Now that you have the basics of running a games night down we can focus on cool little details that will be sure to bring you more guests than you have space for. By now you should have a firm grasp of Where to have your games night, who to invite and what games to play, now we will focus on some creative ideas.
The main idea of this guide is to give you ideas for how to make your Games Night epic. If your games night is more than just a games night it will have people coming back to play, inviting their friends to come with and most importantly it will have people talking about your games night other then when they are at your games night. This is important because it will cause your potential gamers to get excited and look forward to your games night.
What can you snack on?
Most people who shell out 40-80$ for a brand new board game don't want greasy fingers and crumbs all over their new cards, chits and boards, so what can we eat that will not cause these problems?
Strawberries and Cream Pinwheels
Maple Glazed Bacon Wrapped Apricots
Garlic Ginger and Chili Shrimp
Donut Fruit Kabob
Most games out there have a clear winner or at least a winning side, even with the growing popularity of Cooperative games most people enjoy competition as long as it doesn't get rude or too personal. Getting your guests into some deeper competition will get them more involved in the game, if you guys have an awesome game session and its all everyone can talk about for the next few days, they will want to come back to your next games night. Here are some easy ways to encourage friendly competition.
If your gaming group LIKES competition:
> Pick what game you are going to play ahead of time and notify anyone who might attend your games night
> Create a trophy, pick one up from the dollar store and turn it into a trophy themed to the game you chose
> Take pictures of the winner holding the trophy and post it on the internet, if you have your games night friends on facebook put it there, if they are on BGG a lot put it there, somewhere where they will see it, be reminded of the epicness and make them want to return.
If your gaming group generally AVOIDS competition: And likes cooperative games
> Pick a cooperative game and let everyone that could be coming know that you will be playing this game at your next meetup.
> Create a group trophy or plaque that is again themed to the game you chose use phrases like "We Survived" etc. make sure it acknowledges the entire group for accomplishing a task as a TEAM.
> Photograph and again post it where your friends and their friends will see the trophy or plaque, this goes a long way to make your games night epic.
If your gaming group generally AVOIDS competition: And DISLIKES cooperative games
> Do not notify your group of what game you are playing ahead of time, but try to get a hold of titles they haven't played, this doesnt mean you have to go and buy a pile of obscure games every month, but most people with a games collection have a couple titles that are far from the beaten path, borrow some of these.
> When your group makes it through this new game that hopefully none or only 1 of them has tried before reward everyone with something that everyone likes, its important to not leave anyone out so find out what kind of deserts or beer they like ahead of time.
> While you enjoy your well earned reward discuss this game, because its one that not everyone has played to death they should have lots to say about it, pay close attention to what everyone is saying and write a 'session' that includes the general feel for the game as well as the winner's and the last placed player's opinions of the game. Post this on BGG and encourage the players to discuss it further and get everyone thinking about how awesome the games night was
Have Theme Nights: This can be anything you decide, you could have a worker placement night, maybe you decide you want a Game of Thrones night, play the Board Game, watch a couple episodes of the HBO Series and then finish up with a round of the LCG. Perhaps you want a Sci-Fi theme and play a mix of card and board games, whatever you decide theme nights are really cool and people who come to your games night will love them.
Do something other than just play board games:
Although your main focus of a board gaming night is to play board games, you want a way to connect and interact with your 'attendees' other than just board games. Find out what other interests you all have in common, perhaps you all like Paintball? Camping? Music? Sports? Movies? Beer? Create a closer connection between members of your games night other than just board games, this will make them less likely to bail on your games night for other plans.
If your best friend has to go on a date with his girlfriend, or maybe his friend is down from out of town for the weekend or he has to help his brother move a new couch into his apartment, chances are your friend isn't going to make it to games night. How do you get around this? Keep your event open invitation, anyone can come as long as they let you know ahead of time. You will get some extra players and you will lose less people to other commitments.