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Subject: Initial thoughts after 3 plays. Yikes! How to teach this? rss

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Chris
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Getting the thematics right helps hugely. They make the stupid stupid logical. Coal needs connections but Iron doesn't?? WTF?!?!? Oh... coal IS coal, but iron represents the use of tools to improve. Oooh, now that makes sense for both transportation AND development. I recently taught this to a couple of new guys at my gaming group and totally forgot that development costs iron. As such I couldn't for the life of me work out why the board was always swamped with iron and I cam dead last! DOH!

Have a play on http://brass.orderofthehammer.com it's a very basic, and very good, implementation.

And ignore Birkenhead unless he asks. If he does, then you say that the workers can get across the Mersey by boat every day to do the work, but the coal for the furnaces needs to come the long way round as it's only a passenger link. #### Oh - 2p variant. Birkenhead free! ####

The strategy will have to take something of a back seat, just concentrate on the canal phase first and get the point across that primarily you want to end it with level 2+ chits nicely spread out around the board. Sounds like a crappy objective, but canal really is just a setup phase for Rail.

As you can only build in one location in canal, and there are far fewer connections being built, that simple view should be able to form a good base for a second round of explanation before the rail phase.

Ignore double build actions. They're just about never a optimum move, so chuck that in later.
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Jeff Michaud
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colmmccarthy wrote:
Reread the rules, watched some videos, read some tips on BGG, ....

did you visit the "files" section for this game? check out...

Restructured Rules for Brass

BRASS - 2 sided color player aid

Brass Player Aid

and

Teaching Guide for Brass from the How to Play Podcast

Quote:
It's a nightmare to play

it only seems that way now
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Chris
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Woah woah hang on... in your photo you have no links to Barrow-In-Furness, Blackburn or Burnley. What's that all about!?
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Andrius is Lietuvos
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Welcome to an amazing world of Brass
The methods I use to teach this game are as follows:
1. All actions require to discard cards. What is shown on the card is important to place industries only.
2. Explanation on how to build with locations and industry cards
3. Moving coal and iron when building
4. Flipping stuff. The best way to teach this is by explaining it as a long term contracts. E.g. your cotton mill is producing stuff which goes through this port. Both are running at full capacity and therefore, you have income from them.
5. Other actions - canals and rails, loans, development, Birkenhead.
6. Periods and scoring.
Also, I always put number of cards in the rail period sideways. Take x×2 cards where x is the number of players and rotate it 90 degrees. Then put the rest of the cards on top. So when you reach the rotated cards, remind everyone that it's a last round to take a loan.

Good luck!
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Chris
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colmmccarthy wrote:
TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
Woah woah hang on... in your photo you have no links to Barrow-In-Furness, Blackburn or Burnley. What's that all about!?


See what I mean? It's a nightmare

Burnley is a mill left over from the Canal Era. Don't level 2's and above stay on the board?
yes, that's kosher now I think about it

Quote:
Blackburn has two mills left over from the Canal Era, but I should not have been able to build the Ironworks as there is no link for coal. Gah! (EDIT: Or maybe there was and I built all three during the Canal Era - I don't honestly remember).
well you couldn't have built two greens in the same place in Canal era so either way, that's gone awry.

Quote:
Barrow-In-Furness I built with location cards...but how did I get the coal there? Gaaah!

Time for game 4 tonight. Determined to get these rules down
See now this is a deep game. just a handful of chits and a board. None of that bloated nonsense in Terra Mystica and their ilk!
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JeffyJeff wrote:
I'd listen to the episode.

JeffyJeff wrote:
Quote:
It's a nightmare to play
it only seems that way now
+1 It's rather easy once you've got the correct rules down and a few plays under your belt.

PS: and get the Windows app from http://orderofthehammer.com/windowsapp.htm
I learned the game that way.
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Chris
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colmmccarthy wrote:
Agreed. While I may be less than impressed by my playing of it so far, I am absolutely impressed by Brass as a design. It's a beautifully smart game. My son's going to love it.
Interestingly, Martin Wallace doesn't seem to really see it that way. In his notes for Age Of Industry he really phrases things as him fixing the clunky rubbish in Brass and never understood why it was so popular in the first place. The whole Canal phase is kinda weird I guess.

Btw, check out London. It's not as deep or complex as Brass, but was his other main design from that part of his career. very interesting and very original mechanically.
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Jeff Michaud
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yzemaze wrote:
JeffyJeff wrote:
I'd listen to the episode.

personally for me I prefer to read than listen... as I can read/skim/skip over things faster. but yea, for those who prefer to listen/watch definitely do that!
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
colmmccarthy wrote:
Agreed. While I may be less than impressed by my playing of it so far, I am absolutely impressed by Brass as a design. It's a beautifully smart game. My son's going to love it.
Interestingly, Martin Wallace doesn't seem to really see it that way. In his notes for Age Of Industry he really phrases things as him fixing the clunky rubbish in Brass and never understood why it was so popular in the first place. The whole Canal phase is kinda weird I guess.

I disagree with MW as well... one of my few (if only!) review on BGG is on this subject.....

I recommend Brass over Age of Industry, I see no need to own both, especially given the price difference

AoI imho got rid of the good stuff from Brass in the "name" of stream lining... but also imho with no decrease in play time. The only thing AoI has going for it is it plays up to 5 (if you really dare). imho the real reason for AoI was to try to develop another expansion (maps) franchise like for (Age of) Steam which is hard to do w/Brass
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Chris
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JeffyJeff wrote:
TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
colmmccarthy wrote:
Agreed. While I may be less than impressed by my playing of it so far, I am absolutely impressed by Brass as a design. It's a beautifully smart game. My son's going to love it.
Interestingly, Martin Wallace doesn't seem to really see it that way. In his notes for Age Of Industry he really phrases things as him fixing the clunky rubbish in Brass and never understood why it was so popular in the first place. The whole Canal phase is kinda weird I guess.

I disagree with MW as well... one of my few (if only!) review on BGG is on this subject.....

I recommend Brass over Age of Industry, I see no need to own both, especially given the price difference

AoI imho got rid of the good stuff from Brass in the "name" of stream lining... but also imho with no decrease in play time. The only thing AoI has going for it is it plays up to 5 (if you really dare). imho the real reason for AoI was to try to develop another expansion (maps) franchise like for (Age of) Steam which is hard to do w/Brass
Well I bought AoI recently from eBay. Signed copy #32 so I couldn't resist at the price. Even had a free expansion inside. There are some nice thematic additions, like ships actually DOING something, but given I'm naturally biased towards Brass from getting it first, I expect I'll never have the love for it others do. The coloured areas certainly generic it up a treat, that much is very clear. I'd suggest it was in order to "create an extensible system" though rather than a money grab
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Jeff Michaud
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
I'd suggest it was in order to "create an extensible system" though rather than a money grab

isn't that what I said?

in any case as I think I hopefully mentioned in the review that things like those "generic" colored areas, and lack of info on the players chits, actually make AoI *harder* to learn as you have to keep looking up stuff
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Rob Derrick
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Few games so cleverly and completely abstract the thematic elements of reality away as well as Brass. You (well, at least I) feel like we are just taking a lot of the explanations of "Why" on faith.

However, I am just now reading a book that is making the time frame of Brass come into sharp focus, and clearly showing me why the canals, and subsequently the railroads, were so important to the movement of Coal (the Iron is another abstraction).

And, by the way, a Really Good Book, "The Map that Changed the World", by Simon Winchester.
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1. Dev.
2. Dev more.
3. Take loan.
4. Dev even more.
5. Build.
6. Sell.
7. Take loan.
8. Build railroads.
9. Build more railroads.
10. Take loan.
11. Build.
12. Take loan
13. Build.
14. Sell.
15. Take loan.
16. Do something.
17. Don't expect to win.


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Jon G
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I wrote the article, so I'm biased, but have a look at:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/680754/thematic-brass-ru...

I try to explain the rules based on the theme, as this makes them more memorable and less fiddly-feeling.
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Jon G
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JeffyJeff wrote:
imho the real reason for AoI was to try to develop another expansion (maps) franchise like for (Age of) Steam which is hard to do w/Brass


And frankly, there's no reason not to have new maps for Brass. All you need is a map and a deck of cards. The northern France map (Brach'ti) is great, and heavily playtested over at brass.orderofthehammer.com. There's a fellow making custom maps for both France & Yorkshire, that I hope he'll unveil on BGG soon.
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Chris
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dr.mrow wrote:
JeffyJeff wrote:
imho the real reason for AoI was to try to develop another expansion (maps) franchise like for (Age of) Steam which is hard to do w/Brass


And frankly, there's no reason not to have new maps for Brass. All you need is a map and a deck of cards. The northern France map (Brach'ti) is great, and heavily playtested over at brass.orderofthehammer.com. There's a fellow making custom maps for both France & Yorkshire, that I hope he'll unveil on BGG soon.
Yes there is, there's the reason of needing new cards which really tips the balance to basically making a new game. A single board is packed up in cellophane and shipped trivially. Throw cards into the mix and then you need a box to house both, and then the price of the expansion will double and not be viable. I expect. It is a close call though, I do see what you mean.
 
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I don't buy this. Compare Ticket to Ride or Railways of the World expansions, which come with cards in a box, and retail $25-35, to Power Grid, Steam, or Age of industry maps, which don't have cards and retail for $15-25.

Yes, you pay $7-$10 more for the box & cards, but that's extra profit for the designer & publisher, so I can't see that the cost difference will hurt sales so much as to be non-viable. It also hasn't stopped many other games from printing board + card expansions.

In the AoI/Brass case, the problems would seem to be that Martin Wallace has announced he's not making Brass maps, AoI maps have covered similar ground, and the player base may not be big enough to sell out a print run. Still, if he changes his mind, I'd likely buy the new map.
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