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Created On: 2020-04-21 13:34:32
Members: 3
  • Michael Focht
    United States
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    Microbadge: ASL fanMicrobadge: Kingmaker fanMicrobadge: 18xx fanMicrobadge: Avalon Hill fanMicrobadge: Victory Games fan
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Description Edit | History

This guild is intended for those with an interest in collecting the many board game titles and their various editions, versions, and expansions published by The Avalon Hill Game Company(1958-1998) and Victory Games, a subsidiary of The Avalon Hill Game Company(1958-1998). As such, this is a place to post information and ask questions about all things related to the history of The Avalon Hill Game Company(1958-1998), especially as it relates to the publishing of board games. One of the principal challenges of collecting out-of-print board games from a defunct publisher is determining precisely what constitutes a complete collection, as the definition continually changes each time a heretofore unknown version is discovered. It is hoped that the information shared herein will aid AH/VG collectors in managing this challenge.

More Information Edit | History

When I first started seriously collecting titles from Avalon Hill, I didn't know much about what was out there, and I relied heavily on the BGG list of games that were associated with the company. As I began perusing the second-hand market for available titles, my initial goal was to acquire one of each title published by Avalon Hill. Since I was toying with the idea of actually playing each game, this goal changed to include one of each version of the rulebook for each game that had such revisions. Over time, this goal too expanded to include a copy of each game whenever the form factor changed. Eventually, as I acquired more and more games, sometimes purchased in lots to resell to finance future purchases, I became very familiar with the components, and I began noticing other differences. Most of these differences were subtle, like variations in the text on the lid of a flat box game, or a full size photo on the back of a slipcover being reduced on a different copy of the same game. Then there were different copyright dates, different names/initials for the company itself, different company addresses, and different company logos. Some of the thin flat box games had no artwork on the bottom of the box, but other copies of the same game with the same form factor did have artwork. Some of the bookcase games had printing on the top and bottom lid flaps, but other copies of the same bookcase game did not. Based on these observations, I realized that each of these differences indicated a change that the company made in the marketing/publishing process that often times could be used to predict changes in contemporaneous titles with a high degree of accuracy. From this, I came to view each game as I received them as a kind of time capsule or a snapshot, if you will, of where Avalon Hill was at on the known timeline from 1958 until Hasbro bought them out in 1998. I know now that playing every game will never happen, and that the collection has become an end in itself. My collection has effectively become my game room decor until I decide it's time to sell it off, and I can live with that. This guild then serves as a means for me to record the many insights I have gleaned from this process while I still own these games in the hope that other collectors may find the information useful in hashing out their own goals.

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