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Subject: Question about teaching the game to a new player... rss

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wendigo song
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I am going to be teaching this game to a new player who is proudly Russian. He insists on playing the USSR and is actually very interested in Cold War history and playing as his ancestral home. He is a complete non-gamer and only knows of board games like scrabble and monopoly. Additionally he took one look at the rule book and stated that he would rather I give him an overview of the rules and that we go from there. With that said, what I was going to do is play the game by giving Russia some extra IP at the beginning of the game just to neutralize some of my advantage. My only goal in doing this is to not make the game a 4 turn slaughter that usually happens when an inexperienced player playes an experienced one. The first question is whether this is a good idea? The reason being is I want to make the game somewhat competitive for both of us in the first game and giving Russia extra IP would definitely do that for me. The second question is how much IP I should give Russia. I was thinking maybe 2 IP. Any suggestions?
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Ben Bosmans
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If you are really a good player, I don't think even 5 points will give him any chance.

TS is one of the most competitive games around in my view and I am certain not an expert at it.

But every time I play it, I feel I play better and better.

I don't even like competitive games but TS is an exception.


The curious thing is that the rules are so easy to explain: just show him the one page overview table and the 3 ways to distribute OPS points (along with the space race) and just play a game to have fun.

I think you should really not play in a competitive way and let the man grow into the many cards of the game with multiple sessions.

I think the first few games you should play the game as a thematic game and not as a competitive one. It is quite clear from your story the man wants to have a thematic experience of WP against NATO.

I guess around 2-3 games should do the tric, then you can beat him ...
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Karl Hiesterman
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One thing I've had good luck with when it comes to inexperienced gamers and this game is start playing the game open handed. Help them think over all their moves, explain your moves, give them a feel for why you do what. Then you can gauge how well they are picking it up. Eventually you reach a point where you can say "OK, would you like to play this turn by yourself?". It will take much longer, but the first game is a teaching game anyway.

Non-gamers really have a steep learning curve with this game, and being at a complete loss as to what to do can be a serious problem that often sends them running, never to return.
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Dan Likos
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Play early war several (tons) of times until he can finish in a serviceable position. This way he learns the early war cards in a fraction of the time, as you can play the Early War 3 or 4 times in one sitting.

Then when you are ready to introduce Mid War, he will pick up on the necessities a bit quicker.
 
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Chris Gillmeister
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I agree with taking it easy on them in order to get them into the game and potentially having another gaming partner. Anytime I introduce a game to someone I almost always let them win, even tho we all know its a learning game. It sets the bait more.

A fun mechanic that I did was I would play poorly the first few turns* (wasting OP points by just breaking control). I would put myself down VP's and board position and then turn 7ish I would try as hard as I could and see if I could come back from the deficit. Just a fun way to keep your self interest but in the end still letting them win.

*Dont tell them. Play the full game and make it seem tight.
 
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Bindlestick Bindlestick
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I'll disagree with the majority opinion. I have taught this game to teenagers after I had played 40+ games. While none of them stood a chance of actually winning, they didn't know that and they enjoyed the game thoroughly.

IMO: do not give him extra IP's and do not play early war over and over (YUCK!)

Just play the game
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Steve Spiker
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I agree with the last guy. Play it normal and play it through the mid-war. Just be open and patient and walk-through decisions.

I also usually withold realignment rolls as an option until they get everything else down pat. They don't really influence early war games anyways.
 
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