Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: The 12th Edition of Blott's TGIF Poll rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
flag msg tools
Being a Lions fan is a gift...
badge
...and a curse.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you want updates on when new polls are posted, or want to look at the results of prior polls, I have set up a subscription thread here = http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/328439

Poll: 12th TGIF Poll
How steep do you like the learning curve to be in games?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
First time players should have just as much a chance to win as experienced players
7.9% 11
It should take a couple games for a new player to learn the intricacies and legitimately compete for the win
76.3% 106
It should take 10 or more games for the new player to be on a level playing field with the pros
12.9% 18
It takes a lifetime to master the games I like. Even at hundreds of plays you still may lose to better players
2.9% 4
Voters 139
When playing a game that has a learning curve with a new player, how do you play? (Not counting playing with children, who you might be more lenient with.)
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Make some sub-par moves in order to keep them in the competition (you want them to enjoy the game, right?)
21.9% 30
Play to win, but let them get close (no need to humiliate them.)
60.6% 83
Crush them, demolish the weakling (obviously to teach them the best way to play.)
17.5% 24
Voters 137
This poll is now closed.   140 answers
Poll created by Blott
Closes: Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:00 am


Any discussion is encouraged.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm really not a fan of altering how I play when teaching a game... I will sometimes offer advice during a game, but this can go down badly with some people...

My preferred method is to include in the explanation some key things that players should be trying to do. i.e. to unlock some strategies for them. I usually find this works well.
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
Unique titles I've played in 2018
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Grimwold wrote:
I'm really not a fan of altering how I play when teaching a game... I will sometimes offer advice during a game, but this can go down badly with some people...

My preferred method is to include in the explanation some key things that players should be trying to do. i.e. to unlock some strategies for them. I usually find this works well.

This is exactly what I was thinking. I will play my best and play to win, but I am happy to offer advice or an explanation of why I did something if the new player(s) want to hear that.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
I don't alter the way I play when I'm teaching a new game, but I will, if the new player wants me to, explain potential good moves and why they're good moves. When teaching Age of Steam, this is essential.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
MilwaukeeTEG
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wasn't able to do any voting for this poll as it really depends. I enjoy playing a wide variety of games and play with a variety of different types of people and gamers.

The second question it also depends. When teaching a more complicated game to a new player(s), we allow for take backs, others will help or point out good moves, etc. The important thing, to me, is they learn the game, enjoy the game, and want to play it again.

But, I won't make bad or stupid moves (on purpose) to let someone win. Most I game with watch what you do and how you are successful and will shape that into their own plans the next time you play.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
bop517 wrote:
When teaching a more complicated game to a new player(s), we allow for take backs, others will help or point out good moves, etc. The important thing, to me, is they learn the game, enjoy the game, and want to play it again.


I do the same, but a couple of weeks ago, we had a newbie want to take back a move after two other people had followed him. It was Vegas Showdown, so it wasn't a big deal to track back what everyone had done, but I balked at it. Everyone else was fine with it, so I didn't say anything, but I felt like it was bad form to make the request at that point.

And when I say newbie, I mean this was his third week playing Euro-style games. In the end, I wasn't upset, because I remember my fumblings when I first entered the hobby, but it was something I thought I would point out.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
flag msg tools
Being a Lions fan is a gift...
badge
...and a curse.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I also play a wide variety of game difficulties, but I lean more towards the games that a newbie can be competitive in by their second or third game. Obviously this is going to be different with other genres of games, I was merely talking in a general sense. (Clearly no one wants a party/family game that takes a lifetime to master.)

I will always try to win, but sometimes with new players I will sandbag some so that I don't completely destroy them. I won't do this in games where they can track my every movement, but in games like Ticket to Ride I may choose to slow down and not grab so many tickets (just so I don't beat them by 70+ points.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel K
United States
Minnetrista
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When teaching someone how to play a card-driven game, I've usually suggested up front that we just play a couple turns, not a whole game, and do so with open information. Questions are welcome, advice is gladly given, and nothing is really at stake--it's just to get a feel of it. I make it clear that we can stop at any time to either play a full game right away, or save it for another time.

In the first few games I have no qualms about allowing takebacks, and I'll point out if someone is inadvertently making an egregiously bad play or passing up a no-brainer opportunity. All of that is done with their permission--if they say they want to sink or swim entirely on their own, we can do it that way too.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
flag msg tools
Yeah it's here! Really it's right here.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I guess there should be another choice in between. I answer that I alter play. But, I do still play to win, I'll just try those odd ball low percentage chance plays that I've wanted to try, but knew against experienced players I would get crushed with on mistake. If that makes sense.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Halvorson
United States
Lake Geneva
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When my friends and I play games with new players who are also gamers, we tend to be a bit less forgiving than when we play games with new players who are not gamers. The reasoning behind this is that gamers have been exposed to more elements of games they've played before, such as cash management, resource gathering, analyzing other players' moves before they make them, and so on. Someone who has played lots of games before will have the know-how to pick up a new game much quicker than a non-gamer.

For instance, at GenCon this year, I played Puerto Rico with someone who doesn't play games often, and when I sat next to him, I explained strategies of the game and moves other players would want to take and moves in his best interest for a while. If this would have been a more hard core gamer (is it possible for a hard core gamer to not know Puerto Rico by now?), a basic explanation of the rules and lending a hand for the first round or two of moves would have been enough. The game elements present themselves often in this game such that a seasoned gamer will pick up on them and learn quickly.

I am a lot more hesitant to introduce a steep learning curve game to non-gamers, simply because I don't want to scare them away with my game choice. If I can show them enough simpler games, I'll feel better stepping up the difficulty level of the game choice later on. However, as a counterpoint to this, a friend of mine invited a coworker who is not a gamer to our game night one time, and the first game to hit the table was Power Grid. Even though this newbie came in dead last and didn't have much of a clue what he was doing, he thoroughly enjoyed the game. Then a few weeks later, he spent hundreds of dollars to buy games to start his own games library!

For seasoned veterans, it is often helpful to compare a game to something similar, to give them a better idea of what to expect as the game goes on. The first time I played Agricola, it would have been much better had I been told that the game playes a bit like Caylus (you get a certain number of actions each turn, and you put your action marker on an action space to do the action, then nobody else can take that action this turn). It's not a perfect comparison, but it would have been enough to get me through the first game better. I would have known it was an action-taking, resource-management game, among other things unique to Agricola.

One final thought on this topic - if the game is new to everybody at the table, gamers or non-gamers, we are all very forgiving of each other when it comes to changing our minds about moves we made or cards we played, since we're still trying to learn the game and understand strategies. After a few plays, though, the forgiveness tends to go away. I have a feeling that most people are like this.

- Scott
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Zendo fan, Columbus Blue Jackets fan, Dominion Fan.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For newbies, I like to use games with straightforward strategies and/or a random element (dice, cards, etc) such that they have a chance to be competitive and perhaps even win from the get-go. For experienced gamers, I would expect their general knowledge to keep them in the game, and I figure they're less likely to be scared off by a bad result, anyway. Either way, I don't have to alter my style of play in order to avoid the "crush them mercilessly" scenario.

The exception seems to be Volcano, for which I've had several embarrassingly decisive victories when teaching the game.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
flag msg tools
Being a Lions fan is a gift...
badge
...and a curse.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jeffwolfe wrote:
The exception seems to be Volcano, for which I've had several embarrassingly decisive victories when teaching the game.

I've had the same situation with Vegas Showdown. It seems whenever I teach the game I can't stop myself from making the perfect hotel-casino. It's the one game that I totally crush new opponents (but they always seem to enjoy it and want to play again.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For me playing to win = playing to crush. It wouldn't be fair for me to hold back. Funny thing is my ability for crushing (which I admit is not strong to begin with) seems to weaken whenever I'm teaching a game. Go figure.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
flag msg tools
Being a Lions fan is a gift...
badge
...and a curse.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Grimwold wrote:
I'm really not a fan of altering how I play when teaching a game... I will sometimes offer advice during a game, but this can go down badly with some people.

This always goes down badly with Rikki. She has said several times "Don't tell me what to do, just tell me how to play." She has made it clear to me that she has no interest in me teaching strategy, she wants to figure that out on her own.

I usually catch myself now when I start to fade away from instructions to suggestions. But every once in awhile I still let one slip.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Knock knock open up the door it's Riel
Netherlands
Tilburg
It's wurples all the way down.
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Happy Oak Leaf!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I love games with a steep learning curve. Games where simply reading the rulebook doesn't give you a clear idea of how a typical game plays out. Games where with each play you get a better feel for the game, but you can't really tell what you've learned. Tile-laying games like Tigris & Euphrates, Stephenson's Rocket and Reef Encounter are perfect examples, as are games with unusual player interaction like Goa and Taj Mahal. In these games every move you make alters the flow of the game, but the consequences aren't immediately obvious.

These games are unfriendly to new players, so I generally only play them with my (small) gaming group, where everyone is roughly equal in experience.

When playing a game, I don't like to 'steal' wins. If I see that others don't realize that I'm about to connect the 17th city, capture the 7th castle or make some other move that will win me the game, I'll tell them so they can still stop me. When playing with new players, I'll simply give more information, during play. I won't make suboptimal plays, (although I might be less aggressive or take more risk,) but when I set myself up to take a valuable region next turn or make a similar important move, I'll let the new player know. I'll comment on clever moves by the new player, and I'll give bits of information on my own decisions. However, it's up to them to use the extra information, and if they give me an opportunity to 'demolish the weakling', I won't hold back.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Blott wrote:
Clearly no one wants a party/family game

There should be a full stop here .

Seriously though, your example point out what should be obvious; the answer to the poll depends on what one wants out of a game. I like games which are so stretagically deep that I can play them year after year without the game getting stale. This is why chess is ideal to me. So, for example, I for one do not like party games. Yet plenty of other people do and would not like the games I do for pretty much the precise reasons I DO like them.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Grimwold wrote:
I'm really not a fan of altering how I play when teaching a game... I will sometimes offer advice during a game, but this can go down badly with some people...


Agreed—intentionally making bad moves on my part seems like a disservice to everyone, as it robs people of the chance to play against a real opponent and teaches bad strategies. Instead, I'll provide a fair measure of coaching for the first game, pointing out moves they might not have seen or explaining why certain moves are better or worse than they might seem at first glance. For games where the actual gameplay is relatively simple, but hard to follow from just an explanation (such as Mamma Mia), we'll typically go through a few practice rounds to make sure it clicks with everyone. Fortunately, none of the people I play with get upset at offering new players advice, as we all understand the value of having people actually learn the game, including the rationale for making certain types of moves.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
1024x768 works just fine - Don't Wide the Site!
badge
Missing old BGG
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Blott wrote:
I will always try to win, but sometimes with new players I will sandbag some so that I don't completely destroy them. I won't do this in games where they can track my every movement, but in games like Ticket to Ride I may choose to slow down and not grab so many tickets (just so I don't beat them by 70+ points.
I don't get it. Either y'all have super egos :) or you play with people who aren't high-calliber gamers. Even newbies that I play with are sharp folk who "get it" right off the bat, no matter what the game is (from Can't Stop to Ticket to Ride to Die Macher). Tell 'em the rules (and never, ever coach them) and they're set -- and very competitive.

I just don't get the answers to this poll. I want games where everyone has a chance to win from the get-go, otherwise, why waste so much time playing games they can't win. And I never dumb it down because they're too smart for that.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Ludlow
United States
Saint Louis Park
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Randy Cox wrote:
I just don't get the answers to this poll. I want games where everyone has a chance to win from the get-go, otherwise, why waste so much time playing games they can't win. And I never dumb it down because they're too smart for that.


The 2nd poll was for games that have a learning curve, not games that are so random or easy that anyone can win on the first try.

That poll was also missing the option of using a handicap.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I play to win, period, even with kids. A few times I've held back with people that were having a bad day and played suboptimally, but I really mean a couple (as in less than five or so).

Last time I did was a few months ago. I can't remember the game, but think it was Magic. I got cards you wouldn't believe even after switching decks with my son a few times. It was late, he was getting frustrated, but really wanted to win a game. So I threw one, trying not to be obvious. He thanked me for "letting him win one," gave me a good night kiss and went to bed.

Now, I will do as much coaching and allowing take-backs as players want and maybe even start with a handicap. But once the conditions are set, I do my best.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Moreover, whenever you don't play your best, the other person ALWAYS knows-- and is rightly insulted.

qzhdad wrote:
I play to win, period, even with kids. A few times I've held back with people that were having a bad day and played suboptimally, but I really mean a couple (as in less than five or so).

Last time I did was a few months ago. I can't remember the game, but think it was Magic. I got cards you wouldn't believe even after switching decks with my son a few times. It was late, he was getting frustrated, but really wanted to win a game. So I threw one, trying not to be obvious. He thanked me for "letting him win one," gave me a good night kiss and went to bed.

Now, I will do as much coaching and allowing take-backs as players want and maybe even start with a handicap. But once the conditions are set, I do my best.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Железный комиссар
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I couldn't really answer the second poll, because my approach is (whenever possible):

Try to win by using the most offbeat, unusual, counterintuitive, unlikely, or otherwise quirky strategy available. Like trying to win Puerto Rico with the University or Scepter of Zavandor with sapphires (although maybe that's considered pretty normal for some fans; I couldn't say). Usually I just take whatever the game gives me without otherwise altering my play (another good example would be taking the weaker side in a Memoir '44 scenario).

Also, while I've met a gamer or two whose personal learning curve "goes straight up," usually there are gamers at the table who need some helpful nudges as things move along. This can be as simple explaining moves you're making or infrequently pointing out markedly poor moves on their part. Or just answering their questions.

(Oh, and for me the "couple" of learning games in the first question would be 2-5).
2 
 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.