November 26, 2023: Marsh Madness?
If you have a closet of shame like I do, you have lots of games that you haven't played (or played much). Here's an idea if you need an excuse to get them off the shelf and on the table: a gaming bracket.
Choose a bracket-friendly number of games you'd like to play: 4, 8, 16 . . . 32 if you've got the backlog and want to do a full "March Madness" on the collection. Make a single-elimination tournament bracket with those games. Perhaps you want to match them by theme. Or to seed them like the pros do, look up their Board Game Geek ratings: highest rated versus lowest rated, second-highest versus second-lowest, etc.
Then start playing. Try to play each of the two games that are "competing" against each other on the same day or successive days, if possible. ("It's Deadly Doodles versus Wiz-War!") Once you've played both games, as a group, figure out which of the two you like better and thus which you want to play again. This determination should be obvious, with more elaborate systems of declaring a victor in individual match-ups left to the reader's imagination.
At the end of the first round, you've played each of the games once, and now half the games advance to the next round. Repeat the process until a winner of the tournament is declared.
This excuse for playing can help games actually hit the table, and can bridge the gap between "games we thought we were interested in" and "games we play all the time." Although you'll be forced to learn a bunch of new rules, you'll discover new games that can become part of the regular rotation.
If anyone actually uses this idea, I'd love to hear about it on the forums!
-- Steven Marsh
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