#LessShameMoreGame – a quest to reduce my board game pile of shame.

As of right now I own 78 79 different board games and expansions that I have yet to get to the table.

I call this collection my “Pile of Shame” though physically it’s four different stacks of games scattered around my game room.

One of my goals for 2019 is to reduce my pile of shame and I’m going to track my progress here on the blog and on social media using the hashtag: #LessShameMoreGame.

I encourage you to take part as well and work on reducing your own piles. Use the hashtag and we can share our progress.

Disclosure: Some links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. As an associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What’s a Pile of Shame?

Stack of unplayed board games.It’s that collection of games you spent your gaming budget on but still haven’t actually played. Sometimes it’s stuff you picked up on a whim and other times it’s games you spent hours trying to find, pricing and finding just the right time to purchase. Some of these games have been in the pile for days. Others have been there for months, or in my case years.

Now the pile may be an actual physical pile. It is in my case. Well sort of. It’s actually a few different piles. Other people have a shelf of shame, or a box of shame. Whatever shape it takes, it’s a collection of unplayed games.

Now some people don’t like using the word shame. They call their unplayed game collection their “shelf of opportunity” or “pile of gaming potential.” I personally prefer keeping the shame term. I should be ashamed of these games. I went out and spent my hard earned money on these games and here they are sitting there doing nothing.

Why so many unplayed games?

I have more games in my pile of shame than most people and there is a reason for that. Yes I’ve always had a pile of games waiting to be played. It was usually two stacks of games kept on a chair in my game room. The pile grew a bit and shrunk a bit every year and stayed around 25-30 games. Then a local gaming cafe closed.

When Geektopolis Cafe sadly closed their doors, never to officially open, the owner voided their extensive gaming collection. I ended up getting a lot of those games. Some bought for ridiculously low prices and others gifted by the owner “because I know you will enjoy them and share them with others”. Thus, over the period of one month in 2018, my game collection grew by 85 games.

That is the reason my personal pile of shame got a bit out of control. I realize it’s an excuse and one I’m not going to lean on. Instead I want to focus on getting that pile down.


One of my gaming resolutions for 2019 is to reduce my piles of shame.

Large stack of unplayed board games.As motivation, I wanted to keep you involved. I plan on talking about my efforts to reduce my piles here on the blog. We will talk about it on the podcast. It will become a regular feature on Tabletop Bellhop. I’m hoping this will help both keep me honest and keep me aware of how I’m doing with this quest. I plan on posting an update at least monthly. In addition when a game comes off the pile I will be sure to mention it in Tabletop Gaming Weekly.

Ideally every game currently in my pile of shame as of January 1st 2019 will be gone by January 1st 2020.  If I manage to pull that off I will consider this a complete and total success. A critical hit.

I don’t expect that to happen.

I will consider it a partial success if I can get the pile back down to 25-30 games so it fits all on that one chair again. Now this will be 25-30 games including everything that’s in the pile now as well as anything I buy throughout the year.

Lastly, I will say that getting the initial list down to 25 games will be a marginal success. That is, if I take the list where it is today and I get that list of 79 games down to 25 I’ve managed to significantly reduce the pile. The thing is that this doesn’t take into account anything new I buy. So at the end of the year I may have 80 games in my piles but if only 25 of those are from the list below, I’ve accomplished something. I’ve at least played the most shameful games in my collection.

Anything else will be a failure. I don’t like failure.

My current pile of shame:

Table covered in a stack of unplayed board games.So here’s the list as of January 1st 2018. There is a small chance I missed something. A game still under the Xmas Tree or something the kids have in their room or with their games that I haven’t played yet. If I do find any of those I will add them to the list. As or right now I’m sitting at 79 games/expansions. Wish me luck!

878: Vikings – Invasions of England(2017)
Age of Steam Expansion: Japan (2006)
Arkwright (2014)
Ashes: The Duchess of Deception (2016)
Ashes: The Roaring Rose (2016)
BattleCON: War of Indines (2010)
Black Box (1977)
Brass: Birmingham (2018)
Brew Crafters: The Travel Card Game(2014)
Burning Suns (2013)
Chaos in the Old World: The Horned Rat Expansion (2011)
Combat Commander: Europe (2006)
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics (2010)
Conan (2016)
Concordia: Salsa (2015)
Coup d’État (1966)
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) (2012)
Dinosaur Island (2017)
Dinosaur Island: Totally Liquid (2018)
Duel in the Dark (2007)
ElfQuest Adventure Game (2015)
Empire Builder (1982)
Exit: The Game – The Secret Lab (2016)
Fief: France 1429 (2015)
Firefly: Out to the Black (2013)
Firefly: The Game – Blue Sun (2014)
Firefly: The Game – Breakin’ Atmo (2013)
Flick ’em Up!: Stallion Canyon (2015)
Founders of Gloomhaven (2018)
Freedom: The Underground Railroad(2012)
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (1996)
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle (2016)
Heroes Wanted: Champions and Masterminds II (2015)
Heroes Wanted: Champions and Masterminds (2014)
Heroes Wanted: Extra, Extra (2014)
Imperial Settlers: Aztecs (2016)
Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Board Game – Goblins! (2017)
Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Board Game (2016)
Julius Caesar (2010)
Let’s Bowl A Game (1965)
Lignum (second edition) (2017)
Mad Gab (1996)
Master of Orion: The Board Game (2016)
MBL Pocket Pro Tour (2017)
Password (1962)
Polis: Fight for the Hegemony (2012)
Qwirkle Cubes (2009)
Railroad Revolution (2016)
Runewars Miniatures Game (2017)
Samurai (1979)
Scoville: Labs (2016)
Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Scholar Hero Character (2013)
Shafausa (2012)
Ships (2015)
Space Empires: 4X (2011)
Space Empires: Close Encounters (2012)
Star Trek: Expeditions – Expansion Set(2012)
Star Trek: Expeditions (2011)
Star Wars: Star Warriors (1987)
Star Wars: The Card Game – It Binds All Things (2014)
Steam: Map Expansion #2 (2011)
Strasbourg (2011)
Stratos: Light in the Darkness (2017)
Stuffed Fables (2018)
T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case (2015)
Terraforming Mars: Prelude (2018)
The ElfQuest Boardgame (1986)
The Ninth World: A Skillbuilding Game for Numenera (2018)
Ticket to Ride: New York (2018)
Trippples (1972)
Twilight Struggle (2005)
Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies (2013)
Unlabeled: The Blind Beer Tasting Game(2017)
Villages of Valeria: Guild Halls (2016)
Villages of Valeria: Monuments (2016)
War of the Ring (Second Edition) (2012)
Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower (2016)
WWE Superstar Showdown (2015)
Yardmaster (2014)

Surely you have your own shelf of shame or pile of opportunity? What’s on your list and are you also on a quest to reduce that pile?

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