Have you been considering coming out to our meetups, but are intimidated not knowing what to expect? Hopefully this page will answer any questions a potential newcomer may have.
Are new people wanted? Absolutely. New people are always welcome. We have a wonderful space in the Kanata Community Christian Reformed Church with plenty of space and tables.
Is there an age limit? There is considerable diversity among those that come out to our meetups, ranging from 20-some to those sensitive about their age. There are men and women with all sorts of different backgrounds.
How big is the turnout for these meetups? It ranges week-to-week, depending the time of the year, but on average there are 4 tables of games going. The numbers range from as low as a dozen people, to double that, at two dozen (normally somewhere in the middle).
What time is it best to arrive? Official start time is 6pm, but often doors will be opened by Steve/James/Dan a little bit prior. We'll generally spend the first 10 minutes or so mulling around not knowing what to play, however I'd recommend coming close to 6pm as possible, since it may be slightly awkward arriving late after we have already split off into groups.
If you do come in a bit late, there's still a chance we have other late stragglers that can create a new group, or you may catch an existing group amidst rules explanation of a game you know. If games are in full swing, you're still welcome to stick around and chat, and then join when something finishes.
Do I need to bring games? No, not at all. We generally have plenty of games available. The games played will be from those brought by people, so if there's something in particular you'd like to play, you're welcome to bring it. Many people will stuff a bag of games to bring along from their collection.
What games do you play? There's generally quite a variety of games, but they tend to be less the classic games like Monopoly, and more games of the Settlers variety (deck-builders, worker placement, economic games, etc.). As a group, on average we tend to favour slightly heavier games (Brass, 18XX, Le Havre, etc). But we do have a few members with preferences towards lighter fare (Ticket to Ride, 7 Wonders, Splendor, etc). As such, everything else in between will also have a good chance to be played.
How are games chosen? People will bring games and a pile will generally be created along the wall of the room, allowing people to peruse and rummage for something that may pique their interest. As previously mentioned, we're not a decisive lot, but eventually someone will make a decision on what they would like to play. Most of us are content playing anything. There are some people who prefer lighter-medium weight games, while others will gravitate toward the heavier brain burners.
We have a thread in the Ontario forum of BoardGameGeek. Occasionally, people suggest ahead of time something they'd like to play, and garner interest before the meetup or use it as a request for someone to bring the game.
How are groups formed? Do people just find their friend and play between themselves without really wanting outsiders? Typically someone proposes a game, and people interested simply break off to join. We are largely a good-natured group of people, and a newcomer should not hesitate jumping into groups being formed. Groups are generally fluid; sometimes you end up playing games with different people throughout the night if game-ends end up aligning. You may notice certain people tend to group together often, but for the most part, that's simply because they share similar preferences in style and/or weight of game. That said, if you came with a friend and want to play with them, you're more than welcome to stick together.
Do I need to know the rules for the game? Given the sheer number of different games that make it to the tables, it'd be a difficult feat knowing the rules to all the games. Even the one explaining the rules is likely to muddle through a bit (so bear with us). In almost all games, there's usually someone (or more often, many) that will need a rules explanation, or refresher. It's rare to have a game where everyone knows the rules before hand.
To whom do I pay the $2.50? Sometime throughout the evening, Steve/James/Dan will make rounds collecting money. We'll be happy to make change as necessary.
Who do you talk to if you aren't sure what to do? Steve Larkin is the organizer of the club and super friendly (Note to self: corner Steve for a mug shot for the website). He'd be most welcoming answering any questions you might have. Dan (me) may be less knowledgeable, but would be happy to help any way he can. As such, as mentioned, we're a good-natured group, and any of us should be approachable.