Board Games Don’t Have To Feel Daunting For Newbies

Posted in Lifestyle
Games Expo 2

For a lot of people board games consist of monopoly and trivial pursuit and probably come out at Christmas when the family argues about who will be the dog and who will be the thimble. Board games are so much more than that though. Until about seven month’s ago my board gaming experience was limited to the family friendly ones, that’s until I met my other half who was immersed with his friends in the world of board gaming. They played loads, and I hadn’t heard of a single one of them, but what’s the best way to find out if you like something? Give it a go. And while I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed to the level that they are (they’d play most nights if they could) I thoroughly enjoy them and it’s nice to use your brain and experience new worlds.

Last month I headed along to the UK Games Expo at the Birmingham NEC to really see what the world’s about and it’s mad how much the industry has grown just in the past two years. Two years’ ago the full expo was held in just a few rooms in the Hilton Hotel and now it spreads across the main hall at the Birmingham NEC and multiple game’s rooms in the Hilton. Testament that the board gaming community is strong, and I definitely think it’s widening. In the past year alone I’ve discovered multiple board game cafes which have opened and are always seemingly busy.

Mansions of madness

I have to admit whenever I play a new game I worry that I won’t understand how to play as some are very complicated if anyone’s played Battlestar Galactica tell me it isn’t me who was confused the first time I played?! But the great thing is you’re playing for fun with friends, and while some people might get competitive you’re playing for an experience. At the UK Games Expo one of the great things you can do is try out the games because let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to shell out anything up to about £80 if you don’t know whether you’ll enjoy the game.

As I only went to the Games Expo on the final of the three days, the others I was with had sussed out which game they wanted to play which was always super busy whenever they had been past; Mansions of Madness. So this is where we headed at around 9.45am when the doors first opened. Just over two hours later we had finished playing (albeit having lost) and we enjoyed it so much that my other half bought it, and we promptly played another game as soon as got home. The great thing about playing it at the expo was that there were people around to help you, provide insight, answer questions and generally guide you through the game so you don’t necessarily have to sit at home reading the manual ten times and Googling things which don’t make sense.

A lot of people I’ve spoken to see the board gaming industry as one which is just full of geeky guys and while stereotypical, males do make up a huge proportion of the industry it may just be because not enough girls have given it a go to realize that they find it enjoyable. I’d never have thought that I’d have found it as fun as I have. What I’m trying to say in a nutshell is new things might feel daunting much like if you start a new sport but by experiencing it and giving it a go you might surprise yourself.

June 14, 2017
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  • I love a board game – we spent hours playing Cluedo and Game of Life as a kid!

  • Savi and Vid

    I Love a good board game too and literally spent half my childhood huddled over a board of scrabble 🙂 Love that you enjoyed yourself so much 🙂

  • Hannah Latoya Bond

    I used to love playing board games. Haven’t played them in ages

  • Jenni Grainger

    Not enough people play board games now, everything is so technological. I am definitely going to be encouraging my son to play with them

  • Gareth Torrance

    I’ve always been a CCG/TCG kind of guy, but there really are awesome board games out there!

  • Jennifer Eastwell

    YES!! A fellow board gamer! I LOVE board games and have a cupboard full of them. My favourites are Dominion, Braggart, The Dragon and Flagon, Bonanza and Munchkin!

  • I need to buy some board games! My favorite is candy land but I also enjoy uno!

  • Wow, the board games have developed so much. What a great idea are these for spending some quality time indoors.

  • Melanie Williams

    Not played board games or a while, but it is great for when friends are round – something different for sure 🙂 x

  • We have loads of board games at home and love playing them! My daughter took a load to Uni with her, and her flatmates having nights in, drinking and playing. I hadn’t heard of this event and I seriously would love to go. Off to check out the Mansions of Madness game you mention x

  • I love board games, but only really play them at Christmas time. I love Monopoly!

  • Leah Shafik

    We LOVE boardgames in our house, in fact some of our favourite games are card games but also, wordsearch races (mainly as I always win) x

  • Madeeha

    I love board games more than video games. These connect family more than anything. And don’t forget the arguing 🙂

  • everinmay

    we love boardgames! We try and have a tv free night every month and just play board games and it’s so much fun! 🙂 xx

  • I really enjoy playing board games, especially when the whole family gets together! 🙂

  • Melanie Edjourian

    My experience of playing board games is pretty limited too. It’s great to know that there are so many more than the old fashioned ones I am used too.

  • Hayley

    I love board games! I haven’t played one in a while though. I didn’t realise this was on at the NEC, it sounds like a great day out.

  • I haven’t played a board game in such a long time, but I love the idea of getting back into it x

  • Kate Veggie Desserts

    We love playing board games with the kids. It’s such a nice lo-fi way to spend time together.

  • We haven’t played board games for years but I think I might go and buy some for holidays. Get is all involved together and some great family time. X

  • I love board games so this expo is right up my alley! I’m a huge fan of Scrabble.

  • FussFreeJen

    I can only imagine that going to a board game expo is rather fabulous fun. Sounds exciting. I’d be rather taken away if I found a game to cost more than £50, but I suppose some of them are complex and detailed. I like your closing line, which I really should adhere to. I’m terrible for feeling over daunted, if that is even a word, and backing out. I shall have to be more brave.

  • I’ve played Settlers a few times and really enjoyed that. I had no idea it was such a huge industry though, I might have to check out that expo if it comes back to the NEC.

  • I didn’t even know this was a thing. I love playing board games so I had known about this sooner.

  • KGR

    I love board games, monopoly and cludeo are my favourites. Mansions of madness sounds like a game I would enjoy playing.

  • Kara

    I love board games but guilty of only bringing them out at christmas and new year – really must change this

  • beautykinguk

    I am not patient enough for board games I have to say and I am a sore loser but great post and It sounds as though the expo was fun!

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