Article: Advice for new gamers

Self confessed board gaming newbie Millie, welcomes you to the fantastic world of board games, and offers some friendly advice. So grab a seat, a cup of something refreshing, and join her for this quick introduction.

Welcome to Board Gaming. You’ll NEVER leave.

So as the self confessed n00b to serious Board Gaming, it’s only right that I extend a welcoming hand to others joining in this wonderful hobby.

First things first, there are no rules to being a Board Gamer, there are rules for the games, yes. And I confess some games rules want to make me cry, but even if you play once a month or 5 times a day, if you say you’re a gamer, then you are, welcome to the club!

So now you’ve gotten that out the way, lets talk about where to start.

Here’s where I could go onto explain the different types of games. (What is Ameritrash? Do I really need to wear purple pants?) But I’m no expert on that, and I think the definitions of all these things are blurring with every new game, it would soon be out of date, instead here are my three top tips for fellow newbies to Board Games;

1) Don’t follow the “Rules” if you don’t want to.official rules icon

I’m not talking about the rules to individual games here, you need to follow them, I’m talking about the “rules of a new hobby.”

If we were starting swimming, I’d suggest you start with the shallow pool & work up, ect. But we’re Board Gamers, I think we can handle jumping in the deep end, if we want too.

The group of people I regularly game with started with the Battlestar Galactica game, we didn’t know this was an “advanced game” we just knew we all loved BSG and thought it would be great fun. Yeah, we got some of the rules wrong (and in one game it went VERY wrong, have you listened to the podcasts yet?) but we went into the game with every intention of having fun, and we did. If you see a game you think looks fun, and will appeal to your friends, it probably will, don’t worry about starting with an “introductory” game, or if a “complex” game is too complex for you. We Board Gamers are an intelligent bunch, remember you’re one of us now, and we can handle complex from the get go, if we want to.

2) Don’t be a Board Game snob.arsenal monopoly

Ok, yes, there are bad games out there, *cough* Monopoly *cough*

(I hate it, I can’t fathom why you’d want to just go round and round the board and then make your friends cry and divorce your husband after 4 hours and even then you’re still no closer to a winner, even the Star Wars version is bad. But it all boils down to my opinion, the fact that the above mentioned husband really wants to play Arsenal Monopoly, shouldn’t be held against him, he does play good games too.)

Yes there are bad games, but it all boils down to opinion, never refuse to play a game, even just once, and go in with an open mind. (Yes, I admit, there was that one time when I actually enjoyed Arsenal Monopoly.) Just think, if you play THAT game, then at least 2 things will happen; you could actually enjoy it, &/or you can use this instance as a reason for your game group to try something they’re not overly keen on.

3) Get social.

This is a 2 parter, I know I’m breaking the rules of 3 top tips. (Or am I cheating?)

Friendly Local Games Shop

Get social, head down to your #FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) I know some of them are far away. I know it’s going to be weird the first time you go and play there. I know. I know. But I promise it’ll be worth it. You’ll get to play new games you don’t own, so if you’re really not sure if it’s worth the £40 price tag, you can see. You’ll get to ask “if I like Monopoly what else might I like?” and meet other people who might play that game and enjoy it with you, and show you other games you’d like to play, that you’ve never heard of. They may even have information about a local gaming group, and then there’ll be even MOAR people to game with, and they’ll have games you don’t and there’ll be enough people to play Avalon with and you might have a full game of Battlestar were someone is a Cylon. (Seriously, have you listened to the podcast?)

Social Media SitesGet social, get online, get on Twitter, get on Facebook, get on YouTube, even G+, read blogs and yes, listen to podcasts. The Board Gaming Community is all over the internets, and we’re here for you, after all you’re one of us now! And comment on the blogs, and tweet the other Board Gamers, and join the Facebook & G+ groups and post photos of your game night on Instagram, make the world see how awesome we are, soon they will be one of us!

So there’s my top three tips for us n00bs, soon we won’t be newbies at this stuff and we’ll be giving Robin a run for his money on Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island, and telling everyone about the SWEET game we found on Kickstarter, and when you’re at the #FLGS and someone asks what games are like Aresnal Monopoly, remember you once stood in their possition, and teach them something they’ll like, and welcome them to Board Gaming, they’ll never leave.