Running A Board Game Club (The Meta Game #11)

Join Chaz Marler for “The Meta Game”, a live streaming series not only talking about board games, but also talking about talking about board games.

This time, we’ll discuss some of the pros, cons and pitfalls of running a board game club. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session about the topic, and anything else that comes up.

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  • I just wanted to say thank you for this video. Something that I'm currently working on in my city is a board game club for the LGBTQA+ community and their friends, family members, and allies with support and possibly sponsorship from the local Pride organization. Your video has given me some really valuable insight into what I can expect and what I have to prepare for something like this to be successful, inclusive, and inviting. It's also given me some ideas about what I still have to do, where we could potentially host these events, and what kind of policies and etiquette practices we might have to consider moving forward. The thing that I'm still concerned about is where we are going to procure a games library or whether this is even necessary if we can rely on people to bring their own games, and what kind of volunteers we might need. I've also considered talking to a local cafe which has been known to host similar events to see about providing attendees with minor discounts since we are bring in guaranteed patronage and revenue for their business.

    Ashe Haigh July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • Couldn’t you host AND play games by doing this: have your flyers contain your contact info, but not a pinpointed day or time. You agree with the first responder the day and time, and base all other responses on that day and time. This way, only those who RSVP will be there, hence no random people coming in late. Would that work?

    2112dorf July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • I prefer to learn a new game using a video. Even better would be to have a player explain it to me. If more than 1 game is set up, and the members want me to teach them, who do I choose? Thanks

    2112dorf July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • I love your input on starting a club…thank you so much, will do the same soon and give you feedback as I journey.

    Aston Cain July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • Thanks for creating this video. I am planning a board game group at my church, and this has provided much food for thought before scheduling our first gathering, including the necessity of continued game nights at our home if I actually want to play. Keep up the good work!

    NICK Van DAM July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • Just starting a group in my small town/county. First meeting is tomorrow – can't wait to see how it goes. I used a Facebook group to organize the meeting since no one around here uses MeetUp, but a ton of them use FB to sell stuff. I cross-posted across local groups to get the group going. I'm hoping word of mouth will help grow the group. We don't have a game store anywhere nearby (2-3 hours for the closest one). I also posted to a statewide FB board game group and picked up a few members from there too.

    Robbert's Roost July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • We have a group (can't call it a club or even meetup) at work. It started naturally, because we've discovered modern board games and wanted to play them together. We didn't have any schedule. But i must agree that excitement drops over time. Recently it became very frustrating to be the only one caring about organizing game evenings and nobody else caring even to reply. It's really hard to organize casual players for such stuff and you start to think that maybe they just think they want to play games, but do not really want.

    wroot July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • An interesting show…thanks! I run a growing club in Bedford, England and relate to a LOT of what you said. I'll give a shout out to Community Centres for gaming space too. They can provide all the tables and chairs you need and other facilities such as a kitchen. Our members are happy to pay a small fee each week which covers the room hire and our meetup fees. It's only something that we can easily afford now that we consistently get 16 – 20 people each week. Prior to that we were often stuck for space in the corner of a local pub and had to compromise a lot on the games that we could play as they had to cater for larger numbers per game or take up minimal space. We also now don't have to worry about finishing a game before closing time. It used to be very difficult to get longer games in…we always had to get people to commit to them in advance so that they could be set up immediately rather than after a long discussion about what to play.

    Angela Simpson July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • Chaz, slightly unrelated question. Since your top 6 list of how to keep you deck of cards together, I started sleeving cards and paying way more attention than I should on how the game is stored inside the box. Taking extra care to reduce the signs of play done to a game. I know, games we play a lot and love need to show some signs of wear and tear, I don't mind those, nor do I mind people eating or drinking over my game.

    Oddly enough I noticed that my friends are more careful with a game in which the cards are sleeved (and the different tokens are in seperate tiny ziplock bags) than they are with the non-sleeved games. Double protection, couldn't be happier.
    The downside is that if I bring out a game to which I didn't apply protection, the game takes a little more play damage. Almost as if we are compensating for being nice to the sleeved game.

    How come? And should I start unsleeving cards until I've acquired enough protection to save all my games from harm? Or are there better ways to prevent additional damage?

    faramirtheranger July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • The wife & I have a large collection (200+) of really fun cool games but as we go through them we are discovering that some of them just don't play well with a two-player count. 🙁 Would that be a poor motivation for starting a (small) group?

    Silver Fang July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • We are running a club in Buenos Aires Argentina and this video helped us a lot to confirm that we are moving in the right direction even if the culture and context is different. Thanks a lot!

    Conexión Berlín Juegos July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • Wish I could have stayed for all of this one. The joke of jokes is that the meeting I had to go to was cancelled and I didn't learn about it until I got there. Ugh! Oh well. 🙂 Next time! Great show, as always, Chaz! 😀

    KabukiKid July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • You mention at 13:55 that you'd include a list of videos for building a game group from boardgame breakfast in the description. Could you please include that list? I can't seem to find the videos you mention.

    Justin Oei July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • And somehow Erics game choosing games always pick Merchant of Venus …. wierd….

    Jesse Shamber July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply
  • This is great. I enjoy this series a LOT!

    I live in Northern Alberta; not many gamers. I started a club at the local library. My primary advertising is through Facebook, the surrounding Hamlets all have pages, so posting on them has great reach.

    On average I have 4-10 people show up from an online member count of 66.

    We now have 4 days a month. Fantastic fun.

    Sorry for the life story. Lol.

    Great work, Chaz. Keep it up.

    Frank Zed July 26, 2020 8:20 am Reply

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