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Subject: ARGH! Frustrated with having to explain the rules! rss

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Kevin J
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Caution: rant ahead.

For a little over a year now, I've had friends over weekly to play board games. I'm the only one devoted to the hobby, so it's always my games at my house. Of course, since they're my games, and no one can be stuffed enough to put any effort into anything, I'm the one who has to read the rules ahead of time and explain them to everyone.

I should feel lucky that I am at least able to get upwards of 10 people over to play games (though I've had numerous no-show weeks), but the fact that I usually get a different subset of those friends week after week, as well as my collection of 50+ games, means that it is a very rare occasion that everyone at the table has already played the current game enough times to know the rules. That means that time after time, week after week, game after game, I have to explain the rules yet again.

I'm sure that most of you know that the rules explanation doesn't end after the rules explanation is done. No, the entire game is one giant rules explanation, with questions being asked multiple times, and player aids going unreferenced (why check the player aid when you can just ask Kevin again?).

I feel like tonight was my breaking point when I opted to play a game of Puerto Rico with three first-timers. Granted, it's not the most trivial game to learn, but I can only answer so many times before I explode how only one type of each good can be in the trading house at a time, or how you can only move your colonists when someone selects the mayor role.

It's times like these that I want to just tell everyone to stop showing up on Wednesday nights, since all it does it get my hopes up that I might wind up playing a game in some enjoyable fashion rather than having a Q&A session about the rules.

God bless Adam and Trevor who tend to retain the answers to questions they've asked. It's a shame they rarely have time to play games.
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Hugh G. Rection
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Kevin, tell me again why can't I load sugar onto the boat with the coffee? The two just belong together.

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Einmal ist keinmal
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I can't get enough gaming in, and I play every week (on Wed. as a coincidence).

I'm in the opposite boat. I play with players who have large collections as well, so even though I'm ready and willing to teach one of my games, it's not often that I get the chance. Plus, two of our members are podcasters, and receive complimentary games from game companies. They are required/obligated to play them and do a review on them.

I wish I was in your boat, where I was the explainer/host/aficianado. That way, I could choose the game every night! I'd be glad to explain it in order to be able to play it.
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Nick Bah Doo
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I'm also the in-house game explainer and provider. I usually try to select a game based:

* best matches the group on difficulty, length and theme
* present rules knowledge of people present

Also, (and hopefully) you'll notice after a couple of months that people start to get some "general boardgame knowledge", so explaining will become easier and easier.

For games with large rulebooks (i.e. War of the Ring, TI3, etc.) I demand people at least browse the rules, so when I do explain the rules they at least have some familiarity.
 
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David F
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Can you find a gamer group nearby? You can play games you want to play for real with that group, and play games you don't mind teaching with your friends.
 
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Kevin J
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Nikku wrote:
For games with large rulebooks (i.e. War of the Ring, TI3, etc.) I demand people at least browse the rules, so when I do explain the rules they at least have some familiarity.


Oh I don't think they'd care much if I gave them homework to do. On top of that, I usually pick games to play based on who shows up that night. If I have a total of six people, then suddenly that game of El Grande I had planned isn't going to work out.

selwyth wrote:
Can you find a gamer group nearby? You can play games you want to play for real with that group, and play games you don't mind teaching with your friends.


I've come into contact with the only other BGG user from my city who has logged in within the last year (last time I checked), and we get together occasionally. It's delightful. Perhaps I'll have to organize some event at the FLGS (unfortunately they don't seem to organize much themselves outside of CCG tournaments, and none of the owners are even BGG members!).
 
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Malcolm
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stick to the same games?


i have a little bit of the same problem i guess, but...

i play every thursday with friends - plus me, there are 2 people who always play (one whos house we go to & one with nothing better to do) but i always bring the games.

so the 2 'regulars' get to pick a game each that they fancy and i bring my own pick.

this way, at least, the games are somewhat familiar and they want to play them. if i have anything new i bring it as my pick.

if i buy a few at once it might take a while to get through them all but at least we don't have entire nights of people asking questions on new games...

so, maybe let people choose games they have played (and enjoyed) before and also stick to a few games that have gone down well and try and build up more understanding of less games....

mjl


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Scott Nicholson
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One thing our game group has is the Game of the Month, where we pick a game, and make sure that game hits the table at least once a week, if not more, during a session.

This greatly increases the number of people who know a game. Over time, it builds up a library of games that many folks in the group know how to play. It also lets people who like to "unlock" a game by playing it repeatedly to do that.
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Darrell Hanning
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Quote:
...and player aids going unreferenced...


This is where I answer their question in the format, "As it shows on the player aid in front of you...". The second time I answer the same person, it's "As it clearly shows on the player aid in front of you...".

If the same person hears both of those lines, they start looking at the player aid. And those who listened to the exchange are much less likely to ask something before they're certain it isn't on the player aid.
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Jason Cheng
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Hmm...that does make me wonder, since I prefer to play new games most of the time, do my hosts ever get tired of explaining the rules and just want a break to enjoy something we all know? I should make a point to ask.

As for the OP, it is part of the job that comes with being the organizer. Maybe you should make it a point to replay the same games more often?
 
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Secret Agent
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I have been in the same situation as Kevin (and still are).
To avoid a nervous breakdown i have started to play wargames outside the regular gaming group.









 
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Gary Averett
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uh...whose turn is it?
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Cyberchrist wrote:
I have been in the same situation as Kevin (and still are).
To avoid a nervous breakdown i have started to play wargames outside the regular gaming group.


I also have a couple of dedicated friends that I will play boardgames with if I really want to just PLAY a game, usually wargames. It definately is nice to not have to teach all of the time.
 
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Steve Vondra
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Hugh_G_Rection wrote:
Kevin, tell me again why can't I load sugar onto the boat with the coffee? The two just belong together.

Because there is no milk??
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