The windfalls and woes of hosting game night
Brian Stevenson
United States
Castle Rock
Colorado
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I started hosting a game night about a year ago. We get together semi-regularly whenever our schedules allow. I've noticed from hosting that there are a LOT of negatives to being the person running these shindigs.

Now, don't get me wrong there are definently positives, and I love the group we have. They are varied and creative and up for almost any type of game I pull out of my..........closet.

Here's some observations and examples of the hazards, risks, and rewards of being the omni-willing host for game nights.

Feel free to add your own experiences and anecdotes.


NOTE: I'm obviously being exaggerated and sarcastic. After writing a lot of the entries I felt really bad and sounded like a grouch. I love the people I game with and they are in no way bad people. this is more meant to be humorous and spur memories of hosting from other people

The group I have has grown from 6-8 on a good night to 30-35 on a slow night. We have four to five tables going and use every room of my house. I know it's a huge group so I think my experiences might be exaggerated as well.

ENJOY!

EDIT: here's a geeklist showing the other side that I was PLANNING on writing that another fellow Geek wrote up. It's really nice. Check it out.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/26959
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1. Board Game: Lunch Money [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:10001] [Average Rating:5.64 Unranked]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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By far the biggest pet peeve of mine, is the apparent lack of regard for the money that goes into putting on a successful game night.

Even if I'm not cooking or providing food (more detail later) there always seems to be an inherent cost to putting these on that is never anticipated by me, or appreciated by the guests

"Hey, Brian. Mind if I grab a Granola bar?"

-Yeah, me too
-Me too, I haven't had one of those for ages.

"Hey, I've got three LAN computers I'm gonna bring and hook up and run at your house for 14 hours. That's okay right?"

"Chill out man, Gatorade doesn't cost that much"


NOT TO MENTION THE COST OF TOILET PAPER.
Oh wait, I just mentioned it.

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2. Board Game: Pizza Party [Average Rating:5.07 Overall Rank:14195]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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Whenever I order food, I tell people in advance that we are going to order out and to bring a few bucks for the pizza. There's always the person who comes and says

"I'm not going to eat any, so I'm not chipping in"

Well, the money isn't JUST covering the pizza Cheapy McCheaperson. It's covering the soda and pretzels you've been shoving in your face for the whole night.

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3. Board Game: Domino's Pizza Delivery Game [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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I know it's another Pizza themed game, but I couldn't find a Chinese take-out game for this.

Every time I settle into a really good game or are teaching the rules to some new players, It's always the time to order the food.

Guess who's responsibility it is:

No big deal, except there's always people that hate one pizza place for one reason or another, and they all lobby for where they want the food to come from.

Also, if for some reason the food is taking a little longer than usual, it now falls in the host's hands to call and see where it is and to keep track of it.

The ordering of the food results in at minimum 3 to 4 interruptions of game play, and if the food's not good or there wasn't enough, the cycle repeats.

 
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4. Board Game: Whoa Nellie [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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The latecomer:

The person who always shows up around 30-45 minutes late right after the games have all started. This person constantly pesters the host during the game with taunts of:

"how long 'til this games over so we can start a new one"
"This is gonna take forever, can we play taboo for a while now"
"Can't you guys just start over, you've only played three rounds of Colosseum so far"

The last game night we had I had a group of four people show up an hour late, not that we had a specific start time, but there were already four tables going. They hung around and sulked constantly asking to put a movie in.

I told them to help themselves to another game, but they didn't want to have to read a rulebook.

We ignored them until they decided going to bar was a better move.
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5. Board Game: Scaventure [Average Rating:3.33 Unranked]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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"Where's the bathroom"

"Do you have a paper towel?"

"Where do you keep extra batteries"

Not that I expect people to know their way around my house, but it is a curse for the host to have to get up from the game every five seconds to help the guests find stuff or to search out another chair, or to explain a rule in a game going on in the other room.
 
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6. Board Game: Don't Wake Daddy [Average Rating:4.42 Overall Rank:15215]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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I'm usually the last one up, and I don't personally have this problem, but I'm sure there are hosts that have wanted to go to bed after a long night of gaming, and there's a group of people that insist on one more game of Die Macher before they call it a night.
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7. Board Game: Electronic Mall Madness [Average Rating:5.53 Overall Rank:13641]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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If you are the host, most of the buying duties for games fall under your purvue.

We tried to have a sort of rotation where we would all bring $5 to each game night and give the money to a different person and they would get to buy, and keep a new game from that month.

Worked okay, but for the same reason as the "Not eating any pizza guy" There are people that "are only here for one game night"

I don't mind buying that much because I have a decent collection now, but it'd be nice to be surprised by a game or to not have to pay for one now and again.
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8. Board Game: Tornado Rex [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:8648]
Brian Stevenson
United States
Castle Rock
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the CLEANUP:

"thanks Brian, that was fun"

"can you help me clean up?"

"Oooooh, I gotta get up early tomorrow"

No one ever helps clean up. Sigh, I guess this is inevitable, but the next morning my bloodshot eyes hate seeing my dog eating day old pizza crust out from under the couch.
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9. Board Game: House Rules [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
Colorado
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You get to be the final arbitrer of all the rules discrepancies in the house, even if it's a game you're not playing in, or have ever played before.

Ironically, this doesn't count in the game you are playing in YOURSELf, as everyone has to check and recheck the rules book when you are playing to make sure you told them correctly.
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10. Board Game: Target [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:8201]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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For some reason, the fact that you own the games and are hosting the night, automatically means that you are preinclined to win every game. Consequently, you are automatically the target of everyone playing.

If there is a decision that will equally hurt you or another player, you are chosen 99% of the time

No one will trade with you, because they think you have something up your sleeve.

This is particularly prone to G/F abuse because they will lobby everyone else against you.

As a result of this target, you rarely, if ever actually win any games.
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11. Board Game: Double Trouble / The Calendar Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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Planning is a huge chore, especially if there are a couple people you really want there. I've changed dates for game nights numerous time because a person who was bringing a game we were planning on playing couldn't go out because he had to spend time with his girlfriend.

I understand other commitments, but why is something I'm planning less important than something someone else is planning, Game night or not?

Common courtesy

This also goes for people that make you hold off on starting a game to they can join in.
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12. Board Game: Don't Spill the Beans [Average Rating:4.24 Overall Rank:15251]
Brian Stevenson
United States
Castle Rock
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*Sigh

As much as I try to keep food away from the games, they still always get grease on them, or something spilled on them,

I recently had Bootleggers have soda spilled all over it the first time we ever played it. The person wasn't even in our game. he tripped as he was walking by.
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13. Board Game: Battle Damage: Code Red [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked]
Brian Stevenson
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I have friends who have never punched games at home because:

"I've never had to open mine because we always play your copy"

My copy is missing pieces and has nicks on the corners of the cards and is sticky from some unknown foreign substance.

 
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14. Board Game: Missing Links [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Brian Stevenson
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Castle Rock
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I think I've made proxies of pieces for almost all my games, and then I'll find the piece three months later under a couch cushion.
 
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