If you play boardgames regularly with a varied group of people then you’ve almost certainly been exposed to a big range of personality types. Everyone is very different, and the great thing about the boardgaming community is it brings people together. Of course, the way that different people’s personality traits shape their approach to gaming can vary wildly. I’m sure you have a few ‘labels’ that friends of yours are well known for. ‘Sam really likes to think their turns through’. ‘Alex never pays attention to the rules explanation’. But what about you? Have you ever thought about what boardgamer archetype you fit into?
The Meta Gamer
There is a bit of Meta Gamer in all of us, but the master Meta Gamer is always playing the meta-game. You might hear phrases such as ‘I can’t believe you’ve done this (to me)’, or ‘Don’t attack me, blue is obviously winning’ from them. They constantly
whine add commentary to the game in order to make it obvious to everyone else they are doing so terribly. They regularly win.
The Rules Lawyer (with bad grades)
There is a good kind of rules know it all – the boardgamer who helpfully points out when you’ve made a small mistake or will happily clarify and explain rules to you when you ask. Then there is The Rules Lawyer. They will only bring up rules when it’s going to help them out. They will regularly question the rules to try and eke out a few dodgy points. They will regularly be incorrect regarding the rules (they never read the rulebook) and will make a big scene – ‘When I played this game 2 years ago I swear you could do this!!’.
Just Happy to Be Here
Just Happy to Be Here is up for anything! This boardgamer never complains, and makes everyone’s experience great by putting their all into each and every game. No tantrums, no arguments, no conflicts. The perfect gamer. Until that one time when you were happily allied with them in a game of Eclipse and you left your entire empire wide open (because Just Happy to Be Here is always neutral!) and they swooped through in one turn and completely hoovered up your entire empire. There is no perfect gamer, only the long con.
A friend of mine once said: ‘Your turn is for doing, other people’s turns are for thinking.’ Captain AP never got that memo. When it gets to their turn, suddenly they are frozen like a Kangaroo in the headlights, stuck puzzling over their many options and which one will yield them the most points oh but if I do that then 4 turns in the future I might not be able to do that other thing and that would mean that that other player might take my stuff and then I would end up coming second rather than first and ……….
Tom Vasel Says
There are a bunch of people on the internet with opinions. There are a bunch of people who enjoy and trust those people’s opinions. There are a few people absolutely will never stop telling you about what those people’s opinions are. I want to know your opinions! I’m sure Quinns really liked this game, but what about you?
The Human BGG
Want a game recommendation? The Human BGG has got you covered. Like, really well rugged up with about 6 layers and you might never see the light of day again. Did you ever hear about that sand timer based worker placement game from 2011 that had an innovative double reverse auction mechanic? Well you do now, and it’s out of print!
The Collector has more than one Kallax full of games at home, and their average number of plays on each of those games lies somewhere between 0 and 1. They’ve got Kickstarters arriving in the post once a week and it is always a fresh surprise for them what is arriving, there’s no way for them to keep track anymore. If you poke around their shelves carefully you might find doubles of a few games – it’s hard to keep track of what you do and don’t own when your collection contains 500+ titles.
The Always Winner
There’s usually that one boardgamer in a group who is known for winning. Because of that reputation, the meta-game involves letting any new players know about this, and then for literally every action they take accusing them of now winning and telling everyone to get them. Despite this, sometimes they still manage to sneak away with a win. ‘Remember that one time we went easy on them? THEY WON’.
The Teacher’s Assistant
If you teach rules then you know The Teacher’s Assistant. They will make sure everyone understands their mastery of the game being explained by interjecting during the rules explanation to helpfully add in things the teacher forgot. Things like ‘Oh – but when you do that action, don’t forget you can chain it with this [highly advanced late game strategy] in order to gain some extra points!’.
Most couples will play games with the single goal being to utterly destroy their partner in whatever ways the framework of gameplay allows. But then there is The Couple. The Couple is the absolute worst. They will never attack each other or do anything that may disadvantage the other player. They will help them out even when it makes no sense. They will king-make each other. Seriously don’t do this. It’s the worst.
Let me know in the comments which boardgamer archetype fits you best! (Maybe I missed some?)