I finally got off my butt and organized a couples-game night at our house. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for months and I think it turned out pretty well considering. I chose a small number of couples that I thought would be able to schedule the time, would enjoy learning some new games, and were somewhat outside my normal gaming group. I’ve organized numerous small gaming events at the house but always just for my group of guys; a rather informal affair. However, since it was a couples night, Lisa really cranked up her desire for involvement and so we ended up being way more organized.
Most of the attendees were not gamers by any stretch of the word but were interested in giving it a shot. I chose a couple of men from my gaming group so that there would be multiple people that could teach games and then I chose a fairly small set (12-15) of “gateway” games in preparation. I normally have high expectations in how many games we will be able to play given the time we have but for this group I purposefully kept my expectations low. I wanted everyone to feel comfortable socializing in an environment where we’d eventually play a game or two. My goal was fun and low stress for people who might be nervous about this whole gaming thing that we do.
After sharing in the potluck-style menu, we organized the games and picked three and split into three groups. The far end of the table played Dominion, my end of the table played Manila, and the group at the kitchen table played Pandemic.
All in all it was a fun night. We only got one game in as several couple have small children and/or had tight schedules the following day. I was very happy with the turn out and had a good time. I hope everyone else did and would love to make it a monthly or at a least a regular event. We have room for at least one more couple so I may invite another one or two for next time since not everyone will be able to come every time.
Lisa and I ended up with some free time on our hands the following day so we broke out Saint Petersburg and went through the rules. We’re still learning what’s up in that game and the jury is still out. It’s a strange little card collection game coupled with an extremely tight economic system underneath. We’ll know more with a few more plays.