Tips for New Gamers - Chapter #1

by By The Board Games & Entertainment

First, I want to thank you for all of the support you have given to us! We are excited as we lead in to our second week of open business!  

Regardless of your experience in gaming, have you ever participated in a game night or better yet, hosted a game night?

If yes, what was your favorite game or was there a memorable moment? 

We crashed a community game night on Friday and it just happened to be the biggest turn-out that they've ever had.  It was awesome to see there were people there that were not familiar with many games at all that were jumping in to some of the modern games.  I hope that all got at least one chance to play at least one new game.  

If you answered 'no', what is holding you back? 

Most likely it's not fear of having fun.  Long gone are the simple choices of Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, D&D or Magic.  While these games are still relevant today, independent and mass manufacturers are making it easier for the creative-minded to create and distribute games for every interest! 

Unfortunately, this manufacturing results in higher production prices and frequent production stops, making the more intricate (and generally fun) games much less accessible than ,say, Monopoly. Games can seem like collector's items and risky investments. 

You may even visited game stores in your neighborhood that advertise game nights but found yourself amidst experienced gamers who were not interested in teaching games, only playing with equally challenging opponents. (For what it's worth, there are many game stores popping up that are very welcoming to those wanting to learn games.) 

One option to jump head first into gaming is to join a Meetup group.  Most of these groups have experienced players with a good grip on the different genre of games and love to grow their groups. 

Another option is to turn to YouTube tutorials and reviews, but please be aware that most of the top reviewers are very experienced players. Their perception of entry games may be way different. Also, the majority of their reviews are aimed at experienced players. The best and most reputable library of information can be found at 

The good news is that many games are simply variations of a handful of types of games. This means if you learn Munchkin (which is low on the experience level required) you can easily settle in to a game like Dominion or Ascension which requires a little more calculated thought processing.

Many other games are great for parties or pub nights, can be learned on the fly and are appropriate for any age. A few great games are Wits & WagersOne Night Ultimate Werewolf, Pairs or Spyfall.

Thankfully, manufacturers and developers recognize many of these setbacks and have released many free or low-cost options for learning and practicing some of the most popular games through mobile apps and desktop game simulators. They are great resources to gaining some experience and confidence before sitting down to a few games. It won't necessarily teach you how to set up a game but you'll get the idea of how to play. If you have a family share plan for iTunes, always go with the iPhone option.  For the most part, the layouts are identical and look great on both iPhone and iPad. Sometimes, iPhone release is even cheaper. Here is a list of top games to look for:


  • Dominion:~(Free) (Deck-Building)
  • Nightfall: ~(Free) (Deck-Building)
  • Ascension: ~(Free) (Deck-Building)
  • Catan HD: ~$3.99 (Strategic Board Game)
  • Zombie Dice: ~(Free) (Push Your Luck Dice Game)
  • Galaxy Trucker:~$4.99 (Space Exploration Board Game)
  • Ticket To Ride: ~$6.99 (Train Networking Board Game)
  • Forbidden Desert: ~$6.99 (Co-operative Board Game)
  • Small World 2: ~$6.99 (Territory Building)
  • Carcassonne: ~$9.99 (Territory Building)
  • Puerto Rico: ~$4.99 (City Building)
  • Tanto Coure: ~$2.99 (Deck-Building)

Steam (Mac/PC):

  • Tabletop Simulator: ~$19.99 for a single license (additional game packs and licenses vary)

Tabletop Simulator not only offers tabletop game play on numerous popular games, but it also provides a 'sandbox' for game creation and testing.

  • Tabletopia (Beta): ~$9.99 for Beta/Early release. Levels of monthly access afterwards,TBA. Similar to Tabletop Simulator but they advertise no additional fees for games and sharing ability. 

So, on a side note, I should point out that many of these games in the electronic simulators are not currently available to us.  Some are currently Out Of Print (that production stop that I talked about) and a couple of very prominent companies have restrictions that we must adhere to or may not benefit our customers. They are, however, great games to learn and explore and the mechanics and genres do cross over to many of the games we carry.  You'll get the idea and feel more confident about participating in game night or even purchasing games. 

Of course, there may be something out there that we just haven't ordered yet, so if you are looking for something, please ask!

Inquire at or use the chat tab.

Don't forget! If you haven't made a purchase through us yet, use BTBFIRST at checkout and take 10% off of your subtotal. 


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