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Chaddyboy
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Almost every game night, someone will mention a game that we remember liking a lot, but just don't feel like relearning. These all tend to be meaty euros that are really good games, but with a lot of rules that aren't really intuitive. Games like Bruxelles 1893, Vinhos (or really almost anything designed by Vital Lacerda or published by Whats Your Game, for that matter), Trajan, etc.

On the flip side, there are also fairly complicated games where the rules are much more logical and tend to stick in our heads better. Games like Food Chain Magnate, Antiquity, etc, that are similarly heavy, but I can go months and months without playing and remember almost everything with only some minor brushing up.

I've been finding more and more that, while these heavy, but hard-to-remember games are often excellent, the effort required to play them just takes too long and ends up being too high, so we opt for something else. If we don't play them several times in a row while we still remember the rules, they're just not getting played. So, there they sit and eventually end up getting sold off due to lack of play.

Does anyone else run into this?
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Emile de Maat
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Yes, up to a point. It does happen that games go unplayed for a long time because we aren't up to going through all the rules on gamenight and end up playing a well-known game instead.

But we seldom end up selling such a game. If we remember liking it a lot, we will at least want to give it one more game to re-evaluate it before selling. So, after a while, someone will make the investment to relearn the rules so they can explain the game (relatively) smoothly on game night.

I've found that including such games on my 10x10 list helps me a lot. It motivates me to read the rules again, and makes me play the game often enough that I don't forget them again.
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Brass
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Chaddyboy
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frumpish wrote:

Which is a great reason to switch to Age of Industry, which removed all the weird/unintuitive rules.
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Simon Woodward
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This would be Puerto Rico. It's not that complex but I've never been the one teaching it so I've never mastered the rules.
It's easier just to pull out San Juan.
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Chaddyboy
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manukajoe wrote:
This would be Puerto Rico. It's not that complex but I've never been the one teaching it so I've never mastered the rules.
It's easier just to pull out San Juan.

It's also interesting what games seem more intuitive to different people. For me, Puerto Rico has always been an easy game to remember, even if it's been years since the last play. Always need some reminders on set-up though!
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Chris Wilczewski
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For me, the What's your Game games are perfect examples of this. Xhanguo and Asgard are great games, but so many complicated rules and such infrequency of play that they just don't see the table very often.

Complicated games that do see play more frequently, like Dungeon Petz or TTA maybe have more intuitive rules (or perhaps I've just played them enough times that I remember) so they get played more often.

Lately I find myself seeking out games with simple rulesets but depth of play (Chicago Express was a good recent example of this)

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Pete
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I don't really forget game rules generally. I might forget specific rules but how to generally play a game I retain very well.

Pete (has jettisoned everything he learned in college to make room for game rules knowledge)
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Chris Kohlman
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Dungeon Lords

I still own it and really like it but it's just got too much to remember.
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James Arias
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This is why cheatsheets and rules summaries are so important, so it's faster/easier to remember and teach.

I didn't touch my copy of Samurai Swords (now Imusa) until I whittled down that massive rulebook to 7 pages.
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Pandora Caitiff
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Not really. I'm fine relearning an old game. For me it's more about how much effort it is to teach the rules to someone new.
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Josh
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I've got a good amount of headspace for rules, and will reread to keep them fresh even with a decently sized collection. I wouldn't not lay a game due to having to relearn the rules, though the buy-in for other players may be too much for me to teach them cold(Virgin Queen I'm looking at you!)

Brass is a good example of annoying game rules though. The rules are simple, but then there's these corner exceptions for this town or that town that break them because reasons.
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Chaddyboy
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Shadrach wrote:
I wouldn't not lay a game due to having to relearn the rules, though the buy-in for other players may be too much for me to teach them cold(Virgin Queen I'm looking at you!)

I feel like relearning the game on the fly almost ends up being the most dangerous situation, as whoever remembers the game the best skips around the rule book filling in holes in their memory. Almost without fail, it ends up being kind of a mess with something played wrong.

At that point, we've found it's pretty much better to just learn again directly from the rules (which is how we learn most of our games anyways).
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Richard Bingle
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Merchant of Venus. My group played this a ton back in the early 90's. But every time I think about teaching my girls how to play it I put it back on the shelf because I don't feel like re-learning the rules well enough to teach it.
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Chris Wilczewski
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chaddyboy_2000 wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
I wouldn't not lay a game due to having to relearn the rules, though the buy-in for other players may be too much for me to teach them cold(Virgin Queen I'm looking at you!)

I feel like relearning the game on the fly almost ends up being the most dangerous situation, as whoever remembers the game the best skips around the rule book filling in holes in their memory. Almost without fail, it ends up being kind of a mess with something played wrong.

At that point, we've found it's pretty much better to just learn again directly from the rules (which is how we learn most of our games anyways).


My group has definitely had this happen from time to time. I've started to take it on myself to refresh on rules ahead of time - most games play better when played by the correct rules
 
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howl hollow howl
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kohlhatter wrote:

For me, Lords and Petz are some of the most intuitive games relative to their complexity, because the game is super-thematic and there are a lot of unique aspects to the mechanisms.

Arkham Horror is my vote here. Being a beast to separate and setup doesn't help either.

(Oh, and pretty much every wargame at this point in my life.)
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Mike
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If I only played games I remembered the rules to, I'd be restricted to a very small group of games.

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Mister P
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I can see how Brass would fall into that category but not so Puerto Rico. Perhaps because I played it lots. However games that require you to study the rulebook carefully to set-up for various player counts frustrate me but not enough to stop me playing.

I would go as far as saying good game design would not require you to check the rules at all after the first three plays. All the information should be on cards, or summarised in symbols on the board.

One of the things that irritates me about Power Grid is the fiddly rules for transitioning between stages.

Le Havre is a pain to set up but once it's set up I find the rules fairly intuitive. There are some easy things to forget like "Town builds a building" events.
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Chris Wilczewski
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BahdMufu wrote:
I can see how Brass would fall into that category but not so Puerto Rico. Perhaps because I played it lots. However games that require you to study the rulebook carefully to set-up for various player counts frustrate me but not enough to stop me playing.

I would go as far as saying good game design would not require you to check the rules at all after the first three plays. All the information should be on cards, or summarised in symbols on the board.

One of the things that irritates me about Power Grid is the fiddly rules for transitioning between stages.

Le Havre is a pain to set up but once it's set up I find the rules fairly intuitive. There are some easy things to forget like "Town builds a building" events.


I agree except I don't mind looking up setup specifics for any game.
 
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Jake Blomquist
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So, maybe I just have a good memory for game rules, but this isn't much of a problem for me (it better not be, other than Bruxelles 1893 which I haven't had a chance to try yet you've listed most of my favorite games (Lacerda, What's Your Game?, and Trajan - also Brass which has been mentioned a few times in this thread)).

And I'm personally not sure I see a huge difference rules-wise between these and Food Chain Magnate (which is also great). I guess just different people retain different things. But even for my friends who don't retain rules as well as me, it doesn't seem like that's a deterrent. I have one friend I can think of who I give a hard time to because it seems like he never remembers anything about the games we play even a few months later, but even he's always happy to just get refreshed, and it comes back quickly. So I'd say just be more confident that the rules will come back to you, otherwise you're missing out on some great games.

But if there's any takeaway from this thread for me it's that I should keep track of the games people list here as having this problem and make sure I check them out. So thanks for that.
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Bishop of East Anglia
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kohlhatter wrote:
Dungeon Lords

I still own it and really like it but it's just got too much to remember.


Yep.
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SamNzed wrote:
kohlhatter wrote:
Dungeon Lords

I still own it and really like it but it's just got too much to remember.


Yep.


Playing it online has solved that for me. A few online plays and the rules stick in the head better.

I like games with complex rules if they fit the theme really well and the theme is interesting. Dungeon Lords is great with that.

I found Madera to have overly complicated rules and it felt like the rules and depth added weren't enough to justify the complexity.
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Will Moller
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If you'd like to keep me on retainer, I'm happy to Skype in almost any time to facilitate a quick refresher!
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Chaddyboy
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jblomquist wrote:
And I'm personally not sure I see a huge difference rules-wise between these and Food Chain Magnate (which is also great).

For me, it's that the rules in a game like Food Chain Magnate are reinforced by the theme (except for a couple oddball things like only being able to train an employee while they're on vacation). The rules make sense in the context of the theme, which helps them stick in my brain.

However, in a game like Bruxelles, you simply have to remember how a bunch of stuff works. There's technically a theme, but it doesn't really do much of anything to support the rules. The rules are there to support a complex scoring system rather than supporting a theme. Not saying Bruxelles is a bad game; it's probably in my top 20 games of all time, but heck if I can remember how to play it that well if it's been more than a couple months between plays.
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Doug Hook
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Enjoyed the game in the day. Still very much like LOTR, but can't picture re-learning the rules of The Games of Middle Earth especially to the War of the Ring game let alone finding local players. Looks good on my shelf housing the Tolkien books though.
 
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