Shiny Happy People - let us know about your gaming groups
Shin Yoo
United Kingdom
London
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Gaming would not stand as a hobby if you had not have people to play the games with. In a way, gaming is always about people. So, why don't you tell us about those you play games with? They may or may not be our fellow geeks. Are they gamers or non-gamers? What's your favorite game as a group? Where do you meet and how did you begin? How often? What was the most memorable moment of the group?

So please add yours. If you belong to multiple gaming groups, feel free to describe them all separately. If you belong to none, you might find a nearly-located group in this list.
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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Shin Yoo
United Kingdom
London
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CHPDK

Chpdk stands for a group of my college friends, essentially a bunch of five guys including me(the name Chpdk has a long and dull story behind it, so let's just skip it). We're all computer majors. We spent a lot of time together back in the college. It was probably a shared interest in music in the beginning(and we actually formed a band among us), but later we just hanged out together all the time. This friendship stretched well over our graduation. And although now we are following very different paths(one musician, two CS postgraduate students, one professional game developer, and one law student) we're still very close.

Since almost every entertainment was done collectively, we were always looking for something interesting. Several PC games came and went, and then I discovered boardgames. My first step into gaming was actually playing Bohnanza with these guys and their girlfriends. It was so hilarious that I decided to explore more. None of them got as serious as me, and I have been "the game guy" ever since, but when there's a proper occasion we still love to play some games together. What I admire most about this non-gamer group is they are pretty much open. That is, unless you bring out something like Europe Engulfed, they are always happy to learn a new strategy game and always manage to find something funny in it. Also each 5 has very different personalities, so it's always interesting to watch who reacts how to certain games. Settlers of Catan was a great success, followed by Puerto Rico(we used to play three or four games in a row all over the night). Roborally always brings out all the computer-related insider jokes. I can easily see these guys being my lifelong friends, so I am glad that they like and understand the fun of gaming.

Finally, this group contains my wife who, according to her expression, "let me win" in a close game of Jambo that just ended.
 
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2. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:318]
Shin Yoo
United Kingdom
London
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Sunday Gamers in Shin-chon

Fellow geek Brian Ridge once ran a game cafe in Seoul. He eventually closed his business, but of course that doesn't mean that he's no more a gamer! He is hosting a game day on every sunday in his place; the morning is for board games, and the afternoon is for RPGs. The regulars are mostly his colleagues at his work(english teachers) but I do occasionally join for the morning session. This is rather a light group because the most members are either 1) only serious RPG gamer or 2) non-gamer. However we did have some good time with the right game. Shadows over Camelot was a great success.

If you are an american euro-gamer based in Seoul, looking for players, you should probably contact Brian.
 
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3. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Shin Yoo
United Kingdom
London
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(now defunct)Snack Daddy's Irregulars

Okay, I made up that name, but anyone who has been listening to the pod-cast Dice Tower will vaguely remember who Snack Daddy is. This group does not exist now, but gaming-wise this was THE gaming group for me. It was hosted by Bob aka Snack Daddy at his place, back when he was still stationed in Korea(we also met at Tom's church a few times). Regulars included me, Tom and Joe, and later a guy called Jesse. We always had a great time. I was introduced to Hannibal : Rome vs. Carthage and other numerous (out of print) war games here(Bob had a decent collection). I had my first play-test session here. I played many memorable games of my favorite german games here : Die Macher, Princes of Renaissance, Tigris & Euphrates, Ra, Age of Steam... One thing I heavily regret is that I never played a game of Go with Bob, even though I'm a terrible Go player. I believe one day we will once again sit around a table for a game of T&E. That day will come
 
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4. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
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I refer to our game group as "Strange Passages". I met my friend because he and another chap wanted me to do a piece of music for their internet broadcast called....you guessed it......"Strange Passages". It is a Lovecraftian type piece. Anyway, My friend, who then didn't know me then saw a copy of Settlers sitting astray on my computer desk. He asked me if I liked board games (a rarity around here). From there, our game group was born. We are quite a mixed bag....His wife, who is biologically spanish and grew up in Germany, is a true eurogamer. She loves all of them that we have played thus far. My friend and I both love horror and war games, though we both really like the euros. My fiance loves horror, fantasy and eurogames too. Now she is starting to like wargames such as HotS, Bonaparte and Memoir. Long live Strange Passages!! Cheers!!
 
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5. Board Game: General Quarters [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:5928]
David Simpson
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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The General Staff Games Club, Toronto, Ontario

I've been a member of the GS for over 20 years, ever since I moved back to Toronto in 1983.

Number of members 20-40.
Meets 24 times a year, about ever 2 weeks.
Used to organize Pandemonium, a local games convention.
We continued to run the auction at this event up to this year.

Currently meets at the Lillian H. Smith Library, every second Saturday, from 9AM to 5PM.

Plays a variety of games, some members are big Eurogamers the rest play a variety of multiplayer games. We've been playing 7 Ages for the last few months but now the new games from Essen are showing up, we'll try them as well.
 
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6. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.80 Overall Rank:15116]
Alan
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
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The Memphis Strategy Board Gaming Community.

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/MSBGC-club/

Formed in November of 2003. Grown to about 20 active members with about 70 latent members. Out of those 70 about 10 will show up every now and then.

Anyway, There's always a game over John's (Warhammer on BGG... check out his new Battletch avatar... he's so proud!) house every Wednesday and we meet for game days on the first and third Saturdays of the month usually. Sometimes impromptu games break out in the middle of the week as well.

Most memorable moment? Hmmm... been a couple. My Annual Halloween party (Granted... this is only the second time we've had it this Oct 22) is always a blast. But, I think the worst memory is playing the full game of History of the World with 7 players! Caused the wife of one of our members to swear off board games for quite a while. She was about to flip out... some members in the group have a problem with Analysis Paralysis...

Anyway, we always run board games at the local convention: www.midsouthcon.org. Lots of fun and we always seem to be able to procure prizes from game companies as well (Thanks guys!!! You know who you are). We always seem to get a couple of members to join from the local con.

Several games we like: Die Macher, Princes of the Rennaisance, T&E, Torres and A Game of Thrones (hehe.. mine I guess) are just a few that come to mind.

Hopefully we'll continue to grow. Who knew that Memphis was so advanced huh?
 
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7. Board Game: Solitaire [Average Rating:4.28 Overall Rank:15297]
Vashazar Yathrukar
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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I refer to my game group as I, myself, me own self, me, the collective, and never Shirley. I have a felling that my game group need sto be honest with themselves to stay together. We have fun. Really!
 
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8. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14511]
Matt Thrower
United Kingdom
Bath
Somerset
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We don't have a name.

My gaming group grew out of a bunch of friends who used to play endless drunken late night games of Risk after coming home from the pub. Two of us (including myself) were more hardcore gamers and bit by bit we came round to playing more interesting and in-depth games. Diplomacy and Junta were early favourites. Titan and Settlers are more recent additions.

Nowadays we're all grown up and don't have so much time for games so we meet irregularly and pull a game or two off the shelf after chatting for a while.

Like most game groups, we've each got our little roles and stereotypes in the group. I'm sure there's an interesting geeklist all about that to be had somewhere.
 
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9. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:698]
Ken B.
United States
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No name for our group, though in the CCG world we used to call ourselves "Team Dugganomics".


We have several guys and gals who sort of fluctuate in and out of our games every month. There's myself, my brother, my cousin, Brian, his wife, Michael and his girlfriend as the main participants then we have four or five other guys who might or might not be able to game from month to month.


Right now we're playing LOTR heavily, with one game in August and two in a row during our session in September (both crushing losses with Sauron on standard, barely halfway into Mordor when we all fell).


Our next game day will be at the end of October. We're planning LOTR, Pirate's Cove, and another game yet to be determined based on who can make it. It will likely either be LOTR Risk, Siege of the Citadel, or Risk 2210.

In November, if we can swing it we're going to try Twilight Imperium, then something else if time allows.


We're all "toy" gamers for the most part, and like fun or experience games or games with lots of plastic miniatures. Other games that have hit the table for us lately include Shadows Over Camelot, Citadels, Memoir '44, Formula De, Battleball, LOTR: The Confrontation, Nexus Ops, and MLB Showdown.



My brother and I just drafted teams for Sportsclix and will play a World Series. We determined home field advantage this past weekend by playing a game of MLB Showdown using the 2002 All-Star set (Final score: Me, 12--him, 6....looks like the NL will have home field advantage this year).


Due up this weekend though will be The Queen's Gambit and possibly Battleball.

 
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10. Board Game: When Darkness Comes: The Nameless Mist [Average Rating:6.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.63 Unranked]
AxonDomini
United States
Smithtown
New York
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Our group has no name and has about 10 members (11, if you count my 9 mos. old son who attended the last two gatherings), although I think 7 has been our highest attendence thus far. It formed as a result of BGG itself, with one of our member who recently moved to the Long Island area looking for gaming partners via the BGG forums.

We play whatever we feel like (though Shadows Over Camelot has been well represented), have no rules, no dues, no schedules and no expectations of those who wish to attend other than "Don't be a jerk...", and even that is tempered by "...too often."
 
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11. Board Game: Neuland [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1883]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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SVB aka Silicon Valley Boardgamers meets every Monday and Wednesday evening at Neutral Ground aka Matchplay in Mountain View California. I attend the Wednesday sessions. Age of Steam is the most commonly played game there -- well over 30 games this year -- and is an accurate signal that the core of the group are solidly gamer's gamers.

The one game I've introduced to the group that has had the largest effect is Neuland. Instant love affair across the group.

 
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12. Board Game: Wings of War: Famous Aces [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:785] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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South bay Boardgamers meets every Monday evening in the Yahoo! cafeteria on north Mathilda in Sunnyvale California. The gorup itself is a disperate mix of new gamers, casual gamers, social gamers, wargamers, gamer's gamers etc, with the games played regularly covering that spread.

The game I introduced the group to which had the largest effect was Wings of War. We played mass team-based melee games every week for several months.
 
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13. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Bay Area [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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Adobe Boardgamers meets every Thursday evening in a conference room (used to be the cafeteria) in the west tower of the Adobe campus on Park in San Jose California. The group is mostly middle-weight gamers with a thin crust of heavier gamer's gamers.

Ted Alspach is the founder of the group as well as the designer of the San Francisco Bay Area map for Age of Steam.
 
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14. Board Game: City and Guilds [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:4392]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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BAP aka Boardgame Addicits of the Peninsula meets every last Saturday of the month from 11:00 - 17:00 in a church meeting hall in Foster City California. The group is widely spread, ranging from light card game players, to kids, wargamers, 18XX gamers, light gamers, casual gamers, social gamers, heavy strategy gamers, gamer's gamers etc.

Picking a signal game for the group is hard. I've picked City&Guilds purely as the name is suggestive of the wide net that BAP draws its gamer's from.
 
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15. Board Game: 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:1322]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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Gamesday is held from 10:00 - midnight roughly every 6 - 8 weeks at the public library in Los Altos California. Again the group is extremely wide spread. The only class of tabletop gaming I don't think I've seen there is CCGs.

I've chosen 1860 as representative of the longer and more complex games that are often played at the gamesdays, as well as being one that I enjoy greatly.
 
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16. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1184]
Erik Gibbons
United States
Puyallup
Washington
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<B>The Game Guild</b>

Who would have thunk that when I walked into journalism my junior year of high school and met the senior who was to be the editor I would be meeting my best-friend for the past 20 years and started my life of serious gaming. During the '85-'86 school year friends, classmates and friends-of-friends coalesced into the Game Guild. The game that we placed constantly for a couple of years was Axis and Allies. Other games started dominating after that first year, but this was the foundation stone from which our group was built.

Currently the group has five mainstay players who live in the Seattle-Tacoma area, one semi-regular out of towner and four out of staters that we don't see often enough. We meet once a month.
 
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17. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:497]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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Numbats is held sort of monthly, when I have time and remember, at my house. Attendees are basically people I know: friends and other people I'd like to know better. All are gamers, married to gamers, or the kids of gamers.

Traders of Genoa represents the group well, especially with regard to wide ranging wildly freeform negotiations.
 
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18. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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GameKastle Irregulars meets every Friday and Sunday evening at GameKastle in Santa Clara California. The group is heavily oriented toward miniatures wargaming of various sorts, but German games do show semi-regularly and the store is well stocked in that dept.

I've picked Citadels to represent the group as it is fairly representative of the clientele.
 
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19. Board Game: The Wind in the Willows Game: Rivals, Robbers and Rivers [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Dave Heberer
United States
Lake Stevens
WA
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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Willows Game Group - Redmond, WA

We meet Wednesday and Friday evenings from 6pm till whenever. Play all kinds of games, and get quite a few interesting people in a session. I don't know if others call it the willows game group, but we meet at the Willows building used by Microsoft. We meet there for its large conference room and huge game collection stored on location by Rich Rowan.
 
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20. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:114]
Chris
United States
Ronkonkoma
New York
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LONG ISLAND BOARDGAMING ORGANIZATION (LIBO)

Began originally as just a group of friends that really demanded a more formal schedule to arrange meetings. Over time, an entire meta-game emerged, by which statistics were kept, plaques were awarded, etc.

Almost immediately after beginning, our first 'recruit' joined; and over time a few more key pieces joined; which created the group it is today (more than two years after inception). However, the social dynamic of the group is pivotal - not every prospective recruit will 'fit in,' nor will we fit every prospective recruit's ideal.

Nevertheless, we meet one Saturday a month - all day. The long date makes playing longer games (like Age of Steam, or Advanced Civ) far more possible.

Beginning in 2006, we'll be adding two weeknight dates a month, and we also do a "LIBO-Weekend." We sprinkle in some Family Days (where spouses, etc. can join the group for non-gaming activities) and we run several 'league-based events' (currently a Strat-O-Matic Football League, and when that's over, in 2006, a Heroscape league will begin, followed - probably - by a Formula De Variant league).

Besides having a comprehensive website (www.libogroup.com), we also publish an online magazine monthly, which features reviews and session reports on nearly every game that is played in the group (downloadable from the above mentioned website).
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