Five New Year’s Resolutions To Make Board Gaming Better In 2019December 31, 2018
I dove into modern board games nearly four years ago and it’s been an amazing journey so far. I’ve met a ton of cool people at the tabletop, with a few becoming good friends, and I’ve played some memorable games over the years, from hilarious rounds of Happy Salmon to epic, all-day games of Twilight Imperium.
As I look back at my gaming year, it’s the interactions with my fellow gamers that I remember. Whether it’s with long-time hobbyists or new gamers, I’ve enjoyed every moment at the tabletop in 2018 and it’s this love of the hobby that I try to share every day of the year.
And in this spirit, I’d like to propose a few resolutions to improve our collective board gaming experience in 2019 and beyond.
Focus on Game Night Instead of Game-Learning Night
We all love playing the new hotness. But what about last year’s hot games sitting on your shelves? Why not play your games more than once or twice or thrice? Playing games your group already knows means less time spent setting up and learning the rules, faster game play time due to familiarity, and the chance to explore a game more thoroughly. Sure, the game itself may seem old with the constant release of new games, but the experience of having fun with your friends never gets old.
Spend Less Money on Board Games
If you’re like me, you don’t have a magic bank account that lets you back every cool Kickstarter and buy every deluxe version and every upgraded component kit out there. You can still play the latest titles, though, with your closest gaming buddies. If you play with the same people on a regular basis, then all of you don’t need every game since you only play one copy at a time. Coordinate with them and find out what you’re all buying, make sure nobody’s doubling up on games, and spread out your costs.
Cull Your Collection
Do you really need hundreds of board games? Are you really going to play all of them? I love the attitude of the Board Game Minimalist, who owns about 30 games and is constantly re-evaluating games to go in/out of his collection. When you’re deep in the hobby it’s not easy letting go, but why let your unplayed games gather dust on your shelves? Sell them or trade them for the hot new games you’re craving. Or why not donate them to a local school or library with a game club? It’s an easy and satisfying way to help others discover our hobby.
Become A Better Teacher
I’m always looking for ways to improve how I teach games. Obviously, it helps to actually read the rules and know the game before teaching it. This year, though, I’m going the extra mile to make games even more accessible: I’m printing player aids from BGG (or making my own) and I’m working on better examples to make learning games easier. Check out Farmer Lenny’s iSlaytheDragon.com article for tips on teaching games (full disclosure: I also write for iSlaytheDragon.com).
Stop the Gatekeeping
Yes, we know Monopoly and Munchkin aren’t for “serious” gamers. But so what? A lot of us entered the hobby through these games and others that are frowned upon. Like any other hobby or fandom, there’s inevitably those who are cooler-than-thou and will only accept you if you do/wear/play/think the same as them. Forget them. Play what you want, whether it’s Exploding Kittens, Telestrations, or whatever you have fun with. And instead of talking down to a would-be hobby gamer, why not show them other games they might like? Remember: one day they’re playing Munchkin, the next they may be joining your Gloomhaven campaign.