Around a year ago I started getting a group of friends together to play boardgames. We meet around every six weeks for an extended afternoon and evening session, punctuated by food and drink.
It's very enjoyable, if only for the fact that we are adding friends to the group every time we meet, meaning at some point we might even have to relocate to somewhere public as no-one has a house or space that can realistically take about 14 people. Some didn't think they would enjoy playing them but come back for more the next time which is really encouraging to see.
Some are more enthusiastic than others about the games, as they see it more as a social occasion but there is an all round enjoyment of what is played that makes me think that it'll be a long term tradition.
As I'm the only one with the games, it does mean that it is hard to bring new games to the table on a regular basis. Most seem to want to get to grips with the existing games we have (7 Wonders, Ghost Stories, Power Grid, King of Tokyo, Mansions of Madness, Glory to Rome) and master them first before trying something new. This is pretty logical but sometimes clashes with my want to try new games.
It takes time to master new rules and as such I think I'll have to introduce some of the other games on a dripfeed basis. I have Puerto Rico and Android at home and really want to play the latter, but do fear that it'll take 2 hours to set up and explain the rules before we even get going with it.
If you're the "leader" in the group with regard to new games, do you try and up the complexity of new games, or do you give them what they want to play? Or do you try and provide a wide spread of different types of games?
I can relate to your struggle. Most do want to get comfortable with a game before trying something else which I understand. This is all new and eye opening for them and are not being bombarded like those of us on BGG who have to fight the draw of all the excitement and buzz around here.
My wife and I started a monthly game night last year. We've grown to having as many as 30 people on some nights. We've gotten to the point where people have been introduced to a half dozen games. We are able now to break into 3-4 tables if necessary to play different things.
There are those who don't mind playing the same game each time, they are there more for the socialization. Then there are others wanting to play their favorites. Some who are okay with learning new games. And a bunch who are now becoming the serious gaming types who want a more strategic/competitive game play.
Bottomline, I've learned to go with the flow. Offer to introduce a new game that I'm interested in and hopefully get a few takers. If not, I'm willing to spend time with them playing something else. I'd suggest you schedule a time for some of those other games you want to play and invite a few interested friends to come over and learn/play.
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
Now it's me and my wife. :(
A decade ago though, I had a pretty decent sized group meeting regularly
at my house, as well as some outside gaming. Back then, my goal was
nearly always bringing new games to the table. The group that came to
my house was pretty much of the same tastes, but the external one
often wanted to play the same old. There usually weren't quite enough
people there to split into two groups, and the games brought (public
locations) often weren't sufficient to meet conflicting tastes. Ended
up more or less just giving up on that latter group, though the public
exposure might have enabled us to sustain my 'in house' folk longer -
attrition due to moves ended up pretty much killing things off.
But it's right tough to start over when you had things better.