Are you getting “burned out” on games?

I was scrolling through my YouTube feed this morning and came across a rather poignant video from The Brothers Murph. In their “Meta Minute” one of them (I have still not figured out which one is which) talks about how the general malaise and apathy caused by the pandemic are resulting in a reduction in board game positivity. The video is less than 7 minutes long but it made a decent impact on me this morning.

I’m surprised to find myself in the same boat - I don’t know if it’s mild depression, a general malaise, or what but even with time to get out a game I find myself just not in the mood. I’m still happily playing my Imperial Assault campaign in the evenings (Well... once I have a scenario set up it’s fine) but it actually felt like a chore getting out Trajan on Sunday to play solo. 

This... is not normal behavior for me. Typically I’m so excited to play board games and I really enjoy learning and setting up games. But lately I’ve even found it a bit of a struggle to come on to BGA! 

Is anyone else struggling with similar feelings to me? 

5 points by Skurvy5 - updated 11 days ago | 59 comments | report | subscribe

Courageous Bob 18 days ago | 2 points[-]

I am really missing a group around the table, I think you definitely lose something over Skype/TTS that makes board games significantly different to video games. However, by playing over TTS I have ended up playing a lot of games with friends who I normally only see a few times a year so that has been a real bonus.

sdirrane Supporter17 days ago | 1 point[-]

Nice, I've played a few games online with some of my regular gaming group guys.  I've gotten a lot of TTS for right now, but I can't wait to get playing in real life.

Courageous Bob 17 days ago | 1 point[-]

What is it you are most eager to get back onto the table?

sdirrane Supporter16 days ago | 1 point[-]

Really anything right now.  Although after having TTS experience with Root (which is very good) I do want to get that out with people I know.

Most likely #Star Wars Imperial Assault will be at the top of my groups list.  It's been a while since we've played it and it was kind of our first big venture into the hobby.

What about you?

Courageous Bob 16 days ago | 1 point[-]

I got #Cry Havoc just before the lockdown kicked in, so have only played it two player a couple of times (with my partner). Really want to see it play with four. Also, a friend at the club got Dune not so long ago and I am keen to get to play it.

I have never played #Star Wars Imperial Assault although have heard great things. I do enjoy 1 Vs many style of games like #The Fury of Dracula or #Not Alone 

sdirrane Supporter14 days ago | 1 point[-]

Oh yeah, Cry Havoc is something that's always floating around in the back of my mind.

Courageous Bob 14 days ago | 1 point[-]

I would give it a go if you have local board game café. I really love asymmetry and this dynamic specifically appeals but I have also read people have issues with balance (I never mind too much about balance as long as it is fun and so far in two player games it has seemed fairly even)

sdirrane Supporter12 days ago | 1 point[-]

I will see if there is one.  That is one of my draws.  As you'll see the more I post it'll become clear that Root is far and away from favorite game and asymmetry is one of my favorite mechanics.  If I win a giveaway I'll have to keep my eye on this.

Courageous Bob 11 days ago | 1 point[-]

I have wanted to play root for ages! It looks so much fun, I absolutely adore asymmetry. As far as I can tell, Cry Havoc is a little less asymmetrical than root but is a much tighter game where your actions have to very lasting consequences.

Skurvy5 Supporter16 days ago | 1 point[-]

Mmm. IA is so good. Playing it right now in fact!

sdirrane Supporter14 days ago | 1 point[-]

Nice.  We'll see we might get it out this week.  I think we are two missions into Heart of the Empire.  If I remember correctly we are tied 1 - 1.  I'm the Empire.

sdirrane Supporter19 days ago | 2 points[-]

I guess Brian has just won too many times.  Heavy is the head that wears the crown.  Haha.

Skurvy5 Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]


Marshwiggle92 Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]


theDL 19 days ago | 2 points[-]

No but my wife is, lol

nealkfrank 19 days ago | 1 point[-]

Ha! Speaking truth over here. 

sdirrane Supporter19 days ago | 2 points[-]

I haven't done a whole lot of solo gaming.  I've been trying to use TTS a lot, which has been good, and I've been mixing in quite a bit of video game time which has helped.

Having said that, the more I play Root on TTS the more I'm itching to play it with other people in real life.  Thankfully my state is starting to loose restrictions and we are able to spend some time with others as long as the numbers are low and we practice social distancing (within reason).

Skurvy5 Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]

Oooh I can’t wait to play Root with my game group. Going to be so good. 

sdirrane Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]

It really is so good.  You. need to pick up at least one of the Expansions at some point.  They add a lot.  I probably say that, in part, because the Lizard Cult is my favorite faction to play as.

lanista 18 days ago | 1 point[-]

I've been putting off a usual hobby of mine, painting minis (#Star Wars: Legion now a days). It should be the perfect time to paint but for some reason I never feel in the perfect chill, patient mood to paint.

As for gaming, I'm somewhat burned out on playing games at 2. Its happened to me in the past and idk if its the same for anyone here but after many games at 2 I crave to either play new games (buy) or play the ones in my library at higher player counts. Higher player counts is pretty hard in the current situation but I did buy a new game recently (sadly shipping is taking way way longer understandably)

Courageous Bob 17 days ago | 1 point[-]

Would love some advice on painting minis: I recently got my first game with minis, Cry Havoc, and don't really know where to start with what paints to get.

I definitely think I have felt the urge to buy more games than I usually would, and I think it comes from wanting something to jumpstart my enthusiasm again. Even though in reality I have a tonne of games and wouldn't really get to play the new ones anyway (my partner doesn't mind games but isn't enthusiastic about them so we only play about once every week or so).

lanista 16 days ago | 1 point[-]

I'm no expert by any means but I can give you some general tips from my experience. It definitely depends on how detailed you want the mini (tabletop ready or with lots of highlights). I looked up cry havoc and the minis are pretty cool, small minions for the most part.

   Any acrylic paint generally will do but I do like citadel paints which are a bit expensive. The good thing with higher quality paints is they go a long way since their really really concentrated. You usually want to thin the paints by mixing them with small amounts of water on a palette. Another general tip is to prime all minis before any other paint is applied,  I usually use cheaper paint for this step. Lots of people use black for the primer, since mistakes are less noticeable in the end (I use white). And lastly, buy nuln oil and apply to minis for easy shading. This last step will make the minis pop and look great without much highlighting. 

As for the last point, my game library ain't that big and I usually research games a lot before buying but will definitely be buying at least one more this month. #Black Orchestra finally arrived ! and I'm trying to get my partner to play it this week.

Courageous Bob 16 days ago | 2 points[-]

Thank you so much for the advice, I am (obviously) no expert either so am not too fussed if they aren't going to win any awards, just want to add a little more colour to the game!

lanista 16 days ago | 1 point[-]

Yeah painted minis look great on the table ! Maybe you can make a post with the final look of the minis!

Courageous Bob 16 days ago | 1 point[-]

Will do, although don't hold your breath, I am working more than ever during the pandemic so don't have any time these days (not that I am complaining, I absolutely recognise the privilege to have job security right now). I am excited for it though, I haven't painted anything (badly) since I played Warhammer at like age 11 :D

Btfu806 18 days ago | 1 point[-]

For me it comes and goes. Sometimes I can sit down and play a few hours of games in a night. Other nights I struggle through a 20 minute game. At this point I’m just rolling with it. I really should work on some house projects anyway. Sigh. 

3MBG 18 days ago | 1 point[-]

Yes and No. My solo gaming hasn't changed much. But I don't really like playing many board games online, at least not by preference. So i've been playing a lot less group games. My main board game group has actually been playing vermintide and offworld trading company and not board games online. 

Its not being burned out on games though, its that there is a pandemic on, so even if you are pretty comfortable where you are, and I am in as good a position as anyone to roll through this pandemic due to work and where i live, there is still a general unease about. 

It wouldn't matter if your hobby was board gaming, or stamp collecting, or pottery. Its just harder to be focused and relaxed right now

Skurvy5 Supporter18 days ago | 2 points[-]

Good points! Thanks for the perspective. Also it’s so cool a YouTube content creator commented on my post!

3MBG 17 days ago | 1 point[-]

Ha, i'm just a dude who plays games. I'm not one of them fancy influencer types who don't post want to associate with "the audience..... ew"

Chunkmonger 18 days ago | 1 point[-]

Is that what it is?  I thought I was feeling down because I’ve only played family weight games for the last two months. Maybe it’s the bigger issue of isolation. 

sdirrane Supporter17 days ago | 1 point[-]

I think family weight games would cause me a little trouble.  Thankfully I've been pushing games on my kids and my 7 year old daughter can play some higher level games.

Skurvy5 Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]

Could definitely be some of both of those factors too. 

JamesReid860 Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]

I can find myself there sometimes too. I’m usually happy when I push through and play but sometimes it can be hard to get there. Still, I don’t think I’d say that I’m burnt out on games as much as just the low-grade stress of the times is causing me to rather be lazy. 

Skurvy5 Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]

I can definitely agree that if I can push through and get a game started then it’s definitely always worth it. But lately I’ve really had to convince myself to get a game out. 

philryuh Supporter19 days ago | 1 point[-]

I can relate, you know how I already feel about solo games with long setups but it's been even harder. I've been playing lots of apps like #Friday instead and having fun. I'm trying out #Scythe digital to see if it might be a good fit for me and my wife. I do have #Agricola (Revised Edition) coming my way though and I think I'll really enjoy my first solo session of it. And really, I'll probably try to balance it out by getting my sketchbook out on some of the nights.

sdirrane Supporter17 days ago | 1 point[-]

By the way, how is Friday?  I know it's on a lot of top Deck Building lists but the theme just doesn't appeal to me at all.

philryuh Supporter17 days ago | 1 point[-]

It's fun, I like the app because I wouldn't play so often otherwise. The deck-building goes well with the theme and you play the role of an island inhabitant named Friday, who assists Robinson who got stranded on the island. You're helping him bulk up and build enough strength/experience to fight off the pirates at the end of the game. In each round/turn, you help Robinson choose one of two hazards to face off against, and in the beginning, you're either trying to give him a hazard that he can easily conquer and "level up" in experience/strength OR face a difficult hazard that makes him lose life points but help him learn a valuable lesson (represented by getting rid of the bad cards in the deck that reflect his inexperience). As the game progresses, the hazard's difficulty level goes up but so does the quality of Robinson's deck of skills, and you need to use each power of the cards and bank on the right cards to come up so that he can defeat the odds. I'm thinking of making a post with quick reviews/first impressions of tons of apps/digital adaptations I've tried haha

sdirrane Supporter17 days ago | 1 point[-]

I do want to warn you that Scythe Digital is different from the game itself, especially in regards to the Automa.  The digital bots do not run like the Automa, and they don't play exactly like people.  It's a good intro but I'd hold off on final thoughts until you play the actual board game.

Hope it goes well.  It is another game we could play together (if that ever happens, haha).  We'll always have that one game of Clans.

philryuh Supporter17 days ago | 1 point[-]

The tableau looks so tiny on digital haha. Still need to finish up the tutorial but hopefully I'll get around to it soon. It'll be hard since I have Concordia and Agricola coming my way :)

So weekdays don't work for you correct? And it's typically weekends at around 9 PM in your time?

sdirrane Supporter16 days ago | 1 point[-]

I can actually get on most nights right now around 9:00/9:30 MST.  You should let me know if you want to try to jump on one night.  It's not too hard to find 4 players in the Root Discord for Root.  Finding players on Tabletopia is much harder.  But if I remember correctly @nealkfrank mentioned playing online some night?

We could do Root TTS.  Or perhaps Viticulture or Clans with Neal on Tabletopia if he's interested.

nealkfrank 16 days ago | 1 point[-]

I am definitely open to getting some games in!

sdirrane Supporter16 days ago | 1 point[-]

Nice 👍🏼.  I forget, do you have TTS as well or just Tabletopia?

nealkfrank 16 days ago | 1 point[-]

I only have Tabletopia and Board Game Arena

sdirrane Supporter16 days ago | 1 point[-]

Cool, we could definitely get something in on Tabletopia (although I will say that I'm dropping my premium subscription next month, I think I have three weeks left).

nealkfrank 16 days ago | 1 point[-]

For sure, just let me know some dates and times that might work for you.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]

You finally got it.... I'm really curious about how you will like it. 

R0land1199 Supporter19 days ago | 1 point[-]

Listen to yourself.  Don't force yourself to do something you aren't currently enjoying.  Try something else for a while.  You'll come back to this hobby eventually.  

I've been in various hobbies, some for several decades, and there is always a point in the year where it's just not doing it for me.  So I step away to something else and come back refreshed later.  I always feel much better about things when I do that!

Skurvy5 Supporter18 days ago | 2 points[-]

Great advice! I actually read 3 books over the weekend. Which has caused me to be on here less and also playing less board games. 

Marshwiggle92 Supporter18 days ago | 2 points[-]

True words 

philryuh Supporter19 days ago | 2 points[-]

What were some of your other hobbies? Mine's drawing and it sure helps wind down for the night.

R0land1199 Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]

Were is probably not right.  I'm still in to a bunch of hobbies.  

Probably my main hobby is video gaming I've been doing it for decades.  I love me some esoteric stuff that I can really dive in to.   

Also one I've done for decades but more on and off is playing role playing games.  

But I also paint miniatures and build models.  I've dabbled in photography as well previously.  

nealkfrank 19 days ago | 2 points[-]

This is really wise advice! Having a one track mind can get to you. 

Marshwiggle92 Supporter19 days ago | 1 point[-]

I am not burning out with game playing, but I am becoming burned out with setup. And it has nothing to do with how complicated the setup is. I don't care if it is a 1 minute setup or a 20 minute setup. I don't want to do either one. But, when I am actually playing a game I still find it equally rewarding. I find this isn't in any way limited to gaming for me, It is any sort of leisure activity. It is hard for me to persuade myself to fish in the creek behind the house, or to read a book, or ...... This is slightly unusual for me. But I think it is a side affect of quarantine. I have no worries that I will snap back, as soon as it is over.

For me it feels like late summer vacation usually felt when I was a kid. I played hard the first 2.5 months or so, but the last 2 weeks I barely played, or read, or did anything. It seemed like "too much free time" actually eventually led to boredom instead of good play. I think that many are feeling this  right now.

One thing that I have become a little more bored with is light games. If I do set up a game and play it, I want it to be big, heavy, and preferably sort of long.

One thing I have found slightly helpful, is setting up a game a day before I want to play it. If I separate the game from the setup it makes me much more likely to play it. And to be clear, that means that I have set up #Deep Space D-6 the night before, even though setup takes 1 or 2 minutes. 

This feeling has been around for the last month or so in my life, but the last 1.5 weeks my playing and BGA time has been lower I think. I have had some real issues with headaches for the last 10 days or two weeks, and reading/screens/playing games with icons...... Have all been a lot harder to do comfortably. 

Again, there is a slight malaise, but I don't think it is anything to worry about. For most of us I think it is the lack of human players and/or "late summer vacation" syndrome. I would guess that most or all of us, if we are experiencing this, will move back to normal as our lives move back to normal.

nealkfrank 19 days ago | 1 point[-]

I like this! Set up has been the main source of burn out for me when playing solo. It does not help that the solo games I have are all very heavy with a lot of set up (I am looking at you Gaia Project)...

Marshwiggle92 Supporter18 days ago | 1 point[-]

The funny thing is that usually I don't mind it too much.....

nealkfrank 18 days ago | 1 point[-]

I do not mind it if it is a managable set up. I think if Concordia or Bus had a solo mode, I would totally go for that since those games have a quicker set up!

nealkfrank 19 days ago | 1 point[-]

I think I am getting that way with solo games because I do not have the multiplayer social interaction intermingled with it. One of the big perks of gaming for me is the human interaction and I miss it!

Courageous Bob 17 days ago | 1 point[-]

I feel the same, the human interaction is what makes board games a worthwhile hobby for me. I think I have never really managed to get into solo gaming for this reason, although occasionally to learn a game ahead of teaching it I will play a game solo and don't not enjoy it. People are just great though!

nealkfrank 17 days ago | 1 point[-]

This guy gets it, it is nice to just enjoy a beverage, host some people and play a game!