This is going to be a short column because it’s the beginning of the school year and things have been crazier than normal at the day job. Campus is crowded, especially the cafeteria, and gaming room has gotten cramped again. I’ve been playing a bunch of old favorites because of the space issue.
Most of my columns have been about games I’ve enjoyed playing at lunch, quick or not so quick games that don’t take up a lot of room, like Parade and Tides of Madness, and I can get a couple of hands in with my lunch buddy. Or Duel for 2, where we spread out a little more and get a forty minute game in. We can play quick because we know the rules and neither one of us needs to agonize over a decision in a game. It’s not life and death, it’s a break in the middle of a hectic workday. Game nights are for games which involve a lot more strategy and more players. Again, not it a crowd who are too cutthroat in playing or ones who have to run though every move option on their turn, slowing down the game to a crawl. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened to me in decades.
Games nights are something my friends and I are getting back into. They aren’t as limited as a role playing game, when you usually need most of your party to show up to get anything done. There had been RPGs I’ve been involved in when the players could only meet every couple of months. Those campaigns took years to finish.
My friends and I are all too over scheduled to do something on a week night with family and work obligations, so we’ve decided to get together once a month on a Saturday night. The hosting duties rotate among the group. Except for me, because no one wants to deal with my cats or the amount of fur they generate. Besides, the cats get annoyed if we don’t allow them to play with the pieces, any pieces, by knocking them off the table.
We’ve decided to meet once a month, and whoever can come, does. It’s the same weekend night every month, because then we can start to plan around those nights. The amount of people usually dictates what games we play, because some, like London, are limited to four players. Others, like Duel or Santa Clause, only work well if you have a group above five playing.
To make this arrangement work, you need to have someone who is willing to host, with room for everyone so you’re not perched around a tea table balancing your extra pieces on your knee. A sturdy table, like a dining room table is great. You also need to stick to the schedule you’ve decided on and not expect everyone you want to show up for a game, do so. I know I’ve missed a number of game nights because of my travel schedule.
But what if you don’t have a group of friends who are interested in board games? There are a couple of other ways you can get your game on. Cafes and bars are starting to have board game nights, where you can have a beverage and get to know some people over colonizing Mars or conquering the world. You can bring your own games or there are usually some the place has invested in. This is also a chance to try out a game you were interested in, but didn’t know enough about to see if you really wanted to buy it. Game nights have gotten so popular in some areas, you can go to a different place every night of the week. Libraries in some areas are also having game nights too, because libraries are more than just books.
So game nights are almost as important as the game. You need to have people to play all the cool and interesting games you’ve picked up over the years. The hardest part about it, is organizing your friends and keeping up meeting regularly, until it becomes a habit.
Felicitas is a frazzled help-desk tech at a university in Boston who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats who wish she would pay more attention to them, and not sit at a computer pounding on the keyboard. They get back at her by hogging most of the bed at night and demanding her attention during the rare times she watches TV or movies. She’s protected by her guardian stuffed Minotaur, Angenor, who was given to her by her husband, Mark. Angenor travels everywhere with her, because Felicitas’s family doesn’t think she should travel by her lonesome. They worry she gets distracted and lost too easily. Felicitas doesn’t think of it a getting lost, more like having an adventure with a frustrated GPS.
Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hordes of books, which still threaten to take over her house, even with e-books. Between writing and knitting, she brews beer, wine, mead, and flavored liqueurs. Felicitas also bakes, making cakes whenever she needs to work out an issue in her novels. Sometimes this leads to a lot of cakes. Her coworkers appreciate them, though, with the student workers buzzing about on a sugar high most of the time.
Felicitas writes urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her writing, with a happily-ever-after.
Facebook: Felicitas Ivey