So a few weeks ago, I hosted a boardgaming event that didn't go too well. A couple of weeks later, and here I am, about to try it again. I've created an event I'm hosting for this Sunday (here's the ad, if you care to see). Honestly, I'm pretty nervous about this. I had originally just intended on joining another meetup the same day, for once just being a player at one of these things instead of a host. But the temptation to host is strong; when it goes well, it goes really well. So I've decided to give it another shot.
I've thought of a few things that I want to keep in mind for this next meetup. I can't guarantee that this time will be any better than the last, but I hope by thinking about these few things I can maximize the chances of this Sunday being awesome:
1. I'm in a (slightly) better place. Things are still pretty rough for me, but they've gotten better over the past few weeks. I'm in a better place, so hopefully my attitude will be better and I'll be more receptive to simply having fun.
2. I'm pushing a more specific agenda. As you might see from looking at the ad, I'm putting my most-want-to-play game, Terra Mystica, right up front, sharing room with the event name and everything. I'm hoping this focus will attract like minds who want to play the game. This doesn't necessarily mean good or bad people are going to show, but at least everyone signing up knows right from the start that this is the game I want to play. I figure, even if a group of Them show up, I should still have a reasonable amount of fun, as long as we're playing Terra Mystica and I keep an open mind. Speaking of Terra Mystica...
3. Terra Mystica is awesome. Seriously. It's good. Last session, I pushed Mansions of Madness. Mansions is a good game, but it's not what I'd call a "franchise" game. A franchise game is my own lingo for a game that essentially creates its own parties. People will show up specifically for that game and that game alone. Settlers of Catan and Carcassone are franchise games. The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has been like that around here, too, and so (for awhile, at least) was Lords of Waterdeep. And now, Terra Mystica is most-definitely a franchise game. As I just said a paragraph ago, even if I personally don't like the people who show up, as long as we're all playing this, there's a pretty good chance I'm going to have a good time. Mansions of Madness, on the other hand, is a game that's much more dependent on the gamers you've got with you to make the game great. That makes sense, since Mansions is essentially a mini-RPG, and most RPGs require a good group to make them really shine.
4. I passive-aggressively suggested punctuality. I'm not a punctual person, but I have always considered it a party foul to show up late to a boardgaming event. A boardgaming event, you see, requires several people to commit to a complete game. This is hard to do when not everyone is available, especially if you're counting on people to be there who are then late. If you show up late, you have now created an awkward situation; someone's either got to let you into their already-in-progress game, potentially changing the dynamics of that game, or you've got to sit there and twiddle your thumbs until a game ends. (the exception to this is if the group is huge, say over 30 people, in which case there's a reasonable chance you could show up late and still find a group to link up with). Since this was one of the problems with the previous meetup, I have now politely insinuated that showing up on time is a good idea. Are you automatically an asshole if you show up a few minutes late? Of course not! But if you waltz in at the hour-and-a-half mark and see no one's available (even if one of the "groups" is a single dude who's in the middle of a solo game), then that's on you, buddy! This bugs me alot because as the host, I want to make sure everyone's having a good time. But if you're showing up that late, that makes my job a bit harder, and there's even a chance doing so could impact other people's good times. I resent having to make hard decisions!
Anyways, keeping these things in mind, I'm really looking forward to having a (hopefully) good Sunday. And if you happen to live in the D.C. area and have nothing to do, come on over! I promise I will NOT blog about you behind your back!
After-Session Update (written March 25)
It went pretty well! There was one last-second cancellation that brought the group to six. Of the six who showed, there was only one of Them. That one...the narcoleptic and/or drugged out girl who seemed to over-compensate on virtually every comment from last time...was definitely the least-bad of the three, and with only her this time, it was a much more enjoyable experience.
The rough part was the game. Terra Mystica only does five, and there were six of us. Back when I thought there was seven, I had intended to split the group into two three-person groups. I'd then play Terra Mystica with each group, back-to-back, while the group not playing could play something else. But when that one person cancelled, I was down to six. So, of course, I did the only logical move...I sat out the game, and taught the other five to play.
Thankfully, I didn't have to sit out the entire game. One of the players had to leave early (at about the halfway point), so I jumped in on his spot. I went on to win the game! Though the win is a little hollow because I only played half, it was still pretty nice.