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Subject: How do you remember setup rules for games? rss

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Amy P
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So for about the past year, I've been having people over once a month for a game night. When we were mostly playing the stuff from everyone's childhood (Uno, Clue, Life, etc), setup was quick because everyone knew what was going on, and while we might have to quickly refer to the rules to confirm starting money or something, it wasn't that big of a deal.

However, I've been trying to expand everyone's knowledge of the board game world, and my library has grown rather drastically in the past four months, so I'm having trouble remembering if the starting hand is 3 cards or 5, do they get money/coins to start, and all the other stuff that needs to be done on top of explaining the game to everyone. I hate sitting there trying to find the one or two sentences I need in the rules to answer my question while everyone is waiting, but I just haven't been able to get familiar enough with all my games to know exactly how to get them rolling quickly.

I'm wondering if any of you have creative and easy ways to assist in the setup of a game. My idea after the last game night was to create customized play mats, using a base of construction paper and then printed pieces arranged to help with where cards should be laid, a turn order reference, etc., and then laminate or cover with clear Contact paper, but before I go to that much trouble, was just wondering if there was some other idea I've missed.
 
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Andreas Pettersson
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Printed player aids are a great idea and luckily a lot of games have player aids in the files section that can be printed and laminated. A lot of these have not only setup but also turn order, rules summary and scoring cheat sheets.

Small things like these are lifesavers not only when setting up but also when teaching a game.

Also, some games allow for a faster setup by having prepacked "starting kit" bags for each player containing pieces, money etc.
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Andrew
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Yes, I do prepacked starting kits and hand them to players. This has a bonus that they get something to play with while listening to the rules, which helps a lot. Most games I can explain from memory, though I'll sometimes refer to the rulebook while explaining. If at all possible, I try not to explain straight from the rulebook, but when a game is new to us all, sometimes it's unavoidable. In general, if it's a really tough game (say, Russian Railroads), I'll watch several youtube rules explanations to help me prepare to explain.

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Bryan Thunkd
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I try to focus on remembering the rules about how to play. The specific starting quantities and such are something I'll look up at the start of the game. Sometimes I remember them, but mostly I don't.
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Craig Somerton
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A lot of games have player aids in the files section, that are very useful as a quick reference.

You could also make-up a few of your own and post them too, making them available for others. Every little contribution helps.
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Russ Williams
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flutegirl wrote:
I'm having trouble remembering if the starting hand is 3 cards or 5, do they get money/coins to start, and all the other stuff that needs to be done on top of explaining the game to everyone. I hate sitting there trying to find the one or two sentences I need in the rules to answer my question while everyone is waiting, but I just haven't been able to get familiar enough with all my games to know exactly how to get them rolling quickly.

Usually the Setup Info is easy to find and clearly laid out, so perhaps you're worrying too much, and it's not really taking as long as you think...? People reading the setup info as they set a game up, if they don't remember everything, seems fairly normal and no big deal to me.
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Check the file sections here on BGG. For example, there's a universal aid on how to set up the various Ticket To Ride games.

Another thing you can do is to put those "post it labels" into the rulebook to help you find it quicker. This also won't damage the rulebook.


anomander64 wrote:
A lot of games have player aids in the files section, that are very useful as a quick reference.

You could also make-up a few of your own and post them too, making them available for others. Every little contribution helps.
I have included setup info for some of the games I've submitted player aids for. For example, with Yggdrasil

For Battlestar Galactica with the Exodus expansion's Cylon Fleet Board module, I've indicated how many Cylon Attack Cards you should take out for all configurations. E.g. 11 CAC in base game (including the super crisis card), and then another... 4 from the Pegasus expansion. Also to add 4 more raider figures, remove 2 of the Mark IIs, and put the 4 Mark VII ships into the Damaged section.

Otherwise, more complex games that have a visual in their rulebooks... even literally a screenshot to boot, have done wonders!
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Marty Lund
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I think you just have to get familiar with the game.
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Trevor Sinnott
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It is hard to remember the setup rules for a game, as different player counts have different setups. Just quickly look that up before starting to play. I do that all the time, it doesn't take very long. As long as I remember the rest of the rules for the game, I find most people don't mind when I do that.
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Chris Robbins
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I don't expect anyone to teach me a game. I read the rules.

But that first time out of the box, treat it as a solo game. See what's difficult and make it better. Plan how to store pieces for the next time. If it didn't come with a playing pieces tray, have a bunch of little zip lock baggies on hand to organize setup AND put things away.

And as others have said, player aids are invaluable. Just take the time to print them and make backups for the inevitable computer crash you hadn't planned for.

And if something else comes up in continued play, deal with it quickly, before you forget.
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Pete
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Relying on other people is how people destroyed Monopoly.

Pete (keeps the rulebook at his side every time)
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Carl Frodge
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Short answer: I don't. That's the one bit of rules information I don't need to remember, or don't care to remember. It's also usually the bit of rules information that changes based on the number of players.

There are some games where I do remember the set-up rules, but ultimately, I don't think it's necessary.
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Walt
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psson73 wrote:
Printed player aids are a great idea and luckily a lot of games have player aids in the files section that can be printed and laminated. A lot of these have not only setup but also turn order, rules summary and scoring cheat sheets.

Small things like these are lifesavers not only when setting up but also when teaching a game.

Also, some games allow for a faster setup by having prepacked "starting kit" bags for each player containing pieces, money etc.

These things. And if a setup aid isn't available on BGG, I'll make one, usually just black and white on normal paper--I can always print another one if it wears out.

Ending conditions and scoring are also good to have on the aid. Some games, after very clearly presenting setup, bury ending conditions and scoring in text only marginally near the end of the rule book, before acknowledgements, making-of, the playtester list, publisher contact info, back cover art.
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Andrew S.
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I don't. To this day I still have the check the number of Destination Tickets you get every time I play a different TTR map.
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P Santos
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I make a summary list of the set-up info (very short, bullet points only or list) in a small piece of paper and tape that to the inside cover/lid of the game.
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Michael Debije
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Inlook at the 'setting up' rules section.
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Trent Boardgamer
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psson73 wrote:
Printed player aids are a great idea and luckily a lot of games have player aids in the files section that can be printed and laminated. A lot of these have not only setup but also turn order, rules summary and scoring cheat sheets.

Small things like these are lifesavers not only when setting up but also when teaching a game.

Also, some games allow for a faster setup by having prepacked "starting kit" bags for each player containing pieces, money etc.


These player aids are great. I've got one in just about every game (Some are so basic, they aren't needed however).

Not only do they make setup quick and easy, they are great to jog every ones memory on how to play or are invaluable for teaching new players.

For anyone that likes to play lots of different games these are a must. There are a few users on BGG that provide great versions in the file section of the games tabs on BGG. Check them out and then print one out for the number of players the game supports and leave them in the box.
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Christian Gienger
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I usually don't.

In most of the games I bag everything a player needs in a bag, but where that's not working, I just read it up. It's usually on page 2 of the rules. I love the way Concordia does it with the backside of the player boards.
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Crazed Survivor
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If I don't play a game often or if it is more complicated than just giving each player 10 cards, I check the rules. In the case of Ascension or Star Reealms, it's easy enough that I can memorize the settings.

If I don't remember and it's too difficult to find in the rules, that means I don't play this game often enough for this to be a problem.
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Tim Nagels
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I can support most suggestions here, being:

Player aids (printed yourself or included in the game)
pre-bagging starting material (if possible)
Hoping that the setup-section in the rulebook is easily identifiable and clear: no need to remember it then.

But the best way is to play your games regularly, so it will always be an automatism to setup the game. My girlfriend and I play Pandemic quite often. As it is a game with easy set-up, we are almost automatically setting up the game without having to second guess everything. I think this also applies to more substantial games.
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Bart R.
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agentkuo wrote:
Short answer: I don't. That's the one bit of rules information I don't need to remember, or don't care to remember. It's also usually the bit of rules information that changes based on the number of players.

There are some games where I do remember the set-up rules, but ultimately, I don't think it's necessary.


This. If we are going to play a game that hasn't seen the light of day for a long time, I do often set the game up for myself a couple of days beforehand game night, just to remind me of what everything does.
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mortego
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If I can't find a player aide in the files for that game I make own on index cards. One for set-up and another for basic rules (I'll look up details in the rule book when needed).
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Steve G
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Watching playthroughs or having a thumb through the rules before guests arrive is always a good idea. I'd say if you are worried about forgetting a lot of rules or set- up and think it will affect the game night, then try to stick to the games you are most confident with. I think confidence is half the battle when trying to teach games to people. The more games you play/ teach the easier it will become as you work out the best way to present information to the players.
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Shaun Giller
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Post-it note with set-up info on rule book cover or like mentioned above player aids.
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Also, do the rulebooks not have setup sections? Some of them aren't well laid out, but the others, Setup should be somewhere at the start of the rules, even if it's 12+ pages or something larger than that.
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