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Subject: Just finished first play with all newcomers to game including myself rss

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Jason Ellingsworth

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And man was it a headache, and sometimes a real drag. Learning the rules was a bit difficult with 3 other people staring at me with blank faces. They are really not the best written rules, due to the fact that they don't seem to help much until you stumble through your first game and get exactly what the mechanics are. I am sure the game will be much more enjoyable now that I am aware that the mechanics are easier than the rules would make you realize.

On to the gameplay:

OK as long as the tiles are referencing just the other ties in your own section of the city, then things are pretty manageable. You place your tile, remember to take your immediate action on the income or rep number, then do what is in the banner section at the bottom. That in itself can be quite taxing on the brain and can quickly turn a fun game in to over concentration hell. This was mostly due to cards that stated +1 for every office, -1 for every restaurant, etc.

After quitting the game early because it took WAY too long, I discovered that I can actually remove every tile that references other tiles that could possibly be in other cities that have those little icons on the right, and still have enough in each stack of ABC to play the game(21) with 4 players. My question to you folks is will this affect my game in a negative way, enough so that it breaks it. I am looking to simplify it, in an effort to make it more accessible and less of a pain in the ass. Is this a good idea?

I think it will be ok since due to the luck of the draw, you can have a slim chance of never playing with these removed tiles anyway, but you never know. What do you guys think?

I will say that after we are comfortable enough with the game, those tiles may come back. However this will be after "upgrading" the game with suitably sized minatures of a plane, car, suitcase, skyscraper, and something restaurant and education related. These will sit on the tiles with matching symbols, so that when a player needs to reference the tiles in play, they can see that 3 of something is already built, and they may or may not want to purchase that tile.
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Alexandre Moron
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snuggly_jason wrote:

After quitting the game early because it took WAY too long, I discovered that I can actually remove every tile that references other tiles that could possibly be in other cities that have those little icons on the right, and still have enough in each stack of ABC to play the game(21) with 4 players. My question to you folks is will this affect my game in a negative way, enough so that it breaks it. I am looking to simplify it, in an effort to make it more accessible and less of a pain in the ass. Is this a good idea?

I think it will be ok since due to the luck of the draw, you can have a slim chance of never playing with these removed tiles anyway, but you never know. What do you guys think?

I will say that after we are comfortable enough with the game, those tiles may come back. However this will be after "upgrading" the game with suitably sized minatures of a plane, car, suitcase, skyscraper, and something restaurant and education related. These will sit on the tiles with matching symbols, so that when a player needs to reference the tiles in play, they can see that 3 of something is already built, and they may or may not want to purchase that tile.

I must say I haven’t experienced this issue. But I’d say not to throw those tiles away just to make thing easier. They seem to be an important part of Suburbia.
What I can suggest is that you all get involved in the tiles being added to the pool and maybe keep reminding the active player what would be the consequences of playing that particular tile. Something like: Alex already has an airport, so it would be +2 income for both of you... and so on.

I liked your miniatures idea and if I had the same issue I’d totally seek to make them.

Good luck
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Derry Salewski
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I think most successful game teachers don't just go in blind. They learn the game beforehand.

Those three were dumb enough to let you do it, though, so it's as much their fault as yours.

(And definitely not the rulebook's)
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Ben G
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Welcome to BoardGameGeek! That's unfortunate about your experience.

I'd agree with Alexandre that throwing out the tiles will remove too much from the game. I think your idea about the miniatures to help people remember tiles is a good one and one I've seen mentioned somewhere else before.

For Suburbia specifically, I find it easiest to religiously and rigorously follow the "Tile Effect Resolution Order" every time no matter what tile was taken. Taking special notice of the last two (i.e. checking other people's tiles).

Regarding Derry's comments, they read quite harsh to me. However, his point was a valid one. If you're interested in learning and teaching board games, it is a skill that you can get better at. Shut Up and Sit Down made a good video a few years back which covers some good points (https://vimeo.com/92337137).

Game on!
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James C
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Looking at your collection this is by far the most complex game you have played. Is that correct?

In order to learn games I watch one or more reviews/playthroughs so I can see the rules in action. This is after I’ve read the rule book. Then if I still have questions I look in the forums here as generally these questions have come up before. Then I read the rule book again or watch the videos again. Then I’ll do it one more time before I teach the game to my wife.

Learning new games can be the most frustrating part of games, so it really helps to do so first before teaching it to others.

After you play this game 3 times you’ll see that it becomes easier. After 10 plays you’ll recognize the tiles and know what they do automatically.

I won’t lie, I’ve played more than 150 times and I still occasionally forget to adjust something, no big deal.
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Jason Ellingsworth

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scifiantihero wrote:
I think most successful game teachers don't just go in blind. They learn the game beforehand.

Those three were dumb enough to let you do it, though, so it's as much their fault as yours.

(And definitely not the rulebook's)


It is in fact the rule books fault, as a good set of rules don't require an experienced person to teach you the game along with them. I did not go in blind either. I had previously read the rules, but without actually playing the rules might as well have been written in Arabic. I also do not appreciate you calling my family "dumb" when they were just trying to enjoy the game with me that they bought me for christmas. We aren't a bunch of hardcore neckbeards meeting up in our friends basements to play Warhammer 40k, and we don't take board games that seriously.

ANYWAYS I just played the second game with just the wife, and while it was much more enjoyable, it's still a game that is a massive chore much more suited for a video game. Removing the tiles that interacted with other people's cities(not the ones that specify every res/ind/etc. Just the ones with the icons improved the experience a lot though. I think it is enough of a fun game competing for the goal token bonuses, and trying to generally out score each other in your own personal section of city, and the complexity of interacting with other people's city tiles didn't add any fun to the game imo.
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Ben G
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Personally, I find the Suburbia rule book to be better written than most. But, that just shows that different people learn in different ways. Also, not everybody has to like Suburbia. Maybe it just isn't your game. That's okay too. Different strokes for different folks.

If you liked the majority of Suburbia, but not the different tile interactions, you could check out Castles of Mad King Ludwig. It's from the same designer and pretty similar. The tiles are different shapes and a different player each round sets the prices instead of the sliding market. Except for setting the prices, I find it to be a little more light-hearted, but still thinky. I prefer Suburbia, but a lot of people prefer Castles.
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Jason Ellingsworth

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OlympicCough wrote:
Personally, I find the Suburbia rule book to be better written than most. But, that just shows that different people learn in different ways. Also, not everybody has to like Suburbia. Maybe it just isn't your game. That's okay too. Different strokes for different folks.

If you liked the majority of Suburbia, but not the different tile interactions, you could check out Castles of Mad King Ludwig. It's from the same designer and pretty similar. The tiles are different shapes and a different player each round sets the prices instead of the sliding market. Except for setting the prices, I find it to be a little more light-hearted, but still thinky. I prefer Suburbia, but a lot of people prefer Castles.


I like suburbia enough to play it more, but the game is only as good as the amount of people I can get to play it with me. There's always the solo option too that is good. I'll have to try that other game out. I've looked at pictures of it, but haven't viewed any gameplay videos yet.
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Kristopher
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I've found, in playing Suburbia, especially with newbies, is to FORCE THEM TO FOLLOW THROUGH THE STEPS ON THE CARD. The little Player aid card has all the steps perfectly lined out, in order of what to do, and you start running into trouble when you start "playing" and thinking you know what to do. You inevitably miss steps, take things out of order, etc, etc.

I've made little chits to put on the tiles that reference others in different locations in order to remind myself and my players to check elsewhere when they get to that step in the actions. That might help rather than just ditching the tiles all together.

It's actually a good game. Just has a lot of little moving parts which the Player Aid helps tremendously.


(and Welcome to BGG!)
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Craig H
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Lhowser wrote:
I've found, in playing Suburbia, especially with newbies, is to FORCE THEM TO FOLLOW THROUGH THE STEPS ON THE CARD. The little Player aid card has all the steps perfectly lined out, in order of what to do, and you start running into trouble when you start "playing" and thinking you know what to do. You inevitably miss steps, take things out of order, etc, etc.

I've made little chits to put on the tiles that reference others in different locations in order to remind myself and my players to check elsewhere when they get to that step in the actions. That might help rather than just ditching the tiles all together.

It's actually a good game. Just has a lot of little moving parts which the Player Aid helps tremendously.


(and Welcome to BGG!)


Played last night with two newbies and well, myself and my wife who had only played once a few months ago and just want to add a "ditto" to this comment.

Once I started "laying down the law" about the sequence of events, the game went much more smoothly.
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Greg Walden
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I didn’t have that much trouble going in blind on my first session. We only made one rule mistake too. And that was that investments also trigger that tile right away. Second game that night was definitely much faster than the first though. I usually try to learn a game before I play unless playing it happens too quickly.
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Kristopher
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CraigH wrote:
Lhowser wrote:
I've found, in playing Suburbia, especially with newbies, is to FORCE THEM TO FOLLOW THROUGH THE STEPS ON THE CARD. The little Player aid card has all the steps perfectly lined out, in order of what to do, and you start running into trouble when you start "playing" and thinking you know what to do. You inevitably miss steps, take things out of order, etc, etc.

I've made little chits to put on the tiles that reference others in different locations in order to remind myself and my players to check elsewhere when they get to that step in the actions. That might help rather than just ditching the tiles all together.

It's actually a good game. Just has a lot of little moving parts which the Player Aid helps tremendously.


(and Welcome to BGG!)


Played last night with two newbies and well, myself and my wife who had only played once a few months ago and just want to add a "ditto" to this comment.

Once I started "laying down the law" about the sequence of events, the game went much more smoothly.


Yes, I've found there's a LOT of games that I play that I THINK I know what I'm doing, but I'm inevitably missing things or taking things out of order. (Mostly games that have "Actions.") Anymore I'm a real stickler for forcing folks to follow sequences in order.
 
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Jason Ellingsworth

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The game has already fallen off with the family, who would rather play ticket to ride, and my favorite game airlines Europe. I'm sure we will come back to suburbia eventually, but right now it looks like people would rather do anything else than the bookkeeping suburbia requires
 
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Chris Wood
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snuggly_jason wrote:
The game has already fallen off with the family, who would rather play ticket to ride, and my favorite game airlines Europe. I'm sure we will come back to suburbia eventually, but right now it looks like people would rather do anything else than the bookkeeping suburbia requires

I think the biggest problem is your family bought a neckbeard game. Its hard to expect people who are casual players to grock it. Ticket to Ride is what we call a "Gateway Game". I think playing gateway games until your group is ready for something a bit more complicated, say suburbia is the way to go. I would also suggest bohnanza, modern art, 7 wonders, dominon, carcassone, pandemic, and chicago express if you like airlines europe (i didnt check your owned games yet you may have some of these)
 
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Jason Ellingsworth

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Myoman wrote:
snuggly_jason wrote:
The game has already fallen off with the family, who would rather play ticket to ride, and my favorite game airlines Europe. I'm sure we will come back to suburbia eventually, but right now it looks like people would rather do anything else than the bookkeeping suburbia requires

I think the biggest problem is your family bought a neckbeard game. Its hard to expect people who are casual players to grock it. Ticket to Ride is what we call a "Gateway Game". I think playing gateway games until your group is ready for something a bit more complicated, say suburbia is the way to go. I would also suggest bohnanza, modern art, 7 wonders, dominon, carcassone, pandemic, and chicago express if you like airlines europe (i didnt check your owned games yet you may have some of these)


Yeah I got 4 of those but probably haven't added them to an online list yet. They have all played rules heavy games before, it's just that suburbia is a bit unique in its necessity to pick over a bunch of numbers all over the table and log all the +1 -1's. I can see enjoying this mostly solo or 2 player if I can get another person to want to play it with me.

While ticket to ride is certainly not a complex game, I've noticed people seem to equate that to how worthwhile of a game it is to play. A game should only be measured by the amount of fun it is. Of course this is completely subjective. If complex and tedious is fun to some, then so be it. However for most people I would say pandemic and ticket to ride are better games, if the goal is to make people have fun with the least amount of hassle.
 
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Ryan Kelly
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Gotta throw my two-cents worth in here (which is probably overpriced. :P )

I do enjoy Suburbia. I do realize it's not everyone's cup of tea. I find that people who have played both Suburbia and Castles of Mad King Ludwig generally tend to prefer one over the other. That's not to say either opinion is right or wrong, but it is what it is.

Ted Alspach is a name you may find it worth while to become familiar with. He designed Suburbia, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, and a couple of others. There's a good chance you'll find at least one of his games to your liking, and both Suburbia and Castles are available as smartphone apps if you're not into keeping track of all the numbers.

I hope the salt on this thread doesn't/didn't scare you away. Allow me to add to the list of voices welcoming you to BGG. :)

P.S. (slightly off-topic) One thing I liked about Castles of Mad King Ludwig was its historical context involving the last Bavarian king who made it a habit of extravagantly spending on fairy-tale castles. It's not necessary to read up on for enjoyment of the game, but I'm definitely a nerd like that.

EDIT: P.P.S. I was able to find a secondhand copy of Suburbia with all pieces included for less than $20 at a thrift store. I think my enthusiasm for it might be a bit colored by that fact.
 
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Dizz
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I started getting into games after someone taught me Catan and then Caverna. Suburbia was the first game I purchased on my own volition, and really liked it. It was intimidating at first, but the player aides made it simple to follow. On our first game, it was easy to forget some steps... but on our second game, we followed the aides and had a lot of fun.
And it continues to blow people's minds when we show this game right after a gateway game. But I only teach it to people who want something more interesting than Ticket To Ride, etc.
As far as teaching games goes: I do not consider it a neck-beard thing to prepare myself the best way I can so my friends and family have a fun, smooth night. Most people do not like rulebooks and hate when the rulebook is read to them. So in my opinion if I am hosting a game, it is my responsibility to know it beforehand.
These days, I will usually watch a playthrough of a game before buying it, to see if I will like the game. Then after buying it, when I am reading the rules, I am approaching it with some knowledge from that video. When I am reading that rulebook, I might also have the game out to touch the components and walk-through some turns or the whole game. In the past, I will have read a rulebook and thought I understood the game, but was totally lost on the first game. That's why it is important to me to play the game alone before. Maybe not the whole thing. But enough to feel out most aspects of the game.
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Craig H
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Brandizzle wrote:
I started getting into games (snip)


Well said...if you want an avatar, go get one.
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Kristopher
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CraigH wrote:
Brandizzle wrote:
I started getting into games (snip)


Well said...if you want an avatar, go get one.


And some microbadges besides "Contest" ones.
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