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Subject: Taking Your Games to a Board Game Club, and Getting Them Ruined rss

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Richard Skinner
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A week ago I met a friendly local board gaming group in a pub. They were friendly, welcoming, genuine board gaming fans, and we had a great evening.

The first game we played was Shadows over Camelot. When this was over, a couple of players left and the remaining players started on Citadels. Half an hour later, one of these ex-players came back to the table and pointed excitedly at somebody's district, whipping his hand across the table and spilling a pint of cider all over the table, soaking all the cards pretty thoroughly.

The owner of the game conducted himself with admirable good grace, not blaming the arm waving loon whose appendage had so recently caused the gaming wettage, and instead simply drying up and getting on with the game (which was sticky, but playable).

Following this incident, I am now very hesitant to bring a game of any value to the group. I am simply too fussy to put beloved board games into this kind of liquid based jeopardy.

However, I do want to bring games along. I would love to share the playing experience with the group, but not the russian-roulette-with-drinks-instead-of-bullets experience.

I spoke to the organiser of the club, and he was very understanding. He agreed that he wanted all members to be able to bring games along to play without fear that they would go home damaged (the games, not the members).

However, we don't have many ideas on how to achieve this. I know there are card sleeves for cards, but for a game with boards and punched tokens I don't see how you can seal the whole thing up. I feel the only way is to avoid the spillage hitting the cardboard in the first place.

I'm sure this is a well trodden issue, so I wondered if any members of this fine community have any hints or tips from experience on how you can protect a valuable game in a situation like this, or perhaps some scheme you may have used to otherwise address the issue?
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Brandon Pennington
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If I had to choose to take a chance of getting my game ruined by actually playing it rather than not playing it at all....I would take the chance.

You probably get more opportunities to play at your home than I do.
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Tory G
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I'm terrified of people and their drinks too. I've not had a game ruined yet, but I've had a few games where people were drinking around them and there were some close calls.

I just refuse to bring games unless I know the drinks and food stay away on a different table from the game.

I think in your position I'd just play the games someone else brings or ask everyone to kindly keep the drinks away from the game.
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Scott Nicholson
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Quote:
How you can protect a valuable game in a situation like this?


You can't.

Just like you wouldn't bring a valuable book to a pub, or wear your best suit to a pub, don't bring a boardgame that you feel is valuable to a pub.

Given that there are open glasses, food, unclean tables, and potentially drunk attendees, spills and messes are bound to happen.

I would take only those game that you would accept getting a pint spilled on.

I personally see something like Citadels in the "not valuable" category; it's pretty inexpensive and replaceable as far as these games go.


I have different rules based upon the value of my games. When we recently were playing Dungeonquest, for example, I asked people to keep drinks (including water) off the table.

But given that you are playing with toys in one of the most rowdy of public spaces, you should bring only those games that would not upset you to get ruined.
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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Take water-proof games. Sushizock im Gockelwok or Pickomino
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Crazy Bob
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For the record, card sleeves will cause the cards to take *more* water damage in the event of an accident.
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Dice bags!
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I really wanted to get more plays of Agricola in, especially given the opportunity to play it with more than two. Given that our game was all sorted for two, and the pieces are in nuts and bolts drawers from the hardware store (which makes it really easy to set up, but would be a pain to package for travel), we ended up buying a second copy of Agricola to take to game night. We can't do that with every game, of course, but in that instance, it was the best thing for us to do.

As others mentioned, I also consider the smaller/less expensive games for taking to a public game night. Pandemic, for example, is easily replaceable and not that expensive. To Court the King and Before the Wind are other examples. If I'm going to be uptight about it, given reasonable care exercised, I don't bring it, but some games need more than two players, and our only chance to do that with our gamer games is the game night. If I wanted to play other games, I would invite individual people to our house (although anything could still happen) rather than into the riskier environment.

I don't have a one-size-fits-all answer, depends on the game. Usually, I'd rather the game get played, but I want to save headaches (or heartaches) if possible.
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James Boardgame
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I play at a weekly session in a pub, to which players bring any game that they want to get played. There have fortunately been no incidents like the one you mentioned in the past six months (although somebody did drop the contents of a Prize-Winning Pork Pie onto the board of a fresh-from-the-factory Automobile the other week...)

It is fairly noticable that there is a sort of unspoken etiquette at the club, that players will take all the care they can, and owners will adopt an air of nonchalance.

If I were to spill a pint all over a game I would certainly be offering to replace the game, whilst apologizing and doing my best to clean up.

I think on the whole it is more important to play a game than keep it in pristine condition. If trade/sale value is preeminent, keep the thing in shrink.

Be forewarned, however, that if your game has any fiddly little black counters, be prepared to spend a good ten minutes on your knees fumbling in the dark recesses of a sticky pub floor, because you can guarantee that those bits will practiclly leap off the board at the slightest opportunity.
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Nick Fisk
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Our group games in a pub every Monday night.

We have a "no drinks on the table" rule for any game, no matter who it belongs. to.

Drinks can be put down by your feet, on a ledge behind you, or pretty much anywhere else really. A spilled drink from a kick does much less damage.

Or drag another chair up ... that'll hold a couple of glasses.

Just make it a rule for the whole group - Before long it'll be second nature.


N.
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Diz Hooper
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I guess it will depend on whether you are a collector or not. If you have a collector's mentality, then any amount of play will cause you stress whether there are drinks involved or not.

The attitude that I take is that games are meant to be played not collected, so that means I don't stress when game components get worn or even damaged in accidents. If it gets damaged so badly that it can't be played, then I would just order another one if it was a game I enjoyed. My recommendation is to take your easily replacable games to the pub and laugh it off when beer or food gets on the game and keep your out-of-print games sealed away in your closet and only bring those out when you can play in a clinically sterile environment.
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Chris Martin
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schkff wrote:
If I were to spill a pint all over a game I would certainly be offering to replace the game, whilst apologizing and doing my best to clean up.

Many people have suggested the "no drinks / food at the table" strategy, which I heartily endorse. However I think Jimi has hit the nail on the head here: if you trash someone else's possession, especially when they have been so good as to bring it for you to enjoy, you have a responsibility to buy them another set or give them money to do so. Don't touch what you can't afford, as they say.
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Mike B
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Pick games from this list, and you should be pretty safe.

Oh, and please add more suggestions to the list, while you're at it.
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Having some napkins or paper towels around is always useful if food and drink are anywhere near the gaming surface.

You could always just bring games that are fairly indestructible.

Hive is one that would probably do just fine in a "drinks spillage" environment. Just rinse the tiles off later. (edit: I guess that MikeB posted while I was writing this)

Card sleeves, as mentioned, can trap liquid next to your cards, however, they do a great job of keeping greasy fingers (or tables) from ruining your cards.

Another option is to pick up a second copy (used, or from a "ding and dent" sale) that you can take to places that aren't as "game safe" as your own home.

I can always tell which of the miniatures gamers at the store have never invested in terrain and a table at home - they are the ones who consistently place their food and drink on the terrain tables.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Sippy cups!

Seriously though, not too much you can do, and there's always going to be a risk. I think you are within your rights to say "I'm happy to use my copy of this game, but please don't put drinks on the table."

Understand though that this is a bar. People are drinking. Stuff happens.

I don't think it is necessarily reasonable to expect the drink spiller to replace the game. It is certainly nice of someone to offer, but I don't think that sitting down to play a game that someone has brought to a bar means you are automatically making yourself liable for a $50-70 game.

Getting paper things dried quickly and a some tedious cleanup once you get home will usually render a game playable again, if not "good as new".
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Robert Wesley
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Actually, you CAN, if you take the prerequisite STEPS on obtaining and implementing 'materials' that will provide some semblance of 'protection'. I've gotten myself some rolls of plastic covering for books, and from an "Office Supply" type of business store on that. Then completely COVER, or envelop and wrap your board(s) with this prior to commencing anything. Also, 'card sleeves' for those that have any and in fact, with "Player Aids" charts and the like, then I just recently espied some fully-sized PAGE sheets 3-ring 'binder'-(with punch-holes) plastic 'sleeves', akin to the 'card' sort but more pliable AND not having those smaller 'pockets', at our local $1 TREE Store. I hope any of this helps and I DO accept WHOLE "tips"!
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JessA
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I understand your point of view, it's hard to enjoy yourself if you're worried about things getting ruined. However, it has to be fairly rare for games to be completely ruined.

I wonder if it would help psychologically to set some money aside for replacing your games. You could decide that this board game club charges a fee and then set that amount of money aside until you have the proper amount to replace a game should it get ruined.

It might help you relax a bit if you know that you've already set the money aside for its replacement.
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Eric Jome
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A game is just a thing.

Things can be replaced.

A good time is forever.
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Carc >> BSG
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cosine wrote:
A game is just a thing.

Things can be replaced.

A good time is forever.


...well, until the Alzheimer's, anyway.
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Walt
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Yeah, it's a risk, especially in a pub, with brown alcohol-containing beverages. I have not had a game damaged in years of taking games to club meetings with little or no alcohol. I'm afraid--as much as I, too, like a good pub--the pub atmosphere is part of the problem.

You might try spraying your boards and games with clear acrylic artist's spray. This puts a thin coating of acrylic on things, much like the finish on coated cards, making them water resistant and keeping old chits from de-laminating, too. I think laminating the cards would be expensive and make them hard to use.

I don't know if acrylic spray would provide complete protection, but unfortunately you now have a game to try it on. Fortunately, Citadels is replaceable and relatively cheap. You might want to not take expensive or irreplaceable games to pub night.
 
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Alexander Scott
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cosine wrote:
A game is just a thing.

Things can be replaced.

A good time is forever.


While things "can" be replaced, they cost money. And not everything can be replaced for a reasonable price - try getting the 2p diplomacy deck for "Here I Stand". And, just for argument's sake, suppose that it is true that "stuff can be replaced but a good time is forever" - if having a good time is so much more valuable than a boardgame, maybe people should PAY you for enjoying your company (say, $10/person, which will replace most in-print games if you shop online).

I'm not advocating not playing your own games, but games DO cost money, and money isn't exactly growing on trees these days. When I bring games to other places, I bring in-print games that cost $20 or less and consider the cost sunk. If I want to play more expensive games, I invite people to my home and we play by MY rules.
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Shane Harris
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ascott1978 wrote:


I'm not advocating not playing your own games, but games DO cost money, and money isn't exactly growing on trees these days.


Ahh, the good old days. When money was growing on trees...

It's been said, but it seems perfectly reasonable to simply request that food/drink not be placed around a valued game. I'd never be offended if someone had a particular "rule" for a game they cared about.

I'll second the "sippy cup" comment as well. I bring a thermos which is basically a man-sized sippy cup and helps with my spasticity.

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Eric Jome
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ascott1978 wrote:
if having a good time is so much more valuable than a boardgame, maybe people should PAY you for enjoying your company


Close.

You should be paying for the good times, not for games.

I'd spend $100 on an evening of board gaming with friends - beer, snacks, heck rent a hall - all without batting an eyelash.

I can't bring myself to spend $50 on a game very often.

If your primary concern going into a night of gaming is that some sort of accident is going to ruin your game, you are in the wrong hobby. You need to move into collecting something, where NRFB means something good instead of a sad lost opportunity, like it does around here.
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Wayne Hitchcock
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Likeless wrote:
I wondered if any members ... have any hints or tips ... on how you can protect a valuable game in a situation like this, or perhaps some scheme you may have used to otherwise address the issue?


Sponges. That's the ticket. Have all your games and their components printed on sponges. Then when someone spills a pint, you just wring out the sponge and carry on with your game.


Likeless wrote:
The owner of the game conducted himself with admirable good grace, not blaming the arm waving loon whose appendage had so recently caused the gaming wettage, and instead simply drying up and getting on with the game


How English of him.
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Anthony Sr
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cosine wrote:
A game is just a thing.

Things can be replaced.

A good time is forever.


can be replaced for $50.00 not everybody has disposable income.

how long is a good time is relative.

and that good time may end exactly when the cranberry juice hits your $70.00 Agricola angry
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Anthony Sr
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This is a post requesting ideas how to keep games safe or protected.

Some people are concerned about damaging there personal property some are not. This post isn't about who is right.

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