Seven Habits of Highly Dysfunctional Boardgamers

For the most part, we boardgamers are a gregarious lot; we have to be since most boardgames require the participation of others.  Many of us enjoy the social aspect of gaming, and form strong bonds while beating the crap out of each other across the dinner table. I’ve been lucky to be a part of many gaming groups over the years, and from that experience I can tell you one thing, definitively: every group includes at least one of the following seven gamers. It’s these misfit few, bless their little hearts, that make our gaming experience just a tad trying but amusing, nonetheless.

CLOVER LEAF – The world’s luckiest player. If the game involves chance or, even worse, dice, she will roll sixes every time. Your only hope is to trick her into playing a game where luck is not a factor. Lie if you have to. “Sure, Chess has dice. Trust me.”
Also known as: Lucky Day; Holy Jumping Jeepers Did She Just Draw Another Ace?

SALLY THINKSALOT – This scourge of the game table has a debilitating disease: analysis paralysis. When it’s her turn, you will wait. Oh yes, you will wait. And wait. And wait. Sally could turn a ten-minute game of Yahtzee into an all-night affair. You should probably be nice to her, though – most likely she’s your mother.
Also known as: The Riddler (“Now, what’s this rule mean again? Should I go here or here?”)

THE SPHINX – This analytical thinker has the final score tallied after your second move. Don’t even try to win at any game that involves victory points, bidding or, God forbid, math. She has already calculated all outcomes. There is no hope. You can practically see the whirl of numbers and equations flying around her head. It’s like watching Beautiful Mind without all the schizophrenia – mostly.
Also known as: BRAINIAC 5; The Calculator; My fiancée

JOHNNY ADDERALL – Everybody knows this guy – he’s the reason you can’t continue the game. Johnny’s seat is usually empty because he’s too busy texting or having a smoke or fixing a sandwich or digging into your comic book collection to find that run of Spider-Man where all the clones showed up and there were robots and stuff. The only way to keep Johnny’s attention for longer than three minutes is to make little explosion sounds whenever someone makes a move. Caution: Under no circumstances should you allow Johnny and Sally Thinksalot to join you in the same game. Life is too short.
Also known as: The Blur; Johnny Come Lately; Kid Brother

MR. SUITCASE – This is the guy that’s down with the Sickness. You know what I’m talking about – he’s got the boardgame bug. Mr. Suitcase always brings a bag full of games to every get-together, many of which have either not been played by the group or are still in shrink wrap. You know in Commando when Schwarzenegger breaks into that store and loads all the guns, knives, bazookas, grenades, rubber chickens and chopsticks in the place into two giant duffel bags and walks out with his arms all bulging? That’s what Mr. Suitcase looks like every time someone has a barbecue.
Also known as: The Collector; Sir Game Closet; Broke Guy; Chris K.

RENN FAIRE – With a penchant for corsets, Horatio Hornblower, and anything by the Bronte sisters, this gaming gal will only participate if the game’s theme is set prior to the 1800s. Or if it’s Munchkin. Got a cool sci-fi game you want to try out? Forget it. Horror? Only if it’s gothic, and then only if it involves pale dudes with fangs. The only recourse to avoid playing Caylus or Carcassone for the 84th time is to find a game with her only kryptonite: cute animals. Hope you like Killer Bunnies – there are about 14 expansions. Yes, I’m serious.
Also known as: Gilly the Perky Goth; Willow; Mary Queen of Scots

PARTY GUY – For the love of Pete, someone hide the Cranium. This is the dude who, when asked what game to pull out of the closet, always shouts out “Apples to Apples! Oooh no, how about a rousing game of charades!” You can identify him fairly easily – they’ve captured his ebuliant and lightheaded essence on the Partini box.
Also known as: That Guy; Bud Weiser; Uncle Bob

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  1. DiXit:The Cure for the Common Party (Game)
10 Responses to “Seven Habits of Highly Dysfunctional Boardgamers”
  1. Joelle says:

    Shut up. Apples to Apples is still fun. It’s the only game I’ve ever played where the category we chose was best movie title and I came up with some horrific Wilford Brimley porno (I won that hand, btw). You just have to use your imagination to keep it fun in the same circle of friends.

    I’m probably a Johnny Adderall, as I’m usually playing hostess, refilling the snack table or drinks. Or I just can’t sit still. I tend to introduce lots of sound effects and loud outbursts so I don’t go stir crazy in my seat.

  2. admin says:

    Joelle Adderall – nice. 😀

    I don’t dislike Apples to Apples, I just don’t want to play it every. single. get-together. And it can be incredibly hilarious with a good group. You should really try DiXit if you haven’t already. Oh, hey, look – I reviewed that.

  3. Beacon80 says:

    I don’t get why Mr. Suitcase is a bad thing?

  4. admin says:

    He’s not necessarily bad (especially since I consider myself a Mr. Suitcase), but since he always has a deluge of new games to try, and rotates the mix so often, some gamers can feel overwhelmed or there may not be a chance to get better at a game that everyone likes. Of course, eventually the favorite games of the group become obvious and those start to earn a permanent home in the suitcase…

  5. Joelle says:

    I’m definitely going to pick up DiXit soon. It sounds like so much fun, and I think my friends will really like it. I’m trying to get them on board with Chrononauts first, before I introduce a new-to-them game.

  6. admin says:

    So you’re basically the opposite of Mr. Suitcase. 🙂

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