with various games in this area, but Clank! brings a freshness to the genre. Something new.

Alex: For sure. What I appreciate most about Clank! is how it takes a deckbuilder and–excuse the pun–builds upon it. Instead of the back and forth combat style that most DBs follow, Clank! pits players against the dungeon itself without turning the game into a co-op.

Overview:

Alex: The idea is players must venture into a dungeon and steal as much loot as they can. Traversing the catacombs isn’t always simple, as certain paths may take you toward some treasure but away from others. On top of that, different pieces of treasure are worth different […]