The first week of game group left me feeling elated after introducing new people to the hobby and feeling like I had really started something good both for myself, the hobby and to build social bridges for other people in my workplace.
For week two I was probably more nervous about whether people would come back and also about picking the right games – In Week 1 I could forgive myself if I got the games wrong but knowing a little more about my audience my audience would I make the right choice to keep people interested?
Number of Attendees: 8
Games Played: Dobble, Get Bit!, Coloretto, Catan, Survive!
Deciding whether to try and encourage more new players
With 11 players last week we were pretty full at the two tables I’ve booked in the pub. It’s not the largest venue so I don’t know how much of the table space we can take up before being unwelcome. This week I chose not to re-advertise and everyone who didn’t have other commitments returned from Week 1, which is a good sign! Next time I might readvertise and use some photos to show the fun we’ve been having.
Knowing what games to provide
The first week taught me that fun sells, but at the same time I know there are people in the group who have played heavier games before and I want to try and give people a broad experience before we get stuck with only ever playing the lighter side of games. This week, one person was determined to play Catan, so this was my test for a euro-style game. Card games were also covered by Coloretto. I also chose Get Bit this week - a bad call! It's not as quick as I remember and so the player elimination probably resulted in some boredom and disappointment rather than the quick, engaging filler I wanted.
We work in a high pressure environment and some people always have to work late. This week one person turned up 1.5 hours after we’ve started and I always want the latecomers to be able to join a game. This does mean ensuring that one group is playing something quick, which I think could be challenge going forward.
People Came Back!
I’m starting to figure out people’s tastes
Through the game of Catan I managed to identify two players who are happy with some strategy and one who definitely isn’t and only wants to play ‘silly’ games. I’m pretty sure I can work with this going forward. So far everyone else seems easy going so I’ll need to try a few different styles of games to figure people out.
A surprising favourite game...
After each session I send round an email to say thanks and to give people a list of the games played just in case they want to find out more or request I bring it again. I get a number of responses and this week everyone was most excited about Coloretto! I had no idea this game was going to be popular, but people played game after game, enjoying the combination of siple mechanics and tough decisions. I’m not sure how I replicate this success, but maybe more card games is an easy way to go.
An offer from the manager...
An interesting development during the evening was a chat with the manager. He wants to meet up and talk about board games. I don’t think he wants to ask us to buy more drinks or not to play Dobble with some particularly loud players, although I am a bit worried! The more optimistic side of me thinks he might want to broaden the pub’s own board game collection, or even to start his own board game night or start advertising mine to a more broader audience than just my work colleagues. I’m looking forward to meeting him next week!
Lessons for Next Week
The right games for the right people
I’m definitely going to introduce a new euro game next week, perhaps Alhambra or Carcassonne to see who is interested in the less ‘silly’ style of games. However I also know I need to keep the entertainment factor high, perhaps with Dixit or bringing back Loony Quest.
Encouraging more teachersThis week I was the only person there able to teach games, and I’m the first to admit I’m not the greatest teacher! That’s a challenge as soon as the group gets bigger than 4 or 5 people. Even though some other group members do know some games, they don’t seem that willing to teach them. I may have to stop playing so many games to enable me to teach and help during games. Hopefully as we start to repeat the games we play then people will be able to play without teaching and maybe more people will bring their own games from home.