Let me start this by saying there are lots of different ways people choose games and these are some of the things I like to consider when I am picking a board game for my game nights.

I love Hosting a Weekly Board Game Night. 

Doing this is one of the most enjoyable things I routinely do; however, after doing this for a few years, one thing I have learnt.

Is that Analysis Paralysis is not a myth but a genuine thing for a lot of gamers.

Whether you have ten games or over a hundred, the decision can be daunting and may end up being the key to a successful or unsuccessful evening. 

The stakes are high for picking the right games because for those new to the hobby, the difference between a good or bad experience is important. 

This could be the difference in them choosing to try more games or deciding they want to play something else instead. 

The challenge of trying to work out the games you and your friends should play that week because of this can be both paralysing and complicated. This pressure often leaves one person to make the discussion usually hoping they get it right.

Well, I understand your pain, so I have worked hard to put together some Essential Tips to help you choose your next board game night game.

With these tips, I hope that you will feel more empowered to choose and hopefully your next game will be a hit with your friends and family. 

Knowing How Many Players to Expect

With so many gaming options, one of the best ways to select an appropriate game is to know how many people you are expecting. Most board games allow around four players, but this does not mean they are the perfect choice for a two-player group. 

For Example, if you wanted to play 7 wonders with two players, it would be a much better option to play 7 wounder duel then the traditional 7 wounders game. 

Both versions of the game supports two players, and the gameplay of the core game would not be affected by only having two players.

However, 7 Wonders Duel is designed with two players in mind making it a much better experience for that player count.

The same goes if you are trying to accommodate a large group of players. Games like scythe increase their player count with expansions and can allow you to support seven players. 

However, this is a long strategic game, so you may find yourself playing it for a long time and players may become disengaged because of this.

In this case, playing a party game like Spyfall or the Resistance may be better suited for this player count as the turns are short keeping the audience engaged. 

Whatever you decide to do, you should keep the player count in mind and select games that work well with the number of players you are expecting.

 I recommend choosing a bunch of games that fit well with your player count and putting them on the table before you start and then pick the games together as a group. 

(don’t have too many options however or you may end up spending all night trying to choose) 

What’s the Players Gaming History  

Now I am not expecting a database of every game they have ever played but

If your players are expecting a copy of monopoly and you bring out a copy of twilight imperium, they may be in shock. 

This is why having a rough idea of a players board game history can be a valuable tool. 

Asking your group questions like what board games have you played before help aid you to select games with mechanics that people have experienced before. 

If they have played monopoly, then how about trying another game with a set collecting mechanic like Ticket to ride? 

They are both very different games but having a common link can make players feel comfortable with trying something new.

Being able to say something like you are collecting cards and then placing trains kind of like you do with monopoly when you place houses.

These statements and illustrations allow players to link the experience of games they have played before with the new board game using the mechanics, making learning new games easier each time as they learn more and more mechanics from each new game they play.

An Example of this is Sushi Go that is a Gateway game to 7 Wonders because they share the Pick & Pass Mechani.

Most games grow in complexity as more and more Mechanics are added so if you can learn these first, it makes tackling these games less of a challenge.

How Long do you Have to Play 

Finally knowing how long you have to play is a critical element in picking the right game. If you only have a couple of hours id recommend not picking something that goes for 90min its as simple as that.

One thing to keep in mind concerning this is the playtime on the box usually does not take into account the extra time you will need to learn a new game. 

Keep this in mind as a game may take 30min more to play for the first time due to players needing to take extra time to learn rules or analyse the board trying to work out what to do next.

You also want to allow a few minutes just to go over the rules in a quick recap this makes sure everybody is on the same page as games sometimes get taught incorrectly and players then continue on thinking that’s how the game is meant to be played.

A classic case of this has made headlines and had to do with Uno with players thinking they could stack draw cards this rule is not in the rulebook however players all over the globe have been taught this way for generations leaving it to become status quo.

What do you think

Let us know what your tips and tricks for picking the right board game are in the comments below i hope this has been helpful and you might consider some of these next time you choose a game.

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