When you want to initiate someone you like into the great hobby we call PLAYING BOARD GAMES AND DRINKING AND EATING AND TALKING you have to make some very special preparations. You get one shot at this, and one shot alone. It goes without saying that the first thing you do is make sure that Carcassonne is not involved in the process at any point, because this bland, unsexy game will kill your attempt immediately. Once you're sure of avoiding that mistake, you can move onto my tips for seducing your friends and lovers with cardboard
CHOOSE THE RIGHT FRIENDS
This is fundamental. Sure, you might just want to choose your most attractive friends, but this is board gaming, not swinging. And yeah, it's great to have beautiful faces at your table, but how are you going to feel when you make those pretty faces cry after you stab them in the back during Cosmic Encounter? You need to get the right people on board. So here is a checklist that will help you find the ideal new gaming buddies.
A GOOD SPORT – They must be a good sport. When you hang out with these people, are they good fun? Can they take a joke? Can they go with the flow and act a little bit silly? Then that's a big tick on the checklist. You're going to do horrible things to these people. You need to know that they can take it.
NO UMMERS AND AAHERS – Do not DO NOT ask an ummer or and aaher to be a board gaming buddy. You know those friends who take AGES to decide on stuff? “Where do you wanna go?” “UUUUUMMMMMM....” “What do you wanna drink?” “AAAAAHHHHHH LEMME THINK UUMMMMMMMMM...” These people kill even the best board games DEAD. These people barely deserve to live, to be honest. You should want to play games with people who have sharp minds and know what they like.
NO SMELLY PEOPLE – Now, I don't have any friends who stink. But I'm thinking that some of you probably do. Don't play board games with these people. You can maybe have a five minute chat with someone who never washes their balls or vagina, but you can't spend three hours at a table with them, planning an allied conquest of a solar system. This might seem really cruel, but people who don't wash their anus don't deserve to enjoy a Bruno Cathala game. Here's my blanket rule – never play a board game with someone you wouldn't have sexual intercourse with. I'd play games with horses, dogs and pigs before I'd play with a person who stinks like a comic shop manager.
NO PSYCHOPATHS – I'm not joking. Psychopaths are known for not coping well with social interaction. If you must play with a psychopath, make sure you play something like Dominion, where you don't interact with any other players and behave like an emotionless android.
MAKE THE RIGHT APPROACH
Asking someone to play board games with you is as big a deal as asking them out on a date. I'm serious. There is a possibility they might laugh in your face, just like all those people you fell in love with did. And while you were never brought to justice for the killings that followed those humiliations, you're older and slower now and might find it harder to cover your tracks. So make sure to get the approach right. I've gone to the trouble of writing a script for you to follow, like you work in a call centre or something. You cannot go wrong if you stay with the script.
YOU: Hi. Do you like to play games?
TARGET: What kind of games?
YOU: You know... fun games.
TARGET: What kind of fun?
YOU: You ever wanted to own a slave?
TARGET: Keep talking...
YOU: You ever wanted to utterly dominate someone?
TARGET: Maybe. What do you have in mind?
YOU: A few of us are having a little... get-together. Next weekend. You want to come along and shake some bones with us?
TARGET: Mmm. That sounds good.
YOU: I'll see you then. By the way - I hope you don't mind, but I sleeve all my junk. Just as a precaution.
TARGET: No, that's cool. I totally get that.
If you keep the right tone, and stick to that script, there's no way your chosen target will not want to sit down and play board games about medieval agriculture with you.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT GAME
Like I said, you have one shot at this. Just like serial womaniser Charlie Sheen's old junkie penis, everything is riding on this. Make sure you have the right game on the table when that new person sits down with you. Here's another checklist.
A GAME YOU KNOW – Make sure it's a game you know, you dummy. The play experience should be smooth, and everything that happens in the game should be automatic to you. You need to to play host while you play the game. You need to have a glint in your eye and an answer to every question. If you even ONCE have to open the rule book, you might as well throw everyone out of your house like Eddie Murphy in Trading Places. “GET THE FUCK OUT!” Bare breasted girls too. “JUST GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!” It also needs to be a game that doesn't make you lose your shit. If you flip the board in the air and roar with rage at any point, you risk losing your audience unless they are big Mel Gibson fans.
A GAME WITH INTERACTION – This is so vital. Make sure you play a game with a lot of social interaction. If you play one of those weird multiplayer solitaire things, you will look fucking weird and the new players will be creeped out by how weird it is. If you play something like Race for the Galaxy, and everyone is sitting in silence just doing their shit, those new players will feel exactly like the girl did at that dinner table near the end of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is WEIRD and the new players aren't WEIRDOS yet, so you have to ease them in gently. You feel me?
More people need to play board games.
Those who don't know anything about board games probably think playing board games is boring or weird.
A lot of board games ARE boring and weird.
You have to trick those people into playing your games (which aren't boring or weird) with you (also not boring or weird) and you need to use every trick in the book to make it all happen.
Next week I'll be profiling the new gamers I've brought on board. Why don't you do the same? Let's see if we can't get a little movement going here. Follow my advice, spread the word, turn more people onto board games. Sound good?