What a time to be alive. We live in an age where a willing adult can create or join a board game night via the power of the internet in their own towns. Even if you don’t have a group of friends who like to board game, there are so many ways to find yourself a group! But, it’s not all dice rolling and smiles at these events. There are always ways that both the hosts and the attendees of board game nights can help improve the experience for all.
Here are the top tips we’ve collected from around the interwebs to make your board game night a success:
- Turn off your phone. Or at least put it on silent and out of your reach if you are too tempted, young Frodo. Staring at your phone when you need to be engaged is disrespectful to the other players, the host, and your worth as a human being.
- Alcohol doesn’t tend to mix well with high-concentration games, but goes super well with ones that become more fun the more terrible or silly you are at it, like Cards Against Humanity or Gloom. Use it to loosen up a little, but be mindful of it affecting game play!
- Make sure you think about how you will explain the rules of your game before you bring it up as an option for everyone to play! A poorly explained game eats up time and turns off players from wanting to participate.
- Being competitive is part and parcel of playing a game, but practice restraint if you suddenly feel like flipping a table over losing, or want to gloat over winning. Inner Monologue, everyone. Use it.
- Not every game is for every player! If you think you won’t like a game once it’s explained, it’s okay to politely sit one out. You can even take the extra time to start a new game with others who are sitting out, or go through the other games to decide what to play next.
- Keep your gosh darn beverages away from the game. Putting liquids in an area where many people are moving their hands is a fool’s errand.
- Encourage new people to join in games and voice their opinions at your event. Nerds and geeks aren’t the most outgoing folk, and some of us are at our limit just having shown up, let alone speaking up about wanting to join a game.
- Let your attendees be able to give input into which game to play. This can be decided before or during the event! You can even try out Game Election, a game used to pick games! Of course, it’s totally okay to create a board game night with the goal of trying out one game in particular, just make sure to let attendees know so they can decide beforehand if they’re in or out.
- Set some house rules about game length! If someone whips out a 6 hour game like Firefly (the “Ruiner of Sleep,” as we call it in our group), think in advance about how you can create a 2 hour version of it by altering some of the rules.
- If more than 5 people are attending, make sure to set up at least two areas to play. If a game gets rolling with a low player limit, the other group can start their own game.
- Provide some basic snacks and basic drinks for guests, and mentally set a time a few hours into the event when you ask everyone if they’d like to order in for food or not. Hunger makes fools of us all.
- Not all table top gaming groups are the same! Some may focus on different kinds of games, or just have certain kinds of people you may or may not get along with. When deciding whether to join a group, make sure to observe for a bit to see if it’s a good fit.
- Don’t feel pressured to bring your own games. There are usually way more games present at board game meet ups than there is time to play! If you do bring games, don’t feel bad if there isn’t time to get to yours that night.
- Bring snacks and drinks to share! The rules of being a functioning human in society dictate that if you go to someone’s home, you should bring something as thanks for imposing on them! At the very least, offer to chip in for pizza if everyone starts to get into the hunger zone.
Do you have any other tips for those hosting and attending board game nights? Let us know in the comments!