I was introduced to Catan in 2014 while deployed aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and played it every Saturday night for nine months straight while at sea. Then a few years later, over food and wine at a seaside restaurant on the island of Ischia, a friend overheard me chatting with one of my old Navy buddies about our Catan games on the ship. As luck would have it, that fateful conversation ended with me being invited to join a new gaming group. The group’s members introduced me to the full breadth – and sheer awesomeness – of the greater universe of board gaming…and my Eurogaming adventure took off!

Why Upstart Boardgamer? Because I’m an upstart – a guy who dove headfirst into gaming only a few years ago but now finds that it is the all-consuming hobby I never had. I’m the guy who HAS to have every new Kickstarter game that looks awesome, and HAS to have the deluxe version. I want ALL THE GAMES…and I want everyone else to be able to have them, too.

Through Upstart Boardgamer, I hope to create a place where gamers can find reasonably priced deluxe versions of crowd-funded games after the campaigns have ended, support as many smaller publishers as I can, and become a digital crossroads that connects gamers to those smaller publishers and gaming accessory creators.

The first amongst these goals is a desire to connect board gamers with those hard-to-find deluxe versions. We’ve all been there; we either don’t realize a Kickstarter campaign is running, or we aren’t sure if we’ll like the game, or we just don’t have the money that month. But then… it happens. The Kickstarter campaign is fulfilled and the positive reviews start pouring into Boardgamegeek.com as a couple thousand backers receive their games. You look through some of the reviews and it becomes clear – you MUST have that game! And the deluxe version looks SO sweet! But by that point it’s only available on eBay for 5x MSRP. Painful!

That’s where Upstart Boardgamer comes in. Our shop offers deluxe copies of crowdfunded games or hard-to-find games that don’t enter mass retail distribution. Always at reasonable prices, and always with the permission of the publisher. Every game we sell at the deluxe/collector’s edition level has been explicitly approved for sale by the publisher. My desire is to support the community, not run counter to the interests of the people out there making great games. If the publisher prefers that deluxe versions or Kickstarter exclusives are not sold by retailers – and the game is just too amazing to pass up – I will carry the standard edition games. It’s also important to note that the company concept is based upon offering a small quantity of these games…because I recognize that part of the Kickstarter experience is having sweet games that are hard to find. Our shop isn’t about undermining that exclusivity; we’re simply hoping to offer a handful of people the chance to be a part of that Kickstarter goodness without having to pay exorbitant prices.

Supporting the small publishers and being a crossroads…There are so many smaller companies out there making GREAT games and gear, and yet there really isn’t one place where you can find out about them all. My goal is to develop this site into just that sort of place. Initially I will focus on carrying a variety of small publisher games in the shop.  Then, sometime after I retire from the US Navy (and have a bit more free time on my hands), I will add-in timely blog posts about Kickstarter campaigns that might have missed your attention. Game run-throughs and rules explanation videos that focus on smaller publishers or games by designers that are just getting started. And informative write-ups about gear that you maybe didn’t even know existed; complete with links to the people that make that gear, so you can pick up whatever you need. I want Upstart Boardgamer to be the kind of place where avid board gamers can find it ALL!

Well, there you have it. From board game novice…to semi-experienced seeker of all things deluxe…to nascent entrepreneur hoping to contribute to the board gaming community experience. I really hope that Upstart Boardgamer can help you get even more enjoyment from the world of board games, and I thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit more about us.

Our Team

Customer Service

Happiness developer. Problem solver. Incurable board game geek.

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