THE 9 STEP GUIDE TO THE PERFECT GAMES NIGHT
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT GAME
The game has got to be right for your group. For example, if your group enjoys good games, do not put Risk on the table. Gauge the interests of the group by phoning them at 3 in the morning every night in the week leading up to your games night. A person asked a question at 3 in the morning will always answer truthfully, although the truth will probably be screamed at you and will be wrapped in lots of swear words. Find out what type of thing they like and then pop onto http://www.boardgamegeek.com to find the ideal game. Once you’ve done that, just decide to play a game you want to play anyway. It’s your house. Fuck ‘em.
2. LEARN THE RULES, IDIOT
For God’s sake learn the rules. Whatever game you decide to play, make sure you have those rules DOWN. Study them. Commit them to memory. If, on the day of your games night, you are going for a shit without taking the rules with you to read on the pan, you are not doing your job properly. Another option is to print out copies of the rules (usually the website of the board game’s publisher will provide downloadable rulebooks) and send them to the players in advance. Just be aware that NONE OF THEM WILL ACTUALLY READ THEM BECAUSE THEY HAVE LIVES. So it’s down to you. Learn the rules, idiot. It’s often worth setting up the game beforehand and playing through a dummy game yourself, to make sure you have it all worked out. I’ve never done this, though, because I am not mentally ill.
3. NAIL THE SET-UP
Modern board games often take an age to set up. The average set-up time of a modern board game is 17 Passings of the Moon. You need to shorten that set-up time, because no-one likes waiting around while you get your stuff straight. (Am I right, ladies?) Consider the terrible sport of Grand Prix Racing. In that world there is a pit crew. And those guys practice getting shit done FAST, so that they can enhance the careers of spoiled rich kids whose machines do all the work. So you can certainly put in the time to enhance an evening for your friends, right? With games like Arkham Horror, it’s helpful to have all the game components stored in special containers of some kind. Tackle boxes and stuff. Keep your shit organised. Then it’s just a case of pulling all the stuff out and popping it into the wrong places, and not being able to fit it all on your table, and getting annoyed at the sadists who designed the game.