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Subject: teaching for newbies rss

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fish face
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Hi. I picked up what seemed to be the last copy in the UK a few weeks back. I'm playing with a friend tomorrow night. I've just got him into gaming in general with some relatively gentle stuff like agricola, dominion, pandemic etc to give him a flavour of modern games. Gonna crack this out next, but is this overreach? There do seem to be some fiddly rules to remember (like where can you retreat to), in anyone's experience is this going to put off someone who is keen, just discovered games but never played a wargame before?

Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to play through both sides solo to really get the rules down so will be first game for me as well. Any hints on teaching this game? Anything common rules that get missed?
 
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Tanks Alot
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Fort Mill
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Have you looked on youtube?
There are some great overviews on there
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccZmHRyCfxQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC5_JXPwqXc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cTDO7brRuk

And in the files section look at this.
http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/57478/flatten-learning-cur...

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Max DuBoff
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flyingfish wrote:
Hi. I picked up what seemed to be the last copy in the UK a few weeks back. I'm playing with a friend tomorrow night. I've just got him into gaming in general with some relatively gentle stuff like agricola, dominion, pandemic etc to give him a flavour of modern games. Gonna crack this out next, but is this overreach? There do seem to be some fiddly rules to remember (like where can you retreat to), in anyone's experience is this going to put off someone who is keen, just discovered games but never played a wargame before?

Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to play through both sides solo to really get the rules down so will be first game for me as well. Any hints on teaching this game? Anything common rules that get missed?


I wouldn't say this is much more complex than Agricola, but it ultimately depends on who he is. If he's OK with a war theme, though, I'd say give it a go.
 
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Russ Williams
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I agree that it's not a complex game as wargames go; it's pretty simple and straightforward, in fact. But someone new to wargames (especially block wargames) might find its concepts to be alien.

The movement and retreat rules may seem confusing at first, but they mostly make logical sense (e.g. of course you cannot retreat to a space with enemy units, and so on).

Also be sure you understand and clarify that sea spaces are simply another type of space, which are adjacent to other sea spaces and to ports. Ships can be in sea spaces or ports but not other land spaces; land units can be in land spaces but not sea spaces. A retreating unit can only go to an adjacent space, thus retreating ships at sea can only go to an adjacent sea or port, and ships retreating from a port battle can only go to an adjacent sea. (I.e. ports are not adjacent to each other for purposes of ships.)

And remember that you can only move into battle (enemy-occupied location) if you start adjacent to it.

---

The only rule which we sometimes forgot about in our first game or two was that you can only build ships in ports which have a printed ship symbol.
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Shayne Richards
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The idea is to have fun and make it fun, so I think first few plays, who cares if you get some rules wrong and I play a lot of CG games with me 8 and now she's 10 year old and I would just simply dumb down some of the rules like retreat rules, let her retreat to any town, does it really matter with kids and newbies...as she got more experienced, I added some rules we ignored or got her to do the rules properly.
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fish face
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So we gave this a go last night. It was a moderate success. Lots of rules checking and clarifications as for a couple of wargame newbies there are quite a lot of rule exceptions such as defender and attackers have different retreat rules, movement points for amphibious movement are used differently from other movement, retreats across straits, the reserve blocks coming in in round 2 of battles, ballista different attack/defend ratings etc etc etc. So it was a bit different from the usual easy flowing gaming sessions that we have.

I lost in the third year as Caesar which was a bit of an anticlimax. We mostly came to an almight head-on collision in the centre of the map, without maneuvering around the map much which was a bit disappointing, but perhaps we are both just rubbish generals.

Also we both caught ourselves out by having navis floating in the sea that we couldn't get to a winter port and having to disband other units as we didn't plan ahead for supply. This was quite annoying, but I guess we learned from it.

My friend didn't dismiss another play out of hand acknowledging that this is a game that needs to be played a few times, but I think there are other games he will prefer to play ahead of this. I quite enjoyed it, but this might unfortunately not get played too often, so will give it a go with my SO (I don't think she'll like it) to see whether it is likely to get any future table time. I don't think this will replace Twilight Struggle as our two-player go to game, and I think I might need to grow the circle I play with to include some people who expressly like wargames to get this one out much.
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Russ Williams
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FWIW I've played JC 11 times now and continue to enjoy it. The first game was definitely more fumbling than later games, in terms of strategy as well as rules. So hopefully you'll get to play again soon while it's fresh in your mind.

I personally found JC's rules much simpler and easier than Twilight Struggle, which felt to me like it had more details and chrome (and more components to physically fiddle with).
 
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Derry Salewski
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I think Hammer of the Scots is easier to teach.

I thought I had more useful things to say than that, sorry!
 
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fish face
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I agree that Twilight Struggle is not a simple game but there are far fewer rules exceptions and all special cases are handled by the text in front of you on the card. In JC by contrast we both have to remember that we can usually move 2 across a strait but only one if contested and only one if a retreat. And we can retreat by sea but we have to remember the circumstances. Just so much to remember. This is not a criticism of the game, just an observation of how it is to people who've not played before. After a few games I am sure it will all smooth out.

If there is one thing that I think ruins a gaming session its any of the players constantly going 'you cant do that' or someone saying 'oh no I forgot about that bit I would have done it differently', but I guess that's learning more complex games.
 
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