I can’t deny that running a board game group at work is starting to become a little disheartening. Every two weeks I carefully decide which games will best suit the group, which games have previously been successful and which new mechanisms and ideas I want to introduce to the group. Unfortunately other people’s priorities, including work itself get in the way of attendance each week and unfortunately there aren’t enough people reliably there each week to keep me motivated.
Number of Attendees: 3
Games Played: Set, Sushi Go, Takenoko
I feel like I’m saying this every week now, but low attendance is getting me down. I’m not taking it personally, it’s just disappointing when I’m looking forward to a Monday evening and then I have to worry about whether I’ll actually be sitting in a pub on my own. After emailing round I found out that one person was able to come for 30 minutes and the other person could stay for longer. Still a good time, just not the big game night that I dream about...
Having said that only 3 people came, the positive was that they weren’t just my close colleagues coming along out of pity. One person only ever came to my first ever event and I never saw her again. The other is one of my more regular attendees, but only met through starting a board game night. It’s definitely a positive to keep seeing different faces.#
The three games we played this game night were all new to the other players, so I taught all three. I find the concept of Set is a bit of a difficult game to teach, but after a lot of success with Dobble, I thought Set might be a slightly calmer and less frantic alternative for the group. I think the two new player enjoyed it, but as the player with more experience I was a runaway winner. I bought Sushi Go specifically for the group to start teaching drafting and it definitely worked. The cute artwork and simple scoring are definitely a plus and I’ll be using it again.
Finally we ended with a two-player game of Takenoko, which I’m slowly teaching to individuals in the group and everyone is really enjoying. Obviously Takenoko is a light game, but for this game group it’s a good step up to something heavier than fillers and party games. People seem to understand and grasp the concepts but they do say it’s quite complicated once the game is over. I will keep it with me for a couple more weeks to allow some more people to try it.
Lessons for Next Week
Check on interest before turning up
This week was the first time I was genuinely worried about sitting in the pub on my own. I ask all of my close colleagues in person and this week they all had other plans, so I was relying on people who I don’t see in the day-to-day course of work. I had to send round a slightly desperate sounding email to determine if I’d be all alone. So, from now on I’ll be asking people to reply to my reminder email and hopefully that will both give me some reassurance as well as encourage other people on the mailing list who know that there’ll be more people attending.