The Quest for Classics
I started playing modern designer board games back in the early days of the new millennium. Back then far fewer games were published annually, and the gap between a few quality games and a lot of really bad "games" was huge. Some speak of this era as a time when no good games were published, or if they were they are obsolete by now. To those people I would like to raise a gracious but steady middle finger.
It is true that a lot of bad games were published. It is also true that some of those games haven't stood the test of time. But the foundation for the board games published today was laid back then, and there are still games from the late 90's and early 00's that are unrivalled today. Amongst others designers like Reiner Knizia and Wolfgang Kramer (often with Michael Kiesling) were producing awesome games.
Back in the day you really didn't know which games were to be awesome. Sure we had BoardGameGeek but the userbase was quite small, so there were a lot of games being published that I remember looking at and wanting, but then never got, only to regret it when they went out-of-print. Also at this time my brother was living close by and if he happened to grab a great game, I felt it was redundant for me to also get it. But then he moved away to another town. So in this day and age of cult-of-the-new (which by the way was thing already in the early 00's), The New Hotness, and Kickstarter, we decided we wanted to hunt down the old classics.
We started off by getting Friedemann Friese's Power Grid. I hunted down a copy (still in shrink wrap, mind you!) of one of my favourite games ever; Wolfgang Kramer's Pueblo. I found second hand copies of three Ystari Games Originals (I've always loved Ystari's games and Ys as well as Mykerinos are priceless gems in our collection) in great condition; Yspahan, Metropolys, and Olympos. I found an almost mint condition second hand copy of Reiner Knizia's Samurai - and not the horrible overpriced Fantasy Flight reprint but Lautapelit.fi's Nordic version of Hans im Glück's original printing.
There are still a lot of classics that I am trying to hunt down, but it is such a rewarding journey to delve into the nostalgia, digging for copies of games I love but never got, or games I craved but never got to play. These are the games I'm looking forward to teaching to my son one day. Games that I probably will be playing with my wife at the retirement home. These are the Classics.