The Game Before the Game Reviews

Everyone in our hobby loves playing board games. That’s by definition, of course. Additionally, there are a lot of board game adjacent hobbies that many of us enjoy, such as miniature painting, card collecting or trading, finding wonderful and usual dice and so much more. However, I think there is something else that many of us really enjoy doing and that is to do with the game before the game – but let me explain.

There are things most of us in the board game hobby do every time we get a new game. We don’t tend to really think about these things, but we often talk about them. It has all to do with preparation. After all, a brand-new game is never immediately ready to play. At the very least, you have to learn the rules, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

So let’s go over this one step at a time.

Out of the Box

You have just received a new board game. It’s carefully packaged in a sturdy cardboard box, so you simply take a pair of scissors or other sharp implement and run it along the tape. If it was correctly wrapped, you will see some sort of cushioning material to protect the game box.

I don’t know about you, but opening a parcel is always an exciting moment. I never really consciously think about it, but the smell of the packaging is definitely exhilarating. What’s more, the decision of how to open the packet is actually already a mini-game. Maybe it’s trivial, but I do think that the process of unwrapping our delivery appeals to the board gamer in us.

Of course, once we have been able to extract the game box, the next decision is even more important. How to remove the shrinkwrap in the right way has been discussed far and wide in the hobby. Some people swear by a carefully placed scalpel, while others prefer the fingernail method. There is also the option to find a corner and carefully, but forcefully pull at the seam. Sometimes it just depends on the type of shrinkwrap. So here is another job that challenges the gamer in us, at least in a small way.

Once you have the box open, it’s time to punch out the cardboard tokens. It’s a process that can be turned into a game. Some of us just do it as quickly as possible, while others take it slow to make sure the chits come away cleanly, without any tears. Getting to the tokens in the middle of the punchboard is also often a challenge that we all relish. The size of your hand and the length of your fingers is very important here.

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