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Michaelo Brazen
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What are some good rules you think every board gaming group ought to have?


I'm going to start a consistent group of regulars at my home, about twice a month.


• I want a group that is more focused on board gaming than socializing (or at least balanced rather than hey board games are just a means to hang out).

• The group is going to be about 8+ members give or take a couple which includes my wife and I. Ages from 15-20s.

• We'll play light to medium board games with the goal of introducing heavier games over time as we learn deeper mechanics Etc. Most people in my circle feel like Scythe is super heavy... I want to change that.

••• I desire to have a group that is willing to learn complex games to get a more fulfilling board gaming experience. I like light games, but I also want to denser games. I don't want a weekly "apples to apples" session. I'm not opposed to playing that, but I've had enough of exploding kittens, uno, and apples.


Here's a list of rules that I can think of, I mostly just want people to be respectful and not be distracted.


- Calm down on the cell phone. I don't care if you have to check your phone to see about your ride etc. or a quick text, but if you're on your phone the entire time it isn't your turn, and then you say "so what happened?" why are you here? If everybody does that you don't really experience the game well.

- Food/drink stays in the kitchen area. I don't like accidents, lets prevent them. Simple dry snacks are okay but otherwise, no.


- Try to avoid analysis paralysis.


- Don't bend cards just because you're board.

- No monopoly

I feel like I shouldn't have to make these rules because it's common sense, but I also feel like if I don't make some I'll regret it. How can I make a list of rules without inducing eye rolling actions? What are some important ones I should cover? I will mention no cheating but that's a no brainer that I don't need to write out. I'm gonna print out a list to refer to.

Thank you
 
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Matt L.
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Mangekyo wrote:
I feel like I shouldn't have to make these rules because it's common sense, but I also feel like if I don't make some I'll regret it. How can I make a list of rules without inducing eye rolling actions? What are some important ones I should cover? I will mention no cheating but that's a no brainer that I don't need to write out. I'm gonna print out a list to refer to.


You don't have to, and if you hand me a printed list of rules you're going to induce eye-rolling.

Printed lists of rules belong on the walls of Day Care centers. If you have adults over, talk to them, if you're afraid of talking to them you might not really want them in your house, god knows what you'll need to tell them about using the bathroom.

Cell Phone? - Talk to them after the session, if they were on their phone because they were bored and uninterested then you need to improve your communication and discuss expectations, both theirs for what kinds of games they want to play and what kinds of social interactions they want and yours in the same regard.

Food/Drink? - Cool, lead by example, put a bowl of snacks 'over there' and use it as a casual way to guide people. "Hey I've got some snacks out but I don't want to keep food/drinks at the table directly so grab a swig/handful whenever you like."

AP? - Address as needed, "Hey Mike, time's up boss, if you want to talk anything through I'll give you honest advice but we've got to keep the turns moving if we're going to finish."

Bending Cards? - Talk to people like adults, if they don't respect you enough to hear you out then why play games with them?

My advice if you want a successful game night :
Your role is 'host' first, 'game master/teacher' second, and 'player' last. After you get in a groove the first and second roles take less of your focus and you can generally just play. As you start though you need to focus on having the right group of people with matching expectations and meshing personalities. No amount of printed rules will help you there.

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Joe Martineau
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Jeez, no drinks at the table?

I've had one game ruined in my adult life. The cost of replacement was more than worth decades of non-thirsty gaming.
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Andy Leber
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RageGoblin wrote:
Jeez, no drinks at the table?

I've had one game ruined in my adult life. The cost of replacement was more than worth decades of non-thirsty gaming.


Yep, we're adults. Gotta have beverages. Although you need to use a coaster, we're not savages!!

If I suspected someone was getting tipsy (we don't drink alcohol while gaming anyways) then I might suggest moving a drink.

My only wish/rule would be that they were available to game more!
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Pablito A
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Fourth Bruce: Right, I just want to remind you of the faculty rules: Rule One!

Everybruce: No Pooftas!

Fourth Bruce: Rule Two, no member of the faculty is to maltreat the Abbos in any way at all -- if there's anybody watching...... Rule Three?

Everybruce: No Pooftas!!

Fourth Bruce: Rule Four, now this term, I don't want to catch anybody not drinking..... Rule Five,

Everybruce: No Pooftas!

Fourth Bruce: Rule Six, there is NO ... Rule Six!... Rule Seven,

Everybruce: No Pooftas!!

Fourth Bruce: Right, that concludes the readin' of the rules, Bruce.
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Bill Cook
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No Thinking!
 
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BG.EXE
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No rule making? I can’t think of a faster way to kill the fun and mood.
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Paul DeStefano
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The only rules are the ones in the game.

We're here to have fun. If that's multitasking games on your phone, as long as you don't mess up my game, OK. Want food? OK. Tinder? OK.

We're here to have fun, not obey rules beyond the board.
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Chris Sauer
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Honestly I think the only rules you need are:
Play fair and have fun

As a host your job is to figure out what people enjoy what type of game. I don't invite friends who enjoy lighter, interactive games and then subject them to heavy euro solitaire.
You can't expect every person to enjoy every type of game.
Hence you need to work out over time who are the light gamers and who are the heavier/heavy gamers.
Keep the groups separate if you want to play a session of heavy games as it only takes one really confused person to slow down/kill the flow in a heavy game.
Generally, most people will enjoy a light game here and there, regardless if they are a heavy gamer. So you can add heavy gamers to light games at times.
It is hard at first, but with time, it is possible to figure out compatible gaming groups.

And as some of the other guys said, if there is something particular about bending the cards or playing on their phones, you just need to talk to them. And if they are repeat "offenders", just don't invite.

And no...DO NOT PRINT A LIST OF RULES. People come over to your place for a good time. Don't make them feel like they are entering some sort of institution.
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Jordan Ackerman
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RageGoblin wrote:
Jeez, no drinks at the table?

I've had one game ruined in my adult life. The cost of replacement was more than worth decades of non-thirsty gaming.


Could have been zero games ruined.

This doesn't mean people cannot drink, it just means you can't keep your drink on the same table as the game.
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Carl
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1- No cell phones at the table (I actually physically grab my friends's phones if I see them at the table! devil ... don't worry, they're used to me!)

2- All drinks are served in very low, wide whiskey glasses (nearly impossible to topple).

That's about it!

As for the host part, I completely agree. I try to provide the best gaming experience possible and I sometimes even find myself actually rooting for other players in my head so that they enjoy the game more . When I'm host, I practically don't care about winning or losing the game myself. Just playing the game is the prize fore me .
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Chris Sauer
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Geosphere wrote:
If that's multitasking games on your phone, as long as you don't mess up my game, OK.


Just with regards to this. He didn't say they couldn't use their phone.
His issue was people using their phones and then asking "what happened?".
That is a really annoying thing.
It shows disrespect to your companions on the table. It means you don't care enough to stay interested in the game.
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B C Z
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Are you going to make everyone sign and notarize their agreement?
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James Clarke
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I wouldn't have any rules for an adult group, especially those which concern behaviour or list things you can't do.

Here's one useful tip though. If someone wants to introduce a new game to the group, they should be required to prep the game and learn the rules beforehand. There's nothing worse than agreeing to a game then watching somebody punch out tokens and bury their head in a rulebook for an hour.

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Under the paving stones, the beach
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Mangekyo wrote:
I mostly just want people to be respectful and not be distracted.


Just say that then. A list of rules makes you look a bit odd.
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Russell InGA
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Have TV tables for drinks. That way they can't spill onto the main playing table.

As I tell people, you don't want to have to buy a new copy of Civilization off of ebay to replace the copy of mine you spilled coke on!
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Jeff Binning
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rules_heretic wrote:
Have TV tables for drinks. That way they can't spill onto the main playing table.

As I tell people, you don't want to have to buy a new copy of Civilization off of ebay to replace the copy of mine you spilled coke on!


We've used side trays for years. We've had numerous spills caused by excitement or carelessness, but no games have ever been damaged.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I think it's mostly common sense. If people aren't displaying common sense, you may need to talk to them one-on-one to make sure they are on the same page as you.
 
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Momo Momo
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I just smack people as I see issues arise. I don't have any friends, but my games are mint!
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Alec Chapman
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I'm with the consensus. Actually speaking to people like adults is probably the way to go. You want as few barriers to enjoyment as possible for everyone at the table, not just you.
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Trent Boardgamer
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Well it appears the OP is on the younger side, so maybe rules might help facilitate his group.

Most people I game with are in the 36-64 age range, so we have never had the need. If someone is doing something unacceptable we tell them so and ask them to stop.

IMHO instead of rules, if I was the OP I would merely iterate what his purpose and expectations from the group are;
Quote:
• I want a group that is more focused on board gaming than socializing (or at least balanced rather than hey board games are just a means to hang out).

• The group is going to be about 8+ members give or take a couple which includes my wife and I. Ages from 15-20s.

• We'll play light to medium board games with the goal of introducing heavier games over time as we learn deeper mechanics Etc. Most people in my circle feel like Scythe is super heavy... I want to change that.

••• I desire to have a group that is willing to learn complex games to get a more fulfilling board gaming experience. I like light games, but I also want to denser games. I don't want a weekly "apples to apples" session. I'm not opposed to playing that, but I've had enough of exploding kittens, uno, and apples.


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To deal with both the risk of spoilage from spilled drinks and mistreatment of cards, you could have a 'you damage it, you replace it' rule (not necessarily printed out). This might be especially important if you are students with a limited gaming budget.
 
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Jason
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Holmes108 wrote:
RageGoblin wrote:
Jeez, no drinks at the table?

I've had one game ruined in my adult life. The cost of replacement was more than worth decades of non-thirsty gaming.


Yep, we're adults. Gotta have beverages. Although you need to use a coaster, we're not savages!!

If I suspected someone was getting tipsy (we don't drink alcohol while gaming anyways) then I might suggest moving a drink.

My only wish/rule would be that they were available to game more!


I agree with this. I wouldn't stick with a group if I had to leave the table to have a drink. With very rare exceptions, I can replace a game for that rare occurrence a spill occurs.

A printed list of rules is also going to chase me away from the group.
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Bearhug78 wrote:
Well it appears the OP is on the younger side, so maybe rules might help facilitate his group.


Then use noogies, wedgies, swirlies, and indian rope burns to enforce order.
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mortego
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For me, I can't see why the need to have "rules", let alone written rules, for adults. If a situation should arise that needs to be addressed then that would be the time to address it.

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