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Modern Board Games (Euro/Thematic/Miniatures) Dads & Couples  

(Welcome Career Oriented Family Men & Couples who like games similar to Boardgamegeek's top 300-500)

This group is for career-minded professionals who are looking to meet other career-minded professionals to play Modern Board Games.  The group is to get both couples gaming and also to form a regularly scheduled  guys only night of gaming. The only exception being one person in the relationship could be a former career-minded professional who is currently serving as a stay-at-home mom or dad. This is not a group for single men or women.  This is also a group for non-smoking professionals. If couples have children of like ages, they are welcome to have their children get together if they would like to do their thing while the adults play modern board games.

So what is a “modern board game?”  (For those who are not Muggles and already initiated to the amazing evolution of modern board games which has resulted in a multibillion dollar board game industry , you may scroll down to “Part II: The Nuts & Bolts” of what this group is and if it might be for you.)  

Part I: What are Modern Board Games & Why Should I Possibly be Interested in Them.  (After all, Monopoly and Sorry are just boring diversions, so what is the entire hubbub about?)

For those unaware, there has been a fast growing movement started in in Europe which has finally started catching on here in America and the rest of the world like wildfire. It is now massive worldwide phenomenon. The gateway games into this new world are finding footholds on the shelves of stores in your local area like Target and Barnes & Noble. The more advanced games can be had on Amazon and other online retailers like funagain.com, etc.  These games have a variety of interesting mechanics that have revolutionized the board gaming experience forever. For example, some are cooperative where you work as a team to beat the game and others might be worker placement games where you have to decide where you place your workers out of the spaces not already taken to get the resources or actions you need to build or create something for points.  

Modern board games are now a multi-billion dollar industry which has something for everyone. Games have evolved a very long way to become something greater than we could have every have imagined when we were young playing games of Sorry, Life, and Monopoly.  Records gave way to the eight track followed by tapes and Walkmans giving way to CD we have finally reached the veritable unimaginable iPods which now hold thousands of songs in the palm of your hand.  Just like the evolution of personal music devices, Monopoly, Life, and Sorry are bygone relics replaced by a new breed of games that offer a real sense of accomplishment, suspense, and joy. Playing a “modern board game” is in a small way akin to Walking Through the Looking Glass inthat once you’ve played a good one you’ll never look at board games again the same way. If you have played one you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, then a whole new world of entertainment awaits you Muggles

One famous modern board game reviewer has a fairly good explanation as to what happens in many modern board games--not a fair description of all as they come in so many forms--and is paraphrased here: 

 “[Most of these games feature a snowball effect.  At the beginning of the game, you feel that you can barely rub two nickels together and by the end of the game you’re have developed a well-oiled engine/machine so to speak from your past turn choices and are now able to make huge moves either building, buying, creating, or transporting gigantic things.  The sense of progression sneaks up on you]."  

The crux behind the many of these games is immersive play that allows players to develop new strategies each game with many paths.  The game itself evolves as players attempt new strategies which results in a final product that either produces victory or a heartbreaking near miss.   

You might want to watch some videos of these to find out if these sorts of games are for you.  Pandemic and Dead of Winter are more advanced while the other three are considered gateway  or gateway + games meaning they are either similar in difficulty to grasp or for beginners. Generally, speaking after playing a few gateway games people are ready for medium weight games. 

Wil Wheaton and guests such as Seth Green, Karen Gillan, and Clare Grant & other demo some of the Modern Board Games (Here is a small Sample)

https://youtu.be/ytK1zDPPDhw   Pandemic (cooperative game where you world to stop a global Pandemic)

https://youtu.be/o3WJTlDa7oo  Settlers of the Catan (too much luck for my taste, but is many people’s the first intro to modern board games and remains the number one classic gateway game)

https://youtu.be/g_QRczGzXqw  Resistance (Simple Traitor Deduction Game)

https://youtu.be/cdGQ4npIzfI  Stone Age (Gateway Worker Placement Game)

https://youtu.be/hh0q958qzRs  Libertalia (Quick Pirate Game Game)

https://youtu.be/bG-iUxJcoXc  The Dead of Winter (Cooperative game with secret objectives and a possible traitor)

For example, you might go from a small businessman/businesswomen managing a few wooden ships in a habour to eventually becoming a veritable titan of industry trading for steel and coal and building enormous ocean liners. Maybe you start off as a small fledgling merchant on the Silk Road and through cunning choices end up creating a massive trade route(s) that bring in more wealth than your playing partners.  Modern board games come in all different forms.  Some games are cooperative games. Maybe you are playing as a team of scientists each with your specializations attempting to stop a global pandemic before it grows out of control through shrew, resourcefully, efficient teamwork. Since the setup and problem is always different, the Pandemic will have to be solved a different way than previous attempts. Other games are ruthless competitive games where you attempt to outwit your opponents before they get the upper hand.  Some have auction elements where you price things and bid on resource or other items pushing your luck. Maybe your interests lie in colonize space or maybe you would rather be in the Wild West trying to make your fortune.  Maybe you like to create sprawling empires or maybe you just want to try your hand as a present farmer in the 1500s—not easy being a farmer in the 1500 especially when the player before you took the one thing you were holding your breath for as it came around to your turn. Some games are tile laying games where you’re a mad king building castles with sprawling gardens, entertainment rooms, and dungeons. Or maybe you prefer collecting just the right resources and crew to make a successful English raid and plunder Spanish Galleons as they leave the Caribbean with their recent wealth acquired from the New World. Maybe you want to peaceful compete to create a plantation in the new world like in the game Puerto Rico. Do you want to be a Viking raider, a Mayan leader, a King, a Merchant, or a master painter working on a cathedral's vast fresco with a host of apprentices you must keep just happy enough not to leave you all the while working them to exhaustion to out produce your opponents? Or maybe you would prefer fighting off hordes of Zombies in a cooperative game where everyone has their own secret objective only allowing a victor if the group as a whole is successful--but beware, one person in the group could be a traitor/saboteur who you must root out before it is too late.  Then again, maybe your group ends up banishing the wrong person who was just attempting to selfishly reach their secret objective like everyone else and now find yourselves one too many men, or women, down and become too weak to survive and thus all lose. Again, there is something for everyone with these great new gems known as modern board games.  

These modern games are about people coming together to have fun enjoying a great, satisfying experience.  By the end of the game, you get the sense you have really accomplished something with all your various decisions along the way, for better or worse, and at the end you are rewarded with a sense of pride even when you fall short of victory. The good games leave you wondering which path and decisions you might make differently if the same set of circumstances arises again--knowing full well you won't likely see the same exact landscape. Despite the shifting sand created by your opponents’ different choices you begin to develop a growing sense of intuition on how to navigate the various choices. Sometimes there are multiple great choices present that turn to choose from and you are trying to figure out which one might be a better path while other times you are just stuck trying to figure out which is the least bad choice that turn. The fun is the journey, not the destination.  

Part II (The Nuts and Bolts)

If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  

Meet-ups will be scheduled whenever professional couples can find time in their busy lives to meet to play these wonderful new innovations known as modern board games.  It is my goal to eventually create a group of people that consist of a pool of people from the Franklin, Brentwood, and Nolensville area. Feel free to reach out to other meme beers of the group.  Communication doesn’t need to pass through just me or any co-organizers. 

Couples need to be non-smokers and career-minded professional. The only exception being one person in the relationship could be a stay-at-home mom or dad. While many professionals will hold a 4 year college degree, this is not a requirement of being a professional. For example, a career UPS driver would also qualify.  We want stable, family oriented individuals in this group.  Having a significant other is also important as this is not a group for singles.  However, your significant other does not need to be a gamer. This is a drug free group.  Alcohol in moderation is allowed for adults if the hosts permit. The hosts should provide you with this information; if not, please ask. 

This group promotes diversity.  You and your significant other must be laidback, friendly, considerate, and willing to accept people of different races, creeds, nationalities, religious beliefs, politics, etc. Basically, you have to be a decent human being. The requirement of career professionals is so that we have something in common.

Those willing to host gaming at their homes must clean comfortable areas to game in.  Clean bathrooms are a requirement of hosting. If you're not all that neat, or find that your current busy lifestyle precludes you from keeping a neat house, no worries, as you don't have to host games at your house to be in this group. It should go without saying, but just so it is clear, you and your children need to respect the host's property. 

It may also be advantageous if you can find other couples on this meet-up site who have children so they can go off and do their own thing while the adults hang out and play modern board games. If you plan to invite couples to your house with children, they need to be at the age where they do not need direct supervision because the primary purpose is for the adults to have some adult time to play modern board games.  Now, if both couples have kids roughly the same age and they can entertain themselves that obviously serves two purposes and is certainly encouraged--fun for all.  So if your kid(s) needs constant attention please arrange for a babysitter. Unless it is your house where the meetup occurs, it is also not appropriate to ask to bring your young children to another couple's house unless they also have children roughly the same age to play with.  The children should also be old enough to be able to play with one another without having one or both parents distracted attempting to take care of the child. Again, if you have a child who needs constant attention, you need to arrange for a babysitter.  It is also not appropriate for you to bring your young children to another's house who might not have their house child proofed for ages under 3 without discussing such matters with the couple in advance.  For example, while 2 and 4 years olds can play with one another, the house of the 4 year old is unlikely to still be child-proofed.  However, it may be appropriate to have a newborn who sleeps the entire time in a pack n play, or something similar, while the adults play games if that is fine by both parties. Some newborns and young children will go right to sleep in a pack n play and others will not.  You know your child's habits. Basically, talk it out and be considerate.  

For examples of modern board games and their relative ranking in the community please visit the site: 

https://boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgame?sort=rank&rankobjecttype=subtype&rankobjectid=1&rank=14#14

The site above is crucial for your understanding of modern board games. You will find cost, description, rank, play time, preferred number of players, mechanics, video reviews, instructional videos, etc. it is the world's database for all games, but you'll notice only modern games are ranked well. There is something for everyone in the top 200 to 400 games. There is a family rank, a strategy rank, thematic rank, and a overall board game ranking system. Ranking are just a guide. More important is the other information provided to find the game that suits you. 

I am not really sure how this thing (meetup) will evolve or time other than slowly.  Modern board games haven't really become all that huge in America like in Europe. N Europe you actual check out games from your local library. You may have to be patient while we get this things rolling.  I have met a few people and couples in is group so far; however, there are also people who just join and never reach out at all which is rather pointless.  Unfortunately, this Meet-up site is priced by the number of people who are in your group so if you don't plan to reach out at some point, please don't join because I'll just delete you to keep cost down.  This meetup is for those who actually at some point want to start gaming with other couples in their area and is not meant to serve as some sort of "feather in your Meetup cap."  While I imagine most of the meetups between members will be just between two couples, with or without their children, because that is easier to set up, I can imagine in the future couples hosting some dinner parties with maybe 3-4 couples etc. I would also like to creat a guys night of gaming.  All gamers have regular people they game with. My wife and I are using this site to meet people we have not meet yet and expand our pool of gamers. I hope your pool of gamers expands will being a member of this group regardless of if you happen to game with me.  I strongly encourage you to reach out to other members and find there gaming interests. Again, I am going to play it by ear and just see where this goes. If this group ever gets large enough, I do plan on putting some spreadsheets together of various couples' primary interests, availability, location in town, age of children if they have them, etc.  In the short time of changing this group from "stay at home dads who wanted to game while their children played together", I have had couples inquire/join who only play euros and other couples willing to play just about any modern game. Some prefer thematic games often referred to as “Ameritrash” like Star War Armada or I peril Assualt, Empires: Age of Discovery, Axis & Allies etc.  As a result, I may at some point create a database/spread sheet so people can use this site to meet other couples in the group that share similar interests. If you haven't done so, it would be helpful to start creating an account on boardgamegeek.com and enter your board games into the library/collection function.  It would be helpful to send me your email and a photo of your game collection, no matter the size (it's not a contest), if you have one.  In the near future, I will send out a questionnaire for my data driven efforts if the group reaches a certain size. 

-Cheers 

Eric & Holly Muldoon


*********************************************************************

*This group is not just about getting together to play modern board games with Joe, my wife and I. It is meant to serve as a place where you can find other people to play with and host your own game nights. Some people prefer heavy games that are real brain burners sometimes, or all the time, while others prefer lighter games that allow for more conversation and less concentration.  Some like a little luck in their games while others prefer to limit the element of chance. Some prefer non-confrontational games, while others like games where you can really mess with what your opponent is attempting to do.  Some people will play just about anything. Some won't have babysitters and might have kids older than 5 that don’t need constant attention but are too young to be left alone and thus will need to play at their houses.  Other couples won't have children restricting their movement.  Some of you might be willing to host dinner parties, etc. You get the point. I am attempting to match gamers together with this site. Feel free to offer input, suggest meet-up, etc. There are some great groups out there that meet at restaurants monthly but the games they play are often restricted to quick, simpler games. These can be fun games, but I am trying to promote the slightly heavier games like Fresco, Francis Drake, Terra Mystica, Key flower, etc. you see in the Photos section.  There is also a group that meets at Roll the Dice, a wonderful huge, clean (rare thing indeed) game store in Murfreesboro on Saturdays at 5:00. This group is hosted by a wonder couple and they play anything from light to heavy games. They have moved to a Facebook page instead of a meet-up to save on costs given their size.  Every year there is a massive board gaming convention in Franklin TN called TN game days. Russ and Rick, who are members of this group, run that fine experience. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Cheers

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