This week, once again, the board game group was victim to work and other commitments. After much persuasion of my close colleagues I persuaded two to come along for a 45 minute break from work, after which they headed back to their desks, leaving just two of us playing games again.
Number of Attendees: 4
Games Played: Set, Dingo’s Dreams, Hanabi
Picking the right games for two players
When I first started the group there were lots of people interested and my concerns were to try and increase my collection of high player count fillers that I could use to start the evening. The trend now seems to be that a lot of people leave after we’ve played these quick games, leaving just me and one other person to play a slightly longer game. So far I’ve used Takenoko and Hanabi because they were already in the bag of games, but I think from next week I’ll add some dedicated two player games to the bag, maybe Jaipur, Raptor or Patchwork. I might also swap out some of my games that just won’t work with two, like Medieval Academy or Dixit.
Attracting attention in the pub
Now that I’ve moved the group to Monday nights, we meet at the same time as the Backgammon Club. I get a bit jealous that backgammon club is definitely more popular, often with a group of 10 middle-aged men drinking beer and having competitive tournaments. This week we played Hanabi, which from the outside probably does look a little bit weird – we had a bit of an audience at times and I wish we’d actually spoken to them, but I was too busy concentrating on the things I needed to remember. Next time I’ll definitely talk to the interested people to open their eyes to a whole world of games!
Trying out new games
As mentioned above, this week we played a 2-player game of Hanabi. For new gamers, Hanabi is definitely unique but in principle it’s easy to grasp. For me the hardest part of teaching Hanabi is stressing the importance of what constitutes ‘cheating’ or giving too much information. Luckily this new player took it really well and we actually played a perfect game. I probably had to help a little bit too much than the rules was allow, hinting things like “look at the discard pile” or “fours are safe to play now” but for a first game it was a big success!
Lessons for Next Week
Invite people from outside work
A new idea that has occurred to me is a strategy to ensure that there will always be someone to play games with. Next week I’ve invited two of my friends from outside work to come along on a Monday evening. OK, it’s cheating a little bit, but I’m hoping that it will allow us to have a couple of games running at once and will just increase the buzz around the table to have a few more people. It also means I can worry less during the day that people will drop out and not turn up in the evening.
Don’t forget Codenames
I’m so excited to try out Codenames with this group and specifically bought a copy for the group. Unfortunately, once again this week, I forgot it. We played it with my parents last weekend and they really loved it – definitely a sign that it’s a very universal crowd pleaser. The ability to add new players as they arrive will make this the perfect way to start the evening next week!