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Subject: Help With Bad Co-Op Habits rss

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Neil Kimball
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In the past I've had some issues with playing Zombicide, depending on the mix of players. Specifically I've run into the problem of some players overwhelming newer/less experienced board gamers and essentially telling them how to play their turns. While this is often good for the lives of the survivors and winning the game, I've seen the less experienced players just tune out as they aren't really making decisions any more.

A few of my buddies are playing again this weekend and I was curious if anyone has had effective solutions for this sort of issue?
-I was considering suggesting some sort of "1 advice rule" where you can give one statement of advice to a player on their turn ("I think you should go open that door so I can shoot into the building"), but you can't cajole and micromanage.
-Or perhaps allow table talk only if your characters are physically close, adding a little "roleplaying" to the game (you can't give advice if you're halfway across the board. But how often are we going to split up that much?).

I know these suggestions will make it harder to have perfect play and win the game, but I'm much more concerned with just having fun and killing some zombies. And maybe I'm just worrying too much anyway.
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Markus
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Simple. Just tell the people who are being too overpowering to stop. If they are normal, decent guys they'll do just that. If they don't, they are people you don't probably want to play with anyway.
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Scott Hill
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Have a rolled up newspaper to hand and apply it liberally to the back of the heads of any offenders.
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Carsten Jorgensen
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It can be a problem in this kind of games. Sometimes I take myself in doing it, as it can be hard not to . I don't like new rules - eventhough your distance rule makes sence (but then as you say it won't matter most of the time, so not really worth it).

Telling someone on the table to stop playing for the others can work - it just has to be done the right way in order not to kill the mood. Like after the a new guy has had lots of advice what to do on his turn you cut in and say something like "good advice, but it is up to X what he wants to do" (effectively this is an unofficial cap on advice).

You could also talk to the others, who know the game well beforehand and remind them not to play too much for the new ones. Might work best if it is just in passing because they came before the new players (otherwise it might get too "sneaky" - behind their backs ).

Probably most important - remember to ask the new players for advice when it is not their turn. Depending on how well they grasp the rules it might not be good the first few times (and you end up doing something else), but it gets them involved. Eventually they'll come up with something good that you follow (if it is only semi-good follow it anyway so they fell listened to).
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Adam Hardin
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Another option is to designate a certain period of time for strategizing, and disallow it outside of that block. Immediately after the zombie activation and before the beginning of the survivor turns would be the natural point. All the zombies activate and spawn, and then after seeing what the board looks like, the survivors lay out a quick list of goals they hope to accomplish that round ("Why don't we try to search for better weapons and then run for the objective?" or "we're running low on zombies, we should try to thin their ranks a bit to avoid extra activations"), and then it's left to each individual player to try to accomplish those collective goals in the manner they best see fit. Once the survivor turn has begun, no more advice or strategizing can take place unless the new guys specifically ask for it.

Edit: The Walking Dead: The Best Defense, while overall a very mediocre board game, accomplishes this quite well. Each round, one survivor is designated the "leader" who gets to handle all movement for all other survivors. Every survivor is dealt certain event cards that will make him naturally want to gravitate towards certain locations, but the event cards are kept secret, so the leader has to make decisions on where to deploy everyone with limited information. It achieves a great balance of allowing room for long-range strategy (before the event cards are dealt) while still allowing space for everyone to use their own short-range tactics (after the event cards are dealt, but before they are played).
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Peter Cooper
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DeePee wrote:
Simple. Just tell the people who are being too overpowering to stop. If they are normal, decent guys they'll do just that. If they don't, they are people you don't probably want to play with anyway.


We have one or two people like that. I talk to them before the game and ask for their help in helping newer or less experienced players get into the game by letting them make their own decisions. Of course it's alright to talk and give advice during the game, but your first responsibility is to the other players and their enjoyment of the game.
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Matthew Vincent
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nkimball wrote:
I've run into the problem of some players overwhelming newer/less experienced board gamers and essentially telling them how to play their turns.
That is a side effect of most co-op games.

However, at least in zombicide you can tell the more experienced player:
"Let them play however they want. Making mistakes and dying horribly is part of the genre and part of the fun."
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Frank Franco
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Houserule.
At the strat of every turn (ie when the first player marker changes hands) Players have 1 minute to discuss what to do in the following turn.
Then the turn begins and is played out in silence. You aren't allowed to tell anyone anything till the end of the turn.

This allows the players to come up with an overall strategy for the turn, but the individuals will have to execute that themselves and react to any 'changes' in the plan that occur during the turn.
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John
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if people still can't stop armchair quarterbacking after being asked to desist, grab a sand timer like you'd find in Space Hulk and enforce a strict 1 or 2 minutes per turn rule. No time for debate then! Plus, much like in Space Hulk, you get very thematic feelings of tension and pressure.
 
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Barry Hood
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How about a house rule that you can only talk tactics if you're in the same zone as the survivor you're talking to? That way, if you're all sick of one guy shouting orders, you can literally just walk away from him

You might lose a couple of games until he gets the message that discussion is better than blind obedience, but if it helps in the long term it's probably worth it.
 
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Scott Hill
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delinear wrote:
How about a house rule that you can only talk tactics if you're in the same zone as the survivor you're talking to? That way, if you're all sick of one guy shouting orders, you can literally just walk away from him

And if that doesn't work you can then shoot him.

(In-game, that is!)
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Rick S
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:

And if that doesn't work you can then shoot him.

(In-game, that is!)


thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
Mwah, ha, ha. Love it!
devil
 
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Rick S
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:

And if that doesn't work you can then shoot him.

(In-game, that is!)


thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
Mwah, ha, ha. Love it!
devil

Attack them with the pan, if you hit it was meant to be.
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Jonah Rees
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:
delinear wrote:
How about a house rule that you can only talk tactics if you're in the same zone as the survivor you're talking to? That way, if you're all sick of one guy shouting orders, you can literally just walk away from him

And if that doesn't work you can then shoot him.

(In-game, that is!)


I was totally going to say the same! Great minds think alike. I wonder what our excuse is.... whistle
 
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John
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Houserule.
At the strat of every turn (ie when the first player marker changes hands) Players have 1 minute to discuss what to do in the following turn.
Then the turn begins and is played out in silence. You aren't allowed to tell anyone anything till the end of the turn.

This allows the players to come up with an overall strategy for the turn, but the individuals will have to execute that themselves and react to any 'changes' in the plan that occur during the turn.


Sounds like it'd suck a bit of the fun out of the experience, to be honest. Board games are an inherently social affair. I certainly wouldn't enjoy not being able to laugh or commiserate with my friends throughout the survivor turn.

Perhaps a ban only on "on-topic" conversation?
 
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You can beat around the bush and *hint* all you want, but if they are so socialy inpet as to understand its a COOPERTIVE game, they wont "get it" until you either say "Suggestions are welcome but let them decide what they will do on thier own" or "If you'd like to make all the decisions we can set up a single player on the next table for you"

Call them out on it.. do it nicely, and give them a change to realise they are being overbearing.. and if they dont, simply dont invite them to zombinight again. Then again, if they dont like people not taking thier advice and you all die in a horrible zombie attack, maybe he will just be fustrated with you all and not come again


 
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