MIT Strategic Games Society
Frequently Asked Questions

What is SGS?

The MIT Strategic Games Society is a club devoted to playin games of all types, including historical wargames, role- playing games (RPGs), business games, railroad games, Magic (the collectible card game), and others.

Why "Strategic"?

MIT-SGS was founded by people interested in historical military simulations. "Strategy" was a big part of these. Since then, the club has branched out.

When and where does the SGS meet?

MIT-SGS meets very regularly Fridays at 7pm and often sometime on Saturday afternoons. Boardgames are usually played in 50-316 (that's in Walker Memorial Hall). Role playing groups meet in the first floor classrooms of Building 66 (the triangle building), although they sometime meet on the second or third floors of Building 26 if their rooms get pre-empted by other activities.

Where can I play Magic around MIT?

Magic has largely died out as a regular SGS activity. However, it and other Collectible Card Games are regularly played at Your Move Games in Davis Square in Somerville, just up the Red Line.

Why should I join SGS? Can I still play games there without joining?

We generally don't insist that people join SGS until they start showing up regularly to play games. We do have a certain responsibility to our members, so if you come regularly, we want to know who's who, etc. Being an SGS member does confer several benefits. First of all, you can check out games from our extensive collection (about 600 games at last count, including many out of print titles). We take suggestions from members on future acquisitions as well. Second, as an SGS member, you get a 10% discount on purchases at The Compleat Strategist (located on Mass Ave. in Boston). You can save a lot of money that way -- especially if you play Magic! Third, twice a year the SGS has special super-discount game orders where you can save 40% off the retail price of games that you buy. That's real savings. In the past, we've also ordered several boxes of Magic boosters and Starter decks.

How do I join SGS? How much does it cost?

The good news is that SGS membership is free for MIT undergrads! There's no reason not to join. Everyone else pays $5 per year, which is pretty cheap considering the discounts you can get as a member. To join, you need to see one of our officers. You can usually find one around at most regular meetings.

Who's in charge of this thing anyhow? If I have questions, who can I contact?

Current SGS officers are:
President		  David Finberg
Vice-President		  Sheldon Price		(You can find him in Bldg. 66)
Secretary		  Chuck Krueger
Treasurer		  Chris Falling
You can also send e-mail to as this will reach all the SGS officers who have email. It also reaches John Carr, a former President of the SGS, who helps out with questions and is the original author of this page.

Does the SGS have any other events?

From time to time, the SGS runs tournaments for various games. Entry fees vary from $1 to $5 (so far), but are traditionally free for MIT undergrads (so far). Suggestions from members are always welcome.

Will people want to play the game I like? How do I learn new games?

Generally, SGS operates very informally. People show up, agree on a game to play, and off they go. My best advice to people is to show up close to the start of the meeting (i.e. 7pm on Fridays, and irregularly on Saturdays) so that games don't get started without you.

Some games require a certain (i.e. large) number of players or aren't played as commonly as others. If you want to set a date for a certain game, send mail to, including an address to reply to. You are then responsible for getting everyone together and seeing that everything goes right.

If you're interested in learning a new game, either of these two procedures can work. If you just show up at an SGS meeting, members will be happy to teach you a game that they're going to play. You can also "advertise" through the SGS-members mailing list for a specific game.

What games do you play?

As stated above, there are over 600 games in our collection, but among the games commonly played are Titan, Magic: The Gathering, 1830, Eurorails, History of the World, Axis & Allies, Fortress America, Victory in the Pacific, Outpost, Advanced Third Reich, Advanced Civilization, Kremlin, Air Baron, Over the Reich, Breakout Normandy, Cosmic Encounter, World in Flames, Nuclear War, RoboRally. The club has been affected in the last couple of years by the German invasion and often play Settlers of Cattan, Modern Art, El Grande and others. However, SGS members are usually open to trying new games if suggested, and are certainly willing to teach the ones they know. Generally, games work best when they require 5 or fewer players, but games with seven (like Diplomacy or Advanced Civilization) have been put together.

You will generally do best if you are willing to play more games. Everyone has their favorites but learning new games is fun as well and being open to new games is the best attitude.

You also should be aware that SGS has some of the best players in the country at those games which get played most regularly. Expect a very high level of competition and don't be worried too much if you lose at some games for a while. Some of the members have been playing certain games regularly for more than 10 years. Losing to the player rated No. 1 in the world at a certain game (like Alan Applebaum at Victory in the Pacific) is a great way to learn and always a challenge ;).

Anything else I might want to know about

If you want to get more involved in the gaming hobby beyond joining SGS, I would suggest subscribing to Usenet newsgroups such as, (Magic, etc...),, (Cosmic Encounter), and several others. These newsgroups offer excellent forums for discussing strategy and rules. In addition, the newsgroups can usually point you in the direction of relevent electronic mailing lists and homepages which exist for many single games. If you are interested in selling board games, the newsgroup to use is The FAQ is a particularly good source of information and links.

For more detailed information on SGS, look over the rest of the SGS web pages.