Dealing with the aftermath

So having a game night of lords of vegas tonight.

There was a pretty heavy spillage and we have a bunch of cards and bits staying out to dry. It happens no big deal.


When the spill happens everyone stares at you because it’s your game. You’re obviously not happy about the situation but trying to not make the other person feel bad about an accident… yet respond to the situation in a timely manner.

I’m surely not the only one who’s had to deal with this?


Should someone spill something on one of my games, there is a high likelihood it was me. Most recently, it was on Wingspan, but luckily it only hit the rulebook.

True fact: While on our first official date (we met online, so we had a weird courtship), I nearly spilled a 32-oz soda on her but she managed to dodge it.


I don’t remember ever having drinks at the same table as a boardgame when non-family members are involved.

Recently, when guests brought tall cups of soft drinks into the house as they arrived, I pointed out the windowsills near the table and said something along the lines of “if a game gets ruined, you buy me a new one”, to which they said, “yeah, of course”.

I guess it’s very different if you play in pubs or whatever.


I have had two major spills on my games, one on Shadows Over Camelot and the other on Inis, both by the same person! We have pretty much switched to bottles of soda which can be capped when playing games now. Inis wasn’t too bad as I had sleeved the cards, so maybe just one got a little wet at the top, but has dried out fine. I still feel that some Shadows components are sticky, though we haven’t played it in a long time.

Everyone pitched in to move components and mop up the spill quickly, and I know the perpetrator was sorry, so while frustrating, I didn’t get angry at her. We just cleaned everything up in both instances and kept playing.

Third strike and she’s out, though. :wink:


I would love to be able to enforce this one. I’ve never had to.

As a rule I don’t allow drinks by the games unless they are party games. I have had spills on my gridded board during D&D games, though, and they are really annoying.

Specially when the person just freezes, and looks at you like: what is going to happen now.

Luckily, on both occasions that this happened the board was saved by my quick reaction, and only character sheets were soaked. Which can be reprinted, or played with wet if need be. And if not, well, tough, you should have been more careful.

Although I have to admit that not drinks, but snacks can be my pet peeve around boardgames. Specially the kind that gives you greasy fingers while you are holding cards in your hand. So for that I recommend napkins to be handy.


This has happened to me, with a copy of Camel Up. I took a long walk.

Unfortunately, shit happens, no one deliberately tries to spill anything.

I have had one of my group spill tea on his own game in our house, and I naturally felt guilty about that!

1 Like

Accidents happen. Just like if someone’s round for a meal and drops or knocks over a glass or a plate and it breaks. It’s a risk you take by interacting with people in your house, and the only way to avoid it is to either always go to other people’s houses or do everything alone.

And if a plate, a glass, or a game, is so precious or irreplaceable, or just so crazy expensive that losing it is unbearable, then it’s ceased to be a plate, a glass or a game, it’s become a priceless artefact, and you probably shouldn’t actually use it!


I think the only game I have that I’d take to a pub is Hive. And even then I’d probably be too worried that the bag or the rules would get sticky.

1 Like

This is kinda how I feel about it. I have no problem with asking people to move drinks to somewhere careful but I’m not going to cause a fuss if accidents happen.

But then I don’t really have many games I couldn’t just replace if it happened.

1 Like

The first time I got TI4 to the table my friend spilled his beer into the deck box I was using for the faction tokens. He felt so bad, but we mostly just laughed about it because he literally spilled only into the deck box. It was pretty impressive.

I think I’ve had a couple spills at pubs, but I mostly just play The Mind or Illusion or In Vino Morte there, so we just quickly dried off the cards and everything was fine.


I will never understand people who recommend stuff like Cheetos or Doritos for game nights. They’re the worst snacks for gaming. I’ll grab pretzels or plain tortilla chips a lot, though, they tend to be pretty minimal on the finger grease.


I think we may have had some small scale spills on my games in the past but nothing I couldn’t overlook at the time and so I don’t remember anything particular.

With our latest game night we put the drinks on the side extensions of our table not on purpose to protect the game but there just wasn’t space on the table for them. Modern table hogging games are great to ban drinks from the table. The extensions of the table are a bit lower and drinks there would not spill any game material as long as I don’t store any boxes on chairs in that area. I think hearing your tale, I’ll keep doing that. So maybe side tables might be helping.

These days we generally only have water at the game table and our glasses are tumbler style so wouldn’t be easily topple over like a beer bottle anyway. Also normally no wine-glasses. And the rarer the game the more fussy I’ll probably be.

Greasy snacks and melting chocolate have been banned from the game table for years.

A friend once spilled drink on one of my partner’s poker decks. He is still miffed about it. Poker is a different beast though, drinking beer or wine or whisky along side the game is somehow part of the event.

Games like That’s not a Hat or other easy to obtain party style games… when the material starts getting sticky maybe it’s time to get a new copy. Those are games I easily hand over to the (older) kids to play with.

So it really depends on the game. I’d probably try my best to put on a good face. I usually play with good friends only. So I would try to make everyone feel better. If I were taking games to places where I would be playing with strangers, I’d make sure to have all possible accidents far from the table.


Took Letter Jam to a pub and someone spilled beer on it. Obviously I had to be all “It’s alright” but at the same time make it clear it wasn’t alright and I’d probably have to buy a new copy. Luckily CGE were fantastic about it and sent me replacement cards for free.

Worse was when I taught So Clover to someone, and hey somehow ended up writing on the actual cards themselves. This was after a demonstration!


Yup the “it’s fine happens easily” and suppression of the “it’s not fine and it is a big deal”.

Totally accept that I’m not blameless as there were no ground rules and I do enjoy a beer/wine with a board game.

The only other time this has happened was with Hardback. Similarly frustrating but what you gonna do.

Glad to know that it’s a common issue. It did kick off the would it be better or worse with sleeves. I reckoned worse as the sleeve would do more damage once the moisture was in.

1 Like

Everything (apart from coats and shirts and jumpers) is worse with sleeves.

I know some people swear by them, but I don’t like them at all.


Played Terraforming Mars so much that the cards got gummy. Had to sleeve them just to keep them from not sticking to each other.

Now, if publishers would sell their cards separately, I could have just bought a new deck.


Cue arguments…

“But I could buy a whole new game for that!”

“Yeah, we have to cut back production of other bits or rent a new machine.”


I use them rarely. I liked the artwork on the Inis cards so much I did want to keep them nice looking, and it came in handy as the sleeves did protect the few cards that were spilled upon. Unmatched (mostly) has been sleeved for the same reason. I also sleeved the Star Wars Deckbuilding Game, as the cards seemed to get really scuffed up and marked after just a couple of shuffles.

I will probably need to sleeve the cards from Lords of Vegas in the near future, as there is a nasty crease in all of the cards from all the shuffling that has occurred over the years as we’ve played it so much. Except for the Game Over card, which means if you look at the deck, you know if the game is going to be over or not on the next draw. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like