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Twilight Struggle» Forums » General

Subject: Playing against a new player rss

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Johannes Blank
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Münster
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This has probably been asked, but I figured probably a long time ago.

I'd like to play TS against my elder brother; he never played it before, so I'd probably crush him. He's a very good strategy games player, but I don't think you stand a chance if you don't kmow the cards and the general flow of the game. How do I make such a game less lopsided? I'm slightly afraid giving like +10 Influence for him might seem patronizing, and I'm not sure it would even help that much. So, just go ahead with the standard configuration (+2 for US), crush him and hope he still wants to play, or are there further alternatives?
 
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Carlo Patek
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I play with new players as USSR, optionals and +0 influence.

Play with your hand revealed after the headline, explaining when you play your AR's, why you played that way.

Win. Switch sides with your hand revelead after the headline, explaining how you can defuse the worse USSR cards and where you think he made a mistake before.



Edit: i prefer +VP than +INF if playing with a new player.
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Mikhail Dektyarev
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Warn him that it's all but impossible to win one of first games against experienced opponent. Play with him 1-2 times as USSR, then 1-2 times as US, then send him to read basic strategy from twilightstrategy.com
Then it can be a good idea for him to briefly read at least early war cards description from the same site. Or even play having it open, so he will at least read recommendations on how to play cards he have.

It can also be a good idea (and can be not) to play the first game with open hands, explaining why you do your moves.
 
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Brent Bryan
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I had a similar situation with a good friend of mine that likes to play games, but doesn't have a lot of time to devote to playing on a regular basis like I do. I definitely didn't want to turn him off from strategy games and CDGs ( hoping to have a playing partner for the future)

When we played I prepared him that our first game would be a 'learning game'of 3-4 turns and let him play as the US(+2). We played the first 2 rounds with open hands so we could go over the strategies and how the cards worked.

After the first game, he was good to go. He liked it so much, I got him a copy for his birthday
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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Play the late war scenario.
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Rick Thompson
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You're right, it has been asked and not all that long ago....

Introducing TS to new players: Handicap?
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Mikhail Dektyarev
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leroy43 wrote:
Play the late war scenario.

I think it's a bad idea. It's very different from standard game flow, and is IMHO a bit more complicated (more regions in action), while mostly missing access problem, which is very important by itself.
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foksieloy
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Destroy him quickly, then play again. I had good results with that way of introduction sofar.
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Johannes Blank
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Thanks for your replies. I think I might stick to the "open-hand" approach and hope he's okay with that.
 
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Vita Est Certamine
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Some of my gamer friends are actually turned off to learning a new game if I have an established understanding of a game where meta is important. So if I crush someone first time around with no explanation as to how it happens in real time then they sometimes pass. Insisting they don't want to spend the hours and hours of time to achieve the wisdom necessary to be competitive. Personally I have about 100 hours into the Steam game and possibly 6 IRL games under my belt. I still get crushed by people that are highly rated, but I can easily destroy a new player.

That's not to say I have a friend or two that take a "crushing defeat" personally and are happy to invest time needed to even the playing field if not attempt to supersede my current level of play.

In general, I find that explaining moves in real time is the best way. Especially from turn 1 AR1. It takes time to know where the battles for dominance need to occur in each phase of the game.

Unfortunately, I personally find that TS requires many plays to familiarize yourself with the flow of the game and what territories are of greater priority. Knowing the cards and how they interact with each other (many, many great combos and dos/don't based on cards that can only be learned through repeated play and errors).

TS seems one of those games whose chief mechanics, though crucially important, are not as important of actually knowing the cards and how they interact. There really isn't that many cards in TS to learn. I explain it in simple terms. "Love Letter is a much more fun game once you learn and memorize the 16 cards. Once you know what's out there in the environment and are no longer surprised by the cards, Love Letter can be quite fun in spite of it's great simplicity." TS shares the same idea, just with a much, much larger set of cards. This seems to explain what is necessary to be successful with the cards. The rest is just playing a lot to experience the typical flow of the game from turn to turn, phase to phase.

Learning the game to a point where to can play without help is fairly simple. Learning it to a point where you can be competitive is an entirely different learning curve. Similar to chess. Anyone can memorize each piece's moves in a few games - getting them to work in concert is where the game comes alive.
 
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You know your own brother a lot better than we do. Why not explain it to him like you did to us, that you'd have a large advantage based on card knowledge and experience. Ask him if he'd rather see that in action or have you mitigate it in some way.
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Jack
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foksieloy wrote:
Destroy him quickly, then play again. I had good results with that way of introduction sofar.


That's how I learn best...the hard way. devil
 
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