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Subject: Games in a pub/cafe/bar rss

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John
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I keep considering playing games in a pub. The only things I have played so far have been games that can be played using a standard deck (e.g. Indian Chief, Cribbage, The Resistance) and Hive Pocket which is fairly beer proof. I know there are plenty of people who meet up in pubs etc & play less obviously "pub friendly" games and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to make it work without destruction of games or anything else going wrong...
 
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Steve B
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Finland is famous for this. When I first moved here I was shocked at how many people owned board games. Turns out they play them in the pubs here. It's pretty rare to find a pub that doesn't have board games (if it doesn't then it has something else, like karaoke).

The games are always in fairly good condition and can be found stacked in a shelf in the corner of the pubs. I haven't encountered any missing parts. Granted, the games are fairly simple, for example Settlers of Catan, so they are pretty cheap and also widely available, so if parts go missing they are easily replaced.

Some people also bring their own games. I have seen people play Battlestar Galactica in a pub (it's one of the most popular games in Finland). I also saw somebody bring a copy of Eclipse that was rented in the library next door (yep, libraries here have board games).

Probably the best tip is to play in a pub with covered tables (here they have this very strange thing where some pubs have carpet on the tables), because a lot of pub tables have random holes or gaps in them where pieces could fall through.
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Hugh Wyeth
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Firstly, don't go on a friday/thursday night as those are the busiest times. I've tried this a few times in a local that has tables for food they serve, on a wednesday when it wasn't busy, and it worked great. The tables are sometimes sticky or wet, but otherwise it's fine. We got a lot of questions from locals (we were playing Catan) but they pub were fine with us taking a table.

I'm also a member of London On Board, a meetup group, that meets up exclusively in pubs, and the pubs love it because it's a constant stream of drink and food orders.
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Tony Ynot
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Played Magic: the Gathering in a pub plenty of times. A lot of the time I bring a towel and put it over the table as a sort of tablecloth (also makes it easier to pick up the cards so they don't get stuck to the table). Or you could use sleeves.
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Chip Crawford
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Aubrey
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Backgammon is a great one.
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Cagey McCageface
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Skull (& Roses). You could even make a copy out of some beer coasters in the pub.
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Graham
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I posted a geeklist a while back of my groups first year of gaming down the pub [Link] (year two GL I never got round to finishing...).

But basically if you wipe the table down with napkins and if everyone is sensible with drinks then they only limits we have found are tablespace and time (we meet post work).
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Stuart Dawson
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I play quite a bit in pubs. The biggest issue is, I think, sticky tables.
If it's really sticky I just ask for a cloth and give it a wipe myself.
Any drinks always get put on the edge of a table and preferably on a beer mat or napkin to stop wet rings getting on the game.
Mostly I play card based games, as they have less components (i.e. Fleet, Innovation, The Agents and so on). The best thing to do is just to sleeve your most valuable ones (or favourites) to deal with table stickiness.
We have also met up and played larger games and bigger box games too. To be honest there have never been any problems to actually deal with. I've never seen anyones games get damaged - although I did hear about a spillage incident once - to be honest that could happen at home too.

The biggest problem we have found with pub gaming is actually bad lighting - thus not being able to tell some colours apart.

So, in conclusion, keep games a little smaller at first and ask for a cloth to wipe the table. Sticking a few napkins/tissues in your bag could be a way to go.

(ninja ^ what Graham said)
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Graham
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ThreeCubed wrote:

The biggest problem we have found with pub gaming is actually bad lighting - thus not being able to tell some colours apart.


I forgot this - be aware of lighting!
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Dev Sodagar
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Mr G wrote:
ThreeCubed wrote:

The biggest problem we have found with pub gaming is actually bad lighting - thus not being able to tell some colours apart.

I forgot this - be aware of lighting!


I would recommend investing in a good set of night vision goggles. whistle
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John
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Thanks - asking for a cloth to wipe the table or taking some kitchen towel or something to wipe the table is a good plan. Good point about drinks spillages at home - there are usually plenty of drinks on the table at home, and usually nothing goes wrong...
 
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Mark Wilson
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Don't overthink it OP. I do about half my gaming in pubs/bars, and as long as you aren't in a terrible bar or with inconsiderate people, everything is fine. There's no such thing as a pub friendly game as a whole, though it may depend on your individual group and bar. I've played everything from 2+ hour epics to 5-minute fillers.

Only occasional consideration we have is during dice-heavy games, or games with lots of little pieces. The grooves/slots in the table occasionally cause issues. Most times we just deal with it, but for the occasional game we'll set down newspaper or something.
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Greg Rigo
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Love Letter comes to mind, just get some card sleeves, and beer nuts can be substituted for affection tokens.
 
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ThreeCubed wrote:
The biggest problem we have found with pub gaming is actually bad lighting - thus not being able to tell some colours apart.
Folks have said that it's not a good idea to play Uno in a dimly lit restaurant since it's hard to tell green and blue apart. Others have gone as far to say it's not a good idea to play Uno. Period

Mr G wrote:
I forgot this - be aware of lighting!
biggest concern is pubs aren't always known for their dry surfaces, and patrons, especially if they get drunk, are more prone to spilling their drinks. Be sure you're truly willing to risk them getting damage. And don't spring the "responsible people offer to pay for damaging other people's things!" line here. They should be paying it, but if you're dealing with nongamers, many of them are simply unaware just how expensive these games can get (ie, they think your $60 game only costs $20 to replace). You're blindsiding them which is a another and different issue of etiquette.
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John
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ackmondual wrote:
Others have gone as far to say it's not a good idea to play Uno.

I'd agree with that.

ackmondual wrote:
Be sure you're truly willing to risk them getting damage. And don't spring the "responsible people offer to pay for damaging other people's things!" line here.

Yes, I wouldn't take anything that couldn't be replaced and that I'd be willing to pay to replace.
 
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