Dragons Lair vs. Private Hosting on Saturdays
Yesterday we tried the Saturday SABG session at Dragon's Lair rather than at someone's house. I've been thinking about the pro's and con's of doing so in the future. Here are my brainstormed thoughts.
Playing at Dragon's Lair
- Game store environment (lots of geek stuff around to look at)
- Potential to recruit new members
- Zero logistics for a host (i.e., no set up or clean up involved)
- Doesn't impose upon host's family
- Usually lots of table space
- Centrally located
- No discomfort associated with inviting new people into your home / going to stranger's house
- Provides some support to a FLGS
- Game store environment (noise, smell, crowd)
- Store doesn’t open until 10:00 AM
- Saturdays are a very busy day at Dragon’s Lair
- Interruptions by random geeks asking questions. The geeks that proceed without asking to pick up and examine components of your game can be particularly distracting.
- People seem a little less likely to show up on time or at all. Game play typically doesn't start until 30-45 minutes after posted arrival time.
- Packing a load of games into your car
- Taking games with lots of components outside the house... greater likelihood of component loss.
Playing at a Privately Hosted Location (usually a home)
- Usually more quiet with less distractions
- Greater security for games
- Games can be pre-set up by host
- Coffee pot, refrigerator, pizza delivery
- The host, at least, doesn’t need to pack games
- Early start time possible
- Can be weird with new people to group (both for them and host)
- Host logistics involved
- Table space and overall size limited
- Family issues
- Location potentially not as central
At least for me, I view Saturdays as an opportunity to play games on the longer and more complicated side. Since we've been playing on Saturdays, I've lost count of the number of times I've played War of the Ring and other long games like World of Warcraft, Civilization, and Conquest of the Empire have also appeared. These are games which rarely make an appearance at a weeknight game event. These are also games which seem less suited to the FLGS game environment. An early start time and less distractions helps get these games played before other life concerns intrude.
As long as we have a willing host and willing attendees, I'm leaning towards suggesting private hosting for Saturdays most of the time if possible, though I'm not convinced this is the way to go. What do you all think?