Join our Friendly Family of Gamers

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.  Our group offers public and private events.  Public events are hosted at local libraries.  Private events are hosted at a member’s home and requires a seat reservation.  For either our public or private 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.  Public sessions are hosted at one of the following libraries in Arlington: Aurora Hills, Central or Cherrydale.  These events are openly advertised on this website and through the Arlington Public Library website.

In addition to public events, some of our members offer to host private gaming events at their home.  These events are not advertised on this website.  We also have a Strategy Game Group for those who prefer longer, heavier tabletop games and an RPG group for anyone interested in Dungeons and Dragons.  If you want your email added to the listserv so you can hear about and sign up for both the private events and strategy group, email us and let us know:

Food and Drink?

Even though all of our public 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?

Our group events are only open to ages 18 and older.  This policy is an adult services policy for Arlington Libraries.  If you are a younger teen interested in gaming or have a child you want to introduce to the hobby, please contact us to discuss the opportunity.  We realize age is not the perfect indicator for maturity and are open to discussing specific situations on a case by case basis.  On a case by case basis, we may allow you to bring a younger teen as long as you have alerted us via email and plan on staying with your child to supervise.

What types of tabletop games do you play?

For our public gaming events, our group focuses on modern board games with a varying level of difficulty that can be played in less than two hours.  If one of our public open game sessions runs longer than two hours, we sometimes bring heavier/longer games.  We avoid the traditional board games of the past like Monopoly, Life, Sorry, etc.  We also do not cater to traditional card games like Hearts, Spades, Poker, etc.

Examples of some modern games we have played in past Open Game Sessions include Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Dominion, Clank, Sushi Go, Resistance, Alhambra, Concordia, Wingspan, Azul, 7 Wonders, Terraforming Mars, Great Western Trail, Viticulture, Scythe, Blood Rage, etc. 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:

For open game sessions, we tend to bring 15-20 games appropriate for a diverse audience that can be learned/played within the session’s time limits.  We rotate games from our library and rarely bring the same game to two consecutive sessions.  If you want to see the games we own at this point, click on the Games We Own link on the left navigation bar.

We try our best to offer at least one game teacher at each public open game session.  Plus, we encourage our members to bring their own games and offer to teach those games to others.  However, we cannot promise that a game teacher will be available at each session.  Therefore, feel free to grab a game available at an event and learn how to play with some new friends.  Most of the games are fairly easy to learn and all the games come with directions and player aids.

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.  We also ask that you limit your use of electronics/mobile devices at the game table to a minimum or only when absolutely necessary.

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