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The LoB Newbie Guide

We like to think of London on Board as a friendly place.  But we appreciate that walking into a room full of people, all of whom seem to know each other and many of whom seem to be frowning*, can be a little unsettling.   

We promise, you needn't worry, every event is filled with friendly people just itching to play games with you.

So, whether you're new to modern Board Games, new to LoB, new to London or just a bit confused about what the heck is going on, this guide is for you.  

*frowning is a symptom of board games, these people are happy but concentrating (ever so hard on something quite silly).

Where?

  • We have a pool of regular venues in Central London to play which includes:

    • The Mad Hatter Hotel

    • The Sir Christopher Hatton

    • International Students House

    • The Holiday Inn, Camden Lock

  • Each event will clearly state the venue and gives details of the location.

  • If you get lost message a fellow attendee or preferably a Helper or Organiser.  If they get the message they'll try and help you out.

  • We're constantly trying other venues around town, so LoB can pop up at other places too.  Check our Events on Meetup.

When?

  • We have events most days of the week, with all-day gaming at weekends. There's the occasional hiccup or shift in schedule due to holidays or the venue having other bookings.  Again, check your meeting for details.

  • Once a month we have a Newbie Night.  This is for people who don't feel comfortable launching straight into a regular event and for people with little or no experience of modern board games.  Each Newbie Night will be clearly marked on Meetup and you can also find them on the Events page of this site.

  • Weeknights usually start at 5:30pm and run until 10:30pm / 11:00pm.

  • Weekend events start at either noon or 11:00am (depending on venue) and run until 10:30pm / 11:00pm, or later if the venue allows.

  • Pro Tips: 

    • You don't have to arrive at the very beginning of the event, but the earlier you arrive the better.  This will give you a better chance to join a table and start a game. 

    • If you arrive later you may have to wait a while for a game to open up. 

    • Weeknights, most people try to arrive within the first 30-60 minutes of the event. 

    • Weekends, generally have a more relaxed start.

    • You can always arrange at least your first game of the each event using the Forums or the Chat here, or on the Meetup event discussion.  That way you can be sure to get started the moment you arrive.  

What Games Do We Play?
  • All kinds of tabletop and board games, card games, dexterity games, word games, trading games, family games, dice games, social deduction games, co-operative games, and simulation games. 

  • The emphasis is generally on newer games, what some people call modern board games.  But you will see games of almost any type and vintage being played and nearly all games are welcome and indeed encouraged.

  • Very few games are off-limits, but some are generally frowned upon:

    • Roleplaying games and CCGs (collectable card games, like Magic the Gathering): While many LoBsters play these sort of games, we've chosen to rule them out. There are clubs and venues dedicated entirely to those sorts of games and they create and perhaps require a different atmosphere to an LoB event.  

    • Scrabble/Mah-Jong/Monopoly/Bridge/Chess/Poker etc.:  You might not get a lot of interest in these, most LoBsters use LoB as a chance to play games they wouldn't otherwise get to play, so again we've chosen to rule them out.

    • Video Games: Many club members play these, especially online versions of board games, but it's not something we allow at our events.

    • Two Player Games: Table space is at a premium at LoB events, so two people occupying a table better suited to four or more is generally not the done thing.  Of course, if there's no one else to play with, it's a quiet night or there are specifically two-person tables, then exceptions may be allowed.  Best to check with a helper or an organiser though, just in case.

How Do I Attend An Event?
  • Check for events on Meetup:

    • RSVP for the event you want to attend. This is important as there is a limited amount of space at each event and we want to be sure everyone has enough space to sit and play.  Venues also have strict capacity limits that we cannot exceed.

    • If a meeting is already full, you can put yourself on a waiting list for any spaces that come free.

    • If you change your plans (even if you're only on the waitlist), please do change your RSVP as quickly as possible, so that someone else can take your place.

  • Please Show Up or Cancel Your RSVP.  If you don't you're probably depriving someone else of a spot.

  • Always feel free to introduce yourself to the Named Host if there is one, or say hello to a Helper or Organiser.   There labelled here in the Members list, and on Meetup you will see on same labels on the web or a white star in a red circle on the App.

  • Helpers are always happy to answer your questions or clarify any how the event works.  Even if there is no host or helper you should find us a helpful and friendly bunch so don't be afraid to ask questions.


Any Rules I Need To Know?
  • For the games, not necessarily, many people are willing to teach.  It's always polite to make clear you don't know the rules, but equally it's always polite to say "I'll teach"

  • For the Events and for LoB:

    • Yes, but very few as we try to be easygoing.

    • You can find them here, and we'd be grateful if you took a further moment to read them.

 

FAQ's
  • Where do all these games come from?

    • Our members. Everyone is welcome to bring along games they think others will enjoy, but don't worry if you can't as there are usually more than enough to go round. The games that people have brought usually get piled up on a table and anyone's welcome to pick from that stack and start up a game.

    • We also have a library of popular games in a box at the Sir Christopher Hatton.  So, when that is the venue for the event, those games will be available to play.  We plan to have games libraries at other regular venues in future.

  • How do I get in a game?

    • Most games are organised on the spot (someone picks up a box and puts it on the table).  You could do that too.

    • Some games get organised in the comments for a particular Event, here on the Chat or in the Forum, or in the discussion on Meetup, but you don't have to do this.  Just get out there and ask.  If you get lost or can't get started, ask the Named Host, an Organiser or a Helper for assistance.  Across the course of the event, groups will play a game, then split up and regroup to play a different game.  Most likely, you'll get to play several games. Towards the end of an event, people tend to play shorter, lighter games and social games in bigger groups.

  • I don't know how to play game X, what should I do?

    • Don't worry if you don't know any of the games or haven't played many games before!  Someone who knows the rules will always be happy to explain.  Even regulars will often have to be taught or reminded of rules.  If you're not sure whether you want to join a particular game, ask for some more information about it.  It's fine to say if you'd rather play several shorter, simpler games than one epic that will take the whole event (or vice versa).

  • What does it cost?

    • There are no fees for attending (and we hope there never will be), but we do expect you to buy food and/or drink at the venue.  We get the space free on the expectation that this will happen.

  • I'm really into game X. Can I come and play it?

    • Generally, yes. But because we are principally dedicated to board gaming and there is a limited amount of space, please do check above in case it's not generally permitted.

  • Too much gaming is barely enough. Can I get more?

    • Might we suggest you join your fellow LoBsters for a weekend by the seaside.  For LoBsterCon, twice a year, many of us and stay in a hotel on the front at Eastbourne to play games for up to four days solid.  It's a chance to play that 12 hour epic, or play every game in a series or win a game in the raffle, or try out the new Essen releases... (the list goes on)

    • There other places to play board games around London, the UK, the World and the Web.  And you can find our favourites listed (non-exhaustively) under those headings on pages of this site.  Check them out from the Info menu at the head of this page.

 
Above All Have Fun!!