Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
14 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: How do you and yours learn new games? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
M S
United States
Ames
Iowa
flag msg tools
mb
I'm just wondering how most of you folks here learn your new board games. I recently got Android and Twilight Imperium for Christmas and I honestly don't really know how to go about learning either of the two. The group I game with all like to chatter and make snide remarks to each other while a game is being played. They always get antsy whenever new rules are being read and they just want to get back to general conversation. I have no real problem with this, it's just that it sometimes leads to a lackluster first play through with us glancing back at the rule book and missing out on rather large rules.

(e.g.) In our first couple of games of Last Night on Earth, we were playing with the survivors given the ability to defend with ranged weapons. Needless to say, give them a couple of pump shotguns and they massacre the zombie hordes. I think this is something that, given more time to the rule book, wouldn't have come up.

So, how do most you you guys learn to play your board games? Do you sit and read the rule book before hand by yourself so that you have a general understanding first? Do you jump right in and learn as you go?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I read the rules on my own, make notes, and then create summary sheets so that I remember the important rules during play. For games like Twilight Imperium, which are quite complex, it takes a lot of work.

Check the BGG pages for summaries that other players have done. If I remember correctly, there are some video reviews on Twilight Imperium that discuss how to play.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Klinck
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I read the rules and explain to everyone... Unless it happens to be a game that one of them already knows and I don't... But that's not very common.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K R
Canada
flag msg tools
My brother is a rules guru. So I invite him over, he explains the rules to everyone and away we go. I think it's always easier if one person has a good understanding and explains it to everyone else, instead of each person reading the rules themselves.

I learn better with examples being shown and stuff like that.

My brother is available at a discount price ...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alan Fluck
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Read the rules and understand them thoroughly before you sit down with your group to play. Play a sample turn or two with yourself if you can. Explain the game to the rest of your group, in more general terms at first and getting into more detail as the game goes on and specific issues crop up.

Politely ask your friends to keep quiet and not have side conversations while you're doing your introductory spiel, and keep rules lookups to an absolute minimum.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would suggest tailoring the selection of games to play to those that allow them to kibitz and razz if that's what they'd really rather do.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph Cannon
England
Burgess Hill
West Sussex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wish I had the time (or commitment) to summarize rules etc but it never works out that way. If at all possible I do try to read the rules through with the boardgame out in front of me beforehand. I find it helps hugely to do the set up and work through the rules examples with the game bits - it does then tend to stick.

It's then a case of finding player aids on the geek and printing these off prior to the first game.

With much bigger or more complex games we find its best usually just to have a learning game so we treat the first play as an extended walk through the rules. This obviously requires like-minded players who are comfortable that the game will get to the table in the future so it's a reasonable investment of eweryone's time.

I also find it useful to attend Essen each year where you can ask the designers to teach you the rules
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
UA Darth
United States
Boca Raton
FL
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I always read my games myself and teach them to others. Read the rules, write down questions, ask online. Play once with people, write down more questions. Hopefully that should be enough. Some games help with examples of plays, but that is usually reserved for wargames.


If someone else is teaching, they need to do a good job.

If your friends are too impatient, they shouldn't be learning new games, tbh. Tell them they need to listen in an orderly fashion or you just won't bother with new games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
legothug wrote:
The group I game with all like to chatter and make snide remarks to each other while a game is being played. They always get antsy whenever new rules are being read and they just want to get back to general conversation. I have no real problem with this . . .


I'd have a real problem with it myself. I've encountered similar situations, and it's enough to make me never want to play a game with those people again.

It's just like being a teacher and having unruly kids in the classroom. The teacher can do his best to make education fun, but the students also have to do their part by sitting still and paying attention.

* * *

To answer the question, though, I almost always learn a game on my own before I attempt to play it with others. I'll read the rules, set up the game, play a few practice turns, read the rules again, and play more practice turns. Only when I feel I know how to play will I sit down to the game with others.

Then I'll be flexible and let others learn in their own way. If they want me to teach them the game as we go along, fine. If they want me to give a verbal overview of the rules, I'll do that. If they want to read the rules for themselves, that's cool too. Whatever works.

But if they insist on "just playing," and they get impatient or distracted anytime rules come up, I'm inclined to just get up and walk away. They can call me back when they're ready to learn instead of just goofing around.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Burns
United States
Dupont
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I will read the rules first then sit down with the S.O. and try the game out. Only a few times will I play and read therules at the same time if it seems easy enough to try. I tried this with Blue Moon ,but it seemed harder then I thought.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Potter
United States
Edwardsville
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1) Read the rules quickly.
2) Setup board for a few players.
3) Play a couple of turns solo with the rule book open.
4) Break it out at boardgame night and teach the basics.
5) Play an 'asterick' game.
6) Re-read the rules.
7) Play a real game at the next game night.

An 'asterick' game is one in which a victory is not total and the rules might not be pure. If everyone feels this is just a practice game, losing because of lack of rules knowledge becomes a learning experience instead of a problem. It is just symantics but, it does allow for a more casual start to a new game when the players are competitive.

My group had to play 2 'asterick' games of Brass before we got it right.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ray Creveling
United States
Marietta
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If it's a game I'm introducing and it's new to me I read the rules, set the board up for play and play through a round or two. In an easy game like Pandemic. I'll read through a fewkey rules aloud and then we'll do a dry run. No one is really cut throat during the try runs, after a game or two the gloves come off.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick Hanley
Canada
Dorval
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
legothug wrote:
They always get antsy whenever new rules are being read and they just want to get back to general conversation.




Trying to teach a game that you aren't already familiar with is a sure way to put your friends off of a game, or even gaming in general.

If anyone brought a game like Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) to the table and didn't already know the rules, I'd pass on it. That would be worse than going to church.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M S
United States
Ames
Iowa
flag msg tools
mb
thanks for all of the replies folks. It's good to have the different viewpoints of different people and it's given me a good number of new things to try next time we try to learn a game.

We pulled out Twilight tonight and played what amounted to a dry run. One of the players was tired and wanted to go to bed, but overall it went very well. All but one person is extremely interested in seeing the rest of the game played and the one that didn't care for it mainly doesn't like war games much. I'll definitely try giving Android a run through by myself before I go and throw that into the mix, but now I have a couple of different ways of trying to learn it before hand.
 
 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.