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Subject: Any tips for teaching this to others? rss

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Arden Nelson Jr.
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Are there any tips on what has worked or not worked for teaching this game to others? I'm honestly still learning myself. But I will likely be the one that teaches others in my group how to play before we try going to a local tournament.

I'm guessing that it might be easiest to not deal with any special abilities at first and just focus on movement and attacks. I could slowly add detail especially the most obvious things until we are playing with all of the rules.

So anyone have any ideas? I do have enough to field a one on one battle. Should buildings just get in the way at first or even just be obstacles and hazards only until later?

Thanks for your help.

EDIT: I should have mentioned this earlier. The players I will be teaching Monsterpocalypse are familiar with either Heroscape, Warhammer 40K or both.
 
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Joel Daves
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The most frustrating part of learning this game seems to be the myriad number of abilities. But I'm not sure I'd play without them. Definitely not on the monster side of things. With units, it might be better to field a basic force consisting of one or two simplistic unit types (say a GUARD force with only g-tanks and rocket choppers). This way a player can experience the unit interactions without being too overwhelmed. Likewise with buildings - you definitely want some on the table, but if you can field just 2-3 types, there's less to have to remember.

The other difficulty comes with the variety of power attacks. For learning these, a monster duel (only monsters, no units) is probably the best place to start (and is where I'd start any new player - they get to play with the game's signature pieces, and learn the core power dice and positioning mechanics). Load up the city with buildings (contrary to what I said above, ignoring building abilities in this case may actually be appropriate), and let the monsters brawl, blast, and power attack their way through it.

Edit: One other thing - once the basics are down, unit reference cards are your friend.
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Andrew Brannan
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I've honestly not had any difficulties teaching others the full rules to the game at once, particularly if they already have minis experience. Compared to most minis rulesets, MonPoc's rules are fairly streamlined. No Line-of-sight, no measurement vagaries, etc. Run them through their basic options, and go ahead with a game.

You may want to set up some "special positioning" to allow you to introduce some concepts, like multi-building collisions, a few unit screens, multiple consecutive monster activations etc. to give them a feel for some of the tactical options available to them, but beyond that, the game is straightforward enough to be digested fairly easily.
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Brian M
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I'd be wary of playing without the special abilities or super moves entirely; doing only one damage per attack drags the game out. At the very least, consider using at least one super move such as the body slam or throw so monsters can knock each other into buildings and do an extra point of damage that way.

There are some reference cards online, with a card for each unit and all that unit's special abilities. Much, much easier than trying to search through the whole reference sheets. Sorry, I don't remember where they are though
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Bwian, just
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I've tried teaching a couple of people, and here's my latest approach. It's still evolving, though:
* Ignore most ability icons. Keep Leadership, the two hazard-generating ones, and probably Flying and Jump.
* Absolutely use buildings. They'll mostly be obstacles and power-die-sources, but they look good and will provide targets when you get around to power attacks. Don't use one of the crowded maps, though, especially if you're leaving out movement abilities. I think the ones that come in the starter work well.
* At the beginning of the game, don't explain all the power attacks. Just say that triangly stat is how you throw people around the board, and point out the spot in the reference card where those descriptions live. In the likely event they don't want to wade through those during in-game downtime, let them know during the game when a good Throw or Body Slam opportunity is coming up, and explain the rules then. No, not when you've just set one up and they are out of dice in their Monster pool. yuk When you've exchanged enough Blast or Brawl attacks to be sure they have the basics down, and he's going to have the first opportunity to try it: that's the time. Unless he's a MonPoc savant, he won't be able to screen against your return attack, so just take one on the chin and dish it out in return. Then explain how those pesky units can help protect against pain like that in the future (unless they figure it out for themselves...).
* Play until one form is destroyed, to speed things up. It might be best to ignore Hyper forms entirely; I'm not sure yet.

Above all, remember that it's a teaching game: you aren't out to win, but to explain the basics. Once you've gone through this once, they're probably going to be ready for the full rules, especially if they're experienced gamers. But I think at least one simplified game is a good idea, otherwise the game ends up feeling like an exercise in rules-lawyering: who noticed the cool ability or power attack first?
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Arden Nelson Jr.
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Lots of great suggestions here. I like the idea of limiting the types of units that can be played and perhaps only using certain skills such as leadership from the begining. I do believe the monsters probably need to be able to do a few things but I might only teach a couple of things as say "the rest are in here". They can be taught after the game is over. Or, as has been pointed out I should show when they can be used when it benifits my opponent not me.
 
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K G
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if you look at the game realisticly , its a very simple game with a very wordy rule book . i wouldnt skip any abilities if you are actually "teaching" the game because some monsters are better than others in alot of ways if you just drop the abilities . they kinda rely on them to make it all equal . it makes it alot more interesting if each person you teach uses the monster they are most interested in , so haveing the abilities to use can make it alot more equal . also , walk them through the steps from set up and all , BUT regardless of who rolled player 1 , YOU go first so they can see what you do and more easily understand it , then you walk them through on their turn .

and i have found it really useful to make a quick Ref page that has the most important info on it to help players keep some of the confusing things straight . if you PM me with your email address , i can cut and paste it into an email for you 2marrow so you can print it out if you like it .

if you are doing quick demos ( i did 2 days of demos at my FLGS on dec. 23 and 24 to cathch last min xmas shoppers , it sold alot of product . ) i would set the board up with all the buildings and 4-6 units already securing buildings . set it up as though you are already 2-3 turns into the game , but with the dice in the turn 1 position . and of course YOU go first here to . you only do mabey 2-4 turns with each person usually ( unless they have more time ) . it allows shoppers to see what the game is about in a very few min. while not taking them away from their schedule .
 
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