How I started a new gaming group while you were at BGG.CON
John Ross
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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I started a new gaming group with the church youth while y'all enjoyed BGG.CON. Now, I will admit - if I had the money, I would have gone to Dallas and enjoyed an entire weekend of gaming goodness. Starting a new gaming group and introducing other people into our hobby seemed like a good alternative.

I had successfully started a monthly gaming group with co-workers, so taking the lessons learned from my first group, I began once again:
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:390]
John Ross
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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I already owned a copy of H&G. I was not sure how many people would show up, so I purchased two additional copies. My thinking was that I would sit out the first game and act as a host and teacher. Sure enough, 12 people initially took a seat at three tables. This is a good introductory game to the wider world of gaming. I started with a simple introduction; went table to table. As players grew accustomed to the basics, I introduced additional rules of complexity. This let players start immediately and add complexity when each group was ready for it.

At first, they played with just fishermen and gatherers. Later, I explained hunters. Later still, I introduced huts. Some groups were ready for gold tile bonus tiles later than other groups.

A few of them liked the game well enough to play it again -- without my prompting. I meant to give away my extra two copies... guess I will use a giveaway as an incentive to attend the next gaming session.
 
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2. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1088]
John Ross
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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One couple arrived late while H&G were already in session. Happily, they brought several games with them. This was one of them.
 
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3. Board Game: Cranium [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6028]
John Ross
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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This would not have been my choice, but if we expect others to try our favorite games, we should also be willing to try their's. It was ok... not too long. It was either this, or...
 
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4. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14501]
John Ross
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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... join another group playing this one. One of the players was actively seeking opponents for a friendly (!!) game of Risk. I know I will have to play this eventually. I was thinking of beefing up my collection of military/conquest games. Perhaps I could use this guy's interest in Risk to fuel my own interest in a new genre. Perhaps I should stop being a Euro-snob and take some time to enjoy Risk and Axis & Allies.
 
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5. Board Game: The Game of Life [Average Rating:4.19 Overall Rank:15321]
John Ross
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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One group grabbed this one. I must admit, I have not played this in about 20 years. I would not mind if another 20 go by without my seeing it.
 
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6. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
John Ross
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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While I was playing Cranium, one group set up and began playing Settlers of Catan. When Cranium ended, I wandered over to see how they were doing. There were many misunderstood and forgotten rules violations in progress. But - fellow hobbyists - they were playing Settlers without my prompting! Rules can be gently corrected later. This was a time for fanning the embers of interest.
 
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7. Board Game: A Gamut of Games [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
John Ross
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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Altogether, at least 14 people were exposed to various types of gaming pursuits. I imagine some will not come again, but some will. And those, fellow hobbyists, will form the core of a new game group. New opponents and friendships!

Bring 'em on!
 
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