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Subject: Help! Game group issues rss

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Zachary Janway
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I'm having some issues with my game group and I just don't know how to correct them (or maybe I'm just being uptight). These are my friends, gaming or not and I’m not trying to whine here, I’m just really bad with people and don’t know how to address it with them.

Info on me: I am the only "hardcore gamer" in the group, I own 99% of the games we play, I do the research for new games, read all the rule books and teach all the games. I read rule books in their entirety, watch how it’s played videos, and set up mock games or play with my wife before I try to bring in a new game to the group, I have the rules completely down.

These are the problems:
1. One other guy in the group is actively purchasing games but most are kickstarted stupid/terrible games and he then expects me to learn the game for him. I have personally learned and taught him more than half of his collection. Once I teach him a game, he likes to interrupt my teaching of the game to interject WRONG rule interpretations.

2. No matter how simple the game is to explain, the vast majority of the group is super ADD and can’t sit still and pay attention. Multiple interruptions during any rules introduction (It took 30 minutes to teach One Night Ultimate Werewolf).

3. Unwillingness to RSVP so I can pick appropriate games. Unwillingness to break up into multiple tables, since 9 people showed up when I was expecting 5 and only brought 2-5 player count games (So we print out Secret Hitler and play that all night).

4. Last thing is a little smaller, but irritating nonetheless. I have a link I send out with my game collection and I ask everyone to pick a few games they would like me to bring, no response. So I pick a mixture of games I know are liked and new games, 10-15 games. I set them out at the house and tell them if they want to play something speak up. Crickets.

I know my group isn’t hobby gamers, but I’m finding myself frustrated at the end of the night. When I try to bring up these issues I get lightly mocked. Our last game day was 12 hours long and we played: One Night Ultimate Werewolf x3, Bang the Dice Game x2, Secret Hitler x2, Sushi Go x2, Coup x1 and Takenoko x1.

Again, I’m not trying to bitch and these people are my friends and I enjoy their company, I’m just feeling a little unfulfilled in my group and looking for advice. Am I taking things too seriously? Should I expect more from a game group?
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Thom0909
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Any chance you can find a new group? Given how things are going, I'm not sure they have much incentive to change their behavior.
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Chris Graves
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Quote:
my group isn’t hobby gamers...


This, I think, says it all. I think with all the work you have put in, I'd be confident you are NOT going to convert these people and will continue to be disappointed. I'd get a second group going, if you can find them, of people who are into the hobby like yourself.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Given that nobody seems to want to push for a game (I have a similar dynamic in my group), try to be a little more dictatorial. "At the next game night/day we're going to play Castles of Burgundy (or whatever). It goes up to 4, so email me if you're interested, otherwise we'll figure it out there. Everyone else will need to pick something else to play."

And then stick to it. If people complain say "hey, we've spent every game day playing party/social deduction games, and while I like those from time to time, I want to play these other kinds of games too". If literally everyone refuses to play something a bit heavier, well, you're going to have to either resign yourself to a bunch of social deduction games or you're going to have to try to find others to play with. I would expect that there would be at least some people interested in exploring other games.

You didn't make it clear if you are hosting.
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Chris Ferejohn
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voodoochyl wrote:
Quote:
my group isn’t hobby gamers...


This, I think, says it all. I think with all the work you have put in, I'd be confident you are NOT going to convert these people and will continue to be disappointed. I'd get a second group going, if you can find them, of people who are into the hobby like yourself.


I'm not totally sure about that, but I'd agree that you aren't going to convert *all* of them. It's possible, even probable, that some of them wouldn't mind something a little heavier, but once the whole group is there and the pattern is "well we have 8 people so we're playing an 8 person game", they aren't going to buck that.
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Kathleen Nugent
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geargrinder wrote:
It took 30 minutes to teach One Night Ultimate Werewolf. . . . we print out Secret Hitler and play that all night . . . Our last game day was 12 hours long and we played: One Night Ultimate Werewolf x3, Bang the Dice Game x2, Secret Hitler x2, Sushi Go x2, Coup x1 and Takenoko x1.


What torture!

Are any of your 9 friends better possibilities for serious gaming partners than the others? Could you start with just you and one other person? There are tons of games that play well with just 2.

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Justin Fuhrmann
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I strongly suspect that this particular group will probably never really fulfill your gaming desires, but you might be able to make a couple of the issues a little better.

First, the guy who wants you to learn and teach his bad kickstarters...I just wouldn't do it. Nicely tell him that you don't have time to be his personal rules reader and explainer. If he wants to buy games, it's on him to learn and teach them. You never know, if he suddenly has to take on that responsibility, maybe he'll stop buying kickstarter crap? Or at least buy less of it?

As far as lack of RSVP's, I would probably just always take a couple games that hold large groups. Then you're prepared if you do end up with an unexpectedly large group.
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Bryan Thunkd
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geargrinder wrote:
Info on me: I am the only "hardcore gamer" in the group
geargrinder wrote:
I know my group isn’t hobby gamers
It sounds like you already know what the problem is. Don't expect people to change. Find hobby gamers who will take gaming seriously.
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Dave J
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Personally, if you really want to play with this particular group you need to tailor the games for that group. Yes, you probably won't be able to play the majority of games you want to play. Teaching games to people with "ADD" reminds me of when my in-laws etc want to play a game. They just can't "handle" modern gaming for lack of a better word. But if they want to play something, I make the best of the situation for overall enjoyment and pick something they can handle.

Issue #1 If you want to buy and bring a game, you need to learn it BEFORE that night and teach it to the group. Plan and simple.

At the end of the day, you need to set appropriate expectations for the group you are playing with. They sound like the majority of my own friends. Appreciate them for who they are. They'll probably love Exploding Kittens.
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Gimo Barrera
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Sadly like other people say, this sounds like you're the "problem". It seems your group is mainly focus on social interaction while you are on gaming. I have multiple groups, there are groups that I go to play games with, and I know its for social interactions, so I bring EASY SOCIAL/PARTY games. The I have gamer friends that I play more thoughtful games. It sounds like this group wants more party games, and less of the games you might try to offer D:
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Ashley Kennedy
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#4 - Your group played for 12 hours, and it doesn't sound from your message that this was very unusual. So, they clearly enjoy games. However, they don't know games like you do. When you set out 10 games they know nothing about, it makes it very difficult for anyone to make a decision.

My advice would be to pick 2 to 3 games that you want to teach, give a quick elevator pitch for each and then pick one. Other than that, allow space for them to play the games they seem to enjoy. Maybe even pick up a copy of Space Cadets: Dice Duel and/or Captain Sonar for those 8+ game groups some of us dream about.

#1 guy - If he purchases the game, have him learn it and teach it. Be willfully ignorant unless it is a game you want to play.

#3 - This is a lack of social courtesy that I would think is common in many game groups. Find a balance for yourself and remember they are your friends first, gaming buddies second.

#2 - Friends first, gaming buddies second. Find a way to manage this, everyone's style is a little different. Keep the attention on learning the game for a shorter time; use more structure to allow time to goof off and time to learn rules; cajole those that are the worst interupters. You've got to find what works for you. 30 minutes for One Night Ultimate Werewolf is too much.

Remember what it is like to teach games to your friends and remember to send a note to your favorite teachers. Someone had to deal with these jokers.
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Bill Cook
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Some trite life advice that might apply here: No one can take advantage of you without your permission.

Stop being so accommodating. Plan a night to play the game you want. Send out the rules ahead of time and let people know you expect them to read them ahead of time. If they want to participate, cool. If not, they are still your friends and you can do other stuff with them.
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Zachary Janway
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Thanks everyone for the comments and being so supportive. I'm afraid I know the solution, I just don't like it. I'm extremely uncomfortable with new groups of people or too many people. The only game group I was aware of met once in a blue moon 1.5 hours north of me, and they have since disbanded.

There are definitely seeds of a few good gaming buddies here, I think I'll take the advice of trying to have "private" game parties with them.

I guess I'm just surprised by the inability of the group to look at the cover of a game and say, "hey this looks cool". That's exactly what I was doing when I first got into the hobby, and i didn't have anyone doing hours of research to weed out bad or so-so games. My own mother can look at my shelf and pick a game that looks interesting.

And to answer the question, we play at the guy buying Kickstarter crap's home. He's the most central location for everyone.

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No One
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geargrinder wrote:
1. One other guy in the group is actively purchasing games but most are kickstarted stupid/terrible games and he then expects me to learn the game for him. I have personally learned and taught him more than half of his collection. Once I teach him a game, he likes to interrupt my teaching of the game to interject WRONG rule interpretations.


Be firm with him and tell him that you won't learn his games for him anymore. If he wants to buy them and play them, then he has to learn them and teach them. Learning to teach will be a good skill for him to develop in any case.

geargrinder wrote:
2. No matter how simple the game is to explain, the vast majority of the group is super ADD and can’t sit still and pay attention. Multiple interruptions during any rules introduction (It took 30 minutes to teach One Night Ultimate Werewolf).


There's no single way to tackle this. Some things you can do to help: 1) Put on a Watch-It-Played video or other instructional video for them to watch. This can be easier to concentrate on than a live person teaching the game. 2) Send them a link ahead of time of that video so they can watch it on their own. 3) Pick games with fewer rules. There are plenty of games that have few rules but have crunchy decisions and game play. 4) Accept and embrace the rules interruptions (if they're about the game), and answer their questions. If they're getting hung up on a rule, then they'll be focusing on their hang up and stop listening to you. If they're interrupting you with things unrelated to the rules, then be assertive and say that you want to keep on track until the rules explanation is finished.

geargrinder wrote:
3. Unwillingness to RSVP so I can pick appropriate games. Unwillingness to break up into multiple tables, since 9 people showed up when I was expecting 5 and only brought 2-5 player count games (So we print out Secret Hitler and play that all night).


Again, be assertive. Tell them that they must RSVP, and be honest about how it makes it difficult for you when they don't. If it comes to it, cancel a game night due to lack of RSVPs and make it known that you're canceling it because of the lack of interest.

It's possible that part of the unwillingness to break up into smaller tables might come from the fact no one want's to be without you at the table teaching the game, since you are the hardcore gamer. If you can, see if someone else is willing to come to your game nights to teach a game, too. Maybe that friend of yours that buys the kickstarter games you mentioned earlier? Might be a good way for him to practice.

geargrinder wrote:
4. Last thing is a little smaller, but irritating nonetheless. I have a link I send out with my game collection and I ask everyone to pick a few games they would like me to bring, no response. So I pick a mixture of games I know are liked and new games, 10-15 games. I set them out at the house and tell them if they want to play something speak up. Crickets.


Don't send out the link. Pick a game that you'll be starting with, and let them know what it is. Also, let them know the player count as that might slightly encourage more RSVPs and learning the game ahead of time. This is what I do when I schedule my game days with my friends, and I find it works out well. After we play that first game I specified ahead of time, I then open things up for peeps to play what they want.

As far as the other games you bring, don't bring so many. Bring maybe 6. Less choice means less intimidation for them. It's also easier for them to think about their options after you've explained their options. It's also easier for you, because that means less time spent reacquainting yourself with the rules before game day.

I hope that helps,

~V
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Zachary Janway
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Veero wrote:
geargrinder wrote:
1. One other guy in the group is actively purchasing games but most are kickstarted stupid/terrible games and he then expects me to learn the game for him. I have personally learned and taught him more than half of his collection. Once I teach him a game, he likes to interrupt my teaching of the game to interject WRONG rule interpretations.


Be firm with him and tell him that you won't learn his games for him anymore. If he wants to buy them and play them, then he has to learn them and teach them. Learning to teach will be a good skill for him to develop in any case.


Will do, it was one of those things that started out fine, because he had a couple of games I wanted to try. Then it spiraled into this weekly, "I got a new Kickstarter that barely funded and looks awful."

Veero wrote:
geargrinder wrote:
2. No matter how simple the game is to explain, the vast majority of the group is super ADD and can’t sit still and pay attention. Multiple interruptions during any rules introduction (It took 30 minutes to teach One Night Ultimate Werewolf).


There's no single way to tackle this. Some things you can do to help: 1) Put on a Watch-It-Played video or other instructional video for them to watch. This can be easier to concentrate on than a live person teaching the game. 2) Send them a link ahead of time of that video so they can watch it on their own. 3) Pick games with fewer rules. There are plenty of games that have few rules but have crunchy decisions and game play. 4) Accept and embrace the rules interruptions (if they're about the game), and answer their questions. If they're getting hung up on a rule, then they'll be focusing on their hang up and stop listening to you. If they're interrupting you with things unrelated to the rules, then be assertive and say that you want to keep on track until the rules explanation is finished.


I really do think I'm just asking too much from non-gamers. They didn't like watching Watch It Played, they won't watch or read rule explanations on their own. Most interruptions are non gaming related.

Veero wrote:
geargrinder wrote:
3. Unwillingness to RSVP so I can pick appropriate games. Unwillingness to break up into multiple tables, since 9 people showed up when I was expecting 5 and only brought 2-5 player count games (So we print out Secret Hitler and play that all night).


Again, be assertive. Tell them that they must RSVP, and be honest about how it makes it difficult for you when they don't. If it comes to it, cancel a game night due to lack of RSVPs and make it known that you're canceling it because of the lack of interest.


I'll try this out, I'm worried about being too assertive because I know that without them I'll have no game group. I try really hard for everyone to have a good time, sometimes to the detriment of my own good time.

Veero wrote:
It's possible that part of the unwillingness to break up into smaller tables might come from the fact no one want's to be without you at the table teaching the game, since you are the hardcore gamer. If you can, see if someone else is willing to come to your game nights to teach a game, too. Maybe that friend of yours that buys the kickstarter games you mentioned earlier? Might be a good way for him to practice.


My wife knows most of our games and could teach if called upon. I'm really not sure what the hangup is, just a general leaning against it.

Veero wrote:
geargrinder wrote:
4. Last thing is a little smaller, but irritating nonetheless. I have a link I send out with my game collection and I ask everyone to pick a few games they would like me to bring, no response. So I pick a mixture of games I know are liked and new games, 10-15 games. I set them out at the house and tell them if they want to play something speak up. Crickets.


Don't send out the link. Pick a game that you'll be starting with, and let them know what it is. Also, let them know the player count as that might slightly encourage more RSVPs and learning the game ahead of time. This is what I do when I schedule my game days with my friends, and I find it works out well. After we play that first game I specified ahead of time, I then open things up for peeps to play what they want.

As far as the other games you bring, don't bring so many. Bring maybe 6. Less choice means less intimidation for them. It's also easier for them to think about their options after you've explained their options. It's also easier for you, because that means less time spent reacquainting yourself with the rules before game day.


I'll give this advice a shot. I usually take so many just so there is a wide variety to choose from, mimicking if we still had game night at my house.

Veero wrote:
I hope that helps,

~V


More than you know. I'll be trying out the tips from everyone for our next game night.
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Kirk K

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Doesn't sound like you have a game group, just a group of friends you are trying to convert with little to no success. Your #3 point especially leads me to believe that the group doesn't even understand what a game group is, or that it's even supposed to be a game group.

Find a new group to play with. Maybe some of these folks will come with you, but based on your description it doesn't sound likely. If these people are your friends, find some other way to interact with them socially.
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Joe Kell
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Something I would do is say I'm going to play this X player game this week, anyone who shows up late can make a side group and play something that they all already know how to play. It sounds like they are actually just interested in social deduction.

I wouldn't bother learning and teaching someone else's game, that's just too much. I strongly suggest telling that person if they want to bring a new game and play it, they need to teach the game and already know how to play. Then just play how they said since you said they usually get the rules wrong. If the game is bad anyway you aren't really missing out on much.
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April W
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Like others here are saying, it looks like maybe these people just aren't as interested in games as you are. Maybe you're trying to make a group of casuals into hardcores, or expecting hardcore behavior from them. Perhaps the thing to do is get together with this group for a shorter light game night and look elsewhere for a group interested in playing more serious games.
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Shaun Morris
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I actually had a thought.

How do you feel about tabletop RPGs?

This is actually how my group formed. We were all friends who liked playing RPGs and started getting together regularly to play. I think that prior experience is what allows my group to function as well as it does. You might want to consider running an RPG campaign for your group. It does wonders for the group dynamic and you'd also find out just who your dedicated gamers are.
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I have been running a gaming night every Friday night for the past 12 years (cancellingonly 2-3 nights a year).

I never have had people RSVP, I am the opposite. I want people to know I am running games and if they find themselves free, they should stop by. I find this helps the continuation of the game night, since if it was RSVP only, then last minute people wouldn't show up and I'd be stuck with only one ot two people showing up and then they get tired of low player counts. To me the more the merrier.

We too get a lot of crickets. I do two things. One I say I want to play X. Who's going to play with me. And/or I say "Joe, you haven't gotten to choose a gem in a while (doesn't matter if it's true or not, just pick someone that you know has an opinion on a game) what are you up for?"

I also do this sometime to force a splitting up into groups. There is an inherent desire to play together, but they will split up if you just say 'hey we are splitting up'

ADD? Can't help you there. You like hevay gaems, but they don't. Bring less heavy games.






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Guantanamo wrote:
I have been running a gaming night every Friday night for the past 12 years (cancellingonly 2-3 nights a year).

I never have had people RSVP, I am the opposite. I want people to know I am running games and if they find themselves free, they should stop by. I find this helps the continuation of the game night, since if it was RSVP only, then last minute people wouldn't show up and I'd be stuck with only one ot two people showing up and then they get tired of low player counts. To me the more the merrier.

We too get a lot of crickets. I do two things. One I say I want to play X. Who's going to play with me. And/or I say "Joe, you haven't gotten to choose a gem in a while (doesn't matter if it's true or not, just pick someone that you know has an opinion on a game) what are you up for?"

I also do this sometime to force a splitting up into groups. There is an inherent desire to play together, but they will split up if you just say 'hey we are splitting up'

ADD? Can't help you there. You like hevay gaems, but they don't. Bring less heavy games.



Hehe, I do the exact opposite.

I host most of my groups gamenights. I always pick the game(s) we will be playing in advanced and get confirmations of attendance for the amount of players the game needs. There are always people who cant attend for one reason or another, or dont get a spot because enough players have already rsvp'd. I only host 1 gameday a month and most often people rsvp several weeks in advance. This system has been very effective for me.

I then send out a quick email and written description of the game. I also add to the email a review of the game(s) being played, a playthrough video, and invite anyone wanting to be taught to show up 30 minutes early so I can teach them face-to-face. I also add the next gameday date as well as the next game(s) we'll be playing and let them know rsvp's will be open after the current gameday is completed. Many times people will immediately rsvp for the next gameday at the conclusion of the current one.

My game group is about a dozen people. We started off as 4 friends playing games about 5 years ago but through life and changing interests people left. As people left, and games that needed more players were purchased, I met new friends to game with. Mostly I met people through local game meetups, flgs gamenights, and posting here on bgg looking for gamers in my area. It has been very successful for me and I have a great group of dedicated gamers who also have great personalities and get along well with each other, and me!

People do come and go though and I usually need to add 1 or 2 new faces every year as people's lives change. So far this hasnt been a problem and I haven't had any bad experiences adding new players.
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geargrinder wrote:
I'm having some issues with my game group and I just don't know how to correct them (or maybe I'm just being uptight). These are my friends, gaming or not and I’m not trying to whine here, I’m just really bad with people and don’t know how to address it with them.

Info on me: I am the only "hardcore gamer" in the group, I own 99% of the games we play, I do the research for new games, read all the rule books and teach all the games. I read rule books in their entirety, watch how it’s played videos, and set up mock games or play with my wife before I try to bring in a new game to the group, I have the rules completely down.

These are the problems:
1. One other guy in the group is actively purchasing games but most are kickstarted stupid/terrible games and he then expects me to learn the game for him. I have personally learned and taught him more than half of his collection. Once I teach him a game, he likes to interrupt my teaching of the game to interject WRONG rule interpretations.

2. No matter how simple the game is to explain, the vast majority of the group is super ADD and can’t sit still and pay attention. Multiple interruptions during any rules introduction (It took 30 minutes to teach One Night Ultimate Werewolf).

3. Unwillingness to RSVP so I can pick appropriate games. Unwillingness to break up into multiple tables, since 9 people showed up when I was expecting 5 and only brought 2-5 player count games (So we print out Secret Hitler and play that all night).

4. Last thing is a little smaller, but irritating nonetheless. I have a link I send out with my game collection and I ask everyone to pick a few games they would like me to bring, no response. So I pick a mixture of games I know are liked and new games, 10-15 games. I set them out at the house and tell them if they want to play something speak up. Crickets.

I know my group isn’t hobby gamers, but I’m finding myself frustrated at the end of the night. When I try to bring up these issues I get lightly mocked. Our last game day was 12 hours long and we played: One Night Ultimate Werewolf x3, Bang the Dice Game x2, Secret Hitler x2, Sushi Go x2, Coup x1 and Takenoko x1.

Again, I’m not trying to bitch and these people are my friends and I enjoy their company, I’m just feeling a little unfulfilled in my group and looking for advice. Am I taking things too seriously? Should I expect more from a game group?


1. Tell your friend you're more than happy to learn the game and teach it, but you need at least a week to do so. In the intervening week, go to BGG and read up on the game and make sure there's no errata or fixes or fan-created content that makes the kickstarted game more enjoyable. There are very few games that are so terrible that you can't enjoy them, but Kickstarted games often need a little push because the rules aren't complete or well researched.

2. I've said it 100 times on BGG but I will repeat here. Make each player a copy of the rulebook. It makes a big difference if each player can look up the rules without asking. Even the ADD player will benefit as this will give him something to do with his attention span.

3. I harass my players until they RSVP. Six or seven text messages later even the most stalwart procrastinator finally gives in.

4. Again something I've said multiple times. You own 99% of the games. You do all the research. You know what's in your collection. Be a dictator. Tell them what they're going to play. If they object or actually ask for another game, be willing to bend, but don't rely on your players to choose a game. Compared to you, they're ignoreant of the possibilities. You know the games, you know the players, and you probabl know what they'll like. Make it clear to them that you are choosing the games, and they'll probably be happy to let you.

Pete (thinks you are expecting your game group to be like you, but they're just not)
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daryl allan
United States
Arizona
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Like you I am among the ones in our group that does the majority of the rule learning, teaching, game procurement and organization so I'll try to come from what I've learned.

Right up front, I want to address this one:
geargrinder wrote:
...When I try to bring up these issues I get lightly mocked.


Big time red flags on this one. Depending on what level of entertainment is gained at your expense from such poking, I would venture to say you're in need of either a smaller group or new group altogether. We've had issues with another one of our "hosters" bringing up just such concerns and we all reeled it back in immediately and conceded that we were being unruly and excessively off-topic. Apologies were made and we moved forward.

Other issues, by topic:

1. Arydis already nailed this one and I +1 his response. One base rule we have in our group is 'if you bring a game, know it and be ready to teach it'. Simple and very reasonable house rule.

2. This is either the result of too big of a group or ppl that came for the wrong reason. If they're not willing to put the time into learning the game, they shouldn't be on the invite roster.

3. Again, going to agree with Ardyis here. This is common courtesy but also and issue that can easily be addressed by you. Keep your invite list small at first and ONLY extend the invite once you get "no's" and know how many seats you need to fill. I've found 4-5 ppl is ideal but ymmv. Anything over 6 is just a party where a game might fit in and 9-10 is ludicrous.

4. A few others have said it already but if you're running the invite roster and bringing the knowledge game selection is up to you. Guage whether or not to run games based on how well they went over in the past. If you get a certain game that everyone really got into, put it in the go-to list for one to come back to. Introduce new games based on what you know works well in that group, etc... but don't, under any circumstances put it on the 'group' to pick bc no one wants to be called out for picking a game that flops. That's our job as the sort-of group lead to take the fall for that.

General response to the last two OP paragraphs is this: I keep feeling like your groups are either just too big or the ppl are just not into table top. Honestly, it takes a certain type to be fun. We've had several come and go over the years. The ones that usually go are either really competitive, don't take losing well, are into entirely-different genres, or some other social interactions issue.

Lastly (and likely, most importantly) "you're not doing anything wrong". If you run it any other way than what you think should be a fun night, you're not doing it for you. They have a word for that "a job". This should be fun and it can and will be once you get the individuals down that will be regulars and regularly fun.

If they're coming with the expectation of being entertained by your efforts, they're in the wrong hobby. That's what movies are for. They should come ready to listen, learn, contribute and, overall, have fun.

Good luck with it and I hope something here helps.
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Keith B
United States
Katy
Texas
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"KS crap" Like The Gallerist, Yokohama or Anachrony? I'm honestly interested in what KS crap he is pulling out. Also, what's some of your favorite games? There may be a couple in there that you sneak in and they wouldn't even know they are moving up the weight scale.
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Kevin C
United States
California
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I can totally empathize with you. I'm exactly the same way with my friends (I'm the board game nerd, I get the games, I read the rules, I teach everything, etc...)

I just recently started doing weekly game nights with my friend group and it's gone well because my expectations are quite low. None of them are board gamers and I feel that it's a miracle that they even want to all meet up once a week to play board games. I do feel like I have a responsibility to make sure everyone has a good time though which means:

-I select the games we are playing 5 days before. I have some back up options just in case. But I'm not really giving people a choice. (Secret Hitler, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Wits and Wagers, Balderdash, Codenames, etc..)

-I don't allow outside games. In the case of your friend with the kickstarer games, I wouldn't allow it. I would kindly tell them to have their own game night if they want to play those games. I've had suggestions to play certain games ("What the meme?" and "Bunco" for example gulp)

-I make sure to have a certain amount of people show up (not too little, not too many). The main game we play is Secret Hitler so I will cancel game night if there will be 6 or less people there, and I won't invite more than 10 people. This makes it so everyone can be comfortable.

-Not expecting this group to want to play deep board games and such. I will have to find another group to play the meaty type board games with.

You might need to find a different board game group if you want to truly scratch that board gamer itch. That's what I've been struggling with lately. At this point, I've just accepted that this group will meet up once a week (no more) to play board games and I can't pick anything too complicated.

Good luck with your decision!
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