Training of new gamers
Travis Bonczkowski
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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So here's my situation: I am a member of a musical group that will be traveling to Puerto Rico in 2006. During this trip, my goal is to play Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico and San Juan in San Juan. Problem arises when I consider that no one else in my group is a gamer geek like me. Sure, last year during our tour we played Five Crowns and Dutch Blitz, and we have played party games like Hoopla at group functions, but nothing near as heavy as Puerto Rico.
My goal for the year then is to teach at least 2 other people to play PR and SJ with me in a methodical way that will not make them totally opposed to gaming with me or in general. I have some ideas of who to try to train up, and have already started with one. The purpose of this list is to chart what my progression should be towards my goal. I welcome any and all comments and suggestions as to how best to go about accomplishing my goals. I'll get more time later this year when we travel to Dallas for a convention, so I hope to accomplish a lot during that time. BTW, this is my first geeklist and don't have much of my collection online yet, so you can't count on that to suggest games I have. I'm always looking for excuses to buy more games though.
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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
 
Travis Bonczkowski
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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My eventual goal. I love this game and finally broke down and got my own copy. So I want to play Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico, I'm a geek and proudly admit it.
 
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2. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
 
Travis Bonczkowski
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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My eventual goal. I've only played this once so far, but since my theme is to play games in places they're named after, I had to get it. Besides, it's related to PR!!
 
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3. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Travis Bonczkowski
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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Ok, I just like this picture! Anyway, I figured I'd start off with what most consider to be the gateway game, and I have already played with one prospect, so I'm on the way to getting my group together. I do have the 5-6 player expansion, so I can teach more people at once, hee hee!
 
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Travis Bonczkowski
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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This would be my next step. Since they have already had exposure to other Rummy variants (Five Crowns), this should not be too big of a jump. Just a few more rules than a normal Rummy variant. And for the record, I consider any game that you collect sets to be a Rummy variant.
 
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5. Board Game: The Great Dalmuti [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1149]
Travis Bonczkowski
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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I know a few people in my group have played this, so hopefully it won't be too big of a jump to get the others playing. I think the card game aspect will appeal to more people.
 
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6. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:389]
Travis Bonczkowski
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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I'll use this next to teach them some more. It's an interesting game, but not one of my favorites. Just hasn't struck a chord with me. It is easy to play and understand though, so I think it'll go over well with what I'm trying to accomplish.
 
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7. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
Travis Bonczkowski
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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I'll put this in here somewhere too. An interesting game that I've only gotten to play a couple of times so far. I think that my group will like this game too.
 
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8. Board Game: What Happens Next [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
Travis Bonczkowski
United States
Montgomery
Illinois
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Is the question. Where should I go from here? Some other learning games leaning towards PR? Or should I break out PR now? My biggest concern is that my group is pretty conservative Christian, and I'm not sure that a lot of the games I have would be appropriate for this group (DOOM, Lunch Money). I'm thinking maybe some more card games (Citadels, Bang!, HexHex), since that is what the bulk of my collection is at this point. Should I throw in a party game or two into my training schedule? I've been looking to get Apples to Apples so this would be a good excuse. Any suggestions would be welcomed with an open mind!
 
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9. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
John Farrell
Australia
Rozelle
New South Wales
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My suggestion is to use Citadels as an introduction. It has some of the same features as San Juan - you have to choose a character, your choice depends on what you think other players will choose, the game ends when you get to a certain number of districts. Once they can play Citadels, San Juan is even easier :-) because you don't even have to distinguish between money and cards!

I think the artwork on Citadels will appeal to non-gamers more than that of San Juan, and it looks less intimidating, so it may be better received than San Juan at first.

I tried both these games with my family over the last couple of weeks, and they preferred Bohnanza :-(.
 
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