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Subject: playing a game as training wheels for another game? rss

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Never saw the need for it.

For example, buying San Juan to train newcomers to Race For The Galaxy.
Or starting with Shadows Over Camelot before Battlestar Galactica
Or The Resistance before Shadows Over Camelot
Or Forbidden Island before Pandemic


In most cases, you'd still need to spend a non-trivial amount of time to get gamers up to speed between the differences of the 2 that you may as well just start with the "end game", or that game you'd like to migrate to anyways.
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Jordan Hillis
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Check out The Dukes of Dice, they have a building block segment that covers this exact topic. https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1395936/building-blocks-sug...
 
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Pandora Caitiff
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Unless they've actually got the same or very similar mechanics (eg The Resistance for Avalon) or you're introducing them to a game type (like Worker Placement or Deck Building), I don't even see how it wouldn't just be really confusing and counter intuitive...
 
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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Agreed. The vast majority of the time it's predicated on the idea that most games are way more difficult to grasp than they actually are.

With something like Pandemic, any adult can pick up the rules as long as they actually want to. The problem only arises if people are playing to be nice or social and aren't that interested in gaming for its own sake.

There's a few exceptions. For someone who isn't a gamer, I think game length is important, so they can bow out gracefully if they aren't having fun. So nothing over two hours.

And I'd avoid the really complex stuff. I wouldn't bring Virgin Queen to the table for someone's first (non family) game, even if they're a history buff. But those kind of games are very much outliers.
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Jeremy Heisey
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I like to teach Sushi Go! before 7 Wonders. Otherwise I find people get so caught up in drafting that they miss the rest of the game.
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Mark Wilson
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Interesting topic, but I disagree with the OP that it's not needed. It's not always about mechanics. Just looking at or thinking about Lords of Waterdeep made my girlfriend go bug-eyed. The theme and fiddly pieces were intimidating to her, even though I knew the game itself was something she could handle. So we worked up to it, and once she had already encountered worker placement as a concept and also simply more complex games, introducing it to her came with MUCH less nervousness. Having purchased it recently, it looks to be a regular pull for us moving forward.

So it's not always about building gaming aptitude or knowledge of specific mechanics. I find that, more often, it's simply building confidence in one's ability to tackle the complex stuff. Because people deciding beforehand that something is beyond them is a FAR bigger issue - to me at least - when teaching than a person's actual ability to grasp the game. I had a friend once - a teacher, no less - who couldn't understand Munchkin. No joke. Smart girl. But she just decided she couldn't do it as I related the rules, and that anything with more than about 30 seconds of explanation was horribly complex. And that was that.

I do find that it also aids in picking up games more quickly. It's not "needed" per se. But it's helpful to be able to say "Oh, it's just like {x} mechanic in {game}" and see the light of recognition on their face.
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Kyle
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My first worker placement was Agricola, I live it to pieces, so no training wheels are required.

The key here is said above, the person had to want to learn. There is nothing more frustrating than someone deciding they don't want to think, after the game has started, and putting their way through the rest of the game as they don't 'get it'. Especially when the other new players all seemed to pay attention and get it just fine after they requested you teach it.
 
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Cameron Lucas
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Sushi Go before 7 Wonders is probably the only one because drafting is utterly confusing for most non gamers.
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small was a great way to introduce my SO to both worker placement as a mechanism and to Uwe's use of symbols.
 
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John
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I wouldn't buy a game to use as training wheels for another game. I agree that most games aren't actually that difficult to learn, most people can learn most games if they want to and believe that they can.

However if someone thinks they can't learn a game (but want to) as Mark describes then teaching them an easier game can help.
 
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Chris
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Generally a daft idea, but I'm playing Chicago Express and planning on also playing Locomotive Werks before I approach an actual 18xx. Given that they break small chunks of the 18xx system and turn them into shorter mathy medium weight games, I do actually think it'd be useful. As well as hopefully enjoyable!
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Pasi Ojala
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Only training as in play different enough games to learn and find out about different mechanisms and what you like.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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This is most useful with new gamers who don't have a lot of experience with different types of games. Especially when they're encountering a new game mechanism for the first time.

Once someone has more experience with games they develop a "Gamer sense" and they learn how to learn games quicker/better... at which point prepping them with "training wheel" games isn't needed anymore.
 
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Jeremy Heisey
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
Generally a daft idea, but I'm playing Chicago Express and planning on also playing Locomotive Werks before I approach an actual 18xx. Given that they break small chunks of the 18xx system and turn them into shorter mathy medium weight games, I do actually think it'd be useful. As well as hopefully enjoyable!


This is a great example. I love Chicago Express, and I am trying to get more of that kind of experience, so I can soon approach 18XX myself.
 
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Pete
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Thunkd wrote:
This is most useful with new gamers who don't have a lot of experience with different types of games. Especially when they're encountering a new game mechanism for the first time.

Once someone has more experience with games they develop a "Gamer sense" and they learn how to learn games quicker/better... at which point prepping them with "training wheel" games isn't needed anymore.
It's true, and the exact moment when they start to "get it" is really quite exciting.

Pete (enjoys training up new padawans)
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Richard Jackson

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I think it all depends on the games you are playing. I spent quite a bit of money on Advanced Squad Leader; starter kits, the infamous rule book, and a module or two and just couldn't get it. It felt so much like work. Ugh! It kept calling to me and I really wanted to enjoy it, but it was about as much fund as passing a kidney stone.

Somewhere along the way I decided to start at the beginning. I went online and bought an old, unpunched copy of the original Squad Leader and started learning from the beginning. It instantly clicked and made sense. I'm now totally in love with the system, I've bought most of the Squad Leader Modules and I've started dumping money back into ASL. So, I can see it being useful under some very specific conditions, but by and large I like to just jump in and go for the one I really want. Also, as a wargamer, I've found that just by picking up one game that introduces a lot of the same concepts/mechanics that are common to wargames, a lot of the information instantly transferred to other games. So it did broaden my horizons and understanding.
 
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Chris Willett
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I've done this exact thing using Lords of Waterdeep to get people to play Agricola. That said, I did this knowing that Agricola is a much harder game for your first worker placement game. I found that in the specific case I used, it helped the players to have smaller, easier to explain goals in the game. Lords of Waterdeep's quests are short term and generally did not overburden players like Agricola might.

These same players like both games, but still to this day struggle with the longview on their moves in Agricola. Taking an action because it gives you reed and stone when you need those for two things you plan to make later (so you can use those things to buy certain cards and get food a certain way) goes too deep too fast for some players. I found that the quests and the lack of a penalty system in LoW really helped them get into worker placement games, and then ask if I had more like it.


While you *do* spend more total time training the games, you also played two different games. I wouldn't teach someone San Juan just to get them to play Race for the Galaxy, I would teach them San Juan *first* though, to get them to know Race and then we would play both of them from time to time.

This all assumes that you play many games. If you are one of those folks that has a handful of games and that is it, then firstly, good job, you are a stronger person than I. But secondly, I totally understand the argument for having one game instead of two.
 
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