A Place at the Table: So you decided to go to Board Game Night. Now what?

So, you decided that you are going to be brave, and you are going to a board game night. Now what, you ask yourself? Do I need to bring a game with me? I’ve only ever played Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. Am I going to be able to play any of these strange games that are stacked up on the table?Let’s answer those questions and go into some information about board game nights and events that will help you prepare for this.

Our Ticket to Ride Tournament 2019

Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Kate, and I play board games with the Traverse City Board Gamers. I’ve been a part of this group since the beginning. When I started playing with this group, my board game experience was Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit with some games of Scrabble mixed in. I could (and still do kill it at a game of Scrabble). I had a lot of those same feelings when I went to my first board game event. I didn’t know anyone other than my husband, and I was kinda terrified, to be honest. I’m married and have 4 kidlets ranging in age from 22 years down to 2 years old.Let’s be honest about it, I’m a geek. I enjoy all things grammar related, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and board games. More than likely, I will try to insert references to Doctor Who and Star Trek as often as I can, so… prepared for that.

Board games have come a long way since the development of Monopoly, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit. As you begin your journey into board games, you’ll start to hear terms like worker placement, resource management, drafting, and deck-building. Don’t worry, we will dissect all of those terms at some point in the future. For right now, those terms aren’t important for your first visit to board game night.

You don’t need to bring any games with you. Whomever is hosting the board game night will have games selected for you to play.  Hopefully, the host will have an assortment of games to cover a variety of game parameters.

When you get there, introduce yourself to the host, if you don’t already know him or her. The host will more than likely ask you about your board game history and what you have played and what you like. He isn’t just being nosy. He is trying to help figure out what game would be best for you to play.

If this is your first time playing board games from this newer generation of board games, you are totally fine. Please let people know.  We will help you. We want you to have fun. We want you to come back and play games with us again.

Here is the biggest and best piece of advice for your first board game night: Relax and have fun.

A Board Game Catering event

Here are some tips for your first board game event:

  • Ask questions if you have them. The veteran board gamers should be happy to help you understand the mechanics of the game or the win conditions or any other questions you may have. Veteran gamers who are teaching you a game should be able to help you with decisions about a move or decision in a game without using that knowledge to benefit their own game.If the person teaching you a game uses your unfamiliarity with the game to benefit their own game, run away. This is not a person you want to be playing a game with!
  • You do not have to play a game with someone. We all have players who we’d rather not play a game with. Just like in real life,you’re not going to mesh with everyone, and that’s okay. You are allowed to say no. We want our gamers to be comfortable.
  • Don’t be overly consumed with winning. While there is such a thing as beginner’s luck, beginner’s luck doesn’t always hold true. Chances are you won’t win the game. Even veteran players don’t win every time!  No one is going to think less of you because you didn’t win. The most important thing is that you had fun.
  • There will be cliques. I wish we could avoid that situation. As of yet, I have not figured out a way to combat the problem of cliques. If there is a game that you want to play, but there are players who won’t include you in the game, let the host now. Part of his hosting duties include handling the cliques that only want to play with each other. Don’t let it bother you.
  • RELAX AND HAVE FUN! That’s what board games are for.

I think that should help you survive your first foray into attending a board game night. Next up….I have no idea yet, but I’ll figure something out.

Ticket to Ride

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