We Are a Culture
We Are an Experience

What and Why?

The NOVA Board Game Group is based in northern Virginia.  We are a small group of passionate board game enthusiasts that believe in creating and sustaining unique game experiences with an identified culture.   We believe every game experience should be three things: safe, positive, and friendly.  Our culture is defined by a specific etiquette.  The rules and expectations outlined on our website are non-negotiable.  They define who we are and what we believe in.  Some of our game-specific sessions are private and require an online reservation to get a seat at the table.  Some of our events are open to the public with no reservation required.  For either our private or public game sessions, everyone operates from the same set of specific rules and expectations.

We are not interested in becoming the largest board game group in the area.  We are interested in becoming the safest group in the area.  We care more about the environment we foster and we protect that environment.  That’s how we are different from the other groups in the area.  Though we are certainly competitive by nature, we value the social experience of gaming over the drive to win.

Who can join the group?

We love a diverse gaming environment.  Our group is accepting of everyone as long as you read and agree to the Rules and Expectations section of our website.  It defines our culture and environment and is non-negotiable.  Other than that requirement, we welcome every ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.  To participate, you must support the safe and harassment-free environment we enforce.

When and Where?

Our group offers a variety of gaming opportunities each month.  In order to cater to a variety of schedules among group members, locations and times vary.  Both our private game sessions and our open game sessions are on our Calendar of Events.

We currently have meeting locations throughout Arlington and Fairfax.  We are always interested in finding new locations that might fit our model and culture.   If you know of a great community location or business that offers free room use/reservations by community members, please email us this information and we will follow up on it.

How do I sign up to attend an event?

Before you can reserve a seat at any of our private sessions, you must email us and introduce yourself.  We want to get to know you and make sure you are a good fit for the atmosphere we so preciously protect.  If you have already spoken with us through email, feel free to sign up for a private gaming session.  Open game days and open game nights do not require membership in our organization or signing up to reserve a spot.  At open game events, we bring a large variety of games for you to learn and enjoy.  For “open” gaming events, just show up!  Currently, we host open game events at five locations: Arlington Central Library, Aurora Hills Library, Cherrydale Branch Library, Great Falls Library, and Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library.  Click OPEN GAMING SESSSIONS on the left navigation menu to see dates/times.

Private game sessions focus on one game only and do require that you reserve a seat at the table.  The description of each private gaming session on our Calendar of Events will include a link to sign up to attend/play that session.  Please be sure you always sign up in advance for the private sessions so we can make sure to save a seat at the table for you!  If you have trouble signing up or the event detail doesn’t have a signup link, you can always email us directly at novaboardgamegroup@gmail.com to reserve a spot.  Spots are filled in the order we receive reservation requests.  As long as we have you in our database and you have introduced yourself through email, we do not pick and choose who gets in and who gets left out.  However, if you have never emailed us to introduce yourself, we won’t know who you are and will delete any reservations you make.

Food and Drink?

Even though all of our locations allow you to bring food and drink, we ask that you avoid greasy, oily foods or any drinks that might leave permanent stains on our game components/cards.  We need your help in making sure we protect our board game library.

What about children?

Maturity is more important to us than age.  Our players want a relaxed, comfortable and stress-free environment.  Therefore, maturity is important.  Also, we always follow the age requirement of each game we play.  Some of the games we play certainly won’t be appropriate for children or a younger audience.  If you are younger than 18 years old but feel you have the maturity to join our group, please email us and introduce yourself.  Any child under the age of 16, must have a parent present.  If you have any questions or concerns about this age policy, please email us.

What types of tabletop games do you play?

Our group focuses on modern board games with a varying level of difficulty.  We avoid the traditional board games of the past like Monopoly, Life, Sorry, etc.  Examples of some modern games we have played in past sessions include Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Dominion, Scythe, Zombicide, Dead of Winter, Azul and 7 Wonders. A majority of the games we choose for gaming sessions are traditionally lighter and quick to learn.  For anyone interested in heavier strategy games which traditionally take a longer amount of time to learn and play, we do have a small side group that meets once a month to learn/play these types of games.  We do not publicly advertise this Strategy Group – email us if you want to included in the mailing list for this group.

Most of our games can be learned and played in less than two hours.  We always identify the games we are playing for each private session and include a link to that game’s information for each event posted on the calendar.  For open game sessions, we tend to bring 30-40 games appropriate for a diverse audience.  We also set aside time at each session, public or private, to teach the game and review the rules, so you don’t have to already know how to play when you come.  If you want to see the games we own at this point, click on the Games We Own link on the left navigation bar.  If you own a game that you want to play with other members, we would love to offer it for a private game session – email us to coordinate this private game session.  Or, just bring that game to an open game session to teach to others.

What is considered “off limits” at your gaming sessions?

We want to keep our environment safe, positive and supportive.  We all have enough drama in our lives and we really don’t want more.  Maintaining that positive, safe environment takes real effort and work among our participants.  We are warm, welcoming, accepting and patient.

A few topics of discussion would we like to avoid are religion, politics, personal health issues, anything private in general and tragic or depressing news.  Please avoid making comments about how others look or dress in either a positive or negative way.  Do not ask personal information from our group about their marital status, gender preference, dating status, or previous relationships.  It is not an appropriate place to overtly flirt or try to pick up/hook up with someone.  Respect everyone’s personal space and privacy.  Do not assume someone is comfortable with you touching them, hugging them or sitting in close proximity to them.  Yes, we realize these “off limit” items are common sense for all local gaming groups.  No, we do not regularly see these issues.  However, we feel it is important to communicate expectations clearly before you join our safe space.  Not reading or not fully taking the time to understand these basic rules is not an excuse.  You will be asked to leave and not return if you violate the expectations mentioned above.

Got anything happy to share?  Great!  As long as you read and follow our Rules and Expectations at the table, you have nothing to worry about.  With that said, we have and will continue to ask members not to return if their conversation/behavior is disruptive, negative, insulting or abusive.  Just please be mindful of our desire to stay positive and have a good time.

How do I contact you if I have more questions or concerns?

Our group has a central email address that you can email with any questions or issues.  Just send your email to novaboardgamegroup@gmail.com.