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Subject: Picking on the host rss

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Mr Deltaz
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Okay, I am not sure if this is a common occurrence for a lot of people or it just happens to me.

A bit of background:

I used to invite my friends sporadically to play Settlers of Catan from time to time and that is how I came across BGG and world of boardgames.

I found a local meetup and have been going there for almost 2 years. I invited my friends a couple of times to the group and while they enjoyed it, they would prefer to have a smaller group, and thus we created a small group of 5-6 players that meets monthly for the past year.

I am the one that owns 99% of the games and I am the one teaching such games. Note: Most of the time when I teach the game, it is my first or second time playing so I still haven't developed any sort of strategy.

For some reason, if the game involves any sort of negotiation, trade, or attacking, no one involves me in the deals, or trades with me but everyone is willing to attack me, and most of the time there is no attacking between them.

Also, when I point out that I am obviously not winning since everyone is ganging up on me and that perhaps trading/not attacking me is the most reasonable option, that is taken to mean that I am winning and I am trying to divert attention. However, when someone suggest that they shouldn't trade with me or that they should attack me because I could come back and win later on the game, then everyone listens to that. So the goal of most games becomes how to get Deltas to lose while maximizing points amongst them.

At the beginning I let it slide, but it has become such a common thing every month that it has drained the fun out of it for me. While I don't mind losing, losing because everyone is playing to make me lose is just not fun , most of the time I don't even feel part of the game. For example, I spend the whole game of settlers watching people trade and playing with each other, while I am by myself relying on dice rolls and having the robber on on my tiles most of the time.

According to my wife, she does this because she doesn't feel comfortable declining trades with other people or attacking other players, and there is misconception that since I am the only one that read the rules then I have an unfair advantage. Not sure if this is the case for everyone else.

I have compared my experiences to the public group that I joined a while back, and I don't see this ganging up on people. Players do pick on the leader but if the leader changes, then the new leader is picked on.

At this point I am just drained and don't want to go through the effort of continuing this monthly gaming night. I am just not having fun any more.

Has anyone had to deal with a similar situation? what would you suggest I do in this case?
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Deltas wrote:


For some reason, if the game involves any sort of negotiation, trade, or attacking, no one involves me in the deals, or trades with me...

Has anyone had to deal with a similar situation? what would you suggest I do in this case?


Yeah, in games with negotiation and trade, people tend to avoid dealing with me...especially if they know me.

It might be because I'm an evil bastard, but who knows.
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D S
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Out of interest, what proportion of the time do you win?

And yes, I've had small quantities of this. I assume it's a mix of assuming you're awesome at it because you own it and you standing out. In particular if they all know you better than each other: I find that if one person introduces friends from different backgrounds, one of the default ways for said friends-of-friends to bond is by teasing/slagging off the shared friend.

Possibly my friends are dicks, true.
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Mr Deltaz
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Obvious Child wrote:
Out of interest, what proportion of the time do you win?

And yes, I've had small quantities of this. I assume it's a mix of assuming you're awesome at it because you own it and you standing out. In particular if they all know you better than each other: I find that if one person introduces friends from different backgrounds, one of the default ways for said friends-of-friends to bond is by teasing/slagging off the shared friend.

Possibly my friends are dicks, true.


Not very often, I would say maybe 10% of the time?

yeah my group is like that, I am the one that introduced them to each other.
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Geki
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I never had such a serious situation, but it is generally true that the most experienced gamer is mistrusted by the group and that often happens to be me. So I experience an a priori disadvantage, but in my group of friends that's mitigated by the seldom presence of a very arrogant gamer which tends to attract such "in game" antipaties.

Moreover, that ends as soon as someone is actually winning.

I am sorry I have no good advice to give, other than "speak to them".

Best
Geki
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I have no experience with people acting like this. Perhaps if we try out a new game and the owner is obviously way ahead in terms of skill and strategy, in that case, in humorous jest I could see it happen to gang up on him/her.

But to be honest what you decribe sounds like a really unfun group of people to play with (at least for you). In my opinion picking on (or ganging up on) the leader in a game is fine, but only as long as that person is actually in the lead.

Have you discussed your concern with all group members outside a game?
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J Holmes
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Some ways to improve this are to state the game(s) in advance and encourage everyone to read the rules first. Point out in many games by choosing to target one player, each other player are lowering their own chance of winning.

Get games that are assymetrical such as
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) (play the overlord, crush the humans!),
Mansions of Madness(play the overlord, send the humans mad!) or
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game (rig the deck, become a cylon, crush the humans! robotrobot)

Alternatively, consider some co-op games as well such as Pandemic or Castle Panic

Try games like 7 Wonders that play very quickly AND have limited direct interactions (only 2 neighbours) and some indirect interactions.

Alternatively invite others less often, and you go to the other gaming group more often.

Finally, if those suggestions fail, play Texas Holdem with them. If they are determined to beat you with sub-optimal strategies you'll win the money in the long run.
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Andy Andersen
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When we get together with son #2 and daughter-in-law, I get picked on mercilessly. The kids won't pick on my wife and since they are newly married they won't pick on each other. My wife won't pick on the kids.

That leaves me. Last time we got together I was able to finish as high as 3rd in 2/12 games we played.

I really don't care - I just enjoy playing games with them.

However, I think if I had a regular gaming group and it happened, it would bug the hell out of me.
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Paul Oakes
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A few ideas to try to fix what sounds a horrible situation.

Play games where picking on a player is difficult - from a quick trawl Puerto, Notre Dame, Glory to Rome and 7 Wonders don't have major systems to pick on a specific player.

Get someone else to spend their money on a game, explain the rules and then try to organise a vendetta against them.

Keep stats and distribute them. No need to mention any motive, but when someone says "you usually win" you have ammunition.

I must admit your friends don't sound very friendly, and the local meetup may be your only solution, but you need to systematically tackle their reasons that you list for setting on you if you are to change this group around.
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I've experienced a bit of this but it usually is because I genuinely know the game better and am in the lead .... however once another leader comes ahead they usually become the target.

The extreme you describe does seem rather unfun and I would have a serious talk with all involved. If they enjoy the game nights just let them know you will discontinue hosting these if the attacks continue being so polarizing.

Games are meant to be fun and I would stop playing with people with no regrets if after letting them know I wasn't enjoying how the group played with me, and they continued anyways.
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Emma
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Your friends are dicks.
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Eðvarð Hilmarsson
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I know how you feel, part of it is that I usually play the antagonist in Descent, Mansions and Dungeon Explore.

The wife is the main instigator of this for me. She usually complains that I have an advantage because I know the rules and being very competitive she normally attempts to rally the rest against me.

It has gotten to be a bit much a couple of times, normally in regards to rule clarification. I do not care if I am right (the game being played right is what counts) so I tend to check BBG and FAQ´s, this has lead to me feeling like everyone is grumpy/hostile once a rule check has gone in my favor. This sometimes bleeds into other games such as Munchkin, where people are used to being allied against me.

I think the best recommendation is actually to try co-op games. With stuff like Arkham Horror then everyone is on the same side and having fun. A few months of everyone being on the same team might reset this pattern (people get used to thinking of you as a valuable ally rather then a constant nemesis).
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super varal
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j_holmes wrote:
Finally, if those suggestions fail, play Texas Holdem with them. If they are determined to beat you with sub-optimal strategies you'll win the money in the long run.


I would assume that if people are ganging on you in a game of poker that you would end up as a loser like any other games.
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J Holmes
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super varal wrote:
j_holmes wrote:
Finally, if those suggestions fail, play Texas Holdem with them. If they are determined to beat you with sub-optimal strategies you'll win the money in the long run.


I would assume that if people are ganging on you in a game of poker that you would end up as a loser like any other games.


As long as they arent cheating, then no, you'll end up a winner.
(Assuming you arent terrible at the game)
 
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Daniel Hadlock
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If this were me I would probably handle it as follows:

Choose a "multi player solitaire" game, where they couldn't gang up on me. Then I would let the game act as an opportunity to talk about the situation. This allows the conversation to happen when it doesn't correspond to the game being played. Probably best to wait until someone complains about the game because of the lack of interaction, or how they stand no chance to win because they can't stop you.

I have found that when approaching difficult conversations like this it's important to diffuse the bomb first. The first thing I say is that I know they would never do anything to intentionally hurt me. Or in this case ruin the game or make it not fun. I might express that at first it seems a compliment to have everyone assume I'm a good player, but that it has gotten old since we are all learning the games together. Then just make it clear how you are feeling but stress that you understand it's not your friends intention to make you feel that way.

If your friends are worth continuing to play with, they will understand. If they don't respect your feelings, then off to the other game group you go.

Hope that helps.
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GeekInsight
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I've dealt with this a lot. Especially when I'm introducing something to non-gamers or extremely casual gamers (like my family), it's the natural tendency. And, to some extent, it is warranted.

But, it usually dissipates after a few games. And with other gaming groups, where everyone is a solid gamer, it doesn't happen at all.

That said, it sounds like it hasn't dissipated for you. I once gamed with a guy that would try to win until, about half way through, he felt he didn't have a reasonable chance to win any longer. Then he would pick one player (often me) and make the rest of his actions just to stop that player from winning. If that player lost, he declared it a "moral victory" for himself. I no longer game with him.

The best method is to talk about it in whatever way and forum makes the most sense for your gaggle of friends. Since you mentioned your wife is in this group, you might even start by talking with her alone after a game night. Perhaps she can help rally other players against picking on you all the time.
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Mr Deltaz
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Thanks everyone for the advice! I really appreciate it.

I may be able to talk to some of them individually and ask themwhy they seem to be doing this and mention how it is not fun for me.

I will organize the next game night for next month and will pick a few "multi player solitaire" games to play so everyone can read the rules before hand.

Hopefully this will lead to conversation on this particular issue with the other players. Depending on how it plays out from there I will decide on whether to continue hosting this event or not.

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My advice is another which a lot of people suggest here:

DON´T talk with them about that issue! I think it might get even worse, or the extreme opposite happens, and they dont play against you anymore, because they dont want to hurt your feelings.

What I would try first are Co-op games! Space Alert, Arkham Horror... there are a lot of very very good coop games.

Pls dont leave the thread, without telling us how it develops! I am realy interested in this.
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Deltas wrote:

I may be able to talk to some of them individually and ask themwhy they seem to be doing this and mention how it is not fun for me.


Again: I wouldnt do that! Try Co-ops first!
 
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Mr Deltaz
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H4msterbacke wrote:
My advice is another which a lot of people suggest here:

DON´T talk with them about that issue! I think it might get even worse, or the extreme opposite happens, and they dont play against you anymore, because they dont want to hurt your feelings.

What I would try first are Co-op games! Space Alert, Arkham Horror... there are a lot of very very good coop games.

Pls dont leave the thread, without telling us how it develops! I am realy interested in this.


Oh boy, now you are making me doubt whether I should talk to them or not.
We played Space Alert a few times and now it is 50/50 split on people who like and dislike this game. I never tried Arkham Horror but the play time may be a factor for some players and would like to try it out before buying it. I played Pandemic before but I don't like that one player can take over and do the whole puzzle himself. Any other suggestions for a co-op game?
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Scott
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North_Wolf wrote:
I think the best recommendation is actually to try co-op games. With stuff like Arkham Horror then everyone is on the same side


Remembering of course that AH is not an everyone wins game, the person with the most points/monster trophies wins.
 
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ronald fraigun
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There are a lot of games that don't have this kind of a problem. Someone mentioned Puerto Rico, and that is just one of many. Check out the Euro games, while there can be some direct interaction most of it is making the best moves before your opponents can. In no way would I talk to them about this, they are playing by the rules of the games you are bringing to the table.
 
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monchi
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when you guys meet to play who picks the games you play? Not saying that it will change things, but if you say are the one picking the games you play that might have some impact.

With one group I play with I am in a similar situation. We own all the games and more often than not I tend to be the target if possible. Most of the time it is due to me knowing the game more, so they gang up on me as they feel it is the way to "stop" me. Funny thing is we all tend to win about the same amount. Typically I don't have the entire group after me, so I just play fair is fair and try and screw who ever is trying to screw me back. Our house rule when we play is that the winner picks the next game. Not sure if this has any psychological impact, but I find when people get a chance to pick the next game it does two things...first it makes them feel like they are playing a greater role in the evening and it takes the blame off you if people don't like the game. The other thing it does, providing your group is competitive, is that it gives an initiative for people to try and win the game rather than screw someone over as they want to pick the next game.

As others have mentioned there are a lot of great games out there that limit the amount of screwage. I never liked games like Settlers for that exact reason. If you have a game that interacts like Settlers and no one is willing to trade with you it kind of defeats the purpose of playing the game. Settlers almost encourage people to gang up on other people in that you can choose who you want to play with.
 
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Laura Blachek
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Another option for co-ops might be something like Betrayal at House on the Hill, or another asymmetric co-op where you don't know who the traitor will turn out to be at the start of the game.

Looking on the bright side, it sounds like all of your friends have decided you're the smartest person in the group, since you're the threat, even when you're not in the lead.
 
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