Best Day to Play a Tabletop Game? Hmm…

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Life gets more difficult as you age. Game time, free time, all of it goes sideways with more responsibilities. It obviously becomes more difficult to find the time to play any miniature games. And whether this is important or not, I try not to miss out hanging with friends and other gamers in my community.

In this article, I share with you some of my struggle and the experience in trying to find out when I’m most available. I also give you a bit of insight into what I learned about the tabletop gaming community’s consensus of the best day to play tabletop games.


Adult Life: What’s on My Plate?

At some point in our lives, most of us will have other responsibilities that can take up a lot of our time. For some people, it’s a job or family commitments; for others, it might be caring for sick pets or a house with chores.

Whatever the case may be, these things are important to us and can make it difficult to find time to play games.

I work full-time, and I found it hard to get in a game even once a week. I would usually have to play on weekends, when everyone else who I used to play with was also trying to do the same thing. They were stuck, too, trying to find time at the last minute.

black laptop beside black computer mouse inside room - Best Day to Play a Tabletop Game - adult responsibilities and gaming - how to have good work life game balance -
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

“Let’s play it by ear,” they would all say. It’s as though we could never plan in advance; and if we did, my friends and I would have to cancel. So, why bother plan, right?

Anyway, all these other responsibilities made it tough to schedule games, since people are often busy with other things on weekends, e.g., family outings, house cleaning. Priorities!

And even if I did manage to get a game in, I would be tired from the weekly routines, and not really able to enjoy it as much as I would have liked.

Perhaps this is normal? I drink a lot of coffee to get through most days.

Best Day to Play a Tabletop Game - adult responsibilities and gaming - how to have good work life game balance - cup of coffee lighting

I end up painting miniatures most of the time, which isn’t a bad thing! The painting hobby is flexible and doesn’t demand you set aside a block of time; though it helps. 😉

Look, I’m not saying that it’s impossible to find time to play when you have other responsibilities, but it can be more difficult. That’s why I started to wonder if there was an optimal day of the week to play tabletop games.


Cool Story, Bro: How I Handled Food Shopping and Warhammer 40K

Here’s a crazy anecdote of my adult life style intermingled with gaming. I hope you can appreciate the humor in it.

So, I’m sure we’ve all had those days where everything just seems to be going wrong. You know the ones–where your alarm doesn’t go off so you’re already behind schedule, or when you spill coffee all down yourself 10 minutes before an important meeting.

Well, imagine that feeling, but magnified by about a million, and that was my day!

Best Day to Play a Tabletop Game - adult responsibilities and gaming - how to have good work life game balance - a friendly game of warhammer 40k on my table
This isn’t a photo of the rushed game I’m describing. There was zero time to stop and snap photos. But, here’s my Imperial Fist army in another 40k bout.

It all started when I realized I had completely miscalculated how much time I needed to finish up a game of Warhammer 40k. If you’re not familiar with the game, it’s basically a tabletop strategy game where you move little plastic figurines around and try to wipe out your opponent.

Anyways, I had completely underestimated how long the game would take, and before I knew it, the clock was ticking and I had to go food shopping before our local market closed.

My family needed a week’s worth of groceries….With young children, you can’t delay certain things like this. Eating out isn’t an option most of the week! And, pizza is amazing, but you can’t have it everyday (I mean you could 😥).

I was in the middle of a battle with a very tough Tryanid opponent, and there was no way I could leave without finishing the game. But I also couldn’t miss my window of opportunity to get food, or my family would be stuck eating ramen noodles for dinner (again!).

What was I to do?!

In the end, I made a mad dash to the market, grabbed what I could, and sprinted back to the game store to finish my match. Imagine me with my car full of grocery bags, even some ice cream, then leaving it all there and going back into the store to wrap up a game.

My opponent ended up surfing Tik Tok or something on his smartphone for the 45 minutes or so I was gone.

Of course, I took a photo of the tabletop before I went to the food market, just so I could glance at the model setup on the board, while waiting on line or something.

Best Day to Play a Tabletop Game - adult responsibilities and gaming - how to have good work life game balance - a tyranid warhammer model
I painted this Tyranid for a friend of mine. A mix of acrylic and oil paints helped me achieve this contrast.

It would let me plot my next round of decisions. Things like, do activate my Landraider and focus fire these Deathleapers, or should I spread out my marines and go for Objectives #1 and 5?

Ridiculous, I know! Even more incredible, there was no incentive for winning this game, other than the boasting rights. This wasn’t a tournament or campaign.

If you’re a gamer of any sort, then you know it’s hard to leave loose ends with a game you’re immersed in. This was that gaming experience.

An hour or so later, our Warhammer match was over. The Imperium comes out victorious. My Imperial Fists manage to squeak out a win against the invading Xeno swarm.

Generally, I would say that wasn’t the most successful shopping trip, but at least I managed to save the day… sort of. I won that 40k game by 2 Victory Points; wiping out the occupying ‘gaunts on a objective.

But, my family ended up eating cold chicken and salad for dinner because I didn’t have time to cook anything. The kids had the melty ice cream and I snacked on chips and salsa later that night.

Cold chicken sucks, but Victory is sweet.

Me

Moral of the story: Don’t underestimate the amount of time Warhammer 40k takes (or any game for that matter), your adult life tends to crowd in, and always plan your grocery shopping trips around your gaming sessions!

Otherwise, you might end up with a very rushed–and stressful–day.


Let’s Dive In: What’s the Best Day of the Week to Play Games?

Well, to really figure this out, we need to break down what’s important for finding the best day to play games.

After a bit of online research, e.g., Reddit, Facebook and the various places our communty interacts, I found that you can break down a few things affecting game time.

Here are some factors that I think are important:

  • Your availability: This is probably the number one factor. If you’re not available, then you can’t play!
  • Your opponents’ availability: You need people to play against, so their availability is just as important as your own.
  • The community’s consensus: There’s strength in numbers. If everyone else is playing on a certain day, it’ll be easier for you to find opponents or party members.
  • The type of game: Some games are better suited for certain days of the week. For example, wargames are usually more complex and take longer to play than boardgames, so they might be better suited for weekends when people have more free time.
selective focus photography of yellow car toy - a model car
Photo by hosein ashrafosadat on Pexels.com

Determining the most popular or the best day to play tabletop game, e.g., wargame, boardgame, or RPG, is important for a number of reasons. It helps you to manage your time, and it also allows you to find opponents or party members more easily.

With that being said, let’s take a look at each of these factors.

1. Your Availability

This is probably the most important factor in determining the best day to play games. If you’re not available, then you can’t play!

When it comes to your availability, you need to consider your work schedule, your family obligations, and any other commitments you might have.

For me, I’m usually available on Fridays after work and on weekends. That’s when I have the most free time.

However, I have also have kids so my weekends are often limited. And, of course, there are always unforeseen events that can pop up and ruin your plans.

2. Your Opponents’ Availability

The second factor you need to consider is your opponents’ availability. You need people to play against, so their availability is just as important as your own.

When it comes to finding opponents, you need to consider their work schedule, their family obligations, and any other commitments they might have.

Just like with your own availability, you also need to factor in the possibility of unforeseen events. And, of course, you also need to take into account the time difference if you’re playing with people from other parts of the world.

3. The Community’s Consensus

The third factor you need to consider is the community’s consensus. There’s strength in numbers. If everyone else is playing on a certain day, it’ll be easier for you to find opponents or party members.

elephants fighting in savanna against cloudy sky - gaming time and the community
Photo by Bert on Pexels.com

When it comes to finding the community’s consensus, you can do a quick search on Google, Facebook, Reddit, or any other social media platform.

You can also ask around in your local game store or at conventions.

4. The Type of Game

The fourth factor you need to consider is the type of game. Some games are more conducive to certain days than others.

For example, if you’re playing a slower game like Twilight Imperium, you might want to set aside an entire day or weekend to play. However, if you’re playing a faster game like Warhammer 40k, you can probably get away with playing on a weekday evening.

Best Day to Play a Tabletop Game - adult responsibilities and gaming - how to have good work life game balance - boardgame table
A board game setup on a modular tabletop.

It all depends on how you arrange a game. You can even “save” some games for multi-day sessions, which is probably going to require that you have a dedicated table or room for gaming.

Other games, like card games or party games, can be played on weeknights when people have less free time.


So, What’s the Best day of the Week to Play Tabletop Games?

Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, there is no one “best” day of the week to play tabletop games. It all depends on your availability, your opponents’ availability, the community’s consensus, and the type of game you’re playing.

With that being said, I think the best day of the week for me to play tabletop games is Friday. Though I’m still not sure….It feels like that’s when I have the most free time, and it’s also when most of my opponents are available.

To be honest, I have no clue.

Of course, now that I have 3 kids, my gaming time is often limited (i.e., I consider Friday a sort of half-weekend day). And, even then, I usually have to sneak in a game or two when the kids are napping or in bed.

This mean I’m playing later into the night than most opponents are prepared to commit to. You know, adults have to sleep.

wide road with street lights - playing late at night
Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

And, if I’m playing anything at all, I find it best to try and find a store or club… which of course, then means I’m dealing with scheduling the travel time to and from the gaming location.

Ugh. So, the morale of the article is that there is no best day to play games. And, if there is “a best day” that you find works for you; it’ll change as your life changes.

As for me, I’m going to stick with Fridays for now. But, who knows… maybe I’ll switch to Sundays. Or, rather, maybe I’ll just play games with them.


Final Word

There you have it, the answer is there is “no best day”. And, perhaps I totally wasted my time trying to see what all of you guys are doing for scheduling games.

And, if you (or I) find a schedule that works; it’ll change. Just as life changes, so does our gaming commitments, any free time, and all those other responsibilities that come with growing up. It all changes.

The good news (always this) is that if you’re a miniature hobby gamer, there are also the miniatures that could use your attention. Miniature painting doesn’t require the availability of others–just you.

Paint those miniatures. Get those models on the table (even if you’re not sure when that will happen). It’s all good. 😇

Do you have a day of the week that you prefer to game? Let me know in the comments below. And, as always, happy gaming!

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