Samurai boxed set Avalon Hill
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:02 pm 
 

I have a copy of the Samurai boxed set by Avalon Hill in really great condition and unpunched.  Seemed like the completed sales on e-bay for this item were rather disappointing, but I don't think any of them were unpunched.  Is it not a very desired game, or would you say I might get something for the condition?  Thanks!

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:25 pm 
 

It's an okay game - very few people play it and that drives (most of) the prices on AH games. What's the point of having the game if you have no one to play it with? That anyone would pay $10 for this thing would be a little surprising.

For people to play Avalon Hill games, they have to offer something unique that you can't get from Eurogames. Games like 1830, Rail Baron, Titan, Merchant of Venus, Advanced Civ, ASL, etc. all command premium prices because they remain highly popular games to play in old-school gaming circles/conventions.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:15 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:It's an okay game - very few people play it and that drives (most of) the prices on AH games. What's the point of having the game if you have no one to play it with? That anyone would pay $10 for this thing would be a little surprising.

For people to play Avalon Hill games, they have to offer something unique that you can't get from Eurogames. Games like 1830, Rail Baron, Titan, Merchant of Venus, Advanced Civ, ASL, etc. all command premium prices because they remain highly popular games to play in old-school gaming circles/conventions.


Makes sense!  I need to figure out which games are popular and which are not, then.  So AH games differ a bit from D&D products in that they are obtained more for playing than for collecting, while D&D could be obtained for collecting or playing.  Thanks for the advice and info!

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:19 pm 
 

staro wrote:
Makes sense!  I need to figure out which games are popular and which are not, then.  So AH games differ a bit from D&D products in that they are obtained more for playing than for collecting, while D&D could be obtained for collecting or playing.  Thanks for the advice and info!

Yeah - this dynamic can be seen by the prices of TSR gaming products - things like Dungeon!, Knights of Camelot, Divine Right, etc. These are not generally viewed as good games [I would say awful, but I digress]. Very, very few people play them. Yet they still draw relatively high prices. These are being purchased because of the logo [i.e., collectibility], not because of quality [playability].

With AH, all the games that I know are popular to play draw high prices. Titan, for instance, drew upwards of $100 before the reprint. Or 1830. Advanced Civ still draws prices over $100. It is not surprising that reprints kill the value of Avalon Hill originals - they are bought to play. And while there are certainly collectors of AH boardgames, they are relatively few in number.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:22 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:Yeah - this dynamic can be seen by the prices of TSR gaming products - things like Dungeon!, Knights of Camelot, Divine Right, etc. These are not generally viewed as good games [I would say awful, but I digress]. Very, very few people play them. Yet they still draw relatively high prices. These are being purchased because of the logo [i.e., collectibility], not because of quality [playability].

With AH, all the games that I know are popular to play draw high prices. Titan, for instance, drew upwards of $100 before the reprint. Or 1830. Advanced Civ still draws prices over $100. It is not surprising that reprints kill the value of Avalon Hill originals - they are bought to play. And while there are certainly collectors of AH boardgames, they are relatively few in number.


Guessing Magic Realm is another one of those AH well-liked games.  I came across an unpunched one in really nice shape and sold it for a really nice price.  Thought I had struck gold twice with the Samurai one!

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:38 pm 
 

Divine Right?  Have you played it? This is the first time I have heard it mentioned as an 'awful' game.

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:Yeah - this dynamic can be seen by the prices of TSR gaming products - things like Dungeon!, Knights of Camelot, Divine Right, etc. These are not generally viewed as good games [I would say awful, but I digress]. Very, very few people play them. Yet they still draw relatively high prices. These are being purchased because of the logo [i.e., collectibility], not because of quality [playability].

With AH, all the games that I know are popular to play draw high prices. Titan, for instance, drew upwards of $100 before the reprint. Or 1830. Advanced Civ still draws prices over $100. It is not surprising that reprints kill the value of Avalon Hill originals - they are bought to play. And while there are certainly collectors of AH boardgames, they are relatively few in number.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:26 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:Divine Right?  Have you played it? This is the first time I have heard it mentioned as an 'awful' game.


Yeah, my answer may be a little hyperbolic without elaboration. I suppose it comes down to what one means as "awful." To me, it's relative. If I would never want to play a game, then it falls into that category. That doesn't mean Divine Right is necessarily unpleasant to play [though it can be], or doesn't have good features [it does], but with the time investment required, there are just so many other games I would play over this.

It's like watching high school athletics when the Yankees are in town. In the landscape of boardgames - even fantasy boardgames - it's a minor player. Maybe a reprint with updated rules would change my mind. I think boardgamegeek has it ranked in the thousands.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:21 pm 
 

Dungeon! rules.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:10 pm 
 

copycat wrote:Dungeon! rules.


Agreed. I am a Dungeon! fan.

Hector.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:59 am 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:And while there are certainly collectors of AH boardgames, they are relatively few in number.


What are you basing this on? A search of completed ebay listings yields plenty of $100+ sales.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:49 am 
 

sauromatian wrote:
What are you basing this on? A search of completed ebay listings yields plenty of $100+ sales.

Yeah, that's a good point, but I think that falls in line with my perspective. I am basing my opinion on two things:

1) the knowledge that the most popular AH games to play, draw the highest prices. I play a lot of AH, although admittedly this is anecdotal. Those that are not played - see Samurai discussion above - no matter how good looking or obscure, draw little interest. If it were a collector's market, obscure stuff would be routinely drawing high prices, or so it would seem.

2) whenever there has been a reprint the resale value of originals has fallen dramatically (see Titan, ROR, 1830, et al). Beat up copies of Titan, for instance, drew prices upwards of $100-$120 a few years ago. Now they command little more than $40. Why? You can buy the reprint for $50.

I haven't done an econometric analysis of the matter, but it seems to me the drivers of prices are the gamers. The evidence you've offered to the contrary - in my view - serves to reinforce my conclusions.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:17 pm 
 

Chucho68 wrote:
Agreed. I am a Dungeon! fan.

Hector.


Yup... Dungeon the game Rocks!
And in no way is it a game to be bought just for the artwork, or whatever.
It is most certainly playable and LOADS of fun...
My grandkids and I play it often and it can still be purchased at low prices...
Realively speaking....


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:54 pm 
 

I've thought about picking one up for awhile but just never done it.  Which version do you prefer?  From what I've seen, I like this version the best:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/424735/dungeon

It's colorful and has some great artwork.  I am also curious to find out which versions have the heavy cardstock boards (like Monopoly) and which have just a plain fold-out paper surface (like Warlocks & Warriors).


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:19 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:  I am also curious to find out which versions have the heavy cardstock boards (like Monopoly) and which have just a plain fold-out paper surface (like Warlocks & Warriors).


I have the 1975 purple and yellow portrait box version. It has a vinyl map and smaller playing cards. I think the monopoly type version is the 1981 version (that's the one that started it all for me, even before Moldvay Basic. It has a special place in my heart)

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:34 pm 
 

The later printings are larger boxes about 2-1/2 times the length and roughly the same width as the older prints. They have the folding cardboard playing surface.
There are several printings of this one.

The early versions (purple box) are half the size and have the paper/vinyl folded boards.
I am certain that there are at least two printings of the Purple Box Version.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:44 pm 
 

Gnat the Beggar wrote:I am certain that there are at least two printings of the Purple Box Version.

Correct, the horizontal and vertical (each referring to the box position when the cover art is properly displayed).

There's also the Australian version, moderately rare.

We did the bigger box version so it'd be easier for kids to play.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:22 am 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:Yeah, that's a good point, but I think that falls in line with my perspective. .. The evidence you've offered to the contrary - in my view - serves to reinforce my conclusions.


So are you saying that resistance is futile?

  


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:40 pm 
 

the knowledge that the most popular AH games to play, draw the highest prices. I play a lot of AH, although admittedly this is anecdotal. Those that are not played - see Samurai discussion above - no matter how good looking or obscure, draw little interest. If it were a collector's market, obscure stuff would be routinely drawing high prices, or so it would seem.


As a long time board game and wargame collector I have to disagree with this strongly.

Live auction and online prices for Avalon Hill games like The Longest Day remain very high, at times reaching over $300, yet that is a rarely played game. It is highly collectible but is a very complex and involved game that has been done better more recently. It collected far more than it's played. Prices for the original still remain high. There are other examples of similar Avalon Hill wargames as well.

As for the question about Samurai specifically, prices have fallen on it recently and it's not a in demand game from a collectible stand point. It was not uncommon to see copies between $30 and $50 for one unpunched and in good condition. With the market being what it is prices have fallen and they are around $15-$25 right now, again condition being a critical factor.

I haven't played the game myself but plenty of wargame collectors I know of have said it's a good game. YMMV.

And while there are certainly collectors of AH boardgames, they are relatively few in number.


Another personal observation but I disagree with this as well. I know of many people that collect boardgames, wargames, and Avalon Hill games in particular. It's a strong enough market that there are as many buyers in the wargame session of various convention auctions as the collectible/RPG sessions. See Gencon as a good example.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:36 am 
 

jcp wrote:
Another personal observation but I disagree with this as well. I know of many people that collect boardgames, wargames, and Avalon Hill games in particular. It's a strong enough market that there are as many buyers in the wargame session of various convention auctions as the collectible/RPG sessions. See Gencon as a good example.

That's an interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing. I would just say a few things:

(1) Those who go to Gencon are likely a self-selected group, and not representative of the overall population [i.e., one would expect convention attenders to be disproportionately interested in collecting games]. So this doesn't strike me as very compelling evidence for a vibrant collectors market.

(2) Likewise, I don't think the Longest Day is a very good proxy for the state of the collectors market, either. The game sold for $85 when it first came out. The thing is huge. The Longest Day was four times more expensive than the other AH war games at the time. For comparison, Titan sold for 16 bucks and, just until a few years ago, commanded prices in excess of $100. So just presuming average appreciation for a modestly popular game puts it behind most of the highly played games out there. I mean, just based on inflation alone the price of the Longest Day is $235!

(3) One thing that would make your opinion stronger is addressing the empirical evidence that seemingly undermines it. Namely, that the price of Avalon Hill games have fallen dramatically - more than 75% in some cases - with recent reprints (see ROR, Titan, Britannia, 1830, etc). If, as you suggest, the market is largely driven by collectors and not gamers, this shouldn't happen, or to this extent.

(4) For another comparison, consider the top 25 rated Avalon Hill games on boardgamegeek:

Hannibal
Go
ASL
Civ
1830
Dune
Up Front
Acquire
ROR
SL
Britannia
Diplomacy
History of the World
Merchant of Venus
Normandy
We the People
Titan
For the People
Titan the Arena
Empire in Arms
AOR
Kremlin
Magic Realm
Russia Campaign
Napoleon: Waterloo

With the exception of some of their earlier games - Go, Acquire, Diplomacy, which were "family" games - and Titan the Arena, this is a "who's who" of high priced Avalon Hill games. More than half this list has gone for $100 or more on eBay in recent years, some even in poor condition [i.e., not collector worthy, one would think].

It's fair to say that good quality games aren't the exclusive domain to gamers - it probably makes them more collectable too. But when you have few players, you really see just how weak the impact that collectors have on the market. You end up with Samurai going for $10.. and about a hundred other games.

I think if you could offer a reasonably long list of Avalon Hill games that aren't very good [or aren't played], yet draw high prices - much like what we see with many RPG products - then your perspective would be stronger.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:39 am 
 

So your entire point seems to be that Avalon Hill games aren't as collectible or in demand because there aren't a huge number of high priced low quality games on the oop market? That doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Many of the games listed in your BBG list still do sell for very high prices, ASL and Up Front being just two examples that routinely sell for over $100. ASL is an entire system and there are dozens of games under that line, most all of which sell for more than $100. I've seen a half dozen ASL collections sell for more than $1000, and some for over $2000. There are individual ASL game modules that by themselves sell for upwards of $400-$500.

And in reality you can't really talk about the market for Avalon Hill games as being highly collectible outside the scope of the entire collectible wargame market. Unlike RPG collecting, wargame collectors are almost never focused soley on one system or one specific publisher, SPI (publisher) and ASL (system) being rare but strong exceptions to that general rule. There are a huge number of wargame collectors, and nearly all of them tend to collect games from across multiple publishers and Avalon Hill games are very collectible within that larger spectrum of wargame companies. There are folks who attmept to collect one of every game published (hard to do when there are something like 10,000 wargames that have been published since the mid 1960s) but most tend to collect a range of games from across mutliple publishers representing the best, rarest, more obscure, most unique, and/or items of personal interest from varying companies and eras. Many Avalon Hill wargames would be included in any wargame collectors bucket list.

As for number of people present and bidding at Gencon during the wargame sessions, that is very much an indicator of the popularity of wargame collecting. There are sessions at Gencon that draw few or not as many bidders, but both RPGs and wargames tend to draw constant and very strong crowds. That is why both areas are strongly catered to at the auction. If there wasn't good interest there wouldn't be a large presence and strong bidding.

  
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