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Subject: How do your group chooses games? rss

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François + Daphné
Canada
Saint-Hyacinthe
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We occasionally meet with a small group of friends to play games and, until now, we were never more than six players. So we took the habit of all playing the same game together (7 Wonders, Libertalia, The Resistance Avalon, etc.) or of playing two versions of the same game in parallel (Kingdom Builder, Last Will, Zooloretto, etc.).

But now, it seems that there could be more people attending our gaming nights and we are beginning to think that it could be better to organize two or three small groups that play different games at the same time. However, because that is not what we are used to, it seems difficult to start this new way of organizing things, especially when it comes to the choice of the games to play.

Do you have a method or a system to choose the games you play on a gaming night or do you prefer to just follow the feeling of the moment, even though it means that some more reserved players are not inclined to propose the games they want to play?
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Pasi Ojala
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Tampere
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We don't have too many players usually, so we pick the games according to the people available, taking into account their likes and dislikes. Sometimes we pre-select a game that will definitely be played, and try to get the players for those (like BSG), so people who don't much care for the game can arrive later in the evening when the featured game is over.

You could use a similar system and pre-select a few games that will be played (voting or dictatorship), and players that don't take part in that/those, can select between themselves a concurrent game to play. You could also have a slot once per month for learning new games, because learning a new game each time is pretty stressful.
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Leo Chell
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I generally ask people what sort of game they're in the mood for and take it from there.
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Krawhitham B
New Zealand
Napier
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Spirit Juggler wrote:
I generally ask people what sort of game they're in the mood for and take it from there.


This is my preferred method and it is usually followed by mumbles of "anything". You can certainly try to start a conversation about it, but sometimes people might be unwilling to speak up.

Try organising events online and asking people in advance what they want to play, or simply say "These are the games we will be running this week" and then make it clear you want people to make suggestions too.
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josh willhite
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La Junta
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I just pick out another fast filler/party game. If I'm lucky and things are slow/less crazy (lots of kids running around) I might get to play a meatier s player wargame or something. Still trying to figure out how to make time to play Warhammer 40k during a game night.

Really though I don't mind those cheapie games that play fast and usually come in a small box, my game group almost never turns them down. As the box size dimensions increase, the group turn-off increases exponentially.
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Josh Chen
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If your group is getting constantly 6+ people to show up on game night, it will be unavoidable to break up into groups.

Maybe it will be just like a board game meetup where everyone just start sitting down and play the game they are most interested in base on general consensus.
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Walt
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Orange County
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We run 12-20+ players typically, so one game has never been an option. Also, some of our players tend to trickle in a bit late, sometimes more than a bit.

Choice of game is by consensus, or maybe I should say coagulation. Someone may suggest a particular game (sometimes in Meetup comments); it's either accepted by enough people to play it or greeted with a resounding, "meh." Once most players have coagulated into several games, then the remaining players will work something out. Often someone will suggest a list of games based on the number of players available, though six is as likely to break 3-3 or 4-2.

Generally, first to start playing is the Cult of the New, on busy days, two tables. Another group typically plays something like Terra Mystica. The railroad gamers, generally playing Empire Builder Rail Games, start a little later--one player has to get dialysis before showing up; we wait. Sometimes there's a light game contingent playing a Ticket to Ride or Power Grid or some such. One of the organizers will often play with new players to figure out where they'll be happiest.

As people float in, they kibitz and wait for a game to end. When two of the games end at once, there's often some shuffling of players or two games plus some late players will form up into three games. Also, some people go out for lunch, usually getting a sandwich or Chinese and bringing it back, so that tends to mix up the gamers a bit around noon.

The really big meetup is 60+ people, and operates much the same, though with a lot more chaos but a lot less lost time for late players.
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Jeff Wood
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Davis
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My group splits as necessary into sub-groups, but our preferred game-selection method (unless there is unanimous acclaim for the newest shiny) is:

1. Each person selects a game from the game library playable with that number of players and puts it on the table.
2. Everyone but host, in some order (usually a die roll), removes a game from the table.

Last game standing wins.
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Larry Rice
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With one group of five with whom I game, we have a spreadsheet that goes out via email and we vote on the game for next session (games tend to be a bit longer in duration). Winner of the previous game gets 2 votes. Whichever game has the most votes gets played and returns to 0 votes while the other votes carry over. Eventually, even if you are the only determined voter for a game, it will get played...
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François + Daphné
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Saint-Hyacinthe
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Thanks a lot for your suggestions! I am inspired by what you propose and will try to get something working for our group from this.
 
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Wayne Schulatz
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Las Vegas
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Camdin wrote:
Do you have a method or a system to choose the games you play on a gaming night or do you prefer to just follow the feeling of the moment, even though it means that some more reserved players are not inclined to propose the games they want to play?


I admit that I am not sure if this idea will work with your larger numbers, but we do have a system that we use to play games.

It is not original, so I am sure this method has a name, I just don't know it. But it works like this:

One player chooses seven games that they would like to play.
The next player eliminates two of those games bringing the game options down to five.
Repeat until game is chosen.

This method gets everybody playing involved. And what is great about it is you can have the wishy washy indecisive player choose the most amount of games and they will sill play an important role.

Of course, you do not have to start at seven games… just figure out what odd number works for the amount of players that you have.
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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Camdin wrote:

Do you have a method or a system to choose the games you play on a gaming night or do you prefer to just follow the feeling of the moment, even though it means that some more reserved players are not inclined to propose the games they want to play?

Benevolent dictatorship. I tell people what we're playing.
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Bart R.
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Our game group has the principle that the person who's buying the food can choose the game. I usually use that opportunity to introduce a new game once in a while, the others mostly choose a game they know well.

There's one player though for who I usually preselect a couple of games to choose from though because she gets choice stress when she's standing in front of the game cupboard :-).
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Boss Beau Blasterfire
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Berrien Springs
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One person usually suggests a game that they would like to play and others either shoot it down or go with it.
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Christian Gienger
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We usually find some consensus. At some meetings we are between 4-10 so we decide upon the player number (usually start splitting at 6 and then we pick for example 2 games, everyone announces what he'd prefer to play and then we split according to that or in another group we all say what we want to play and then we may even roll a die to decide which of the chosen games will be played if there's no consensus obvious when everybody tells his favourites.
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Emma Hilmarsson Haj
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If my husband invites people over to play then it's a case of whatever they decided between them at work and I get to choose whether or not I want to join in. It's been a while since we had a huge group over.

If it's a family group night then we "debate" what we want to play, majority wins the vote.

We've also had impromptu games if a couple of friends are over and my husband wants to test drive a new game that he's picked up.

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