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Guide for newcomers

We like to think of London on Board as a friendly place. This guide is to let you know what to expect at your first meet-up.



Mark, Paul and Lizzie enjoying a game of Agricola in the Red Herring.


Where?

We have built up a pool of regular venues in Central London to play in, mostly pubs. These include: the Theodore Bullfrog, the Mad Hatter, the Sir Christopher Hatton, the International Students House and the Holiday Inn, Camden Lock. Each event clearly states the venue and gives the location.

We're constantly trying other venues around town, so LoB can pop up at other places too. Check your meeting for details.

When?

We have meetings most days of the week, with all-day gaming at weekends. There's the occasional hiccup or shift in schedule due to holidays or the venue having other bookings. Again, check your meeting for details.

Weeknights usually start at 5:30pm and run to 10:30 or 11pm.

Saturday events start at either noon or 11:00am (depending on venue) and run until 10:30pm or 11pm, and Sunday events usually run from noon till 11:00pm.

Note: You don't have to arrive at the very beginning of the event but, as many meetings are oversubscribed, do try to come reasonably soon after the start time, in courtesy to those who are missing out (a couple of hours is fine). Nevertheless, the earlier you arrive the better - this will give you a better chance to join a table and start a game. If you arrive later you may have to wait a while for a game to open up. Weeknights, most people try to arrive within the first 30-60 minutes of the event.

What (games do we play)?

All kinds of tabletop and boardgames, card games, dexterity games, word games, trading games, family games, dice games, social deduction games, co-operative games, and simulation games. See here for some examples. There are also a few games we explicitly don't play - see below. If you don't know any of these games or haven't played many games before - don't worry! See below.

How (do I attend a meeting)?

  • Check the meeting is on. Occasionally the schedule does change for reasons beyond our control. Always check on the day, before you leave home or work.

  • RSVP for a meeting. This is important as there is a limited amount of space and we've occasionally exceeded that, resulting in not enough space for everyone to sit down and play. If a meeting is already full, you can put yourself on a waiting list for any spaces that might turn up. If you change your plans (even if you're only on the waitlist), please change your RSVP as quickly as possible so someone else can take your place. (Please note that, due to limitations with the Meetup software, if there's a waiting list, you shouldn't RSVP with a '+1' or a '+2', but instead as individuals, because other individuals will jump the queue if single vacancies appear.)

  • Show up. On weeknights, some eager people start playing games at 5.30pm but, as long as you arrive before 6.30pm, it should be easy enough to find a game to jump into. Weekends have a more relaxed start at 11am or noon (depending on venue). Arrive much later and you may have to wait a while for a game. An alternative is to prearrange to start a game for whatever time you arrive.

  • Introduce yourself to the host. Some meetings have a host, a kindly soul who will make sure newcomers get into a game. Look towards the top of the event page for their name. But it's all too easy to miss people in a crowded room. If possible, identify yourself as a newbie in your RSVP or the comments below a meetup so we know to expect you. When you get there, ask for the host and they'll take care of you. If there is no host, find one of our Helpers (check list of attendees for anyone marked 'Event organizer') and just ask! Helpers are always happy to answer your questions or clarify any how the event works. Even if there is no host or helper you should find us a helpful and friendly bunch so don't be afraid to ask questions.

    We'd love to have hosts at all our meetings but there's just too many. If it's your first meeting, you might prefer to avoid one that's unhosted. But if you can look out for yourself, just ask around for spaces in a game, or see if you could start one.

  • Play games. Have fun.


Any rules you need to know?

Yes, but very few as we're easygoing. Please read them using this link - https://www.meetup.co...

Other questions

Where do all these games come from? Our members. Everyone is welcome to bring along games they think others will enjoy, but don't worry if you can't as there are usually more than enough to go round. The games that people have brought usually get piled up on a table and anyone's welcome to pick from that stack and start up a game.

We also have a library of popular games in a box at the Sir Christopher Hatton. So, when that is the venue for the event, those games will be available to play. We hope to have games libraries at other regular venues in future.

How do I get in a game? Most games are organised on the spot (someone picks up a box and calls out "who wants to play...?"). Even you could do this: "Could someone teach me how to play...?" Some games get organised in the comments for a particular meetup (especially on the weekend, where more complicated games tend to be played), but you don't have to do this. Just get out there and ask. If you get lost or can't get started, ask the host or a helper for assistance.

Across a meeting, groups will play a game, then split up and regroup to play a different game. Most likely, you'll get to play several games. Towards the end of a meeting people tend to play shorter, lighter games.

But I don't know how to play game X. Don't worry if you don't know any of the games or haven't played many games before! Someone who knows the rules will always be happy to explain. Even regulars will often have to be taught or reminded of rules. If you're not sure whether you want to join a particular game, ask for some more information. It's fine to say if you'd rather play several shorter, simpler games than one epic that will take the whole meeting.

What does it cost?: There are currently no fees for attending, but we do expect you to buy food and/or drink at the venue. We get the space free on the expectation that this will happen.

This is still very daunting. Don't worry, we're all about having fun. If you'd still like a gentle introduction, we regularly hold 'newbie events' to ease newcomers into boardgaming. Check the calendar https://www.meetup.co... - though new players will be made welcome at any of our events.

I'm really into game X. Can I come and play it? Generally, yes. But because there are only a few clubs like us dedicated to boardgaming and there is a limited amount of space, there are some games we don't play:

Roleplaying games, CCGs (collectible card games), Magic the Gathering, etc.: While many club members play these sort of games, we've chosen to rule them out. There are other clubs dedicated entirely to those sort of games which would be more suitable, or you can play them privately. See this thread for a longer explanation.

Scrabble/Mah-Jong/Monopoly/Bridge/Chess/Poker etc.: You might not get a lot of interest in these, as most members use LoB as a place to play games they wouldn't otherwise get to play. As there are plenty of other places to play them, we've chosen to rule them out.

Computer and online games: Many club members play these, especially online versions of boardgames. But it's not something we do at meetings.

Two-player games: These do get played at meetings occasionally, but we ask that you don't play them when the club is crowded (which is most meetings), so we can make best use of the space and get the most people in.

As a rule, if there are other clubs dedicated to this game (e.g. Scrabble), or if it's a game that can easily get played somewhere else (e.g. Monopoly), or if it's one that's played mainly by people that play it exclusively (e.g. Chess or Bridge), you don't need us as a venue. Nothing personal, just being practical and catering to our strengths.

Too much gaming is barely enough. What other clubs are there? See here for a non-exhaustive list of clubs in London that may satisfy your needs.


Games in progress while indecisive gamers circle the pile of possible games.


Above all, have fun, and if you have any problems grab the night's host.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
LoB in the news August 12, 2013 8:22 PM Paul A.
Other clubs September 11, 2017 12:55 PM RobRun
Guide for newcomers July 25, 2018 5:24 PM RobRun
Some of the games we play July 25, 2018 6:00 PM RobRun
About Boardgames October 24, 2007 3:41 PM Jacco V.
Shops July 27, 2017 2:24 PM Tom
About London On Board July 25, 2018 5:23 PM RobRun

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