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Board Game Parties Make For a Nice Leisurely Afternoon

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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December 21, 2013


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Board Game Parties Are Not Only Fun but Intellectually Stimulating as Well

Board game parties offer a surprising lot. Many people if they took the time to look would be surprised at the vast range of board games and genres available. Do you love Battlestar Galactica and Starcraft? You’re covered. How about trekking through the jungle, excavating temples and unearthing treasures. Tikal or Lost Cities is the game for you. Want to be a pirate searching for loot? Pirates Cove will have you and your friends smiling and laughing. With a little thoughtful preparation you are almost guaranteed an interesting and lively time together with your friends.

A number of years ago I started attending board game parties. Up to a dozen people would turn up over at my friend’s place and we would play from early in the afternoon till late in the evening. For dinner, we would have a barbecue on his balcony. It was a whole new world to me and an exciting and fun one at that. I really enjoyed those events and have been hooked on board games ever since.

There are an amazing variety of board games out there. In the various games I have played I have started a farm, transported miniature containers by ship to an island, helped supply cities with electricity, built a hotel empire, waged a medieval war and conquered the new world! I have also been a Roman senator, a pirate and an adventurer escavating temples and finding treasure. I have even fought Cyclons and the Zerg!

If you wish to create your own little community and were wondering what you could center it around board games are one possibility.

How I Host a Board Games Parties

I typically have around 15 people coming to one of my board game parties. In preparation for the event I have chosen two to three games and reviewed their game manuals. We usually play games that can be played within two hours that way no matter what time people arrive they don’t have to wait long to get into a new game. I also make sure I have an extra copy of each game’s manual.

I always cook a nice big pot of beef and potato stew. My guests know they can help themselves to it anytime. If they are lucky my wife has cooked a delicious apple crumble which is complimented with vanilla ice cream. On a Saturday night, we play from 6:30pm – 2:00am in the morning.

Have a Variety of Board Games

Over the last few years I have accumulated about 20 board games so I’ve got many popular themes covered. It’s important to have some easy to get started and play games. Some short games are also good to have to fill in short periods of time say before someone leaves. Fortunately, their are some avid gamers in my circle and they always bring some games to play.

The Challenges of Hosting Board Game Parties

One of the challenges of hosting a board games party is becoming familiar with games enough so that you can tell others how to play. There are SO many details to remember and I sometimes feel a little intimidated especially if I’m introducing a game I haven’t played before. With some of the harder games you really need to sit down, set up the game and play a solo game or at the very least work your way slowly through the manual. That’s why I breath a sigh of relief when the hardcore gamers bring their own games over and eagerly introduce them to others.

What if you want to have 15 player parties but your friends aren’t familiar with your games and in general don’t play board games? You could, of course, slowly build up to 15 players by which time a number of people are familiar with your games and can introduce them to others. Another possibility is to assign friends to be responsible for introducing a game.

Give Your Friends Advanced Notice

Sometimes there may be a specific game I want to play. I will then let certain players know what the game is and send them a link to the on-line game’s manual. I know that when I go to someone else’s place to play a board game I like to check out the game beforehand. Having said that many players don’t take advantage of the advance notice.

Board Game Tournaments

Board game tournaments are similar to board game parties.  I held an Age of Empires III board game tournament a while ago. My friend also has a copy of the game so we were able to have a ten player tournament. It was actually in two parts. We met up twice and recorded our scores. The scores were then added to determine the winners. For this event I went to the trouble of having some posters especially made that were relevant to the game. For example, a poster of a queen, a merchant and a Spanish galleon. I also paid a visit to the local trophy/medallion shop and had some special medals made for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

A few thoughts concerning board game tournaments. I loved the idea initially but realized after a StarCraft tournament I had that I much prefer board game parties. Board game tournaments are a serious affair and I prefer light-hearted and easy going  parties. At my last tournament one of the players spat the dummy because the game was going way too long and because of certain things the other players did. I doubt that would of happened at a relaxed party.

For those of you who host your own board game parties do you have anything to add?
 
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