When I first took a run at a board game beginners’ guide, I got to about three pages before realising the futility of squeezing everything into one post. So I’ve gone back to square one to break it up into a series of posts that, as a whole, should be a pretty good starting point for anyone getting into the hobby; but where to start?
This is a bit of a labour of love, and will take time, so I’ll link to the parts of the guide below as I write them; this introduction just gives an overview of what each part will/does contain. If you think of anything that should be listed but isn’t, just comment below and I’ll either add it or explain why it’s not on the list (it may be part of one already on the list, for example). Here are the categories I’ve thought of so far (I’ll make the titles links as I write them):
- Where to start: 25 great gateway games
If you’re looking to get back into the hobby, these are games that have helped thousands of people worldwide do the same. Everything from family to abstract to party games covered, from big box to small card games.
- Video channels
Reading a bit too much like hard work? Want to see pictures ‘come to life’ on the small screen? Here you’ll find a list of great board game reviewers to check out on YouTube, Vimeo and the like.
You don’t have time to read, or watch TV – but you can listen while you walk/drive/lie in bed etc, right? So here are some fantastic podcasts to download for your MP3 player or PC.
- Where to buy (on and offline)
While the board gaming hobby is growing, high street stores haven’t really taken the plunge. But there are some awesome online retailers, while most towns have a hobby store that’s probably not as bad as you might think it looks from the outside!
- Websites (to play on)
A great way to try out games you might want to buy is play them online. There are some great sites (often free) where you can either play ‘live’ or turn by turn over a longer period. I’ll list my favourites here, with some of the games they have.
- Websites (for research)
While I’d love to spend all day writing about board and card games, I have to earn a living (writing about broadband). But luckily, there are some great sites out there packed with great info for all you readers out there.
- Smartphone, console and tablet apps
A great way to learn to play (and see if you like) some of the more popular board and card games is to download an app and give it a try. I’ll flag up some of the classics here.
One important point to note if you are thinking of breaking back into the hobby is this: PLAYING BOARD AND CARD GAMES DOESN’T HAVE TO BE NERDY!
Note: I’m not saying it isn’t, just that it doesn’t have to be. I play with lots of different people and believe me, sometimes it’s nerdy as hell – but others it’s anything but; two couples sitting around a table, drinking nice wine and chatting about what’s going on in the world isn’t automatically made geeky by putting a board game on the table (unless it’s something such as Battlestar Galactica, naturally).