Every action movie has the same type of characters the hero, the “too cool to lead” type, the comic relief, the guy who’s going to be dead by the third act, and the hot female with a character defining backstory. In the equally not-so-glamorous board game world, there’s a parallel but unequal line-up, with some distinct characters in each group.
1. The “expert”
This is typically the quietest guy in the group. His attention to detail and obsession for copious text being channeled into a rabid passion for rule books. The burden of both knowing and explaining every game falls on the “expert”. While showing no outside emotional response, this guy typically relishes the power rush of holding a captive audience. The newly ordained experts often misuse the stage to launch into arcane rules, while the more seasoned ones take their audience through a journey, with the gleam in their eye promising that there is more to come.
Powers: Encyclopedic knowledge of games
Weaknesses: Uncontrollable rage when interrupted, often manifesting in passive aggressive grunts
2. The overly competitive one
In communist Russia, every person would win equal points regardless of how they play, and the “expert” would be executed for free thinking. In capitalist America, the overly competitive player will skin you to the bone with a 3:1 trade for Sheep he doesn’t even need. He can rest assured though, that no friendship is worth that precious precious victory point.
Powers: Relentless pursuit of victory
Weaknesses: Relentless pursuit of victory
3. The other overly competitive one
In High School, this guy was probably voted “most likely to flip tables”. He is as aggressive as the other overly competitive player, and they often end up locking horns, forgetting the rest of the universe, in their cosmic dance for control of the board. This guy, more likely than the other competitive guy, will channel his anger and frustration into a creative description of how each game piece may find itself perfectly lodged in various cavities of the body.
Powers: Creativity, especially escalating, creative profanity
4. The stickler
The stickler is an otherwise typical guy, with regular habits, and a normal lifestyle. His normal-ness carries itself to every aspect of his life, until he runs into someone committing the egregious offense of not following some rule to the letter, especially to his disadvantage. Seeing his moment to shine, he swoops down with the full force of righteousness that only clenched butts and grit teeth can express to insist on undoing the last two turns. Taking pleasure in the groans of his victims, knowing he could sleep soundly that night having upheld the law.
Powers: Hawk like attention to other peoples’ games
Weaknesses: His inherent unlikability. No one likes you Steve.
5. The “champ”
The champ is easily identified by his inability to be affected by insult, or defeat. As far as he is concerned, he is infallible, the favored one. He dangles his greatness at the lesser mortals, taunting them to reach his heights. The champ may win only one game every five games, but gloats so much that he is the one everyone gangs up against even if he isn’t winning.
Powers: Immune to humiliation
Weaknesses: What weakness?
6. The “casual” gamer
“Oh, I am just here to hang out with you guys”. The casual gamer is often identified by his non-committal attitude to playing board games. His reasons for hanging out often vary, from wanting to escape his soul crushing loneliness to a curiosity for the hobby. His defense against being peer pressured is to hide behind a veil of apathy to the activity.
Powers: Escape any situation by switching character
Weaknesses: Staying on the fringe of the group
7. The +1
Every perfectly choreographed game night can go sideways by the simple introduction of a +1. Like a pimple on a teenager’s nose, they can neither be wished away, nor ignored, always staying within your line of sight, taunting you for imagining you could plan a game night and expect it to go flawlessly. Unfortunately, since they are often unaccounted for, and since they often have no interest in playing The Cult: human sacrifice, they end up uninterestedly playing on their phone, subtly pressurizing the person they accompanied to leave earlier than planned.
Which of these are you?