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Subject: Player Aid, with all icons, should have been included... rss

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John Van Wagoner
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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game just arrived, and i can't wait to play...but, i'm the guy in our group that always has to teach the new games...and boy do i sure wish they'd taken the effort to include complete player aids with the game...

there are so many icons/tiles that are not intuitive (maybe after several/many plays, but def not "out of the box") that i just know eyes will start rolling back in their heads and we're going to have to spend a lot of time passing the rule book around...

a simple 2-sided sheet covering all the icons, bldgs, cattle with a quick explanation would have really really been appreciated...

(and i did download the BGG aid posted here...it looks good, and will help, but doesn't come close to covering all the info i'd be looking for)
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Tahsin Shamma
United States
Massachusetts
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A full read of the rules and looking at the icons, it will start to make sense. Sorry.
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Wil
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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John_VW wrote:
(and i did download the BGG aid posted here...it looks good, and will help, but doesn't come close to covering all the info i'd be looking for)


FWIW I've played two games with the nifty aid that the BGG user uploaded, and no one actually used it in either game.

The game is a beast to teach and overwhelming at first but within one to two trips to Kansas City, all of the icons seem to just click into place and make sense. The flow of the game also makes sense which certainly helps.

I definitely recommend printing out the aids to have despite what I just said as they are really well done, but you may find it surprising in how quick everyone understands the icons and buildings once you get going.

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John Van Wagoner
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Bluffton
South Carolina
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veector wrote:
A full read of the rules and looking at the icons, it will start to make sense. Sorry.


really doesn't address my post at all...

- we don't normally have everyone read a 16 page rule book before we play
- and i don't print out 3 more 16 page rule books either
- as i said, maybe after playing a few times the icons will make more sense...but when 4 new players sit down to play it sure would have been nice if 4 player-aids had been included
- i will print out the BGG aid (from the files section), which is very well done and will help...it just doesn't cover all the icons/cards/etc....that's all
- this is not a knock on the game (which i know i'll really enjoy), just a request in the future that if you're making a game with this many different icons (that do need to be explained, in writing...as they do in the rule book) add single sheet player aids to help your paying customers)
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David Larkin
England
Brighton
Sussex
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I watched a video play through, helps get a feel for the game. I cut and pasted the icons from the rule book to produce player aids, but despite being difficult to explain no one used them as it quickly falls into place once you start playing.

Make sure you have a good understanding and be prepared to explain the icons two or three times and it should be fine
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Tilou
France
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Zark wrote:
I watched a video play through, helps get a feel for the game. I cut and pasted the icons from the rule book to produce player aids, but despite being difficult to explain no one used them as it quickly falls into place once you start playing.

Make sure you have a good understanding and be prepared to explain the icons two or three times and it should be fine


Yes.

In our first game, the rules seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but once we had made a run to KS, everything was clear. A few questions along the road to check the effects of some buildings, but really not a big deal.

You shouldn't have any problem.
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Tahsin Shamma
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Massachusetts
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John_VW wrote:
veector wrote:
A full read of the rules and looking at the icons, it will start to make sense. Sorry.


really doesn't address my post at all...

- we don't normally have everyone read a 16 page rule book before we play
- and i don't print out 3 more 16 page rule books either
- as i said, maybe after playing a few times the icons will make more sense...but when 4 new players sit down to play it sure would have been nice if 4 player-aids had been included
- i will print out the BGG aid (from the files section), which is very well done and will help...it just doesn't cover all the icons/cards/etc....that's all
- this is not a knock on the game (which i know i'll really enjoy), just a request in the future that if you're making a game with this many different icons (that do need to be explained, in writing...as they do in the rule book) add single sheet player aids to help your paying customers)


What I was trying to say was that the game doesn't really need it. My wife and I after playing 1 pass through to Kansas City didn't really need it at all. I understand that players will need to reference something if they can't remember the iconography, but the reference would not make it clear because the icons are used in very particular ways. Understanding the language of the icons is more important than referencing each individual one.

If you've played Last Will, it's the same issue. The icon language is more important than explaining each individual thing.

I know this is still probably no help, but I feel the game is only mildly aided by adding that reference.
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Armand
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Los Angeles
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Shooting your players a link to a video a couple days before is always a great idea. Sometimes they watch it, sometimes not, but they know they could have so they may tend to be a bit more attentive and patient, and a bit less likely to scream, "You didn't say that!" on the last turn about the thing you said four times...

That said, the OP is 100% right, every game should have player aids included, and the back page of the rule book should be a turn summary.
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David Combs
United States
Spring Lake Park
Minnesota
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doctoryes0 wrote:
That said, the OP is 100% right, every game should have player aids included, and the back page of the rule book should be a turn summary.


Each player board has a turn summary at the top. It shows you how many spaces you can move and how much the different hands cost to move through. Then it shows you what type of action you can take depending on the location you stop at. Then it shows you how many cards you draw back up to at the end of your turn.
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Soren Hedberg
Canada
Terrace
British Columbia
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dhc3po wrote:
doctoryes0 wrote:
That said, the OP is 100% right, every game should have player aids included, and the back page of the rule book should be a turn summary.


Each player board has a turn summary at the top. It shows you how many spaces you can move and how much the different hands cost to move through. Then it shows you what type of action you can take depending on the location you stop at. Then it shows you how many cards you draw back up to at the end of your turn.


Yep, that's the first thing I point out to players when teaching the game.
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Frank Hamrick
United States
Rocky Mount
North Carolina
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albynomonk wrote:
dhc3po wrote:
doctoryes0 wrote:
That said, the OP is 100% right, every game should have player aids included, and the back page of the rule book should be a turn summary.


Each player board has a turn summary at the top. It shows you how many spaces you can move and how much the different hands cost to move through. Then it shows you what type of action you can take depending on the location you stop at. Then it shows you how many cards you draw back up to at the end of your turn.


Yep, that's the first thing I point out to players when teaching the game.


My teaching plan:
1. Give the objective (most VP)
2. How the game will end
3. Overview: Moving your cattleman from Texas to KC, building a herd as you travel; Selling the herd in KC; delivering the herd to a city; Moving your Train.
4. Explain the various sections of the Game board. Trail/hazard areas/Indian Village; Job Market/KC step charts; Train Stations; Cities.
4. Take a Player board and show A, B, C. on the board and explain what each means, including the Auxiliary actions. (the icons make this easy)
5. Explain the iconography on the 7 Neutral Buildings
6. Briefly run through the 10 Personal Buildings
7. Briefly explain the 11 VP areas at the end of the game.

The game icons are actually very intuitive and are quickly grasped. Explanation is no more than 20 minutes for me.
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LCG 74160
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I fully agree that a concise description of all the icons would help a lot.

FWIW, this is what Last Will's rulebook has on its last page.

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John Van Wagoner
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Bluffton
South Carolina
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lcg74160 wrote:
I fully agree that a concise description of all the icons would help a lot.

FWIW, this is what Last Will's rulebook has on its last page.

Exactly !!
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Andrew Williams
United Kingdom
Beckenham, KENT
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Totally agree with the OP. Played my first game last night and was fielding constant questions about the icons and buildings. A one page summary would have made my life so much easier. As it was there was constant downtime as I flicked through the rulebook for the answer. Even the building summary page doesn't have all the buildings on it!

A really great game, just wish the publishers had the foresight to include an icon reference.
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Armand
United States
Los Angeles
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Ridiculous for anyone to assert that an aid is not necessary. Our first game would have been greatly improved and much more enjoyable with one.

GWT is a great game by a great designer. Anyone should be proud and happy to own it. There is no need to make excuses for the oversight of the publisher.
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Tilou
France
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doctoryes0 wrote:
Ridiculous for anyone to assert that an aid is not necessary. Our first game would have been greatly improved and much more enjoyable with one.


But it isn't. For some it could, for us it wasn't.
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Bert Hui
United States
White Salmon
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Sort of an aside, but typically the designers are not the ones who will also write/layout the rulebook if that wasn't immediately obvious. I'd agree that in various games, a last page cheat sheet in the rulebook is often very helpful at allowing players to quickly reference what all of the symbols on components mean. Point of my post is that this isn't a designer function, but the game publisher function.
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