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Subject: Read the Training Manual second...... rss

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Wikiro Trio
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I'm wondering if I should throw the training manual out or not. It only tells you how to do the physical actions of the game without context. The Read This First label on the cover is absolutely wrong. Read colonization first until you reach the modules then read the training manual not the other way around. It doesn't have the terminology in it. Also the blue discs and beads are the same thing. In semi rant mode but trying to be helpful so my apologies.
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Dennis Schwarz
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Thanks for the advice - I am new to High Frontier and though I have read a bit about it and about how to play, this was about 1,5 years ago and was about the second edition.

Since I am still awaiting my KS-copy, I will be able to honour your advice when learning to play the game. I guess I will first try it solo to wrap my head around it, before trying to explain it to others...or would you suggest another approach?
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Dom Rougier
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High Frontier is not really that complicated.

The challenge is that it bombards you with options from the start, and asks you to make (very!) long-term decisions well before you're equipped to deal with them.

The decision space is extremely complex (the good kind of complexity), but that, combined with the open-ended sandbox, can make it a little rough to teach.

I would certainly play through most of a game solo to learn the rules.

The top-down view of the basic game (and actually any version of the game without Futures) is that the game progress through three distinct phases, each shorter than the last.


The first phase will be mostly Earth-based, and will involve researching and selling patents (in the basic game there won't be too much selling, and this phase is pretty dull - with the support cards this becomes more satisfying)

The second phase involves limping out into space with your researched rockets, trying to create your first factory.

The third phase is a breakneck dash to creating a second factory, usually with products created from your first.



Ideally, all players will be at more or less the same number of factories by game end, so the deciding factor will be the rarity of the goods produced (generally C<S<V<M<D, but it will change with each game), as well as extra points gained from Glory cards, colonies, etc.
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Adam Gastonguay
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Don't be afraid to ask questions here. Some of us are nice.

Also let me self-promote:

verywordy.wordpress.com

The first posts are a very long playthrough of a solo game that does its best to describe everything as its going along. Might be able to help you out (and be slightly entertaining along the way).

Once I'm 'done' with playtesting, I think I might add a very wordy playthrough of Interstellar because that game's awesome too, but can be just as difficult to get into, and that rulebook doesn't even have pictures!
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Kevin Hards
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I think the issue with the blue disks was covered on another thread (I can't remember which one)
I think it boiled down to originally the game was going to come with glass beads to represent water, but after testing it was decided that being able to stack water in the form of disks would be better, so functionality won over aesthetics.


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Dennis Schwarz
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...and they included both just to confuse us
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Rich James
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It's interesting that stackability became an issue. In all the games we've played, we used aftermarket glass beads for water tanks and never had concerns about the inability to stack them. I think having them stacked would actually make it a little more fiddly when trying to count water tanks. But it's cool that the game give us options to suit different playing styles (at the cost of some potential confusion to new players).
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Wikiro Trio
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Khards you are correct but I want to stress it further because the training manual acts like they are separate things. In fact it tells you to use both for some reason
 
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Michael Drog
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Agreed. DONT read the training manual. The Colonization rulebook actually provides a better intro to the game and context as well. I would start there.
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Wikiro Trio
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You will get a lot of people saying the manual is too difficult to understand. Realize they are most likely talking about the training manual. It's poorly written. It doesn't tell you the win condition or goals. It's like Nothing Personals rulebook. Im just posting to inform veterans as well. The training manual is where you'll see complaints start. If you read it you'll understand. This forum is going to fight that manual for some time now.
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Simon Skov
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The way I understand the training guide is that it's meant to give a general overview of the game, so that players will have some context when reading the rules proper. I think it should be nice to have for new players, since a general overview is not something you will find in Phil's rules, as he likes to go straight into the nitty gritty. Just don't expect the training guide to be a replacement for the actual rules.
 
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Debra Mercurio
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You need to have Colonization next to you if you are trying to make your way through the "Training Guide". I'm new to High Frontier, watched videos, etc., but that guide is less than helpful. It assumes you know things that are only explained in Colonization.

It's also in need of a proof reader. It's "1 die, two dice" not the other way around. "You" rocket. I could go on, but won't.
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Pawel Garycki
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The read it first manual would be a good companion to the game unless it was labelled as read it first.
The solution is to read it second.
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Wikiro Trio
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If you are defending the training guide then you haven't read it. It doesn't explain the game at all. It expects you to have read the colonization rulebook first. It should say read this second and it would fix everything.

What's going to happen? People are going to get on the forums ask about every little thing. Fans of the game will say well all that's in the rulebook. New plays will then grab the training guide again and say no it's not. Then new gamers will get frustrated with old gamers and old gamers will get frustrated with new gamers. I'll bet you it's because of the Training manual (when does the game end, what is the winning condition, what do the icons on the cards mean, why use water beads and disks....Etc) and water disk.
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Kevin Hards
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Wikiro wrote:
Khards you are correct but I want to stress it further because the training manual acts like they are separate things. In fact it tells you to use both for some reason


[penny drops]
Just read a review from someone else and noticed that you get both the beads and the disks in the box, hence your question.
I had made the assumption they had completely scrapped the beads, glad they are in there but, as you said, shame the inclusion and use of both isn't covered a bit better in the manual.
 
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This is my first post on BGG, although I've been here a bunch lurking for years.

I just received HF yesterday, and I am coming in cold (although I have a very good understanding of orbital mechanics from hundreds of hours in the "orbiter" sim).

Wikiro Trio is absolutely correct.

My girlfriend and I dove in last night using the "read this first" training guide and did our best... only to get nowhere and adjourn after about 4 hours. We then (instinctively) turned to the "Reference Guide" to look for more organized rules instead of the conversational style given in the Quick Start... only to find what more or less reads as a strategy FAQ, and a detailed explanation of individual technology cards (which are very well written). I couldn't believe how unintuitive it was and was really bummed... obviously everything but the rules are extremely high quality, with gorgeous art, and realistically modeled mechanics.

Thank god I turned to BGG today and saw this post. The "Colonization" book is still in the box, untouched, for my fear of thinking it was the "advanced" game and we needed to get through the "basic" game first!

Thanks OP and everyone! I really look forward to playing this game.
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khards wrote:
Wikiro wrote:
Khards you are correct but I want to stress it further because the training manual acts like they are separate things. In fact it tells you to use both for some reason


[penny drops]
Just read a review from someone else and noticed that you get both the beads and the disks in the box, hence your question.
I had made the assumption they had completely scrapped the beads, glad they are in there but, as you said, shame the inclusion and use of both isn't covered a bit better in the manual.


YES. OMG, we were trying to figure out if the beads were special somehow, because the text tells you to specifically pull 4 water beads and put them in your depot during the game setup... and then refers to only the discs for the rest of the manual! We figured you couldn't use them as currency, or they symbolized a partial WT or something.

I know it's obvious to all of you, having played this before... but the text could have been much clearer.
 
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Mike Hoyt

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Which was the main complaint with 2nd Edition, the "rules" are little more than a kit, written by and to the people who already know the game...

Still haven't received my 3rd edition, but this is discouraging.
 
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Robert Fox
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blockhead wrote:
Which was the main complaint with 2nd Edition, the "rules" are little more than a kit, written by and to the people who already know the game...

Still haven't received my 3rd edition, but this is discouraging.


Don't be discouraged. The colonization manual is much better than the 2nd edition rules. Everything fits together nicely now. I'm even implementing the combat rules for the first time, which I thought were not very well integrated with the rest of the 2nd edition game.

I didn't have any problems with the training guide. The first page outlined what the goal of the guide was: to get someone to build a factory and produce a good on it.

Unfortunately, it was written for a variable number of players so a lot of the examples past explaining the first few actions were generic where specific examples (like, build a specific rocket and move it to a site) would have been more useful. I thought it did a good job explaining the why of the actions.

It sounds like the expectation was for the training guide to be the basic rules, with the advanced colonization rules being in the colonization rule book. After reading it, I think the training guide was intended to explain the why of the core rules in a conversational tone with the expectation that someone completely new would read those first. After being primed with why things are the way they are, they'd have an easier time absorbing the basic rules in the front of the colonization book.

Of course, I had played a lot of 2nd edition so I could be filling in necessary gaps. I stopped playing the 2nd edition when I kickstarted the third edition expecting it to be released sooner than it had (while I liked it, I found the 2nd edition game with all the modules tiring because it didn't fit together very well). I did need the primer to refresh my memory, which the training guide did a good job bringing me back up to speed.

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Mike Hoyt

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Thanks Robert. Myexpereince is simiilar to yours, I labored through the 2nd Edition to the point where I felt I was playing the game fairly accurately, but really couldn't be sure and I'd never found anyone else to play with so really had no check on my understanding.

(The Yahoo group was a mixed blessing, got some good help there,and other times the members themselves seemed to be mixed up between Base game, Colonization, Interstellar and all kinds of different thoughts, rulings, proposals etc... Heck, we couldn't even all refer to a single map, it seemed like everybody had a different edition of the Zazzle map, and nobody used the one on the box)

So for 3rd I really wanted the "complete, definitive, final" version that as an expereinced gamer I could figure out and be confident I was playing as designed. I recognized Phil has a tendency to keep fiddling, but I figured I could just avoid any such discussion until I had truly comprehended the game in the box.

So, OK, not discouraged. But I was really hoping to be able to open the box and teach myself the game without reference to any outside source or prior knowledge assumed. Who knows, I haven't received it yet, maybe that will be possible. I hope so. I believe its a great game.
 
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Robert Fox
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It should be possible to teach yourself out of the box. It looks like the recommendation from those who haven't played before is to read the basic rules in the colonization manual first, then read the training guide to solidify the information.

The basic game is less than 20 pages of rules, and you are already familiar with them from 2nd edition.

From there, just keep adding colonization modules. They did a good job presenting them in order of difficulty.

I'd normally play with everything but the bernals and colonists for a near-future game, and everything for a more sci-fi wild ride.

The modules really are optional, so don't feel like you are playing a lesser game without some of them. The basic game with only the slingshots and supports added is the sweet spot, and isn't difficult at all beyond the difficulty of crafting a rocket with a group of cards that all have dependencies with one another. Maybe also add the solar cycle, as the random events give interesting importance to the human crew cards.
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Juan Valdez
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blockhead wrote:
Which was the main complaint with 2nd Edition, the "rules" are little more than a kit, written by and to the people who already know the game...

Still haven't received my 3rd edition, but this is discouraging.


Yeah, feels more like a kit than not.

I have it out and ready to set up. I expect I'll be writing out a lot more of my moves than I thought, just to get some clarity on what I believe the rules mean while recording what I actually did.

At this point I'm going to treat it like a new wargame and throw some tanks^H^H^H^H^H rockets on the map and start pushing them around. I'm sure I'll end up Doing It Wrong, but whatever, I'd rather play it wrong than not play it at all.
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Adam Gastonguay
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I'd go in with a bit more of a positive attitude. I learned it, with no 2nd edition knowledge, from the 3rd Edition living rules (so no real formatting) and the Vassal Module (so no real board or pieces). It took a hell of a time, but I was able to do it.

It shouldn't be too hard with a well formatted rulebook and board in front of you.
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Josh
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Neva Kee wrote:
...and they included both just to confuse us

They included both because the beads were promised as part of the KS and the decision to include discs was made after the KS ended.

FWIW, I thought the read if first manual was decent enough and explained everything you needed to do what it was telling you to do. Put a piece here. Take this operation and this is how to do it, etc. Admittedly, I'm only about half way through and I was going through playing in my mind, not on the board, and I know the 2nd ed rules, but still..
 
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Juan Valdez
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CthulhuKid wrote:
I'd go in with a bit more of a positive attitude. I learned it, with no 2nd edition knowledge, from the 3rd Edition living rules (so no real formatting) and the Vassal Module (so no real board or pieces). It took a hell of a time, but I was able to do it.

It shouldn't be too hard with a well formatted rulebook and board in front of you.



Yeah, it's not that hard, just takes a bit of time. It probably helps a lot that I understand F = m(t)a.

Here's what has worked for me so far:

1. Read and did everything exactly as described in the Training Guide up to "Forming Your Rocket." This was all straightforward.

2. The next couple of pages were heavy lifting for me. For example, "rocket" is semantically overloaded several times in a couple of paragraphs: "rocket," "rocket stack," "rocket fuel figure," etc. I had to read and reread several times to build necessary context.

3. "Moving Your Rocket" (which rocket, again? see above), and "Net Thrust Calculation Example" were incomprehensible to me on first couple of readings, so I moved to the Colonization rules and read Section F very closely.

4. Somewhere I read that Colonization Section H9 was a good example, so I followed section H9 "Example Mission to Luna and Back," referring to the map, the Training Guide, and Colonization Section F until I understood the example.

Formatting: the 3e rules seem mechanically fairly well formatted. Having letters and numbers for every rule section is super helpful, at least for me.

I think I'll stop here. I have whole raft of what I would insist are "constructive, helpful remarks" which I suspect would be taken as unwarranted criticism, no need to go there.

 
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