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Q&A with Sheffield Board Games Club

Sheffield Board Games Club Interview

The Sheffield Board Games club is a friendly group that gets together to play a variety of board games. If you are ever in the vicinity then why not visit them at one of their regular games nights? Tell them Zatu sent you! We spoke to Rick, one of the organisers, to find out more about what they do.

1. Can you tell me a little about the organisers and what made you decide to put on a games night?

I look after the social media pages; post photos on Facebook and Instagram and I create the events. I'm just one of the organisers, the club is run by various members, for the benefit of all gamers in the Sheffield region. The club was started about eight years ago by some enthusiastic Sheffield gamers, some of whom are still involved in the club today. The idea was for everyone to meet together to play a variety of card, board and war games – at that point, the opportunities for gaming was somewhat more limited than it is now.

2. What is Sheffield Board Games Club and what makes it unique?

We pride ourselves on having a welcoming and friendly group. There is a diverse group of regular members who are really passionate about tabletop gaming. We hold regular events which are always well attended so there are always plenty of people to play games with. Anyone is welcome to drop in and play some games, there is always something going on whatever your particular gaming tastes.

Our main weekly event is at the University Arms in Sheffield. This is a great venue, the gaming itself is free but we encourage our members to buy food or a couple of drinks at least for the evening. The other weekly event we run is at the Castle Gaming store which is in Stocksbridge. This is £4 for the session.

As well as Board Gaming, Castle Gaming run lots of different events on other days, including role-playing, war gaming, modelling and painting.

Finally, we have a monthly all-day event which is held at the Red Deer pub. This is a great event for organising longer and more involved games but as with our other events we play shorter games as well. Again this is a free event but we would expect our members to buy something from the pub to compensate them for the space we take up. Luckily the Red Deer have a fantastic range of food, craft beers and gins!

We are also on YouTube and we have a monthly podcast.

3. What are the best and worst parts of running a games night?

The best part is meeting new people and finding out what kind of games they like to play. It's pretty daunting if you have not been before and going into a room full of people who know each other so getting new players into a game and see them having fun is really rewarding. It's even more rewarding when people come back again! The worst parts are the work involved in organising the events, collecting the subs running the forum etc. But it's worth it!

4. Arriving at an established games night can be daunting, what can a new person expect if they come along?

Anyone can just turn up and we will always try and get that person into a suitable game. Our regular members are always looking out and will say hello to anyone who looks lost! If you prefer to introduce yourself first you can always say 'hi' on the forum and you can organise games that way. To get the best chance of getting into a game, we recommend people arrive on time to make sure they can get in on a game.

5. What are the most popular games at the night, and why do you think that is?

The club has a small library of popular games which are available for people to play so these get regular playtime. Codenames is a good challenging filler type game which lots of people can join in. Catan is a classic which gets regular play. It's one of those games that has great replay-ability and every game is different. It's also fairly quick, we can play the base game in 45 minutes. And it's great for adding expansions if you want a longer more involved game.

Avalon is another popular game towards the end of the night. We love a bit of social deduction! As well as these library games people regularly bring their new purchases so if you want to play the latest hotness you usually can!

6. And finally, what is your favourite game and why?

My personal favourite is 7 Wonders, a card drafting game about building up your civilisation. It’s got lots of options and I love that it can play up to seven players in under an hour. Also, the expansions are fantastic for it. I can’t really name any faults with it! My second favourite which I have to mention is Dominion, it fixes all the problems I had with Magic the Gathering and I really love the puzzle of figuring out the best strategy.

Sheffield Board Games Club is held every Tuesday at the University Arms from 7pm till late. Every Thursday at Castle gaming from 7pm. First Sunday of every month at the Red Deer, from about 12.30pm onward. Learn more about the group, join the forum and organise games ahead of time at Find them Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

We thank Rick for taking the time to answer our questions.