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Subject: Best teaching scenarios? rss

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BrentS
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I've learned the game one-on-one with a mate by running through the base set scenarios from the start, which worked just fine.

However, I'm planning on running a CCA day to teach/hook a wider group of friends and was interested to know which scenarios more experienced players have found best for teaching newbies from scratch. With the base set, all expansions and a proxy copy of the deck and our 3 meter dining room table (my wife is under the illusion we bought it for large dinner parties ) I have all the resources I need to run parallel battles on two boards and was looking for scenarios that feature basic units in standard formations without much terrain.

Akragas seems like an obvious choice because it's probably where everybody starts. For historical variety (and lots of pretty colours) I wanted to use a battle from the first expansion. Although I haven't played it myself, Crocus Plain seems to fit the bill but would be keen to hear if anyone has any other suggestions.

Thanks,

Brent.
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
France
Caen
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My latest game: Big*Bang, a simple abstract about the first minutes of the Universe
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My best-rated game: TETRARCHIA, about the tetrarchy that saved Rome
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goshublue wrote:
... our 3 meter dining room table (my wife is under the illusion we bought it for large dinner parties )

We are going to change table too and I'm trying to "guide" my wife's choice toward a big one, with "when we are 8 people.." and so on! I will never tell her that I have the new edition of Conquest of the Empire, or CCA Epic scenarios, waiting for a big enough table...


Concerning the scenarios, the obvious choice is no terrain and few unit types. Once I tried Clastidium, from Exp#2, I think the Roman has only two unit types (LI and MC). Others have suggested beginning to play without evade rules or leaders, with only section cards, etc...

Personally I don't like playing with "incomplete" rules, I much prefer choosing a simple scenario and even playing open hands, explaining the best choice of cards, pointing out "that unit can cut the retreat path of that one", "this one will be able to evade", etc. One such "full-rules" game and people should be ready for a close hands one!

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BrentS
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franchi wrote:
Others have suggested beginning to play without evade rules or leaders, with only section cards, etc...

Personally I don't like playing with "incomplete" rules, I much prefer choosing a simple scenario and even playing open hands, explaining the best choice of cards, pointing out "that unit can cut the retreat path of that one", "this one will be able to evade", etc. One such "full-rules" game and people should be ready for a close hands one!



I agree entirely that the game should be taught with the full rules......they're not that complex, gamers are smart people and CCA's true worth won't be apparent if it's dumbed down, even on a first play.

From experience of teaching other games I also agree that playing with open hands is good for the first game. Knowledge of your opponent's hand is actually far less damaging in this game than others, which seems to be what makes it so easy to play solo.

Because it has such a shallow learning curve (for rules, not necessarily for strategy) I think I'll have them fording rivers, storming camps and rampaging elephants fairly quickly.

Brent.
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Kevin Duke
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Franchi has nailed it. Keep leaders and evade-- they are critical parts of the game to learn.

Limit unit types, even if you have to create your own scenario! For goodness sake, don't have bows and slings on the same side. The fact that they are exactly the same can be very confusing! With a real newbie, I might limit things to light infantry, MI, HI, and 2 kinds of cavalry.

Then, round 2, add in Auxilia and Warriors.

Save Chariots and Elephants for later.

The two concepts that create the most questions and confusions are Elephants and their many permutations and LONE leaders. So while I don't advocate leaving leaders out of the game, you might add something that forces players to keep them attached to units as much as possible.

You don't mention how many players that you have coming, but take a look at the multi-player concept, available in the file section. While it's useful playing "open hands" for a bit, an additional level of training is playing with 4-- 1 veteran and one rookie per side. While the multiplayer rules normally don't have partners showing their hands to each other, for training it's a useful thing, as the rookie can ask meaningful questions while still keeping the thought of "we're playing a game that is worth winning-- I don't want to tip off the other side."

The other key question is how many veterans/trainers you have? I've taken 4 rookies through the multi-player game by staying out myself and answering questions for both sides.

Again, "open hands" is nice-- but it has the one problem of sometimes being overwhelming... sort of "two much information" at one time. It's a little easier if they see card/move permutations through the course of a game.

That's all I can think of.
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Allen Doum
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I have most often started with the first scenario, giving the new player the Syracuse army. While there are Axuillia, and I will have Chariots, there is no terrain and no Elephants.

Recently I have been looking through the books for another scenario, just for the variety. But still, no terrain and no Elephants,

I agree with teaching the whole game, particularly the full Battle sequence with Leaders and Evade. I usually don't explain Leader Evade until it happens on the board. It is not a rule generally used in the first several turns, and is complex enough to have the details forgotten by the time it comes up.
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Daniel Corban
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The first scenario is the best. It is relatively basic and one side has a clear advantage.
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Kevin Duke
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Good points for Allen- leader evade and leader escape are both numbing at first.

I would probably bring that up proactively if a player wants to detach a leader for something (risky), or if he's taking a unit and leader and plunging deep into enemy lines.

The fact that the leaders HAVE to move the same as retreats-- for evade and escape-- is sometimes a stumbling point. "But I have a unit right next to me!" "Sorry, it's not on one of the two hexes to the rear."
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Todd Rewoldt
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dcorban wrote:
The first scenario is the best.


I second this (well, 4th or 5th it, better said ) - I think Akragas is a very good representitive scenario. As has been mentioned, take care about focusing on the situations that can become complicated, until they come up in the game. This is a great scenario for discovering tactics, card management, strengths/weakenesses of particular units, etc.

Quote:
It is relatively basic and one side has a clear advantage.


While at first blush this seems the case (or certainly did to me, upon first plays), the Carthaginian side is no sitting duck in this one. In my opinion the Carthaginian side is easier to "get into trouble with" and one has to be more creative when playing that side, but has much greater flexibility than the Syracusan side which can allow the Carthaginian commander to control the flow of the game.

If players of different experience levels are playing, the less experienced player will likely have much more success playing the Roman side, and if that is important choosing sides with this in mind may be helpful - but I think playing both sides and having a few goes at it if time and interest permits will go a long way towards creating an appreciation for this game.
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Leuctra and Mantinea are good choices due to the lack of a lot of terrain. Also some of Miguel's scenarios are just great at teaching the game, because often it's just HI, MI and some LI and Aux.
 
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