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Subject: What is the best way to learn? rss

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Alan Castell
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Outside of finding someone to teach me, what is the best way to learn the game. Is there any good online tutorials? I have read the one that someone started on here showing how to film a training guide but that remains unfinished.
I have downloaded the rftg-tutorial's on youtube and watched them leading me to the sample 3 player game video and I find it hard to keep up.
I own the game and expansions knowing I will like it once I get the hang of it, but it just hasn't clicked yet.
I knew that on here someone would have the best way to learn, so thanks in advance.
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Eric Jome
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I find that the best way to learn is to read the rules yourself, carefully. And then play a few casual games, with open hands if you like, talking over the game and asking questions...

There really is no magic formula. I'd say the best school is the school of hard knocks, but then there aren't really any knocks and it really isn't hard.
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Cory Duplantis
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AFTER reading the rules, I would suggest watching these videos, then go back over the rules one more time. Also, print off the symbols cheat sheet located on the File Section of the game as well.



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Nicolás Mutis Mesa
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It's also been pointed out in other threads that you can check out Wei-Hwa's RftG site for a complete 3-player sample game and a complete solitaire tutorial. As a side note, I believe that one of RftG's main strengths is that both Tom and Wei-Hwa are incredibly active in the BGG community answering questions, making comments, and by simply being there. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that other games offer this. So feel free to ask whenever you're stuck; you might get an answer from the maximum authority himself.
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Nathan Ward
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I'm fairly new to the game myself and I have managed to pick it up quite quickly. Here is the route I took...

I started by watching those youtube vids a few times and also reading the rules myself.

Then I had my first game with my wife (who hates the learning and referring to the rules part of gaming). We elected to play with the start worlds and set hands as it suggests in the rules, but we took it slowly for the first game and only used Explore, Develop and Settle. This really made the game quite simple to play, sure you're not getting as much depth but it gets you used to the types of cards and many of the symbols.

We played a couple of games like this and then I played by myself (sobs...)using the Consume and Produce powers. I used the same rules as the regular game, but with one set of action cards that a random phase was selected (as well as my own chosen phase)

I found that I was getting the point of the consume/produce phases, with only a few questions that the rule book helped me along with. (I have to say that playing solo makes using Consume and produce seem like cheating, but perhaps I need to modify my solo game with a limit/endgame.)

After roughing out the rules of the Consume and Produce phase to my wife we then went back and had a few games. I'm quite happy with how the game is developing (it seems to get deeper the better you get) and my Wife is getting there.

One thing I did find helpful was to suggest to my Wife that she should play the first 6/? card she gets and then just look at ways to make that card pay out the victory points at the end of the game. This will get you looking at all the cards, dismissing some and using others! Sure, there are a few confusing ones in there, but the rule book does a good job at covering these things.

Hope that was of some help!
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unkle
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Ideally you should play 1-2 games in a group of players with one of them playing with you, answering questions, making explanations/comments on the move you are making (maybe even suggest some you may have dismissed).

Last game of introduction I played with 3 new players, we played full open hands. Great game, but really long since I was making a point of asking (after the play is made) each why he was playing that and potentially explaining other options.

I also think the advanced play is really different and require different thinking than the standard play, so I'd start there if I were you.

 
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Driver 8
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I think one of the best ways to learn to play Race for the Galaxy is to first play San Juan, since it's a very similar, yet easier game.
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Harold Jansen
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I complained in several places on BGG about learning it and the rules are pretty lousy. But the way we finally figured out is just to sit down and play it with a friend. Just try stuff. After doing the easy explore and develop phases, we went and tried producing and consuming just for the heck of it. And we started to see how it all fit together about halfway through the game. By the end of the first game, strategies started to emerge. It was amazing. Anyway, just sit down and play it and don't even try to win the first time. Just experiment with the system. It will come.
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B C Z
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Humans learn more by making mistakes and correcting them once than they do getting a successful outcome 100 times.

Play, rapid fire, with a like minded friend.

You will quickly learn what works and what doesn't.
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Alan Castell
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Thanks for the responses. I bought this game based on reviews I have read and it is one that I want to play with my son.
I appreciate the advice.
 
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Mark Jimenez
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Not sure what your background is but...

My gaming partner and I have some San Juan and Puerto Rico experience. I think having this background is very helpful (at least for me, and makes it easy for me to make comparisons). IMO, SJ is easier to learn than RftG because the cards in your tableau have fewer functions.

e.g. A production card (which are like production planets in RftG) JUST produces. It doesn't have extra modifiers to track. Purple buildings (like RftG's developments) have only a single benefit.

With the SJ background, so far for us we just needed to understand a few more mechanics and adjusting/appreciating the differences between the two games, in terms of powers (with varying combinations, on planets and developments), role selection, expansion, and scoring possibilities.

Before the first game, I played a solo game with the robot (from the The Gathering Storm expansion). Like the symbols on the cards, the robot symbols also took some getting used to. With my first game with my partner, we played a single side together against the robot, walking through each of the card powers and discussing possible moves. Even with the aids, the manuals (for both the robot and base game) were needed to be close to us during play for quick reference.

After a few more robot games, I think we can start playing against each other. I think without the SJ/Puerto Rico background it would take much more effort for RftG to "click" for us.
 
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Serge Levert
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mgamer72 wrote:
After a few more robot games, I think we can start playing against each other. I think without the SJ/Puerto Rico background it would take much more effort for RftG to "click" for us.


IMHO the robot should almost never be used for learning the game. This is particularly important for those with no SJ experience. The robot adds an extra layer of complexity over the regular game that makes a tough game to learn much tougher. The robot actions/setup/play is hard to get used to even for rftg veterans.
 
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Matt N

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Play each other, lots of times. In between sessions (or even during games) think about the consequences if you did something differently. What if you picked trade instead of settle? What if you produced instead of developing? Don't be afraid to experiment; it's better to lose your first games and win later ones, rather than getting stuck in a rut.

It's also important to try and predict your opponent's phases. You can be 100% right a fair amount of the time, but being even 70% right can give you a big edge. You won't be able to predict every phase, but you can be a great player by predicting just a few phases each game.

The three levels are:
-Knowing your own cards and executing one or two favored strategies
-Predicting what your opponent will do and exploiting that
-Being able to change strategies midgame whenever needed, picking the phases that give the best relative advantage
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Victor
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byronczimmer wrote:
Humans learn more by making mistakes and correcting them once than they do getting a successful outcome 100 times.

Play, rapid fire, with a like minded friend.

You will quickly learn what works and what doesn't.


Actually that was proven incorrect in a recent American University Study..
Apparently you learn alot better when you're successful..
Ofc, in this situation you need to learn about the misstakes aswell, and I guess that would be easier by experiencing them, but even better if you learn from someone elses misstakes
 
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Scott Russell
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Come to Gencon, I'll teach you!

I think using the starter hands really helps when teaching new players (or yourself). It will "spoil" the players a little because they will not typically have hands that fit their start world so well. But this eliminates the what should I throw away dilemma at the beginning.

 
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Guy Srinivasan
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Seiseki wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
Humans learn more by making mistakes and correcting them once than they do getting a successful outcome 100 times.

Play, rapid fire, with a like minded friend.

You will quickly learn what works and what doesn't.


Actually that was proven incorrect in a recent American University Study..
Apparently you learn alot better when you're successful..
Ofc, in this situation you need to learn about the misstakes aswell, and I guess that would be easier by experiencing them, but even better if you learn from someone elses misstakes

Citations or it didn't happen.
 
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B C Z
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Supporting that failure is valuable:
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/how-to-fail-at...

And supporting that failure teaching us little or nothing:
http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2009/07/31/Brain-learns-more-...

http://www.nomapnoguidenolimits.com/2009/05/06/do-we-learn-f...

In reading the above, it seems that the DOING is what is important. Don't be afraid that you can't learn/do/succeed.
 
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Guy Srinivasan
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byronczimmer wrote:
Supporting that failure is valuable:
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/how-to-fail-at...

And supporting that failure teaching us little or nothing:
http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2009/07/31/Brain-learns-more-...

http://www.nomapnoguidenolimits.com/2009/05/06/do-we-learn-f...

In reading the above, it seems that the DOING is what is important. Don't be afraid that you can't learn/do/succeed.

Thanks! Looks to me like success is better learned than failure, but it's obviously much harder to achieve success than failure. My guess is that scattershot is better not because you learn from failures so much as you have such volume that you get more success per time to learn from. Crucially this is not the same as success per play-action. Scattershot, your success/action rate will be lower than when thinking very deeply about everything. But you won't be able to explore as many things in the same stretch of time, so you'll miss out on sheer numbers of success data points to learn from.

Later, once you've found most of the successes that you'll find from a casual, broad search of the play space, you'll need to think more deeply to find other areas to search.

That's my take anyway.
 
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Alan Castell
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Thanks a lot Barry for the veiled link to your site and the videos. Have taken a quick look and that will help a lot.
I did pick up San Juan and my son and daughter and I played it and had no problems picking it up.
I think it will help us with RFTG from a concepts standpoint.
Is Puerto Rico worth picking up as a game?
Thanks for all the great help and suggestions on here. I remember phoning game designers with my questions and staying on hold until they got the time back pre-internet.
 
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Cory Duplantis
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Alan, just to put my opinion to your question about Puerto Rico, I highly recommend it. One, it is a relatively cheap game compared to all the stuff out now a days. Puerto Rico, for me, is a much more strategic game than RftG. In PR, your actions can highly influence your opponents, which is something you have to look for. I will say this though, since RftG is card based, RftG has many more ways of victory. To me though, I will play PR over RftG if I have the option.
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