Going Analog

Where video game industry veterans introduce great board games to video gamers

6 outrageously expensive board games for the lavish gamer

Forget diamond-encrusted chess sets; these board games are the best way to flash some cash and still have a good time.

If you’ve ever felt buyer’s remorse after dropping $60 on a board game, you should probably stop reading now. Even in a world of expensive, shelf-hogging boxes there are those who just aren’t satisfied unless a price tag has at least one extra zero tagged on the end. So for all the board game lovers who bathes in $100 dollar bills (or if you just want to gawk at some shocking price tags), join us as we take a trip through the most extravagant and expensive board games to hit the market in recent years. Bank accounts, beware.

Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary 

Original Price: $100

Ticket to Ride has seen many versions over the years, but if you’re after a first-class trip, look no further than Ticket To Ride: 10th Anniversary. Originally released for $100, the limited edition swiftly skyrocketed in price, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a copy now for under $300 dollars. At the time of writing, Amazon and eBay put the cheapest option at an eye-watering $350, reserving this for only the extreme -- and rich -- Ticket to Ride fanatics of the world.

The 10th Anniversary edition includes a larger board and trains, with some lovely art and extras from the Mystery Train and USA 1910 expansions, but we’re not convinced they quite add up to that hefty of a price tag. For our less affluent passengers, the Ticket to Ride: 15th Anniversary Special Edition has just released at a much more affordable price tag of $50.

Takenoko: Collector’s Edition 

Original Price: $300

Some collector’s editions include rare components or expansions, but others like the Takenoko: Collector’s Edition value size above all else. This gigantic box massively scales up each and every component inside, letting you construct towering pillars of bamboo for an oversized panda to devour. It’s the same game you know and love, only bigger and bolder.

Takenoko: Collector’s Edition has gone through several reprints ranging from $200-300, but if you’re looking to pick up a new copy today, expect to shell out $270 on eBay and $350 or more on Amazon. At that price, you’ll need to ask yourself just how much you really like pandas.

Kingdom Death: Monster 

Original Price: $200

We couldn’t make a list of bank-breaking board games without giving a nod of recognition to the beast that is Kingdom Death: Monster. The most funded Kickstarter board game, KD:M knew its audience well and offered miniature after miniature to entice potential buyers. The base game required a minimum buy-in of $200 (it now costs $400), but that’s far from the end of the story. 

Convoluted stretch goals and expansions are commonplace on Kickstarter, but Kingdom Death: Monster’s immense collection had completionist backers weeping with every extra click. The sheer quantity of options meant the developers had to release a spreadsheet to show what was included in each tier. Fans even made a pledge-cost calculator to tally up the price of each item you buy, leading to a staggering $3000+ if you tick every box. Thankfully you could also get the full bundle at the discount price of $2,500. A veritable bargain, right?

Azul Giant Edition 

Original Price: $300

Azul is already a sleek and gorgeous game, but if there’s one way to make sliding tiles about more satisfying, it’s by bumping up the size. That’s where Azul Giant Edition comes in. This sizeable package scales up the original game by 200%, adding neoprene playmats to accommodate the beefy chips. Having gone hands-on with it, we can’t deny the increased satisfaction of swiping your chosen tiles from the factories, shoving the remaining large pieces to the center like a high-bidding poker player.

At $300, Azul Giant Edition even came with a suitcase box to let you really flaunt your board gaming wealth -- or at least highlight a severe lack of monetary self-control. Produced in an extremely limited supply run, you can find a few copies on eBay, but expect to pay upwards of $650 for the pleasure.

Small World Designer Edition

Original Price: $400

Looking to work out with a board game box? Weighing in at a meaty 40 pounds, the Designer Edition of Small World is exactly what you need. A literal treasure chest of delights for an avid Small World fan, the box includes 65 miniatures, wooden tiles for every faction, a dragon’s hoard of metal coins, and much more

It’s hard to deny the craftsmanship that’s gone into the Small World Designer Edition, and it’s no surprise to see that sealed copies are now selling for upwards of $2000 or even $3000 on eBay and BoardGameGeek. If you grab a copy, try not to forget the weight each time you slide it out from your shelf, or you might end up breaking more than just the bank.

Dragoon: Wyvern Edition 

Original Price: $650

When Lay Waste Games’s Dragoon was successfully funded in 2015, you might reasonably have assumed that would be the happy end of the story for the strategy game of duelling dragons. Come 2017 however and the developer was back on Kickstarter to fund their new expansion alongside a reprint of the original game. 

Included in those reprints was the ludicrously pricey $650 Wyvern Edition which promised a gorgeous laser-etched wooden board complete with canvas bags and shiny metallic figures for both the core game and expansion. Considering just 21 people backed the project at this tier, don’t expect to see many copies of the Wyvern Edition floating around online.

Those are just a few of the outrageously expensive board games in the world who can’t wait to meet your wallet. If there’s a pricey box you’ve been eyeing up that we missed out, be sure to let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Author bio: When he’s not losing himself as a mercenary in Frosthaven, Henry Stenhouse can be found scouring the web for the latest and greatest games, then wondering why he never has time to actually play them. Share your love of deck builders with him at @Fernoface on Twitter or drop an email to henry@moonrock.agency.

[Featured Image via Mundangerous]