How to decide what to play in the Board Room.
I sometimes get asked about the Board Room and with the sheer amount of choice of games, just how I do decide what I want to play? There is no one answer here and ultimately as long as you have fun, you are doing it right. But for those who maybe want to explore all the library has to offer, just how exactly is it best to go about it?
The first decision is what are you looking to play? A new game that will take most of the session, a mix of new games and games you know or just a bunch of games you just love to play?
If it is the last choice, then play on! We have over 200 games available so there is likely a good amount of games you have played and just love playing every time.
If it is the first two, then I am always on hand to help teach new games. Come get me and I'll happily sit down and help set up and sit in the first couple of rounds to help you settle.
But for a general plan, I would recommend a mix between longer and shorter games (or 'filler' games) as well as games you already know and others you don't. Starting on a game you haven't played before is perhaps the best way to kick off the session. That way you can at least try out one or two games that you wanted to play rather than trying something new at 9pm and not getting past the first couple of turns before the end of the night. That first playthrough of a new game will be much longer than subsequent plays and you ideally want to get the most out of this new game. Depending on the game, this could take anywhere up to 2 hours. Some of the longer games are typically around 1-1 1/2 hours by themselves so for the first time you can realistically look at around 2 hours. Our shorter games take anywhere from 20-40 minutes so maybe no more than an hour for your first playthrough on these so you will likely get in a couple of these in the same time as a larger, longer game. Remember that these first playthroughs will include reading through the rulebook, setting up, going back to check the rules, adjusting the set up, more referencing the rulebook, etc., etc.
Now after your first new game, do you want to keep on trying something new?
Maybe a smaller game that takes no more than 30-40 minutes. These games are generally lighter on rules so you can dive in and just play, but still have a level of satisfaction that will likely have you wanting to play it again straight away or, at least, play again on your next visit. You can probably get a couple of these games in inside 1-1 1/2 hours.
If it is a larger game (or 'heavier' game) then it is likely that this might be the only other game you will be playing in your session (based on an average session of 4 hours).
Or, maybe after a couple of new games, you just want to settle down with a favourite or two. Crack on! We have a diverse mix of games in the library so it is very likely we have at least some games you will have played before.
So now we enter the last hour or so of your games session. Here I would recommend playing something you know or maybe using the time for some of the party games in the library, such as Snakesss, The Chameleon, Scrawl, Obama Llama to name but a few. These games are typically very light on rules, often on one page, and very straightforward and easy to set up. Most of these take 20 minutes or less to play and make for a great way to end your gaming session on a high note and leaving you in good spirits after a few hours playing games.
Ultimately though, as I said at the start of this, there is no one way to enjoy the board games library and sometimes you might only be visiting for a couple of hours so that will change your expectations of your visit. But if you are looking for a way to fully immerse yourself in these games, the above may be some help to you, but is by no means a hard and fast rule. And, of course, I am always happy to sit down and help out when you need it. There are always new games being added to the library each month and I endeavour to include a mix of different styles of games to provide you with as much choice as possible.