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Subject: How do you handle someone bringing Monopoly to a game group? rss

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Joe Leuzinger

Baraboo
Wisconsin
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I've started a new game group this year after transplanting to a new city. It's been slow going as few people here have played things not made by Parker Brothers before. Usually it has been myself and one other person to bring all the games.

I received a message from a guy excited that he bought a new game and would like to bring it to tonights game night. I said no problem then asked the game. He responded that it was the new Fallout Monopoly.

I don't want to discourage the guy, but also do not want to have the night monopolized (pun intended) by a 3 hour game that no one enjoys. My thoughts were to suggest we start off with some horror themed games since Halloween is so close, then end up not having time for Monopoly.

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Colm McCarthy
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Madison
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Caffeine Buz wrote:
I've started a new game group this year after transplanting to a new city. It's been slow going as few people here have played things not made by Parker Brothers before. Usually it has been myself and one other person to bring all the games.

I received a message from a guy excited that he bought a new game and would like to bring it to tonights game night. I said no problem then asked the game. He responded that it was the new Fallout Monopoly.

I don't want to discourage the guy, but also do not want to have the night monopolized (pun intended) by a 3 hour game that no one enjoys. My thoughts were to suggest we start off with some horror themed games since Halloween is so close, then end up not having time for Monopoly.



Our group agrees to play every game that people bring to the table - eventually. If not tonight, then next week, or the week after that. But get them played. He wants to play Fallout Monopoly? Play Fallout Monopoly with him. He's going to play your dumb games, so you should play his.

Last week I played Exploding Kittens (with its thrilling new expansion), Smash Up, and Mombasa (Mombasa was my game). I die a little every time I play Exploding Kittens and Smash Up, but folks like em, so I play. Flexibility is the key. And you're trying to build a group here, so why alienate people right out of the gate?

Who know, maybe Fallout Monopoly isn't terrible...

Maybe...
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Stuart
United Kingdom
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You may need to clarify that the group is for modern German-style/designer board games and that games like Monopoly are simply not played there.

The tactic of not having time for Monopoly at the end of the evening will just result in him bringing it again and being more determined to play it at the beginning of the evening (unless he has been so dazzled by the other games played that he no longer wants to play Monopoly).
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Austin Andersen
United States
Berrien Springs
Michigan
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I would have the same apprehension had he brought standard Monopoly, but I think you should be a bit more open minded when it comes to more modern versions of the game. I have noticed that there have been some design changes aimed at speeding up the game and providing an end in the more modern versions.

Monopoly is still a game I don't really care for, but I think worth playing through versions that are more than a simple re-theme at least once.

If you want your group to grow and to retain its members, you have to allow for them to grow as gamers as well. Let them start off with Monopoly and move on to other games. If you shoot down games they suggest without ever trying them out with them they may be discouraged to participate in the future.
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Andrew J.
United States
Missouri
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I have a similar friend who's very obsessed with Catan and Ticket to Ride. I've gently steered him away from them both times (he has been bringing Catan, but we legitimately don't have time for a game that long) but we'll see. Has actually led to me thinking of trading away my Ticket to Ride just to fix that problem.

A
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Stuart
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Our MeetUp group's actually banned Monopoly! (Militant, I know!)

There are some games we don't play because there are other MeetUp groups dedicated to them like Chess, backgammon and Scrabble. But we have a FAQ explaining what the group is about and the type of games that are played.
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Austin Andersen
United States
Berrien Springs
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The best way though at least if it isn't opened and brand new, is to tell him not to open it and that hopefully he will be able to resell at a later time as a collector's item.
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David B
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So the guy is showing some enthusiasm about a game he purchased. I would be extremely careful not to snobbishly stomp on his enthusiasm. Play the game he brings and try to enjoy the experience. Then introduce one of your games to him, preferably something that has at least something in common with monopoly. I would suggest Lords of Vegas, Stockpile, or perhaps Power Grid. If you turn your nose at his game, he won't come back. And I wouldn't blame him.
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Kyle
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Toronto
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aaj94 wrote:
I have a similar friend who's very obsessed with Catan and Ticket to Ride. I've gently steered him away from them both times (he has been bringing Catan, but we legitimately don't have time for a game that long) but we'll see. Has actually led to me thinking of trading away my Ticket to Ride just to fix that problem.

A


What games are you playing if you can't fit a short game like Catan in?

OP you won't win them all, might be better to suck it up once and develop rapport if you are trying to build a group. Maybe chase it with for sale (a property auction game)
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Susie_Cat
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aaj94 wrote:
...but we legitimately don't have time for a game that long...


Seriously, we get through a game of Catan in less than an hour. Admittedly, that's with an experienced group of players who know the game, but even so. While I certainly wouldn't want to play it every week, it is still a very good game when played occasionally, I'd play it if I were you, then you can encourage him to move on.

Susie_Cat.
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Matt Lee
United States
East Meadow
New York
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How many people are in this group? If there are enough people to split up into multiple games, I don't see why not let him (and see if anyone wants to join him).

IMHO, it's bad if we outright dismiss someone's love if we ourselves do not like them, and if there are enough people to want to try it out, then let them go for it. You might have to suggest that time is a factor and if it doesn't end by X time, the game cannot be completed (depending on the location, of course), but no reason to outright deny him the ability to bring his newest acquisition.

Arguably, the same problem might come up if you brought that fancy FFG big box game and you all hated it after 3 hours. You can't tell what will really be badly received and what won't.
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M V
United Kingdom
South Brent
Devon
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If you're so confident that "our" games are that much better than Monopoly, play it and let the group come to that realisation themselves. Use it as a teaching moment and a way to start the discussion of what kinds of games you like and why.

Of course, if they decide they prefer Monopoly, you're in trouble.
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Tom Barnes
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St. Charles
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I think some honesty is called for here. If you think a Monopoly variant game is beneath you, you need to be up front about not wanting to play that game in your group.

Eventually, the player who is bringing Fallout Monopoly will figure out what you have been doing to avoid playing their game. This is no way to build a gaming group.

TWB
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Tony C
United States
Holly Springs
North Carolina
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How "tight" do want the game night? If all you want to be played are Agricola, Caverna, etc type games (or a focus on any other type), make that painfully clear to everyone ahead of time, and keep in mind that a lot of people who might have come otherwise, now won't come because that's a higher barrier to them.
Now, if this event is Halloween themed, I think that's valid; to say "Since it's Halloween, we're going to be playing a bunch of horror/monster type games; but the next game night is open."

If a guy is excited to come, and bought a "new game" he's excited to bring - let him bring it. Let him come and be excited. Bring out your games. Get a couple tables going for "designer" games. If he can get players for Monopoly, fine. Ensure there's enough other cool games, and enough other people having fun at other tables, to attract people as well. Or if there's only one table, maybe say "Hey, let's start with this since it's shorter", then see what happens (playing Monopoly if that's what people want to play.)
(That said, I am trying my darndest to ban CAH from being brought to my game nights.)

I had a kid friendly (10+ up) game night a while ago. We played Splendor, Castle Panic, Fearsome Floors, Hare and Tortoise. Someone brought Life. They tried Castle Panic, for whatever reason it didn't click with them; they played Life and had fun. They may or may not ever come to another; they may or may not ever play anything else. But they had the opportunity, and everyone had fun.

I like Exploding Kittens (although the expansion seems overpriced) and Smash Up, and don't think I'd like Mombasa. I've got a group that tends toward that type of game, and schedule permitting, I play whatever's on deck with them, because it's about the people, the fun, new experiences, and flexibility.
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Kelly Bass
United States
Venice
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Play Fallout Monopoly.
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Ken Lewis
United States
Cumming
Georgia
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I think you should just tell him you don't want to play Monopoly and explain to him why you don't like the game. That way, you can create a dialogue with your group and determine which games everyone likes to play and which ones they don't. You may be surprised to find out that not everyone loves to play the games you love to play.

A little bit of communication goes a long way.

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Phil Bolger
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Oswego
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"How do you handle someone bringing Monopoly to a game group?"

To quote the philosopher Hank Hill:

"We ask them politely, but firmly, to leave."


In all seriousness, I think your best approach would be to explain why you don't want to give up three hours for such a game and offer some shorter alternatives, or a longer alternative you think more folks would enjoy. Bring up that Monopoly is tough to play among friends, let alone strangers, and that for anyone not in first or second place, the game becomes increasingly less fun as things go on.

If this guy digs post-apocalyptic stuff combined with property ownership, 51st State would probably work well.
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Greg
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I would say go ahead and play it. Sounds like the guy bought it for your game night and is excited to try it. He probably feels like he is doing something good. I say play it, but insist on not using that Free Parking house rule and make sure you auction properties if they are landed on but not bought. It really speeds things up. Play it with him and do your best to make it an enjoyable experience.

After that, ask if you can play one of your games. Don't hint at it being better. Just play it. Hopefully, he will see what modern gaming has to offer and ask for more.

I think a little investment and sacrifice now could get you longer term enjoyment and nothing would stunt the potential for future game nights than board game snobbery.
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Cornixt
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I promised my son that we could play his copy of Zombie-opoly* as long as we played it strictly by the rules. I didn't realise that they had stuck the Free Parking rules in there as official rules. It ended the same way as every childhood game did.

*I think it's not an official Monopoly version, I'm not even sure how the theme is supposed to work since you buy zombies and rent them out to people... Plus it is a visual mess.
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hereford
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Or do you take this topic wider and discuss as a group or on Facebook (Without being snobby or elitist.)

How picking games works?
i.e. does everyone get a 10 second elevator pitch and then the players pick teams.. or do you define a theme per day etc.
What to do if there is a game you really don't want to play? How do you politely refuse.

Try and have a mature discussion to build the culture and rules of the group.

It is awkward, and on the whole I will gladly play most games particularly if they are new and the player is keen to play but sometimes I just honestly say, "I'd rather not play that game I just don't enjoy it, normally I will go into a reason, personal rather than critical of their game choice"

The same will happen when you bring out the heavy euro about farming and some of your group just want to play coup or resistance 5 times they should have a polite way to refuse. It is better that than a painful awkward game which no one loves. Also bad is people leaving mid game which is a risk.

This also leads onto house rules and how do you handle them..

I would say play the game next week when it is Halloween and play by the full and correct rules. or atleast table the game as an option with no negativity. OR be honest and say you'd rather not play it because be honest.. your choice you know the group and player better than us.
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April W
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colmmccarthy wrote:


Our group agrees to play every game that people bring to the table - eventually. If not tonight, then next week, or the week after that. But get them played. He wants to play Fallout Monopoly? Play Fallout Monopoly with him. He's going to play your dumb games, so you should play his.

Last week I played Exploding Kittens (with its thrilling new expansion), Smash Up, and Mombasa (Mombasa was my game). I die a little every time I play Exploding Kittens and Smash Up, but folks like em, so I play. Flexibility is the key. And you're trying to build a group here, so why alienate people right out of the gate?

Who know, maybe Fallout Monopoly isn't terrible...

Maybe...


This.
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adam wilson

Oklahoma
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Susie_Cat wrote:

aaj94 wrote:
...but we legitimately don't have time for a game that long...


Seriously, we get through a game of Catan in less than an hour. Admittedly, that's with an experienced group of players who know the game, but even so. While I certainly wouldn't want to play it every week, it is still a very good game when played occasionally, I'd play it if I were you, then you can encourage him to move on.

Susie_Cat.


Bidding or trade type games can be extremely long if AP players are present. We have several indecisive, verbal players in our group and they will drag Catan out for 1.5 to 2 hours. They are having fun but no one else is.
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cornixt wrote:
I promised my son that we could play his copy of Zombie-opoly* as long as we played it strictly by the rules. I didn't realise that they had stuck the Free Parking rules in there as official rules. It ended the same way as every childhood game did.

*I think it's not an official Monopoly version, I'm not even sure how the theme is supposed to work since you buy zombies and rent them out to people... Plus it is a visual mess.


Odd on Game of thrones monopoly which is an 18 for no reasons has in big letters on the back page about common house rules and they are just such and should be played at your risk..
 
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Andrew J.
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I agree it's a good game, it might yet get played. We generally top out at an hour (think glory to Rome and five tribes) and with new players catan would be all we get played in a night. Not categorically opposed to it though.

Susie_Cat wrote:

aaj94 wrote:
...but we legitimately don't have time for a game that long...


Seriously, we get through a game of Catan in less than an hour. Admittedly, that's with an experienced group of players who know the game, but even so. While I certainly wouldn't want to play it every week, it is still a very good game when played occasionally, I'd play it if I were you, then you can encourage him to move on.

Susie_Cat.
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Mauricio Montoya
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If it's an open gaming group you're gonna have to allow for this and ther games you personally don't like, because if it's not Monopoly this week, it's gonna be Exploding Kittens next week, or Cards Against Humanity next month.

It's not game night at your house where you can decide what games are banned or have a fixed group with similar taste. Dismissing people or insulting their preferences or lack of knowledge of the boardgaming scene after they were interested and even brought something on their own is not gonna sit well with a lot of them (not only the one being dissed), and discourage participation from more people.

Play their copy of Monopoly at least once. It's not even that long if you play it as intended in the rulebook, without all the word-of-mouth house rules and variants that were introduced over the years just to keep the kids from being eliminated early and busy for whole afternoons (and leave the parents with more time to drink in peace). They will be satisfied and will probably not bring it again for a while seeing there are many other different games to try.

Be respectful and patient and you will probebly get at least that much in return when you force them to sit thru that dry euro or themeless cube pusher that is totally alien to them but somebody else loves because it's "serious". Over time they will get to know more games and refine their taste, and maybe buy and bring to the group something else newer and more enjoyable for everyone, even you... or maybe not, but it's their choice and their taste, and you as a more seasoned gamer (and collector maybe) have to be understanding and encourgaing if you want the group to grow and remain open, and not turn into your little private gathering with the same 3 people that nobody else wants to approach.
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