Thankfully this article is much shorter than the (soon to be published) article Why I Log My Own Game Plays. Instead of being directed at an individual, this is directed at people who organize, host public board game sessions, and who want to attract more like-minded gamers to their group.

Many years ago, back in the halcyon days of the SoCal Gamers, one member Darrell would maintain a handwritten list of the games we played that day. He would sometimes ask us what game it was etc, but he usually carried out his list making almost unseen. Afterwards he would post a listing or send an email of the list. At the very least I would scan the list to ensure that the games that I had played were listed.  I did not think about the reasons why he very studiously wrote the list, until I wanted to know what game another table had played. Boom, there is was on the list. Thanks Darrell.

The full benefits of these lists were not obvious until I became a group organizer myself. Carrying on the torch that Darrell had first illuminated, I took to posting a list of games played after each gaming session. As the group grew, both in size and the number of regular events, other gamers also took on the role of hosting events and many posted the lists of games played.

The benefits of publicly posting the list of games played are many, for example:

  • Gamers can see what types of games the group plays, this can attract like minded gamers.
  • A varied game listing shows an active and varied group of gamers.
  • It reminds gamers what they themselves played.
  • Seeing a game that interests them, prompts other gamers to want to play the game in the future.
  • As a group organizer, I sometimes get asked what games we play. I often suggest looking back at what was played at previous meetups.

Do’s and Don’ts

During the game session make a list of the games played, keep your eyes open and make a note of the quantities. Do not rely on seeing just the game box for the name of the game, look at the game itself. Sometimes people put games in a different box. You will soon become adept at recognizing games from a distance.

Getting the quantities exact is up to you. Sometimes a ball park figure for a short game is close enough. Getting the game names correct is more important. After years of being used to my antics, my local group is now well trained. They often tell me how many games they played.

Post the list while it is fresh in everyone’s minds. Do not be surprised if people have corrections. My list is posted to the specific Meetup event, and to a local gaming centered  Facebook Group. Here is an example of the type of list I post:

Games played included: Star Wars Rebellion, Conan x2, Alien Encounters x2, Cat Stax, Russian Railroads, Oracle of Delphi, Thurn & Taxis, Set, Chrononauts, Stone Age, Vegas, Roll for the Galaxy, Patchwork, and Battlestar Galactica x2.

When things get busy, like during a long day of gaming, it is hard to get a complete listing. Get a few other people to also create lists and consolidate them at the end. The quantities may be less accurate, but more game titles will be included. Here is the listing for FATDOG 2016, where we had over 45 in attendance through a full day of gaming. It is a long list of many different types of games, and it shows the variety of game preferences.

Games played included: Splendor x2, A Feast For Odin x2, Star Realms, Triumph & Tragedy, Star Trek Ascendency, Blood Rage, Wizard, Stone Age, Scythe, Cacao, Patchwork x3, Tiny Epic Galaxies, 1776 New York, Star Wars Rebellion, Flaspoint Fire Rescue, Cash N Guns, Saboteur, The Grizzled, Booty, Trans Europa, Alien Frontiers, Caverna, Kingdom Builder, Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, Carcassonne, Burger Builder, Love Letter Archer, Russian Railroads, Race For The Galaxy, Strife, Terraform, Nations The Dice Game, Flick Em Up, and Battlestar Galactica.

Keep it simple. Do what works best for you and your group. The goal is to make the creating and posting of the list a seamless part of your gaming routine. I always have a pen and paper with me, this makes it very quick and easy to update my notes.

Pen and paper are still quicker for me compared to using a note taking app on the phone. I also tend to use game title abbreviations. Be aware that abbreviations do not always work well.  –Bloomin’ autocorrect can muck up the abbreviations leaving you puzzled the next day about which games were played.

If you want to take it to the next level, you can generate a spreadsheet with a list of games played that year.

Have fun, may your dice roll high or low, as applicable to the game you are playing.

5th March 2017. Edited to fix a typo.