How to run a great games night and make it inclusive and supportive of well being and neurodiversity

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:

1) Advertise, find your players but clearly set expectations of the kind of games being played but also cover the administration.
a. Where, when, what food and drink is available what is the cost?
2) Take requests for games and ask if people are bringing games to teach.
3) Send out rules videos or lists of the games being played so people can research
4) Include photos of the venue and gaming space.
5) Provide a second private channel for information and feedback. (Messenger) to answer questions before the event

Step two: The night

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)
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.

Happy gaming!

This is work in progress so I’d love any feedback or comments.

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The Dell House 101 guide to Modern Board Games

Kevin has written a great guide over on The Dell House website describing modern games. Dell Con is a residential games weekend in Malvern run several times a year. Well worth checking out, they even do day tickets for ‘locals’.


Where to start?

It is remarkably difficult to convey the ‘idea’ of modern board games.

If I were to say the word “car” you’d picture something from the last ten years, yes? Reasonably fuel-efficient, comfortable, good brakes, maybe even ABS and SatNav.

If I were to say the word “boardgames” I’d wager that you’re now thinking of games from the time when cars had starting handles, bench seats and pop-up indicators. Consider the modern Fiat 500 and the 1930’s Austin 7. The Fiat is a small runabout car, it has a wheel at each corner, steering wheel, brakes, lights, seats. It gets you from A to B. In this sense the Fiat and Austin are the ‘same’ but I doubt you think of them as the same thing at all.

An Austin 7 car


For the rest of the article please go to The Dell House web site http://www.thedellhouse.co.uk/boardgames101.html

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Next steps from Monopoly and classic games

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)

    Qwirkle: Like scrabbly but with colours and shapes very accessible.
  • 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)

    Skull: Amazing tense bluffing game.
  • Angry Birds; Dexterity/ Destroying things) why not try, Pitch Car (£40) or Terror in Meeple City (£40)
  • Tetris: Spatial, Why not try Blokus (£25)
  • Connect 4; Paths / Blocking why not try Tsuro (£25) or Ingenious (£25)
  • Charades; Describing, Why not try Concept (£20)
  • Yahtzee; Dice rolling, why not try King of Tokyo (£22), King of New York (£30) or Roll for the Galaxy (£40)

    King of Tokyo: Yahtzee means Godzilla, with amazing art and power cards to add to replayability.
  • Pit; why not try Happy Salmon (£15) or Ligretto (£10)
  • Rummy: Cards set collection, why not try Sushi Go party! (£20)
  • Poker;  bluffing why not try Coup (£15), or Bang the dice game (£15)
  • Jenga; Dexterity, why not try Bausack (£40) or Rhino Hero (£10)

    Rhino Hero. Stacking game like jenga but super portable.
  • Werewolf; traitor / bluffing, Why not try, One Night Ultimate Werewolf (£20) or Coup (£15),
  • Uno; sets, why not try, category 5 / 6 nimmit (£10)
  • Pictionary; Drawing, why not try Telestrations (£25) or Pictomania (£40)

    Telestrations: Amazingly fun drawing and guessing game
  • 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)

    Time Line Various editions: Putting things into chronological order, a lot more fun and harder than you think.
  • 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

Prices are approximate and were updated 27/03/17

Orginal Post here http://herefordshireboardgamers.co.uk/what/next-steps-from-classic-games/

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Top pub games part 2

Whilst researching I had loads of good advice and recommendations. Picking the top 10 was a real challenge.

Pub Starter kit: Codenames, Penguin Trap, Perudo, Zombie Dice and Rainbow Rage

Here is a list of the contenders!

Social / large group games
Resistance, Coup, Dixit, Wits and Wagers, In a bind, Times up, Fake artist goes to new York, Snake oil, Secret Hitler, Man Bites Dog, Perudo (liars dice)

Two player quick games
Hive,  Patchwork

Two to four player quick games
Blokus, Hey that’s my fish, Quirke

Two to five player quick games
No thanks, Sushi Go party, Exploding kittens

Two to six+ player games
Fluxx (Pick a theme), Bannagrams, Cockroach Poker, Pickomino, Saboteur, Cock and bull, Pickomino,

Meatier games
Splendor, Ticket to ride, Carcassonne, camel up

Rude games
Joking hazard, Cards against humanity.

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Top pub / cafe games (Or the Pub game shelf starter kit)

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.

  1. 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
    Dobble: Fun snap style game,

     

  2. 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

    Rhino Hero. Stacking game like jenga but super portable.
  3. Penguin Trap: 2+ player, quick dexterity game, simple yet suspenseful. Great fun to watch. Ebay under £10

    Penguin Trap: Silly fun, knock off the ice block who ever makes the Penguin crash looses.
  4. Codenames: 4- 12 players. A very clever yet simple social word game, good for audience participation too, one of our favourites. Under £15

    Codenames: Simple but clever word guessing game.
  5. 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

    Time Line Various editions: Putting things into chronological order, a lot more fun and harder than you think.
  6. Love Letter (Original or a theme i.e. Archer or Batman): 2-4 player light card game quick and fun. Under £10

    Love Letter: Original and Archer Theme: Simple quick 2 to 4 player game.
  7. Zombie Dice or Martian Dice: 2+ players. Push your luck quick and simple dice game Under £15

    Zombie Dice: Push your luck dice game, collection those brains but don’t be shot.

     

  8. 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

    Skull: Amazing tense bluffing game.

     

  9. 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

    Telestrations: Amazingly fun drawing and guessing game

     

  10. Qwirkle: 2-5 players Simple strategy game  like scrabble but with shapes, bright, simple and attractive Under £17

    Qwirkle: Like scrabbly but with colours and shapes very accessible.

     

Honourable mention:

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

King of Tokyo: Yahtzee means Godzilla, with amazing art and power cards to add to replayability.

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!

The list again:

  1. Dobble (Beach):  . Under £15
  2. Rhino Hero:  Under £10
  3. Penguin Trap:  under £10
  4. Codenames: Under £15
  5. Timeline: Under £15
  6. Love Letter (Original or a theme i.e. Archer or Batman): . Under £10
  7. Zombie Dice or Martian Dice:  Under £15
  8. Skull:  Under £15
  9. Telestrations: Under £25
  10. Qwirkle:  Under £17
    King of Tokyo: . Under £25

The list of games which didn’t make the cut at here in part two.

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