There is no perfect answer to this but the following tips, should create a welcome friendly environment. Everyone likes to know the lie of the land, the basic rules and what to expect but more so if you have anxiety, autistic tendencies or a number of other issues.
So double check and make sure everything is clear even down to signage and drinks options. Set and manage expectations
Step one: Prepare: Advertise and set expectations
1) Advertise, find your players but clearly set expectations of the kind of games being played, what games are provided, are their teachers?
2) Is there a cost to the event
2). Where, when, what food and drink is available what is the cost?
3) Take requests for games and ask if people are bringing games to teach.
4) Send out rules videos or lists of the games being played so people can research
5) Include photos of the venue and gaming space. including accessibility information, stairs, lifts disabled toilets
6) Provide a map to the venue including parking information
7) Provide a second private channel for information and feedback. (Messenger) to answer questions before the event
8) Provide photos of the organizers
9) Provide photos of previous events to help set expectations.
Step two: The night: Ensure a friendly welcome atmosphere
1) Ensure the venue is well signed so you are easy to find. I include A4 laminated signed the whole way
2) Friendly greeter to welcome all guests to assign them to an appropriate game and game teacher.
3) An appropriate game is dependent on the gamer but be aware of:
a. overly competitive games,
b. overall complex games for new games.
c. games which are too extrovert or social and / or involve lying and bluffing.
d. Game which rules change too much, having known and controlled rules can be more comfortable.
4) The game teacher should be patient but also enthusiastic and welcoming
5) Ensure the venue has appropriate lighting,
6) Enough space between the gaming tables.
7) Control the noise including reducing or eliminating background music (Provide space between games helps with this, we also separate the louder social games and the more thoughtful euro games).
8) Be patient and tolerant, gamers with additional needs may be harder to please, may not react to social cues.
9) Ensure staff are identifiable. (Even having a different colour lanyard or badge would do)
10) Name stickers or name tags for all guests removes the pressure of asking or remembering names.
11) Provide a quiet or quieter space for people to unwind or decompress.
12) Include a flag or player match making system to make finding gamers easier if you don’t have an active host arranging this.
Step three: The growth
1) Grow and nurture the culture to be friendly, inclusive and welcoming.
2) Ask for feedback
3) Allow volunteers to step up and be involved. (Ownership of tasks and feeling of belonging)
4) Do not take rejection personally, even with perfect planning you cannot please everyone. Doubly so if people have additional issues.
This is not a once size fits all guide everyone is different and i am a gamer with an interest in inclusivity and making sure everyone has a good time not a medical professional. Hopefully these tips will help, they are mostly obvious.
It is also worth considering, players with vision issues including colour blindness, picking game carefully, marking up components, swapping components out or just helping to read public or open text.
This is work in progress so I’d love any feedback or comments.
This isn’t a full review, just a few thoughts and lots of picture of building some inserts. Basically Wooden make fine accessories for board games and you can buy them pre build or DIY
The build process was quite easy, only one part was fiddly and took a few attempts, it took a whole ball of elastic bands and best part of a bottle of PVA glue.
Once built they make organising, sorting and getting the game to the table much quicker. The Scythe insert is brilliant. The village insert isn’t quite as polished but still makes getting the game on the table a breeze, but this an early Basically Wooden insert and it shows how much the company and product has matured. They are active and listen to the community, we are lucky to have them in the county
A quick gallery of the build process for the Inserts / game tidies. You can buy them complete or DIY. This is for Scythe…
If you haven’t played any new board games for a while and not sure where to begin, look no further. We’ve listed similar games to all of the major classics. We’ve tried to list games which are available to buy and should feel familiar yet exciting by highlighting a key aspect similar to the classic game.
Modern board games have come on a huge way in the last 20 years. Give it a try and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. This list is also subjective. There are many thousands of awesome games out there so if you have a better suggestion do let us know.
Monopoly; Set collection, why not try Ticket to Ride Europe (£30) or Power Grid (£30)
Monopoly: Getting rich, why not try Lords of Vegas (£40)
Monopoly: Building / Making things why not try Suburbia (£45)
Risk; WAR! why not try, Small World (£35) or Blood rage (£55)
Chess; Two player abstract why not try Hive (£20), or Santorini (£50) or The Duke (£30)
Other roll the dice to move game, Why not try Jamaica (£30)
Scrabble; Spelling, why not try, Upwords (£15) or Qwirkle (£20)
Cluedo /Clue; Who dunnit? why not try, Mysterium(£30) or Love letter (Various themes including Batman, Archer) (£10) or Mystery at the Abbey (£35)
Liars Dice; bluffing, why not try, Coup (£15) or Skull (£15)
Angry Birds; Dexterity/ Destroying things) why not try, Pitch Car(£40) or Terror in Meeple City (£40)
Pictionary; Drawing, why not try Telestrations(£25) or Pictomania (£40)
Cranium; party, why not try Telestrations (£25),Dixit (£25) or Pictomania (£40)
Trivial Pursuits; General Knowledge, why not try Wits and Wagers(£30) or Timeline (Various versions and themes) (£15)
Scotland Yard; Hidden Movement, why not try Letters from Whitechapel (£40) or Specter Ops (£40)
Magic the Gathering; Clever card combos, why not try 7 Wonders (£30) or Evolution (£30) or Seasons (£40)
Finally did you know it is possible to play cooperatively. You and your friends or family against the game. It is not as easy as it sounds and is a great way to play with a mixed skill or age group. Sound interesting? Why not try Pandemic, or Flash Point: Fire Rescue?
A lot of these games have excellent app (iPhone / Android) implementations or can be played online at sites like Boardgamearena.com
Pubs and cafes are a great place to play games and over the coming months I plan to list the best pubs in the area to rock up, play games. Having a game shelf in a pub is becoming cool but with so many games out there where do you begin? (particularly if you are not hugely into gaming).
So here is Herefordshire Board Gamers Top 10 ultimate pub game starter kit.
This doesn’t include ‘the classics’; chess, dice / Yahtzee, cards, dominos, draughts and Jenga.
These games are all reasonably cheap to buy, are tough enough to survive abuse, including losing the odd piece and punch well above their weight for fun. A lot of these have a good ‘wow factor’ and are great to watch.
Prices correct 23/05/17 and will link you to a price comparison site.
Dobble (Beach): Super simple dexterity game, good with 2-8. The beach version is hardier and waterproof, think snap but meaner and funnier! . Under £15
Rhino Hero: 2+ players simply funny and great to watch stacking dexterity game, very visual as you try and build a skyscraper with cards. Under £10
Penguin Trap: 2+ player, quick dexterity game, simple yet suspenseful. Great fun to watch. Ebay under £10
Codenames: 4- 12 players. A very clever yet simple social word game, good for audience participation too, one of our favourites. Under £15
Timeline: 2+ players A simple trivia game about putting things in the right chronological order, much trickier than it looks, when were glasses invited anyway???. Under £15
Love Letter (Original or a theme i.e. Archer or Batman): 2-4 player light card game quick and fun. Under £10
Zombie Dice or Martian Dice: 2+ players.Push your luck quick and simple dice game Under £15
Skull: 3-6 players, bluffing game , simple and clever game but with lots of replayability (this can be played with a deck of cards too). Under £15
Telestrations: 4-8 players. Drawing, party / social game for ,chinese whispers in drawing form. One of the clubs most played games along with Codenames. Under £25
Qwirkle: 2-5 players Simple strategy game like scrabble but with shapes, bright, simple and attractive Under £17
King of Tokyo: Dice rolling, group game, based on a familiar Yahtzee style game but with more depth, beautiful and clever cards give the game depper strategy. Under £25
This list would also be great or cafes, community groups, schools, or other shared spaces looking for a new activity.
If you have a better or different list please let us know!