Our Leisure Activities: Tabletop Games
Tabletop games are an integral part of the company’s leisure time. In pre-COVID days, we often gathered to play tabletop games: after work, during corporate events or on weekends. Now people get together at home to play something long like Eclipse or Arkham. The collection of games expands, and the number of players also increases as the company grows.
What We Play after Work
Staying in the office for 1–2 hours after work to have fun was pretty easy. You could just tell your family that you were going to be late due to some important project, or a call with the Americans who were in a different time zone and had to get up early for us =)
With those of us who hadn’t played tabletop games before, we kept it simple, sticking to Carcassonne, Munchkin, Jackal, and Machi Koro. You can explain the rules of these games in 5–10 minutes. The matches themselves are pretty fast and fun, so after playing a couple of rounds beginners started to feel confident.
We also gathered for Mafia-type games such as Bang!, Citadels, Lifeboat, and Cluedo. Mafia is a very popular game, so people adapted to them pretty easily.
We also had poker nights, especially on paydays. Just kidding, of course :)
What We Play at Corporate Events
At office parties, we can also gather those interested to play something simple (it is a party after all).
It gets quite ironic when we play StartUp with company leaders and executives. Like when they fire 5 people without blinking an eye — that’s just game mechanics! =) — to save money and complete the project. By the way, in this particular game it is a simple but ultimately losing strategy. It would be better to get into debt, crunch a little and release the product scooping up a big score rather than to try and save money. And yes, we are still talking about the tabletop game, just to clarify =)
We once had a casino-style corporate event with specially trained dealers and even a prize pool.
What We Play on Weekends and Holidays
The real fun begins when we get together for complex strategy games like Dominion or Game of Thrones. Or cooperative D&D-type games like Arkham Horror or Eldritch Horror.
Such games take at least 3 hours to play a full match, provided that all players know and remember the rules and do not get distracted. But it’s boring to play without distractions, which is why it turns into 5+ hours.
And if the game is massive to begin with, such as Civilization, Eclipse, or Gloomhaven, you can play one match all day, while chatting, drinking, and eating pizza.
With these games, staying after work means staying all night. And after that you can go to a bar =) We had a couple of Fridays like that, it was pretty fun. However, in most cases we made plans for weekends or long holidays like those in January or May.
COVID made us change our ways: in 2020 we hardly ever got together in person but found another way — we started using tabletop simulations for PC. Some games were more challenging to migrate, but we were lucky to have so many programmers around who were able to script even the routine tasks (there is a video).
This is how we had been spending those 6 years until COVID ruined our plans. Many people began working remotely, and for tabletop games you either had to go to the office or schedule some extra time on weekends. Not everyone found it convenient. But now people are slowly returning to the office, so maybe we will continue with this tradition.