"You Never Told Me That Rule!" -- Rules You Most Certainly Told Them.
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Every game has at least one rule that, if you don't get, makes much of the action pointless or ensures that you will lose. When teaching the game to new people, you will be sure to stress that rule over and over, since so much hinges onit. And, invariably, at some point the new player will claim fervently that no, you NEVER told him that rule because if you had, he would NEVER have made that play. Let's hear the game, the rule, and if you wish, the story.
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1. Board Game: High Society [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:620]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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A friend was teaching this to some people and one guy was spending money like crazy. Everyone kept warning him that, at the end of the game, whoever has the least money automatically loses. He then spent his last dollar. Everyone continued to warn him, but he insisted he knew what he was doing. Come the end of the game, they were all shocked to discover that, in fact, no one had ever mentioned this fact about the money.
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2. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:164]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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She is telling him that if he has more than seven cards in his hand when a seven is rolled, he has to lose half of them. He is nodding in understanding. He is going to continue to hoard cards and when the seven is rolled, he's going to get angry, take his mead, and go home.
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3. Board Game: That's Life! [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1158]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Did you tell him he could move the guard next to the yellow pawn instead of his own black pawn? Not according to him, you didn't. When I explain this game to new players I tell them three times about this rule and still someone will have never heard of it when the time comes.
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4. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:334]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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The game has TWO FREAKIN' RULES. And yet, new players will be surprised when the first sequence shows up.
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5. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:162]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Don't let the fact that the Aquaduct there says "2 victory points" on it or that you explained to everyone that the victory points are shown at the bottom of the card. Once scroing starts, you'll find there was no way he could have known that the building cost wasn't also the victory points.
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6. Board Game: Formula Dé [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:410]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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"I have to stop in a curve? Since when?"
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7. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:375]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Feel free to tell that guy a million times that only three of his colors score positive points. Come scoring, this fact will be news to him.
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8. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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I should have totally won. I had a ton more blue and green than you did. How was I supposed to know I'd need to get some black, too? You never told me the lowest one was my only score. What a gip!
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9. Board Game: Wizard [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:545]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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So do I have to follow suit to play my Wizard? Can my Wizard win a trick that has Trump on it? When can I play a Wizard again? If I play my Wizard first, can anyone else steal that trick from me? The Wizard doesn't belong to one of the four suits, does it?
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10. Board Game: Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1187]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Wait, so I can move or shoot with one of my actions... Right? And I've got two actions with each guy? So can I move and then move? Or move and then shoot? What about shoot and then move?

(two minutes later)

Wait, I could have just taken two shots and not moved at all? Man, you should have told me that -- that's what I wanted to do in the first place!
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11. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:222]
Werner Stangl
Austria
Graz
Styria
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You certainly told them that the just placed tile *does not count itself for scoring*. And you'll never forget the proud look when the newbie places the double green to a 8-green strait claiming 10 points!
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12. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:881]
Go Take A Hike
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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What do you mean, yellow gets kicked out!! What! You mean when all five colors are present, the singles get pitched before scoring.... oops...uh... I'm not yellow...really.

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13. Board Game: Around the World in 80 Days [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1000]
Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I explained that the game ends the turn the next-to-last player gets into London. The player sandbagging it to get the best cards was shocked to learn he lost because I didn't explain the rule, even though others heard it. <sigh>
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14. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Christopher Stocker
United States
Whitefish Bay
Wisconsin
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People don't seem to get the fact that it only ever costs one denier to place a worker on their building. On more than one occasion I've heard "wait, you have to pay 3, we've both passed", and then the "I wouldn't have passed if I knew that, you never said we could do that".
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15. Board Game: Atlantic Star [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:767]
Jenna Sunderlin
United States
Niagara Falls
New York
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"you can't have more than two cards left in your hand after you lay down the cards to complete a route"

repeat 4 or 5 times

"now you have to go for the longest route because you have too many cards in your hand to get the shorter ones."

"what are you talking about?"
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16. Board Game: Britannia [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:353]
R.T. Sloan
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Ok. This is important. When you’re playing the Romans, you need to protect your forts, because if a fort gets destroyed you will score no Limes points for it, and if you loose too many you will be behind for the rest of the game.

Yeah, Yeah. So how many legions does Rome get?

Quite a lot. But remember to use some for protecting forts.

Yeah, Yeah. And each legion really is that much more powerful than every other piece?

Yes they are very good. But you will need to defend a lot of forts so you can score your Limes points. Remember?

Yeah, Yeah. And with those roads I can just move all over Brittan?

Yes. But the Welsh only need to take a fort once, and you will never score those points.

Yeah, Yeah.

Four turns later...

What do you mean that’s all the points I get? I retook all of those forts; no one else has any armies even near me. I mean I own it now. You never even mentioned that rule! Well since I can’t win now I quit!
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17. Board Game: Midnight Party [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1596]
Richard Massey
Wales
Unspecified
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Here is a game rule that my four year old grasped straight away, but which my considerably older mum and aunt had serious trouble with:

"So, to get into one of the +3 rooms you have to roll the exact number. For example if you were here (points to a space two squares, or three depending on how you count them, away from a +3 room) you would need to roll a three to go in. Okay?"

General nods...

During the game:

"You know you could have gone into that +3 room then."

"No, you said I had to roll a three."

"!"
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18. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:261]
Russ Brown
United States
Brookfield
Wisconsin
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Game is over when the draw pile runs out.

"What do you mean we're done - I can still play everything in my hand, right?"
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19. Board Game: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:563]
How tall is justice?
Canada
Georgetown
Ontario
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Who IS this masked man? And WHY has he never been photographed together with 6 year old millionaire playboy Calvin?
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I see a world that's tired and scared of living on the edge too long.
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Whaddaya mean "I get fed to the crocs"?
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20. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:723]
Charley Eastman
United States
Franklin
Massachusetts
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So it's my daughter's first birthday, and we suddenly realize, near the end of the party with kids napping, that we have MORE than enough people to play Bang! So we get the innuendoes out of the way with the newbies and set up a table downstairs and start explaining the game: you know, the whole "role-playing meets poker" schtick (would you play that game?)
We've been celebrating, and the beer has been flowing like wine, and some of us are a little bit ahead in that department. I pass out the cards, we've got the full seven players, and we fire it up. The only problem? The person who gets the renegade also seems to be the person who got the most wine-aid. And who is a newbie. I end up acting as teacher/deputy/and GM(!) to keep things flowing (like wine).

After several turns, with mutiple shots fired, the sheriff on the ropes, and kids piling up videotapes and dvds on the treadmill behind us (HEY, weren't you taking a nap?) the Renegade pulls me over to her cards and slurs in my ear, "So, so, WHO am I supposed to kill?"

I reached for my glass and said, "No one. No one at all."

She won the game.
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21. Board Game: Catan: Seafarers [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Chris Hawks
United States
Apple Valley
Minnesota
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Every time we have to explain this to a new person, every time we make sure to point out that you cannot build a boat off of a road. There must be a settlement in place first. NO BOATS OFF OF ROADS. You cannot do THIS (places a boat coming off of a road on the board). Even though we've just gone over this, you are going to try do it anyway, so let me explain once more: you cannot build a boat off of a road.

Okay?

"Okay."

(Time passes.)

"What do you mean I can't build a boat there?!"
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22. Board Game: Chrononauts [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:1542] [Average Rating:6.24 Unranked]
Just call me Erik
United States
Waldorf
Maryland
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Every game so far i've played of Chrononauts, I've had to explain this several times.

"Your ID card contains an alternate timeline. The date in black MUST be black, and the other 2 dates not only must be flipped, but they HAVE TO BE PATCHED. See how there are descriptions of events and the year in red with an apostrophe? That's because you need to patch paradoxes in those years for that to count. You can't just have the year paradoxed to win."

Later in the game, the person i'm teaching says "I win" and reveals their ID card once they've paradoxed both of their timeline things....but not patched them. I explain again that they have to be patched. "Oh. well, crap."

I've done it with my Fiancee, her Dad, my friend Dom...basically everyone i've played with so far.

Is it that hard to understand?
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23. Board Game: Igel Ärgern [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1728]
TOKYO Heartbroken
England
York
North Yorkshire
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I'll only add the one game, otherwise I'll be here all night. "You didn't mention THAT rule" is a recurrent chant at my table. Yes I did. I did say, I showed you an example, it was asked when started, I went over it again, an example came up, you checked the rules...

The worst game for this was Igel Argern.
Me: "First you roll the die, then you MAY move one of YOUR hedgehogs sideways, you don't have to, it's optional. Then you must one ANYONE'S hedgehog in the row you rolled".
Them: "Okay, got that"
Game starts.
Player tries moving hedgehog.
Me: "Roll the die first".
Them: "Why?"
Me: "So you know which row is moving forward"
Them: "Okay" Rolls die. Moves other player's hedgehog sideways.
Me: "No, you can only move your own hedgehogs sideways, not other players'".
Them: "Okay" Moves own hedgehog sideways, then forwards.
Me "No, you can't move that one forwards. You have to move one in row N"
Them: "Why?"
Me: "Because that's the number you rolled."
Them: "But I don't have a hedgehog in that row"
Me: "So you have to move someone else's hedgehog forwards"
Them: "You said I can only move my own hedgehogs"
Me: "Sideways, you can only move your own hedgehog sideways. You have to move A hedgehog in the row you rolled."
Them: "Okay"

Repeat TEN THOUSAND TIMES!!!

EVERY BLOODY TURN, EVERY BLOODY PLAYER, THE SAME BLOODY ROUTINE. ROLL THE DIE FIRST. NOW YOU CAN MOVE YOUR HEDGEHOG SIDEWAYS. NO, YOUR HEDGEHOG. NOW MOVE ONE IN THE ROW FORWARD. NO, THE ROW YOU JUST ROLLED. YES, SOMEONE ELSE'S HEDGEHOG. NO, I SAID YOU CAN ONLY MOVE YOUR HEDGEHOG SIDEWAYS. YES, YOU CAN MOVE SOMEONE ELSE'S HEDGEHOG FORWARDS. NO, NOT SIDEWAYS, FORWARDS. BECAUSE YOU CAN ONLY MOVE YOURS SIDEWAYS.

And now you know where my badge is from.
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24. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:54]
Robert March
United States
Ventura
California
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Okay folks, here's the deal. You need to issue stock for money in order to build. But, at the end of every turn you have to pay a $1 dividend on each stock. More importantly (is everyone listening?), each stock certificate that you issue is minus one victory point at the end of the game!

Of course, one player proceeds to issue about 25 shares of stock, when the rest of us are in the 3-7 range. He's running a strong second until the scoring at which point he is in super-duper last (with a 'How did that happen?')! Best quote when we were ragging on him for issuing so much stock, 'Don't worry about me, I know how to manage debt!'

He was a good sport at least, and would probably play again, with much better results.
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25. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:257]
(Mr.) Kim Beattie
United States
Rocklin
CA
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In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
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"How do I get life points back?"

One player must have asked this question TEN times in the course of one game...
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