International TableTop Day is on April 11th. Two days left. You’ve set up the event, the invites have been extended, and you’ve picked out some games. TableTop Day is right around the corner and it’s time to prep the games for the day.
Well, prepping the games might not be 100% accurate. Prepping yourself for the games is more like it.
As the host of a TableTop Day event, or any gaming event, it may very well fall on you to set up and explain the games that get played. You might wind up with a group that are board game veterans, or you could wind up with people that haven’t played before…or maybe a mix of both. Chances are good that you will, at the very least, have to give a brief overview of each game to people. Hopefully you’ll have a couple people there that can help, but you would be remiss to not prepare yourself just in case.
Learn the game. As you might wind up teaching the games, it would be a good idea to actually know the games. This doesn’t mean you have to be an expert at the game, or even know strategies, but you should know how the game works. If it’s one you know, but haven’t played in a while? You should still brush up on it. A couple weeks ago we went over some tips on how to learn a new game. Many of these can be applied to re-learning a game as well.
Print out player aids. Depending on the game, a player aid can really make or break someone’s experience. Once you venture into the medium-weight and heavier games, they become more and more necessary. These can be as simple as a reminder of what each one of your pieces will do, and as detailed as going over every action you can take. If you’re looking for something like this, visit BoardGameGeek. For most games you’ll find a wealth of player aids that will help even the newest player pick up a game quickly. Make an account, and give them a thumbs up for their effort.
Figure out how to teach the game. Sounds simple, right? But you don’t want to bumble through teaching people how to play Game X if the people wanting to play Game Y are waiting for you to teach them as well. If it’s a game you haven’t taught before, or at least not in a while, it can help to run through a mock-teaching of the game. If you need advice on how to teach a game to people, there are some tips for that as well.
Get the games you’ll need. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy them. Borrow them. Have someone bring them along. Or, sure. Buy them. Remember, you don’t need to have EVERY game that you think might work out. Just have some of the bases covered and you’ll be fine.
Remember, you aren’t just the host. For most of you “Game Master” would be a more appropriate title. Being prepared will make your day go a lot smoother and give your guests a much better experience!
Tomorrow we’ll go over the final preparations for your event. Just a few small details and you’ll be ready to go!