12.3.06 Wife's Baby shower day brought about a fun day of guys playing board games, with the promise that we would not play PR till she got home.
We waited and started the game with 5 players.
Myself (Andy) - fairly experienced with PR and teaching the game.
My Wife (Cristina)- about 10 games under her belt and quite compitent and skilled
Chris - 4 or 5 games played
Eddie - New gamer and new to PR
Tony - New gamer and new to PR
The following is what transpired.
The Mission was to convert to big computer gamers into board gamers.
I had an in...Tony had played Settlers a while back and loved it so much he bought it and taught his family. But not other gaming experience.
Eddie was an avid Axis and Allies player 10 years back and lots of play by mail/pbem gamer.
The game started with My wife getting Govenor. All turns were very slow and methodical on purpose we staggered the begginers between experienced players so they would not throw the balance off on the table. My wife and I were seperated as we had the most experience and her and I at times employ similar strategies limiting buildings others can get in the beggining of hte game, as we buy the same ones. As this is a teaching game we tried to make things as accomadating as possible.
When teaching a game I have no "horses in the race" as it stands, I attempt new strategies so I am trying something new, I answer questions as honestly as I can and give out advice when ever asked. All other experienced players know that I will dispense some basic strategy to help them stay competitive, and then if asked will give honest strategy advice.
As none of us are pros by any stretch the play begins with a buiding phase my wife loves the construction hut, our first new player picks up an indigo plant, I purchase a small market as does Chris, and Eddie another new player purchases a building I can't remember which.
Play moves in a standard order, my wife works on infrstructure, getting 3 quarrys, a wharf and a harbor, but her actual production eludes her for much of hte game and her deliveries previous to her wharf are few and far between. By the time they pickup the game has little time left and is unable to catch the leader.
Tony Diversifies beautifully delivers large and small loads, uses a harbor magnificently and for a first game is really able to stay competitive.
Sitting in seat 3 I maxx'ed out with a large and small market, the office and relied on selling corn for big money, some well timed trader phases help me get good money. In the end my deliveries were never impressive I relied on slow and steady points and a few end game buildings.
Chris started off with a similar path, a healthy 2 corn, 2 quarries, a small market, the office, but in the end, he couldn't get the production high enough to make use of his late purchase wharf, and funds were too low for any end game buildings. While he had good money late, his mid term money was struggling and his supply of goods was sparse at times.
Eddie played a quiet impressive game for a first timer. With BIG Corn and Indigo he had very very well timed goods production that really hurt the rest of the table and benefited him. Had he not lost 2 very large quantity of goods due to poor boat good distribution and poor (for him) captains phases wihtout a warehoues he would have come in a lot better. His grasp of the buildings was weak to start as many buildings look impressive on paper and are hard to use, and others are not that impressive looking but used well help a ton.
In the end the score was:
For a learning game I thought it was a monster success. My two end game buildings were giant for me, affording me 20 points, 6 for their bonus and 4 for the building each. I tried heavy markets and less reliant on my good delivery which I came in 2nd to last in total good deliverd, Tony delivering the most goods. All rules were explained and understood by games end, which is my goal. The desire to play again was strong but it was our last game of the night, though judging by my instant messages that will likely be the first game played next session I would bet.
Was the mission accomplished?
Yes as I have recieved an email and two IMs asking about the next night of gaming.
Was I happy with the win, not really, it seemed like too much, I didn't want to have that kind of game, I was hoping for a closer score, but they chalked it up to an experienced player and that with a few more games under their belt they could take me down a notch (that is my impression). I am glad they have this mentality, as with many people teaching a game and then proceeding to win by a large margin is generally a quick way to squash the desire of gamers to play games.
What would have I done differently?
I would have likely started the game with 3 people and played to 10 points of shipped goods next time to give them the game flow. Similar to how I teach power grid we play to 7 cities and then start a full game.
As some of the mechanics were lost till half way through this PR session to still garner the love of this game with begginers is a testament to PR.