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Subject: Simplify this game? rss

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David Etherton
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I love love love this game. I want to play it more often. I play most of my (other) games with my nine-year-old son.

I've played this game seven times so far (with the same group) and we all still make minor errors every game -- accidentally calling Produce Consume when you didn't have any goods, misreading a production power thinking it meant the card itself produced, forgetting that a particular ability only applied to Alien or Rare cards, etc. So I'm a little worried the game will overwhelm him.

Any suggestions on how to make this game more accessible? Play San Juan instead? But I love my space ships and simultaneous role selection!

It seems to me I could play with a subset of the deck (particularly since we're likely to only play 2p). Maybe leave off the six-cost developments entirely? They seem to comprise the bulk of the "difficult" cards.

I went through the entire rest of the deck, and no other non-six-cost cards had any particularly difficult powers that were not evident from the descriptions on the cards themselves.

-Dave

edit: stupidity
 
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James Cheevers
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I think you may be pleasantly surprised. Play through a teaching game with open hands and show him how the cards interact. He'll pick it up quickly.

My 10 year old is looking forward to a copy making it's way down the chimney at Christmas.
 
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David desJardins
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etherton wrote:
I've played this game seven times so far (with the same group) and we all still make minor errors every game -- accidentally calling Produce when you didn't have any goods


I'm not sure what this means, but you can certainly call Produce (or any other role) when you don't have any goods.
 
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J
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DaviddesJ wrote:
etherton wrote:
I've played this game seven times so far (with the same group) and we all still make minor errors every game -- accidentally calling Produce when you didn't have any goods


I'm not sure what this means, but you can certainly call Produce (or any other role) when you don't have any goods.


Well, you can, but it's not a productive choice. I think that's what the OP meant.
 
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David desJardins
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rootbeer wrote:
Well, you can, but it's not a productive choice. I think that's what the OP meant.


??? It's not any less "productive" to choose Produce when you don't have any goods. In fact, it's more "productive", because if you do have some goods already, then you can't produce on those planets (unless there is also a Consume phase).
 
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J
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DaviddesJ wrote:
rootbeer wrote:
Well, you can, but it's not a productive choice. I think that's what the OP meant.


??? It's not any less "productive" to choose Produce when you don't have any goods. In fact, it's more "productive", because if you do have some goods already, then you can't produce on those planets (unless there is also a Consume phase).


Oops. You're right. I skimmed too quickly, and was thinking of Trade. Never mind.
 
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Brad Miller
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My 10 year old won our first game of this, and he doesn't have a problem with it. My 7 year old is a bit overwhelmed by it however. Do a good job of explaining how it works, and your nine year old should be fine.
 
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David Etherton
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DaviddesJ wrote:
etherton wrote:
I've played this game seven times so far (with the same group) and we all still make minor errors every game -- accidentally calling Produce when you didn't have any goods


I'm not sure what this means, but you can certainly call Produce (or any other role) when you don't have any goods.


I meant to say "Consume" there, sorry for the additional confusion.
 
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David desJardins
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Well, I think there's a difference between errors of making poor choices, and errors of not following the rules. Everyone is going to make some poor choices. The question is whether they can at least follow the rules. I do think the simultaneous play makes it harder to make sure that everyone learns and follows the rules. There's usually a fair amount of trust that people are reading and applying their abilities correctly.
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Mike Adams
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You can just try it and see how it goes. If it ends up he can't quite handle it yet, try again in the future.

My 10 year old had it figured out and could handle it fine by the end of his first game. The first time we played it took a bit longer because we kept looking at the reference cards to make sure we understood each card that came up, but it's been unnecessary since then. The symbols really are pretty easy to follow once you get used to it. We barely finished playing it yet again just a few minutes ago. Both of us really, really enjoy it.
 
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David Etherton
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We just finished up our first game maybe half an hour ago. Once during the rules explanation he asked if we could just start playing already and figure the rest of it out along the way :-)

We played mostly open hands the first game -- there's a lot to absorb, and he wasn't always sure what the best action would be. He ended up beating me in the end by ten points because of a very strong military and the 6-cost card that turned normal military into VPs.

He seemed to enjoy it, and played it all the way to the end even though we spent well over an hour, usually the limit of his attention span.

So thanks to everybody who said "just go for it"...

-Dave
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thomas coe
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i bought this game a couple of weeks ago and have read through the directions, but there is just too much for my girlfriend and i. we sat down one night, but abandoned the game due to us getting frustrated with it and not totally understanding it. i know there is a large learning curve to this game but i don't know if i want to put forth the time for a game that's like san juan. i've got this up for trade, but can't decide what i really want to do. the game has gotten great reviews....i'm just not seeing it yet...any ideas or suggestions???
 
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B C Z
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My wife and I played nonstop on a train ride over Christmas vacation. The train started moving around 4pm and our dinner seating was at 9. We probably went at it for 4 hours straight, just rapid fire.

This game's learning curve is partly just getting exposed to having to make choices. You're going to make bad decisions early on -- just do SOMETHING and see if it works. Take it to the end game, count up points, yank out the start worlds, select two, shuffle up and deal again.

With two players, we stuck to the preset hands for about 4-5 games, and our first two games were 'simple' variety -- meaning only one action selection per player per round. We graduated to the 'advanced' version quickly and it was much more fun (and faster to boot).

We had a lot of interested folks pass us in the lounge car, wondering what we were doing... Only one seemed interested in actually learning, but she got pulled away to the 7pm dinner seating, sadly.
 
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