NSEG: Social Distancing Editions

As current events make regular NSEGs impossible, we’ve shifted to a virtual model for meetups. Of course the benefit of playing virtually means that you can play virtually anytime you like with anyone, not just on Sundays.

Here’s a quick guide on how we can all play together.

Organising Games

We use our Discord server to organise games and to use voice chat while playing games online.

Joining our Discord server is simple.

You can find games that are happening in the #online-gaming channel.

To communicate while in a game you can use our voice channels (at time of writing there are currently 4 dedicated for in-game voice chat) or organise some other method with those that you’re playing with (like Zoom, Hangouts, Skype etc).

Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia

Sandbox platforms basically create a virtual version of the game including the tokens, the board, the cards and so on. It relies on the players to move them appropriately and according to the rules, though some have differing levels of scripted (automation) to perform common tasks like shuffling the deck.

In the case of Tabletop Simulator the person hosting the game will need to either download the DLC or workshop data of the game your looking to play before organising the game, while Tabletopia downloads everything once you’ve setup the game.

We suggest have one person in the game be familiar with the game itself, to run and facilitate the game session. Also requires every person to buy (in the case of Tabletop Simulator) and download the necessary platform or game. 

  • Tabletop Simulator (Steam – Pc / Mac)
    Cost: $29, some games available as paid DLC
  • Tabletopia (Web and Steam – Pc / Mac)
    Cost: free – some games might require the host to have a subscription

Here’s a quick guide on the two big sandbox platforms and the differences between them.

There’s also Tabletop Playground which (as of April 2020) is in a free beta. It’s somewhat similar to Tabletop Simulator, but being newer has much less content than the other two.

Yucata, Boiteajeux, BoardGameArena

Many of these websites replicate the game to the point where players are able to perform the specific actions necessary on their turn. Results in a much more guided process, and easier to pick up.

One downside for live play is they might be designed to be played when people are able (asynchronous) , so they might not have real time notifications for when it’s a player’s turn. If playing live, this can be solved by also being on voice / video communications. Or you can just play a game that requires small bursts of interaction across the week. They are also limited in their selection of games which have been implemented in comparison to the Sandbox platforms . 

A big pro is most of these sites can be accessed from a variety of devices, such as phones / tablets as well as computers.

They are also generally free to play.

BoardGameArena

BoardGameArena offers both synchronous and asynchronous games and they have over 100 available.

A lot of the better games require the person who starts the game to have subscription, but for those joining an existing game no subscription is required.

If you’re jumping on to BoardGameArena , make sure to join our group at https://boardgamearena.com/group?id=4141637

Boiteajeux

Boiteajeux has around 75 games, generally Eurogames, abstracts and a word game.

It has a subscription system, but subscribing gives you access to more features on the site rather than limiting what games you can play.

Find a game at http://www.boiteajeux.net/

Yucata

Yucata also has over 100 games, however they’re all asynchronous and mostly Eurogames.

Rather than be subscription based they suggest that you donate if you can.

Find a game at: https://www.yucata.de/en