Martin Law
United Kingdom
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Cambridgeshire
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Good day, General Gaming!

I really love Russian Railroads: I love the mechanics (even though I'm not big on worker placement in general), the artwork, the components. It's just so... classy.

Anyway, I often play games with just one other player, and after 7 plays of Russian Railroads, she has only won once, when I made some terrible plays. She doesn't mind losing in general, she just gets frustrated and feels that "I did everything I possibly could to gain points -- why can't I win??", and it puts her off playing. I can see her frustration: Sometimes she really racks up the points, but just as often she finishes quite a bit behind. I am not an amazing player -- I score around 300-350, and I understand 400+ is a score to be proud of.

We are evenly matched in most other currently-played games -- Puzzle Strike, Haggis, Kingdom Builder.

It would be wrong to let her win -- and she would be able to tell. I just want to play Russian Railroads! I could play it with other gamers, but it would be 3- or 4-player, which gives a play time of 90-120 minutes, which would mean it would barely make the table (my friends and I rarely play the same game together twice, as we have so many).
So what to do?
 
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Dezza
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Both you and her, on your turn, talk about what actions you're making, and why you're making them, explaining what you're hoping to gain, and what possible drawbacks there might be for the action.
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Pat
United States
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dezza wrote:
Both you and her, on your turn, talk about what actions you're making, and why you're making them, explaining what you're hoping to gain, and what possible drawbacks there might be for the action.


I think this is a good solution. When my wife started playing Memoir '44 I did something similar for the first few games while she got the hang of it. Helped her to get an idea of some of the strategy involved, and made her recognize a few things she hadn't previously thought of.
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Greg Byrd
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The same situation happened with my wife and I at Dominion. She told me that she kind of wanted me to teach her what I did differently, but I think I'm not a good teacher. I would give her suggestions on what she should do, but she wouldn't trust my motives .

I think the above suggestion of playing a few open rounds and discussing strategy sounds good. I might try that with Dominion if she'll give it another chance.
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kevin castle
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dezza wrote:
Both you and her, on your turn, talk about what actions you're making, and why you're making them, explaining what you're hoping to gain, and what possible drawbacks there might be for the action.


I agree. I've done this with friends when teaching them how to play Magic: the Gathering. I still beat them all the time, but at least they feel like they know what they're doing.
 
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Kerby Seeley
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My wife and I had a similar situation with Ascension. We ended up playing a game where I explained why I was buying particular cards that she thought were awful. Since that night, my win percentage against her went from 98% to 33% and her enjoyment of that game went from 25% to 1000%.
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Martin Law
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Thanks for all the replies.

Yes, this is an interesting idea -- I will suggest this in advance, and get it to the table!

I will also suggest other games; there are plenty of others
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Ryan Trepanier
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I have the same problem with Dominant Species. My GF kicks my ass and I have no idea how or why... Drives me crazy.
 
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Liz Spain
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This happens sooner or later with almost every two-player game we buy. Taking breaks to play other games is one solution. Another is to bring out that game when the person who plays it best is three sheets to the wind.
 
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Vince Lupo
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ALEXANDRIA
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Yeah. I think it probably is beter to say "this is what I'm doing and why I'm putting value on this choice over the others"

VS

"this is why you lost." or "you should have done this" or "you should do this or this." or "that's a terrible move"
 
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Steve Norton
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I also think that talking about the strategy is a really good idea - but I don't think you need to make a big deal about it ("Shall we play a game where we talk about our moves?")

All you need to do is vocalise your thoughts when you come to some key decisions.
 
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