Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Cosmic Encounter» Forums » General

Subject: Teaching Strategies for New Players rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ryan V
Canada
flag msg tools
I'm teaching a whole bunch of people this game, which I totally love. However, there's a lot of content in the game now, and I think it'll be overwhelming for most players to be flooded with all of the different additions to the game. Does anyone have an order they implement content to the game? I was thinking something like this:

Base Game, Green aliens only, no flares
to
Base Game, Green aliens only, with flares
to
Base Game, Yellow and Green aliens only, with flares
to
Base Game+ Rewards Deck, Yellow and Green aliens only, with flares
to
Base Game+ Rewards Deck, All Aliens, with flares
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Australia
Victoria
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I honestly have just gone to "Yellow and Green, with flares", even with new people to the hobby. I just make sure that everyone at the table is comfortable it will be a game where questions will be tolerated and mistakes will be rolled back; it's pretty clear what's a mistake and what's a deliberate play. I have only once had to roll back a reveal phase when someone didn't understand that a reinforcement card wasn't an encounter card.

I use all aliens from all expansions, and hesitate to not play with the rewards deck. I won't use anything else however; but getting people to default level of play seems to be a good idea and generally doesn't cause too many problems.

I make 100% sure to stomp on people who go "I know the game, so I can handle a red alien" when there is a new player at the table, because it's not about their understanding of the alien and how it works, it's about the rest of the table as well.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryucoo
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
The way I do it is in no way the _right_ way but it hasn’t failed me yet. As an impatient guy and one who is excited to show off all that Cosmic has to offer, I play with all the aliens from all expansions, rewards deck, a reduced flare presence – i.e. ONE flare per player (the flares of the present aliens) and no add-ons (like tech, space stations, etc)


1) I don’t really see much of a problem with including all aliens. It firstly saves you having to sort through the aliens and mucking about removing certain ones for the purpose of a particular game. Secondly, if you provide players with enough choice they can reject aliens and of course you can advise on choices. We often play that you draw 3 random powers (with the view to pick 1, obvs) and then we go around the table, briefly discussing what people have, explaining the powers and provide a bit of guidance. I’ve always found that the more complicated aliens are often rejected by the noobs anyway and people tend to pick what they are comfortable with and understand. I even allow a 'muligan' (reject your aliens and redraw) if a noob is really stuck.

2) The rewards deck doesn’t really add that much difficulty to the game. You can easily remind people when they have a choice to draw from it. I tend to customise the rewards deck, perhaps taking some of the more complicated cards out (kickers, rifts, the really stupid N’s in Dominion which I don’t use anyway). But the essence of the rewards is there, it rarely causes any confusion and it takes a few extra seconds to explain.

3) Flares are a fun part of the experience, especially getting your super flare. So it’s a strong element to include but obviously the more flares flying around the more the game stalls. One flare per player keeps the element in the game but also keeps it in check. It also means that when a flare shows up in the hand, you are kinda familiar with what they relate to as the players are already aware of the alien powers in the game that they mimick. When it comes down to it, flares aren’t any more complicated than artefacts and again, don’t add much time to explaining the game.

4) We don’t tend to play with any of the added game elements anyway – the game is nuts enough as it is, so vanilla Cosmic is not only more user friendly, I think it lets the game shine rather than get muddied with the convoluted extra stuff.

I think this works the best for introducing people to the game because you retain everything that makes the game fun for regular players and are showing off everything that Cosmic has to offer, without burying noobs in mechanics that would overwhelm them. The whole “don’t play with red/yellow aliens” or flares or whatnot, I always felt was a little overcautious but it depends on your group I guess. Mine isn’t hardcore and often features people who have never played board games at all. If you are good at explaining games and walk people through stuff in a clear relaxed manner, there really shouldn’t be an need to water Cosmic Encounter down for first time triers (providing at least one of the group have played before).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jefferson Krogh
United States
San Leandro
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MasterWarcraft wrote:
I'm teaching a whole bunch of people this game, which I totally love. However, there's a lot of content in the game now, and I think it'll be overwhelming for most players to be flooded with all of the different additions to the game. Does anyone have an order they implement content to the game? I was thinking something like this:

Base Game, Green aliens only, no flares
to
Base Game, Green aliens only, with flares
to
Base Game, Yellow and Green aliens only, with flares
to
Base Game+ Rewards Deck, Yellow and Green aliens only, with flares
to
Base Game+ Rewards Deck, All Aliens, with flares


I usually start with your second step. Before Cosmic Eons, the first variant I taught was usually the Hazards deck, as it requires very little explanation. Now, I tend to introduce Hidden Alliances first.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Hay
United States
Owensboro
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I "read the room." Some people haven't played a ton of games and will pick up All Aliens + Rewards Deck just like that. Some people have played plenty of games and will need just Greens to start. And of course the opposite of each scenario is the most common. But my instincts rarely fail.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just introduce a new mechanic each *challenge*.

1. Base game, no powers.
2. Powers, main players only.
3. Powers, all players.
4. Flares.
5. Etc.

I also deal two hidden random powers to each player, face down. A player may activate their power whenever they want to. This keeps the game interesting for experienced players, but doesn't overload new players while teaching. Also, veterans can get a nasty surprise since they can't deduce what powers a newbie might be having...!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryucoo
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
MasterWarcraft wrote:
I'm teaching a whole bunch of people this game, which I totally love. However, there's a lot of content in the game now, and I think it'll be overwhelming for most players to be flooded with all of the different additions to the game. Does anyone have an order they implement content to the game? I was thinking something like this:

Base Game, Green aliens only, no flares
to
Base Game, Green aliens only, with flares
to
Base Game, Yellow and Green aliens only, with flares
to
Base Game+ Rewards Deck, Yellow and Green aliens only, with flares
to
Base Game+ Rewards Deck, All Aliens, with flares


I usually start with your second step. Before Cosmic Eons, the first variant I taught was usually the Hazards deck, as it requires very little explanation. Now, I tend to introduce Hidden Alliances first.


You dig Hazards? I've never been to sure on them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan V
Canada
flag msg tools
So, I brought it to my average play group, and had mixed results.

I showed it to one of my friends he became absolutely obsessed with it! He buggers me to bring it every time now

One of my other friends complained that it was too complicated, and didn't understand why there were so many phases. He wondered if it were better with more people. (There were 4 at the table)

My last friend was laughing too much to care.

Good times.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.