In my last post I shared some of the games I think work best with non-gamers. Now, just because you're well armed to start converting your friends to the way of the board doesn't necessarily mean they'll be convinced. So here are my top tips to ensure you and your friends have the best time playing your new favourite game.
Pick the right game
It might seem easy but gauging your group, the mood and the level of enthusiasm is going to have a big impact on the game you end up playing, and it's something I've got wrong on more than one occasion. I'm going to break this down to help give a bit more guidance.
A games theme can go a long way to selling it with your group. If it's a game built on an existing franchise that they might be familiar with, like Game of Thrones or Battlestar Galactica, your friends might be on board with no further convincing needed. If that's not the case go for something that's easy to explain and grasp. Some board games don't help themselves by having seemingly boring themes, despite you knowing the game might be the best thing they've never played, chances are your friends might be a bit put off.
Again it might seem obvious, but if you've been playing games for awhile, I think your brain kind of switches into gears, and you end up being able to understand and pick up the mechanics of different games quite easily. This might not be true for your friends. Choose something that your least familiar player is comfortable with. You can always build up to something more complex.
Be realistic, not everyone in your group is going to want to sit down for 4 or 6 hours. Let people know what they're in for, often games that are about an hour are better for something more casual. You're going to have to decide if you want to commit to one big game or a few smaller games.
People get hungry and don't pay attention.
Explain the Rules
The most boring bit of playing a board game is learning how to play it. If you're introducing a game to your group that you're familiar with brush up on the rules before you go in. That way they can dive right in with your guidance. If the whole group is new to it, nothing kills the fun that sitting and reading the rule book for 20 minutes, instead use the internet. Chances are there's a good video out their that will explain how to play your chosen game.
Rather than only giving your group one choice, present them with a good breadth of options and see what they seem interested in. You don't want to be that guy that forced everyone to play a game they all hated.
Games are meant to be fun, try not to take it seriously or personally. If someone is cutting off your ships from King's Landing it doesn't mean they hate you, they just don't want you to win (probably). Don't hold a grudge and if you're not having fun say so. Chances are if one person isn't enjoying it someone else won't be and it might be worth ending it and choosing something else.