Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
47 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Game Groups » Europe

Subject: Gaming in pubs - any advice? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ben Kirman
United Kingdom
Lincoln
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
At the moment, around 6 boardgamers and myself meet each tuesday in a pub in central Liverpool. We've been growing a little bit recently, and I've been after some opinions.

I realise a lot of groups out there meet in pubs, but at what point does a group of people meeting in a public house for a few quiet beers and games become an organised weekly event?
We've had no problems with us playing games in most of the pubs so far (although the Fly in the Loaf did politely ask us to leave!), since we only take up a table on quiet nights and we do buy drinks and food. But with over 7 people, theres usually going to be 2 games running concurrently, and I've felt a bit uncomfortable about taking up two tables. Am I worrying about nothing?

At what number of regular players should we start talking about function rooms and actual organisation rather than the ad-hoc way we organise now? Is it impolite to turn up to a pub with 10 people regularly without explicit permission?

I'm very keen to keep playing in pubs since I believe its easier to get non-gamers involved when they are within their "comfort zones", rather than freaking them out by inviting them to the bizarre underground lair that is the Liverpool Wargames Association with whom I also play boardgames (although the newbies may well join the LWA later). I did ask a landlord permission to play games in a pub once, and he was bewildered and confused that I felt his permission was necessary (but there was only 5 of us).

What do you think?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Davido
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Games $$$
Beer and food = $$$

As long as you keep the brews and chow coming, especially if it's a normally slow nite, the landlords should be grateful for the business.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Bond
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We've just started the Norwich Board Games Club. We meet in the St Andrews Tavern, a city center pub, every Tuesday. We advertise locally, and although there are only a few of us at the moment, we've had five each week so far, we're expecting to grow.

We picked St Andrews because it's quite central, quiet on a Tuesday night and has a conservatory (5 tables) off to one side of the bar. We spoke with the landlord before advertising and we now have the arrangement that the conservatory is reserved for us each week. We get a regular group and the pub gets a bit more business on a slow night.

I've played board games in other pubs over the years - and found that usually the quiter ones are better. Rowdy pubs and games don't really mix. None of the pubs have had a problem with it. I think as long as you're buying drinks or food then you're ok. Obviously taking up a table and not purchasing anything is a bad idea.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I used to play in a group that met at a "pub". Never heard of any complaints as we drank and ate a lot. Don't try to play Through the Desert in a dimly lit pub however...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Allwood
United Kingdom
Whitley Bay
Tyne and Wear
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My main worry would be getting drinks spilt over the games. How do you avoid this? Maybe it's just me, but I would and have banned drinks from the table (put them on the floor or on a separate table by all means) when playing a new (£30+)game of mine. I think it is discourteous of players not supplying games to even consider placing drinks near the game without at least asking the owner if they mind.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M Loebach
Canada
Crysler
ON
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Always good to hear from across the pond...
Here's a tale of local pubs and a game group.

Once upon a time about 5 years ago (maybe six) there was a small group of people hanging out at the local hobby store (The Hobby Centre in Ottawa -- great prices, great service, shameless plug). The conversation came around to board games, the games that came up were pretty standard: chess, Risk, Axis and Allies. I mentioned I had never had a chance to play A&A and would like to learn. A few other people were within earshot and a string of "me too's" ensued. The owner of the Hobby Shop spoke to a friend of his, a manager at a restaurant about 5mins away (from the Hobby Centre, not you). We set up a night and showed up. There was A&A and someone brought RISK (2210 I think).
The night went well the owner was happy, we were giving him business on a Tuesday night when it was slow and all was well and good. Over a course of two months it became a bi-weekly thing and this lasted for 2 to 3 years. As time progressed, the restaurant became more and more busy on Tuesday nights and eventually we had to leave (we also started having "members" ahem, order just water or just a coke and never tip). We started to look for a new place.

The new place we found wasn't a national chain like the last restaurant but a locally owned business. We asked for seats, they kept forgetting. It just wasn't a good match. I think we lasted about a year to 18 monthd. The last night we were there there was a death metal band playing at 130db. It was time to move.

One of the members of the group knew another pub. They reserve about 6 tables for us and give us room to expand if we need it. We get the same (VERY PATIENT) waitress pretty much each week and great service (and usually bottomless soda and a deal on wings). Everybody has a good time, there is a glitch once in a while, but never anything major. Our biggest turnout had El Grande, Palazzo, Puerto Rico, Pitchcar (Yes that's right we set up Pitchcar in a PUB!), Panzer Tank and Lost Cities all going at the same time. There was 20+ people. It wouldn't have happened without the support of our cast and crew as well as the local pub Broadways.

It all comes down to behaviour. Play nice, don't set anything on fire, no yelling or loud cursing (no matter who buys the last harbour in Puerto Rico), buy something and tip nicely. The tip nicely is VERY important. Usually a manager is in the back, if you are going to get booted out it proably be due to a problem with the waitress/waiter not a manager. Besides, it's good MeepleKarma!

We still play every other week. Usually we have 10-20 and we've been going for 5 to 6 years. Pub by Pub. Aelf, next time you visit our Dominion of Canada, consider yourself invited for a pint.

Take care,
MrZoz
goo

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Kidd
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Well, when I was in London this time last year I gamed with the Swiggers club ( http://www.pevans.co.uk/Swiggers/default.html ). Their deal worked beautifully - they had the upstairs dining room every Wednesday night - most people ordered a meal and got drinks from downstairs and it worked out well for everybody. The only restriction the pub had was that they couldn't guarantee the room around Chrismas time (I think).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Irving
United States
Salinas
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Windopaene wrote:
I used to play in a group that met at a "pub". Never heard of any complaints as we drank and ate a lot. Don't try to play Through the Desert in a dimly lit pub however...


These after dinner mints have an odd plasticky flavor... yuk gulp
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Farrell
Australia
Rozelle
New South Wales
flag msg tools
Averagely Inadequate
badge
Buster Keaton from 'Go West'
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There's a restaurant/bar around here which hosts the Go Club on Tuesday nights, so I went down one day and asked them if it would be OK if we played board games there. Their concerns were:

* the Go Club is really big (takes up the whole bar area), you won't have that many people, will you?
* you will buy stuff from us, won't you?
* please don't come on a Friday or Saturday night when we're really busy and could fill your seats with people too drunk to care how much money they spend
* please don't come on a Tuesday night because there really is no more room with that Go Club here...

Other than that, they were happy to have us, and even offered better lighting for our area, and turn the music down in that corner, and so on. However I did think it was important to ask.

The sad part of the story is that my gamer buddies mostly don't work near me, and we've only actually done this once.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Pulles
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Gaming in pubs - any advice?

Don't play with Doug.

By the end of the night you'll be hearing something like: "You want to win?... Buy me a beer and I'll play here."
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kirman
United Kingdom
Lincoln
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pallwood wrote:
My main worry would be getting drinks spilt over the games. How do you avoid this? Maybe it's just me, but I would and have banned drinks from the table (put them on the floor or on a separate table by all means) when playing a new (£30+)game of mine. I think it is discourteous of players not supplying games to even consider placing drinks near the game without at least asking the owner if they mind.


We tend to play with my copies of games, and I'm not too bothered about beer/crisp stains on my games if it means another non-gamer getting interested. I think everyone in the group is aware of the risks of bringing their own games to the pub. The LWA group offers clean beer-free tables to play the more delicate or rare games on, and I think that having the choice between setting and safety works pretty well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kirman
United Kingdom
Lincoln
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Friendless wrote:
There's a restaurant/bar around here which hosts the Go Club on Tuesday nights, so I went down one day and asked them if it would be OK if we played board games there.


Thats a good idea - I'll probably do a bit more investigating into what other clubs play in which pubs in Liverpool.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
George Leach
United Kingdom
Godalming
Surrey
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
I've been looking for a Liverpool group for aaaages!
And coincidentally I set up the Liverpool Go Club two years ago. We meet in the Ship and Mitre (same place as LWA so I'm told, but I can't really find out much about them either). Please Please Please give me some details so I can add my meager gaming collection and massive gaming enthusiasm to the group!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
keith rodgers
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm on the Wirral and have been looking for a local wargaming club. If you're looking for extra members I'd love to tag along, please send me a message with details.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Virre Linwendil Annergård
Sweden
Stockholm
flag msg tools
Forza Bajen!
badge
... and still sober
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My experience of playing in pubs are none, or close to none. It depend on your definition of pub as we once played Settlers during the main act of a folkmusicfestival, and there seems to be the same trouble with pubs and suchlike (if you just withhold the fact that the volume of a live folkmusic with electronics might get a bit, er, loud (and high-pitched with that singer)). There was the occansonal bump in to the table by people how had danced, not that much spillage or anger of us playing it (probably because there were many students there, both as organaizers and visitors), there were of course looks in our generall direction and I think somehidden aggession...

Now to keep tiles clean I think those kind of plastic covers that bars keep to make table swipeing easy might be a thing to invest in. I.e. Put one of these transparant clothe above your game (and probably some cloth under it to)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian P Lewis
United Kingdom
Torquay
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Only played in a pub once, and we played risk the drinking mans version.
Where for every oponents army you destroyed you drank a finger of beer.
Playing with mission cards , My misson to destroy all blue armies meant that not only did I win after 2 hours but i was a very very merry chap.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah Alderson
United Kingdom
Leeds
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My little gaming group meets in a Starbucks cafe inside Borders bookshop most weeks. Its a great place for playing games in, they always clean the tables for us, it does not put off non-drinkers, the light is better than in most pubs and they always have soothing music playing. There is usually 3 - 8 of us and the staff do not seem to mind as long as we buy a drink. We can be there all evening. It even entertains a few of the customers. I recommend it as a place for meeting.meeple
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rob Lee
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
I organise a group over in Shepherds Bush, London. Though it is in a nicely heated hall. So sorry cant be much help. My concerns with pubs tend to be more on the smoking side and the fact you have to buy drinks. We have plenty of shops and pizza places nearby so that is not a problem.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trenton
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Games Enthusiast wrote:
My concerns with pubs tend to be more on the smoking side and the fact you have to buy drinks...

In my province (Saskatchewan), people can not smoke in public buildings. That means bars, restaurants, malls, etc. It's great! Smokers kept me away from pubs and bars for the most part until a couple years ago. And sitting in the 'non-smoking section' of restaurants, where the dividing line was entirely imaginary, was horrific.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
KGS is the #1 web site for playing go over the internet. Visit now!
badge
Yes, I really am that awesome.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think to sum it up:
* Go on a not very busy night
* Make sure that most or all players buy plenty of food/drink
* tip well

As long as you follow these rules, very few bars/pubs will tell you not to come. If you see cheapskates coming and never buying any food or drink, or not tipping, don't be shy - tell them to buy stuff, make it clear they aren't welcome if they don't. Once the group as a whole doesn't bring in enough business, they won't be welcome, so it really is important that everybody "does their part." Some people will grouse, "grumble grumble grumble I'm not going to pay money just to come play games," well fine, they can play in somebody's living room where it's free. Commercial real estate costs money, the pub/bar is paying for the space they're taking up, the least they can do is have something more than a small soda.

My go club meets in a bookstore, but several people usually go to a bar down the street for drinks and casual games later in the evening. We follow the rules above, and they've always been happy to see us. They even let us store our "beater" go boards and go stones there so we don't have to haul our own equipment.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kirman
United Kingdom
Lincoln
Lincolnshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
knrodgers wrote:
I'm on the Wirral and have been looking for a local wargaming club. If you're looking for extra members I'd love to tag along, please send me a message with details.


For the benefit of future searchers, I'll put a bit of info here.
I *think* the Liverpool Wargames Association is the biggest wargame club in Liverpool. They do Wargames, Board games and Role Playing Games (it's a very popular RPG club, despite the name).
I'm not too into wargames, but I know they do mostly historical miniature wargames from various time periods. I don't think they do a lot of GW stuff, but they do play war boardgames like Paths of Glory, Napoleonic Wars, Successors and chums regularly on Thursday evenings.

Their website is at: http://www.lwaonline.org.uk/

They have their own premises off Dale St, with ample storage and table space, but you must pay membership dues (after 4 free visits).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
wmshub wrote:
I think to sum it up:
* Go on a not very busy night
* Make sure that most or all players buy plenty of food/drink
* tip well


I think that last one is location dependant. In the UK (and I guess a lot of Europe) tipping is not done in pubs. You occasionally offer the barman "and one for yourself" when you order drinks but that is it.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nigel Buckle
United Kingdom
Thornton Heath
Croydon
flag msg tools
designer
NSKN are publishing my next game :)
badge
Omega Centauri Published in 2014
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
andyl wrote:
wmshub wrote:
I think to sum it up:
* Go on a not very busy night
* Make sure that most or all players buy plenty of food/drink
* tip well


I think that last one is location dependant. In the UK (and I guess a lot of Europe) tipping is not done in pubs. You occasionally offer the barman "and one for yourself" when you order drinks but that is it.


Quite, but it works if you try it! Had a friend over from NYC, she'd always leave a pound coin for the bar-person when she bought drinks. Never EVER had a problem getting her order in, no matter how busy the bar, nor how long others had been waiting ...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bucklen_uk wrote:
andyl wrote:
wmshub wrote:
I think to sum it up:
* Go on a not very busy night
* Make sure that most or all players buy plenty of food/drink
* tip well


I think that last one is location dependant. In the UK (and I guess a lot of Europe) tipping is not done in pubs. You occasionally offer the barman "and one for yourself" when you order drinks but that is it.


Quite, but it works if you try it! Had a friend over from NYC, she'd always leave a pound coin for the bar-person when she bought drinks. Never EVER had a problem getting her order in, no matter how busy the bar, nor how long others had been waiting ...


Depends on the pub I guess. I know pubs where it wouldn't be seen so kindly. You may even be told to leave if you persist (I know a few pubs where that would be the attitude of the landlord). Also it may well depend on the person. What might work for an American woman (or even any tourist) might not work for someone who is a local.

Finally no-one should tip in a British pub lest it become seen as the norm.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Robinson
England
Bewdley
Confusion
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Brighton's good for gay minge in pubs apparently. Oh, sorry. My dyslexia's kicking in again.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.