GS TABLE GAMES: First Game Club Experience


A lot of people want to play board games but don’t have anyone to play with, and aren’t sure what to do next or might be worried about joining a group of strangers.

Well, here’s my first experience at a board game club last week and how I went about it.



Not everyone can walk into a room and make friends, but everyone should be able to walk into a room and be welcomed to a game club with open arms. That is the spirit of board games – to have fun, make friends and have a good time.

I knew I wanted to join a club, but had no idea if there was one or where to find a club locally. I am fortunate to have an excellent comic shop in St. Albans called Chaos City Comics which also sells board games and every so often holds game days in the shop. This is a shop that welcomes community and encourages it. They move the comics and other items out of the way and get the tables out so young and old can come along throughout the day to play games. Mostly, it is Magic the Gathering, which does not really interest me. But I know they sell the type of games I do want to play, like Ticket to Ride, Deck Building and Settlers of Catan, so I asked them about any game nights with those types of games. The answer was: there is a club locally that meets every two weeks. BINGO!


Games available by Esdevium Games

I approached the St. Albans Board Games Club organiser via their Facebook page and found out that they meet every 2 weeks in a local church. Before each meeting, you get a list of the games being played that night – which is great because you can put your name down against what you want to play or even suggest bringing along a new game to try out. This immediately puts you at ease because you know what to expect.

For the first session, I was not going to play because I could not stay the whole night and did not want to start a game I could not finish. So I turned up after it had all kicked off and was greeted by Wilburforce Henderson-Jones, who was more than welcoming to me and quickly told me what was going on. There were 4 tables with 4 games going on. No one looked at me funny or made me feel awkward as I made my way around each table and said hello, and everyone introduced themselves and told me about the game they were playing.

The four games on play were: The Manhattan Project, which is a worker placement game but with a sense of humour; Tales of the Arabian Nights, which looked like a fun game where just about anything could happen and I would say borderline role-playing rules; Midevil, which is a cousin of Zombies, which I play regularly; and Firefly the Board Game, which is based on the Joss Whedon TV series. This was by far the one that most captured my attention.

I spent a while sitting at each table asking questions about the game and the people playing it. Everyone was polite and just genuine and always people want to know what games you play or own and what was the hot buzz of the moment in the board game world. This is a great way to learn more about the whole board game universe.

The best thing about the club was who was there. There were older members sitting alongside young children with couples on another table playing with people they had met through the club. There were no stereotypical “board game geeks” – I only saw lovely people who just wanted to play games and enjoy their evening. I promised to be there for the full session next time and a few people asked me to bring along some games, which I will do.

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My one regret was not actually playing a game, but now that I know what to expect, you can bet I will be going again.

You can also find clubs via various website including Games Lore, Royal Society of Gamers , UK Gaming Media Network , and don’t forget to check out the London on Board site to play games in a pub in London. Hopefully there will be one near you so you can go along one night and see what it is all about. Even if you have your own game night with friends, maybe for once shake it up a bit and get to a club because you might find your next favourite game.

The other cool thing about the game clubs is that sometimes the game publisher will promote a certain game and arrange tournaments around the UK, like the recent Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures day.

So remember not to be shy about joining, as everyone was in the same boat as you until they walked through those doors, and most never look back – so bite the bullet and jump in!

To find out about all our Board Game news go HERE.


Reporter: Montoya

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One comment

  1. It was great to have you along and thanks for the great review of our club.
    Anyone who’s read this and wants to see what it’s all about give me a call on 07853946524 or look up St. Albans board games club on Facebook.

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