This last week was kind of crazy. Everyone from out of town was at the office and the company held tons of events. Suffice it to say I was super tired after this week. So when I was sitting down to write this article I started to think about how I choose what games I take to my weekly board game night, then I feel asleep. When I woke up this morning I decided that topic was what I wanted to write about, which is good since it is all I thought about. So when you are the main facilitator of a game night what criteria should you use to choose the games you bring? It can be really hard to shuffle through your hundreds of games and pick the few that get to see the light of day. So let me tell you how I choose what games I bring to my game night.
To start off I usually bring three to five games to a game night. This decision is based around how much I can easily carry when I am leaving for work in the morning and how much time we usually have to play games. Feel free to adjust this as necessary as you may have a longer game night time than me or you may be storing games in your car. As I mentioned in my game storage article I have a bunch of small games in my black bag in my car…just in case. So I will be focusing on the three most common types of games I bring to my board game night.
First of all I always choose a game that I just got or that I want to learn. I usually have such a back log of games I want to learn this isn’t a problem for me. For example, this week I choose Above and Below, a light worker placement/story telling game by Ryan Laukat, as I will be demoing it at my shop this month. This game is usually my selfish choice, as I always choose something that, as far as I know, only I am interested in. Also this game is sometimes the game I am demoing for the shop, as I have agreed to play this game and show other people how. If this is the case I usually still bring other games but I usually only play this one. This slot is also sometimes taken up by games I need to be certified in from Envoy to run events. This week I would be doing Rome: City of Marble if I had not played it last week already. So there is my first pick: A game that you want to learn to play or just bought.
My second choice is usually something we have played before and people generally liked. This week I brought Orléans, the work placement game from Tasty Minstrel Games. This game was a former game in the previous category and now since people liked it I am bringing it back. This is a nice category because you know at least some of the people are going to enjoy it. It becomes your best-game-to-fall back-on category as everyone knows the rules, everyone knows some of the strategy, and everyone knows the flow. The second pick is: A game everyone has played before and enjoyed.
Lastly, I usually choose a game that is the new hotness or I have heard people talking about. This week I choose Blood Rage, a game of vikings killing vikings for glory by Eric Lang and Cool Mini Or Not! People (including me) have been raving about this game everywhere. Whether it be because they have not received their Kickstarter yet or have played the game and love it, people wanna play it. This game is usually informed by listening to podcasts, reading articles, looking at Boardgamegeek, or being on Facebook. Sometimes people at the shop ask for a specific game to be brought and this category is for those games as well. Being the person with the largest collection at my shop means I usually have the games people are raving about and it is my pleasure to bring it n for people to enjoy. My last pick is: A game that is the new hotness or is popular.
So there you have it folks the decision between a hundred plus games distilled into a beautiful (totally not hastily written) 800 word segment. You are welcome ;). So I hope this helped you facilitators of board game nights out here. Let me know if you have any other criteria for what you bring to a board game night. See ya next time!