Board game reviews, news and commentary.
My Game Group Hates My Favorite Games!
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Tuesday, Dec 1, 2015

Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here, and my previously scheduled segment - games to play while analyzing capital communication policies - will have to wait, because I received a question! (It’s Whacky Wit, by the way.)

A viewer writes,

“I'm struggling, because the group of friends that I game with only want to play UNO, Apples to Apples, and Dominoes. I no longer enjoy these games, but I try to have fun, because I'm there for the people, not just the games. They’re intimidated by games like Dominion, Dixit, Ticket to Ride, etc. But recently, everyone agreed to play Risk: Legacy! But then, midway through our first game, they lost interest. I'm at a loss. Should I continue trying to set an example by playing games I'm sick of? I can't seem to find a balance. What do you think?”

I think that’s actually a pretty heavy question, so I hope I can do it justice. As I’ve pondered this, several ideas have come to mind:

First, if your friends try another game that they're intimidated by, you could try playing it with a shorter end trigger the first time. For example, set the goal in Dominion to fewer victory points. Last year, I introduced Bootleggers to my game group, and before it even started, I began to see people's eyes glaze over in intimidation. So, we played a game of six rounds, instead of the usual twelve. It helped, because it was enough time for everyone to get a feel for the game, but short enough that those who weren't into it could see an end point, so they hung in there easier.

Second, you mentioned that they lost interest. Try asking them specifically what about the game made them lose it. Maybe there's a similar game that still provides the same atmosphere, but with a different enough approach, that it can be enjoyed by everyone. For example, I dislike "Bang!" because its icons are confusing and it has player elimination. But I really like "Samurai Sword", which uses the same Bang! "engine", but has simpler icons and no player elimination, so everyone gets to play the entire game.

Finally, it sounds like your situation calls for mutual communication, respect and experimentation. Maybe have everyone list five games they'd like to play on slips of paper, put them in a hat, and randomly draw and play one. Then, have the group discuss what they liked and disliked about it. Then continue until every game someone submitted has been played. This can help introduce new games people never would have tried otherwise; some of which they (hopefully) discover they really like.

Well, I hope this helps. And if any viewers out there have any additional suggestions for Adam, I invite you to post them in the comments below. Take care, and good luck with your gaming group!
Share this article:

Help support Season 3!