Gratitude – Day 43 (Game Leagues)

We are in our third season of our League for the racing boardgame: Formula De. Leagues add a great element to boardgames and creates a “meta game” above the actual boardgame itself. We are also still trying to finish up our first season of the Wings of War League, but it has stalled out a couple of times, mostly just needs the focus to keep it front and center.

As a chronic organizer, creating a league structure must call to some inner need to create an organized format around a game system. It is rewarding to see the creation bloom and grow.There is also the continuity aspect. We have many people and combinations of people come to our house for boardgame nights. A league creates a tighter community as the group remains relatively constant throughout the course of the season. The point system highlights rivalries as players jockey to gain standings and points. The risk-reward elements of how you place on a single evening get augmented by the league standings. There are two games at stake. The evening game and the overall league. Makes for some fun trash talk and tension in each game night.

I first started running leagues with the Poker For Hacks league that gradually evolved into the Bixby Series of Poker. Those have been very successful and highly attended. I enjoy the leagues the most when a system can be established that basically makes running the league easy and smooth. The first couple of poker seasons had me doing some ambitious stuff with side pots and the like and it became too much work to run the league, host the league, and do the reporting. The Wings of War League has suffered from that as well. I change the Poker from the complicated PFH to a much simpler BSOP and it is a piece of cake to run. The Wings of War is still hosted at my place, but Bob Newis is at the helm for running the group now, so that is a huge burden off of my shoulders.

There is certainly something to be said for the dynamics created by a league. I know there are many long running sports leagues in Regina. I am not referring to people actually playing the sport, but fantasy leagues, strat-o-matic, and other game like leagues. Many of these involve an entry fee or some other form of prize pool. For many of our leagues, we have players buy into the league with a six pack of beer and the beer becomes the prize pool. I think there could be an opportunity to turn this into a fundraiser of sorts. I enjoy the community and camaraderie that is created with this format. It is yet another form of community engineering. I think this is a potential growth area for the SaskGames initiative and could be used to grow the sense of community around boardgaming in Saskatchewan.

It is all just another facet of the hobby that I am very grateful for. That, and my driver in the Formula De League came in first in last night’s race. Way to go Willie Survive.

Finish last in your league and they call you idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you doctor. ~ Abe Lemons

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