Terminology for the confusion!
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For certain games, you need to be clear about certain things. If not, the rules or terms get misinterpreted due to ambiguity and multiple interpretations, then the game gets played wrong. It may make for some slight unpleasant gaming for some, but in other cases, it can completely change the way a game is played. These are some situations where I’ve noticed if you don’t define or explain certain terms or procedures, it can be as minor as losing a few points, or disaster can ensue.
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1. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
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Some people interchange “Destination Tickets” (what you draw, connect the 2 cities with your color trains to gain those pts, else get penalized that) with “route” (the line of trains filling the rectangles between 2 cities). Then there’s what a lot of people refer to as “Longest Route” is what the rulebook actually refers to as “Transcontinental America”. It wasn’t often, but has happened where someone mistaken the “Longest Route” bonus as completing a Destination Ticket with the highest point value.
 
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2. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
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Akin to above, for one person, "Globetrotter" sounded like someone who was able to put his trains all over the map, and thus, seemed to work like "Longest Route" instead. "Trotting across the globe" perhaps? I believe for that game, they started too quickly and they did not explain to the player what the Globetrotter bonus was really about.
 
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3. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
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Alien Rosetta Stone World and Alien Tech Institute each provide discounts of -2/+2 discount on Alien worlds. There are times when the text and people refer to worlds by the good they produce/contain (e.g. novelty world for blue, rare world for brown, genes world for green, and alien world for yellow goods). I always remind newbies and alike that this discount applies only towards yellow worlds. Gray worlds that say Alien in the card title are NOT considered yellow worlds and thus, will NOT get the discounts/bonuses from those 2 cards
 
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4. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
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Once you know the iconography and conventions of the game, you’ll know that the Greatest Military most goal is for someone who has at least 6 military strength and the most, as opposed to a 6-cost military world or higher (such as Rebel Base). This has only occurred once, although it’s not something that would happen often since goals are removed when newbies play and we usually do explain the goals and/or have experienced players.
 
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5. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:320]
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Crown marker vs. King character. This is important when you play with the Queen and we follow the rules in the English FFG edition (that comes with the Dark City expansion) which state the Queen gets the bonus while being next to the King character, not the player with the crown marker (who for example, could be the Architect after that player choose the King before, but no1 doing so the next round)
 
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6. Board Game: Catan: Cities & Knights [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
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barbarian ship vs pirate ship. Pirate ship is only available in Seafarers, but upon observing a combined game, someone kept confusing the two and tried to move the barbarian ship when a 7 rolled and the pirate ship when the ship icon got rolled on the 3rd die you get in C&K.
 
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7. Board Game: Cuba [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:418]
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Goods vs products vs resources. If playing the game, I don’t believe you need to distinguish between these specifically by name. Where they need to be manipulated (from player possession or supply) AFAIK, there will be images you can just directly reference. If going through the rulebook, all bets are off since there, it clearly defines what they are and mentions that they should NOT be confused with each other
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8. Board Game: Die Siedler von Nürnberg [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1637]
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In the 3, major Catan games, possibly the other spinoffs, there were only Victory Points, which player often just say “points” for short. There are no “action points”, “you suck points” or anything like that. In Settlers Of Nurnberg, having 2 types of points means you really oughtta be specific, unless others can go by context. VPs are what win you the game, while Prestige Points can help you win the game and work similar to the Largest Army mechanisms or its equivalents you see in the Catan series.
 
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9. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:220]
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Similar to Settlers Of Nurnberg above... prestige pts vs VP again. Or was it Power points vs prestige points? Either way, one is your actual score, the other is used to determine turn order and used as a tie breaker if actual score comes to a tie.
 
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10. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:281] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
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resource cards vs development cards. This one’s simple, but some people will treat development cards as “resource cards” in the purist sense because... that is kind of true. However, the rulebook’s differentiation and explicit notes such as a player is NOT required to discard development cards or count them towards his hand total when a 7 is rolled corrects that misconception. Conveying this info to such players is all it takes.
 
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11. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Murray C
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Fecking "Treasure" is a weird word to say. We often use "Gold" despite Gold being 3 Treasure.

...yea that was confusing. I've been trying to get the group to say "coin" but it still doesn't roll off the tongue like Gold does.
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12. Board Game: Key Harvest [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1319]

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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Crops vs fields
Harvested vs unharvested
Connected vs unconnected fields
Town vs registry vs store vs country

"Crops" are the resources you get by "harvesting" "fields" on your "country" board. You get "fields" from the "store", but first you put "fields" in the "store" from the "registry" which is on the "town" board. You will score your two largest "connected" groups of "fields," and other players can sometimes take your "unconnected" "fields". You also score for having the most of each type of "crop," but not of each type of "field".

The problem is that most of these things are not obvious / intuitive, but that the workers and events [and rulebook] depend heavily on using them in exactly the right way. The "crops" / "field" dichotomy is the most difficult.

Then, you have special problems with the few workers that say "harvest from an adjacent unharvested field," but after you do so the field doesn't become "harvested"! It's still "unharvested," even though you just harvested it! Gah!

Since the game depends on the text on workers / events so much, it's all but impossible to play until you sort this out.
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13. Board Game: Reef Encounter [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:490]

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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Polyp tile vs coral tile vs coral vs larva vs alga vs reef vs rock space vs rock

Confuse any two while reading the rules and you'll have trouble, and some are easily confused.

Then, you have the added difficulty of remembering that polyp tiles in front of your screen differ from those behind.
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14. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
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Pilot vs Helo.

For those who aren't aware, when you choose characters, you need to get as even a distribution as possible of category of characters (Political Leader, Military Leader, Pilot, or the oddball one... Support) as stated in the rulebook.

Here's what I make clear to folks who aren't in the know... Only pilots can man a viper, but Helo just happens to be a Military Leader who can also man a viper.

From a gameplay perspective, it can be important to have enough people able to fly vipers. Or, to have other grounds covered. From a personal perspective, some people have favorites and specific preferences they want to suit (they like specific characters from the show, they WANT TO choose someone who can fly vipers, they wanna pick someone with specific powers and skillsets), so even though in the end it can be irrelevant, it can also make all the difference in the world, as enjoyment of the game can be tops and being able to pick who you want dictates how well that works out.
 
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15. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:239]
Hunter E
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I've noticed that new players, and even certain players I've played with repeatedly, often have difficulty keeping "market stalls" (cards used to trade veggies for other veggies) and the "store" (area on your board used to buy and sell single veggies for money) no matter how many times I point out the distinction.
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16. Board Game: Mecanisburgo [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:4032]
Hunter E
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I'm still working on the best way when teaching this to get across the difference between conflicts and opposed skill checks. It seems like it should be pretty clear -- conflicts are the initial fight when resolving a space, opposed skill checks are what happens when you use certain skills. Still every time I've taught this nobody's picked it up which is which and what gets used in each until the very end if even then.
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