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Subject: Family Friendly? rss

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Matt Sims
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Mankato
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I have held off on buying Roll for the Galaxy for a long time. However, everyone I talk to seems to love it. I play games with a lot of non-gamers. My family is comfortable with most gateway games (TTR, Pandemic, Carcasone, Stockpile) but has not dove into anything too heavy.

For those that have played Roll, is it something a gateway gamer could pick up?
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Kevin Tierney
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Playing San Juan (Second Edition) first might be a good introduction.

I think Roll is a better game, but learning it will be a lot easier if everyone is familiar with San Juan. Plus, if they don't like San Juan, it may be a good indicator they wouldn't like Roll either.
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Scott Russell
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The part of Roll, IMO, that makes it harder than some gateway games is the fact that the dice are moved around behind the screen.

In the others that you mention, you can give advice to new players fairly easily to get them through the first few turns until the process makes sense to them.

When I am teaching Roll to relatively inexperienced gamers, I suggest (strongly) that the first couple turns are played openly, then start using the screen.

The process for playing (how) is on the high end of entry level, but not terribly difficult. The strategy (why) you do stuff can be much more difficult.
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AFAIK, rolling dice is generally a more fun affair. The rules aren't that hard. Just make sure they're not doing common mistakes I've been seeing...
-you MUST use a die for action selection
-it can be ANY die. The face doesn't have to matter
-you get to leech off other player's actions. So you can still use worker dice from I even though you choose II if there is an I phase

You'll need to explain what some of the more complex tiles do, but knowing them ahead of time should ease some of that, instead of fumbling through the rulebook, or searching on BGG for rulings.


kevinpdx wrote:
Playing San Juan (Second Edition) first might be a good introduction.

I think Roll is a better game, but learning it will be a lot easier if everyone is familiar with San Juan. Plus, if they don't like San Juan, it may be a good indicator they wouldn't like Roll either.
A card game vs. a dice game? The role selections and method of building stuff aren't similar enough to me to warrant even spending the $20 to $35 for San Juan just to use as a guinea pig. I will acknowledge that Roll costs twice as much as SJ, but it still seems unneeded.
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Eric Guttag
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Hey Matt,

Roll for the Galaxy is most definitely "family friendly." I taught it to my 2 sons and my wife on vacation. Once I got them through the basics, especially how the phases work, they took to it readily. By the end of the 4th game we played, I was lagging behind all of them by about 10 VPs with each of them "in the hunt" for the win which went to my oldest son.

I also agree with Scott's advice about starting without the screens, perhaps doing a few rounds as a "learning game," especially on how to allocate the dice and how the phases work. It usually doesn't take long before the newbies get it, and then up go the screens.
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Matt Sims
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Thanks guys

Just put in my Amazon order. The game should be here for my Friday game group!
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John Burt
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Good choice Matt, Roll is an awwsome game. I'd add that teaching this game can be a challenge, and as always you should be very familiar with it before trying. Be prepared for non-gamers to be utterly confused for half to a full game before it clicks for them - and make sure they know this. After that everyone will have lots of fun.

BTW we've tried using San Juan as a "stepping stone" to teaching Roll and IMO it was not very helpful. However, I highly recommend that you also get San Juan. It is a wonderful game in its own right, is easy to learn and has an innocuous theme (in case someone doesn't like sci-fi). We never tire of playing it. You can also try the excellent San Juan app before buying the physical game.
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David Blowes
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My wife's not much of a gamer (has played Settlers of Catan, but that's about it). She got it, and had fun playing.
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Kris Ardianto
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From my point of view, it certainly is lighter than Race. But share the same traits. The thing is, Roll has a good range of symbols to begin with, along with heavy text that is not very simple to discern with all the terms / jargon. Especially if your group (family or non gamer friends) are not native English speakers.
But then again, the nature of the game slightly mitigates this, since the tiles information is open, they can always ask another players who have better understanding about the game for in game tiles advice and so on.

About the player screen and allocating dice behind it, I think this is another matter entirely and not related to whether your friends are gamers or not.
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vardamir wrote:
From my point of view, it certainly is lighter than Race. But share the same traits. The thing is, Roll has a good range of symbols to begin with, along with heavy text that is not very simple to discern with all the terms / jargon. Especially if your group (family or non gamer friends) are not native English speakers.
But then again, the nature of the game slightly mitigates this, since the tiles information is open, they can always ask another players who have better understanding about the game for in game tiles advice and so on.

About the player screen and allocating dice behind it, I think this is another matter entirely and not related to whether your friends are gamers or not.
I know you didn't bring up San Juan, but if someone's averse to comprehending English, then definitely avoid San Juan.
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Dan Romano
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Also, something I find helpful when teaching the game is to completely ignore the information on the screens until you get the game. There is a lot on there that can be overwhelming until you fully understand the game.
 
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Wei-Hwa Huang
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ackmondual wrote:
I know you didn't bring up San Juan, but if someone's averse to comprehending English, then definitely avoid San Juan.
And if you're averse to comprehending Spanish, then definitely avoid the real San Juan.
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Mr. Big
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Read the rules, watch a few run through/instruction videos, play it by yourself (like a fake 2 player game), and then you'll be able to teach it to almost anyone. Just don't try and learn it yourself and teach it to non gamers at the same time.

My fiancee picked up on it in just 1 game, and I'd never played it but had prepped as above first. I'm sure our kids will learn it fast now.
 
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