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Star Trek: Frontiers» Forums » General

Subject: Cannot teach myself this game rss

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Cody Knox
United States
Oregon
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I feel this humiliation should be a public one, because I am just so frustrated. I've tried now 2 or 3 times to teach myself this game. Somewhere around the two hour mark my eyes glaze over, I stop retaining information, and my interest completely dissipates. Each time I stop about 5% through the process, feels like. I was really looking forward to this, but I think I'm to the point where I put this away in a dark corner and never open it again.

I'm not the biggest gamer, but I have taught myself some reasonably complicated games. I'm just wondering if there's anyone here having the same problem, or am I in my own special ed class here?

Are there any resources I don't know about that might help the learning process?

Cheers!
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Ambroz Podkoritnik
Slovenia
Velenje
Europe
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I hope this helps:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-VriqT67q4&list=PL5UyaJ4tfE...
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Cody Knox
United States
Oregon
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It might, thank you. I had searched YouTube for a walkthrough, but wasn't helped by what I found. Have yet to see this. I'll give it a go!
 
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Barry Miller
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Saint Charles
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To be honest, I found the "Game Walkthrough" book to be the saving grace in this regard. Read on, if interested how I used it.

I had less than two full days before my wife returned from visiting family, and I was determined to get this game to the table and a session under my belt. (I get the "Stink eye" from her if the Dining Room table isn't cleaned off)! So what to do? Under normal circumstances, I would've had to have a game of this weight on the table for at least a few days while I figured everything out.

First, while on "the library chair", I perused the Walkthrough book to see what I was getting myself into.

Second, I plopped the game box on the DR table, opened the Walkthrough book again, and simply started reading the first page. It was really downhill from there (with a few questions answered here on BGG).

- Starting on page 2, the book does a fantastic job of introducing you to the components one by one while it instructs you how to setup the game. Just keep flipping pages and do what each paragraph says.

- Come to page 7, I followed along intending to play the same scenario as described here, except I intended to play it solo using the "Dummy Player" rules for the other player, found on page 17 of the "Full Rulebook".

- Come to page 13, I started the game, just as it directed. Pages 14 and on do another excellent job of walking you through each new type of encounter or interaction. Despite never having ever played Mage Knight, by the time I had placed the 4th tile, things were starting to click!

And I was able to finish the game and get the Dining Room table cleared off before the wife got home... All thanks to the "Walkthrough Book"!

Edit: I also have to admit that I watched the above video by Ricky Royal (in Ambroz' post), a few days prior and it helped.

 
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Brandon Held
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Wisconsin
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This shark, swallow you whole.
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I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish.
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This game has a steep learning curve-it's a journey, not a destination learning all the minutiae in the rules.
 
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Winston Baccus

Tennessee
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Yep. I think it was probably my 4th play before I was playing everything correctly.

I recommend playing it, then coming to this forum and reading a bunch of threads. You'll have eureka moments about you weren't doing something correctly.
 
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Cody Knox
United States
Oregon
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Boy. I want to think I have the drive to do so. 4 plays before understanding how to play?? Oy. I'll give it another go. Thanks for the replies.
 
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Brian C
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cknox77 wrote:
Boy. I want to think I have the drive to do so. 4 plays before understanding how to play?? Oy. I'll give it another go. Thanks for the replies.

Just watch that video linked above. Play alongside it, step by step.

Your mind will be blown in no time.
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Bryan David
United States
Utah
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Cody. Feel no humiliation. I glazed over trying to learn Mage Knight on my own.

I suggest to get a good gaming friend who loves Star Trek, a few hours to kill and attack it together. Follow the walk through. Absorb it. But don't be worried about messing things up a little or forgetting some things.

Second time you decide to play it you will find you are just pausing quick to clarify a rule in the main rulebook. You'll be consulting the game phase help page and the reference cards more as reminders.

It begins to become more intuitive and less burdonsome. And becomes one hell of a game. Once you get the basics down, you'll find you can teach someone else fairly easily before the first cycle ends.

That or find someone who already knows how to play. Ha.
Thinking of getting this for the different theme. Love Chvatil's game mechanics here.
 
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Rob Doupe
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I've been gaming for over 25 years. I've played and rated 350 games, including many heavy games and wargames. And I have to say that this game is almost defeating me. Not only is it remarkably complex, but the rules are written in tiny 7 pt type, and there are no useful summary sheets.

The later omission is almost criminal in a game this complex. It's inexcusable that the publishers did not include a two or four page summary of the key game processes and elements. Do they really expect players to memorize 50 pages of rules (more like 80 pages if the font was normal commercial size)? Even wargames published by semi-amateur publishers include summary cards. I've had to resort to fan-made Mage Knight summary sheets to try to learn Star Trek Frontiers. That should not be necessary in a $90 game.
 
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John Brown
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Westfield
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There are summary cards included with the game. In the image below, they are above the Borg Cube and Sphere tokens with a couple more to the left of the Borg Cube minis. Are they missing in your copy?

 
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Rob Doupe
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I mean a summary of the procedures in the game.
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John Brown
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Sorry, I misunderstood.

There is a game Summary on the back of the rulebook, but I assume you're talking about more than the structure of the turn. I think the Game Walkthrough book is supposed to help with what you're talking about and I'd definitely recommend starting there and working through it in a fairly deliberate manner.

An alternative is to find one of the playthrough videos on You Tube. I found that enormously helpful as, even though I'd watched some friends playing Mage Knight and understood the basic concepts, actually playing the game took some doing before I finally grokked it.

Good luck and if you still need help, feel free to float your questions on here.
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Barry Miller
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Granger44 wrote:
I think the Game Walkthrough book is supposed to help with what you're talking about and I'd definitely recommend starting there and working through it in a fairly deliberate manner.

I agree 100%. I realize you're looking for a one-sheet Player's Aid, and I'd love to see one as well. But in the meantime, and as I posted above, I found the Game Walkthrough book to be just what the doctor ordered, personally.

I too have a lot of "meaty" gaming experience, and definitely would've found this game very frustrating to get into if it was only the Full Rulebook that came in the box. But the Game Walkthrough book does a really good job of "holding your hand" (and again, I'm speaking as an experienced gamer) through your first game. Yes, I did some highlighting, and found myself sometimes having to cross-reference with the Full Rulebook. But that's where our experience comes in very handy!

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Chris Dorrell
England
Darwen
Lancashire
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I did what I normally do with complex rules, I transferred them to a mindmap using the iThoughtsHD app on my iPad.

Here's what a small section of the map looks like. Obviously the nature of mind mapping means that I can expand and contract each section of the rules as necessary.


I also wanted a player aid that told me how all the planets etc. are handled. I wanted something that covered them all on one sheet so that I didn't have to refer to several individual cards.

What I came up with looks complicated but I find it very simple to use and a great help when exploring a new tile or when trying to plan a strategy.


Chris
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Barry Miller
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Chris,

Those are awesome! If I were you, I'd upload them to the files library so that they'd have a permanent home where others can find them in the future. Otherwise, this thread will become buried and obscure in time, as all threads do.

One tip: If you do, I'd change the black background on the "mind map" to a white background.

Thanks for sharing!

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Rob Doupe
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Thanks for all the tips.

Chris, those aids are awesome.
 
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Chris Dorrell
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Hi!
Well I only did them to help myself but happy to share.
I can turn the pictorial player aid matrix into a PDF and load that to the file section, as you suggest - no problem.

As for the mindmap, that only works within the app as all the branches expand and contract as you would expect from a mindmap. I'm not sure that we can load iThoughts mindmap .imtz file formats. If I did the file would by definition only work in that app....

The black background is not a problem as the file is not intended for printing.

Cheers
Chris
 
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Chris Dorrell
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I'm not sure I can add the player aid to the files section as it contains images, icons and text from the game rules etc and these are copyright.
soblue
 
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raven demarco
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I had the same problem Chris. I even messaged wiz kids for permission (since this game is in DIRE need of a cheat sheet or 5) and they said no, without even bothering to ask to review it, what it contained, or anything. Seems like a poor way to build/support your community. That said, I've been assured that I could stick it up anyway and no one would really care, but I just don't feel comfortable answering the permisson question on the file submission with an affirmative.
 
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Barry Miller
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Chris Dorrell wrote:
I'm not sure I can add the player aid to the files section as it contains images, icons and text from the game rules etc and these are copyright.
soblue

Chris,

I'm no lawyer, but it shouldn't be an issue. I'm not saying that doing so will be entirely legal (I don't know if it is or not), but if it isn't legal, the worse they would do is ask you to remove it as you're not seeking any compensation. (If you were seeking compensation, then it's likely they would come at you with more than a simple request to remove). Also, I'm not sure what exactly Raven asked for to get a "no way" reply from WizKids, but they seem to be OK with other file uploads as I discuss below.

Here's why I say it shouldn't be an issue:

- First, ensure you select the "Creative Commons" license, or "No Rights Reserved"! Again, I'm not a lawyer, but the Creative Commons license allows you to retain some rights to your product, but not all. I.e., you would retain the rights for the layout, the concept, the organization, etc of your product. Yet you agree to not having any rights to other elements in your product.

- And when you check the box, "I own all necessary rights for this file", I believe you're stating that you own the rights only to the portions of the product that you created. The operative word, is "necessary". I.e., you're not claiming that you own all the rights.

- And because you don't have all the rights to your product, you can not charge, nor seek compensation for your product.

- So as long as you use the Creative Commons license, don't actively distribute, and don't seek any compensation, then "they" will typically leave you alone.

- Finally, Wizkids has already set a precedent of allowing other files that contain their copyrighted material, to be uploaded to BGG, under the parameters I outlined above. If you look in the files library for Star Trek: Fleet Captains and Mage Knight Board Game, you find several files that use their copyrighted graphics.

Bottom Line: As long as you respect their rights and don't make any attempt to distribute or seek compensation, it should be a non-issue. Again, I'm not a lawyer! Just something for you to think about.
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Chris Dorrell
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Darwen
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Thanks Raven and Barry for your input on this.

You make some interesting points and what you say sounds sensible. I will give it a bit more thought.

Thanks again
Chris
 
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