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Subject: Tips for teaching new players rss

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Charlie Sheppard
United States
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I played Modern Art again recently after a long hiatus, with myself and two new players. Although teaching Modern Art usually goes over pretty well, I've found that new players usually get hung up on two issues: 1) assessing the values of paintings and 2) keeping track of how well the other players are doing. This time I made a couple of minor changes that seemed to help quite a bit so I thought I'd pass them along.

The first change was I kept the scoring tokens updated for the current round every time a new painting was played, rather than waiting until the end of the auction round to place them. This helped everyone assess reasonable values for paintings and, more importantly, they could see how the values rise and fall "in real time" as the auction round progressed.

The second change was instead of keeping money entirely secret, we showed our money at the end of every auction round. This helped *a lot* to reduce the bafflement new players usually experience at the end of their first game when they try to figure out why each player did as well (or as poorly) as they did.

Finally, one last tip although it's not a new one. Modern Art always goes over much better when I remember that it's supposed to be an irreverent look at the art world and not just a dry brain burner. Discussing the finer points of the game is good but it should be intermixed with plenty of trash talk: "You're selling a Yoko? Philistine!" "No way, Yoko is out of rehab and better than ever!" "Another Lite Metal? Typical. Always pandering to the lowest common denominator." laugh
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