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Subject: Can a Collection Become Too Complex? rss

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Nathanael Robinson
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Has anyone found that one's collection as a whole can get too complex for one's family? Even though my son and I have been playing more complex games than before, I found that he had problems with Core Worlds, a relatively medium weight game that he has previously masters (you can read the session report here, if you want).
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Alison Mandible
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Any game gets easier to play well if you've been playing it recently. It's not about the size of the collection-- it's that heavier games take longer to get into after a break.
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Ryan S
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Even with adults, my play group forgets how to play games and we need rules refreshers before lots of games. I've even heard comments "we need to play this game again soon before we forget how to play it."
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Paul DeStefano
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Complex does not equal good.
 
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Arlyn Janssen
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Geosphere wrote:
Complex does not equal good.


What is this in response to? I don't think OP made any reference to quality and, in fact, he is asking if a collection of games can be "too complex", which sounds silly if making the above switch. I doubt very much if he is asking if his collection is "too good".

My collection varies wildly in depth and complexity both to play with my family (8-yr-old son, 3-yr-old daughter) and game group. My son loves novelty as much as anything, but he continually asks to play the games I thought I was buying to play with my game group (as opposed to the "family" games) and the lines are blurring a bit. He's not always ready to play the game he's asking for, but it still excites him to get out the pieces and hear the rules overview. And I like giving him the challenge, honestly.

So I'm not sure (to actually answer your question). I think I would have to consider it a failure if most of my games were relegated to the "overview" stage described above, although if that was the case I doubt he would be excited by games at all. As I said, using games to challenge my kids is a value of mine, so I will probably always have some sort of progression. But I agree that striking the balance is an interesting question.
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Nathanael Robinson
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enemyoftheworld wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
Complex does not equal good.


What is this in response to? I don't think OP made any reference to quality and, in fact, he is asking if a collection of games can be "too complex", which sounds silly if making the above switch. I doubt very much if he is asking if his collection is "too good".


I am befuddled as well. Perhaps the poster intends some good-natured ribbing, but it does come off as being judgemental.

Quote:
My collection varies wildly in depth and complexity both to play with my family (8-yr-old son, 3-yr-old daughter) and game group. My son loves novelty as much as anything, but he continually asks to play the games I thought I was buying to play with my game group (as opposed to the "family" games) and the lines are blurring a bit. He's not always ready to play the game he's asking for, but it still excites him to get out the pieces and hear the rules overview. And I like giving him the challenge, honestly.

So I'm not sure (to actually answer your question). I think I would have to consider it a failure if most of my games were relegated to the "overview" stage described above, although if that was the case I doubt he would be excited by games at all. As I said, using games to challenge my kids is a value of mine, so I will probably always have some sort of progression. But I agree that striking the balance is an interesting question.


Given that my son and I are pretty much our own gaming group, our interests are more or less identical to his tastes. He likes games that have conflict, especially fighting that relates more to warfare, so I try to balance those interests to what I think are his capabilities. Out of almost 100 games, only two are unplayed: Thunderbolt Apache Leader and Sheriff of Nottingham. The first I bought at a bargain, so I'm ok if it sits around for a while. The other, which I did not buy for us, is only unplayed because we cannot find a third player. There are a a small number that got a few plays before becoming uninteresting, but that is another matter.

Now, if I am going to decide what to get next, I feel I need to have a better grasp on what is possible. These more complex games get played on weekends and vacation days, meaning that there is less opportunity to get used to them. Some wargames take significant time to learn rules, time to play, and more space than we might have on the dining table. Even a simpler miniatures game may require a trip to the LGS in order to have sufficient space. When he shows me things like MBT or Last Blitzkrieg, I need to get some research done. And frankly, there often isn't as much information out there, and what information there is requires some interpretation in order to understand how well a game will do with my son.
 
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Mike Bialecki
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Bad Thoughts wrote:
Has anyone found that one's collection as a whole can get too complex for one's family? Even though my son and I have been playing more complex games than before, I found that he had problems with Core Worlds, a relatively medium weight game that he has previously masters (you can read the session report here, if you want).

Do you mean to ask if it's possible simply to have too many games in one's collection for a family? If so, my answer is "no way!" However, a large collection does present a problem. The time between playing certain games becomes longer, which causes you to forget some of the rules. This is easily remedied by opening the rulebook to remind yourself of any forgotten rules. It's also a great learning opportunity for your kid - The Rulebook is Your Friend. Do Not Neglect Your Friend.
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Nathanael Robinson
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mbialeck wrote:
Bad Thoughts wrote:
Has anyone found that one's collection as a whole can get too complex for one's family? Even though my son and I have been playing more complex games than before, I found that he had problems with Core Worlds, a relatively medium weight game that he has previously masters (you can read the session report here, if you want).

Do you mean to ask if it's possible simply to have too many games in one's collection for a family? If so, my answer is "no way!" However, a large collection does present a problem. The time between playing certain games becomes longer, which causes you to forget some of the rules. This is easily remedied by opening the rulebook to remind yourself of any forgotten rules. It's also a great learning opportunity for your kid - The Rulebook is Your Friend. Do Not Neglect Your Friend.

Volume could be part of it, but I am thinking more of a collection that is becoming too top-heavy.
 
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Mike Bialecki
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Bad Thoughts wrote:
mbialeck wrote:
Bad Thoughts wrote:
Has anyone found that one's collection as a whole can get too complex for one's family? Even though my son and I have been playing more complex games than before, I found that he had problems with Core Worlds, a relatively medium weight game that he has previously masters (you can read the session report here, if you want).

Do you mean to ask if it's possible simply to have too many games in one's collection for a family? If so, my answer is "no way!" However, a large collection does present a problem. The time between playing certain games becomes longer, which causes you to forget some of the rules. This is easily remedied by opening the rulebook to remind yourself of any forgotten rules. It's also a great learning opportunity for your kid - The Rulebook is Your Friend. Do Not Neglect Your Friend.

Volume could be part of it, but I am thinking more of a collection that is becoming too top-heavy.


Hmmm...I'm having difficulty understanding your problem. Is this what you are saying?

You have a symptom:
Your son can no longer handle a relatively low complexity game that he once could play just fine.

You propose the cause:
You have been playing too many higher complexity games.

If that's an accurate summary of your post, I don't understand how playing complex games could make someone somehow no longer be able to deal with simpler games. It seems like there is more going on.
 
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Nathanael Robinson
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mbialeck wrote:
Bad Thoughts wrote:
mbialeck wrote:
Bad Thoughts wrote:
Has anyone found that one's collection as a whole can get too complex for one's family? Even though my son and I have been playing more complex games than before, I found that he had problems with Core Worlds, a relatively medium weight game that he has previously masters (you can read the session report here, if you want).

Do you mean to ask if it's possible simply to have too many games in one's collection for a family? If so, my answer is "no way!" However, a large collection does present a problem. The time between playing certain games becomes longer, which causes you to forget some of the rules. This is easily remedied by opening the rulebook to remind yourself of any forgotten rules. It's also a great learning opportunity for your kid - The Rulebook is Your Friend. Do Not Neglect Your Friend.

Volume could be part of it, but I am thinking more of a collection that is becoming too top-heavy.


Hmmm...I'm having difficulty understanding your problem. Is this what you are saying?

You have a symptom:
Your son can no longer handle a relatively low complexity game that he once could play just fine.

You propose the cause:
You have been playing too many higher complexity games.

If that's an accurate summary of your post, I don't understand how playing complex games could make someone somehow no longer be able to deal with simpler games. It seems like there is more going on.

I would not call Core Worlds a low complexity game.
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James Arias
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I think a huge collection can result in overchoice which makes it take too long to pick what to play next (unless your kids' preferred rotation gravitate to the same 3 or 4 favorites).

Otherwise agree if the games are meatier than takes longer to teach/learn them, several plays to get good at the game and truly enjoy it, but easier to forget everything if it sits too long before getting back into the rotation.

And...all this assumes your kids like the games you have. I have manygames my youngest will not touch, and others I can cajole my oldest into playing but if they're too complex won't make it thru more than a few rounds.
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Joe H
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Perhaps it's not the complexity of the collection but the huge influx of games since his 10th birthday. He may just be processing too much too quickly. I know that when I want to have a chance at beating my wife I introduce lots of new games quickly. He's also 10 so maybe he has other things on his mind.
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