Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Thrift Week 2015, Day 4: Hell Rail

I'm a bit under the weather today, so this Thrift Week post is going to be just a quickie to tell you about the birthday gift I got from my friend Tim. He offered to take me to The Fallout Shelter, our local comic and game shop, and buy me literally anything I wanted. That's kind of a risky offer to make, because board games can cost upwards of $60, but luckily for him the two I liked best were much more reasonable. Candidate #1 was Long Live the King, which is kind of a cross between a traditional tabletop game and a role-playing game. It looked intriguing, but I was put off by the fact that it had a required minimum of 5 players (it can take up to 10, and users say the more the better). I seldom have a really big group to game with, so I thought if I picked this game, it might be months before I got to try it.

So instead, I settled on Hell Rail. This is, on its face, a lot like other rail-based board games in which your job is to deliver loads to various locations, except in this case the loads are damned souls and you have to transport them to their appropriate circle of Hell. It requires a group of 3 or 4 players, so Brian and I can't test it out right away, but it looked intriguing enough on its face to be worth a try—and cheap enough, at its marked-down price, that I wouldn't feel bad about asking for it if I didn't end up liking it all that much. I think what really sold me on it was the fact that it was labeled "third perdition."

I haven't had a chance to play my new game yet, but I've had a look at the rules, and they're—a bit complicated. (I guess the author thinks a fundamental component of Hell is bureaucracy.) Based on the reviews at Board Game Geek, I suspect the first game of this will be a bit of a shambles, and after that it will become clearer. So now all I have to do is talk my Tuesday night group into trying it more than once.

This gift is ecofrugal for two reasons:
  1. It's a form of entertainment that we can enjoy at home with no additional cash and no electricity, and there's no limit to the number of times we can play it. This means its cost per hour of entertainment could potentially be mere pennies, especially at the sale price.
  2. It came from a local business, which I'm always happy to support. Buying local helps keep our local economy thriving, which not only makes it easier to shop without getting in the car, but just generally makes our town a more pleasant place to live.
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