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Subject: Teaching Question (Exclude Character Cards?) rss

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Jeremy Yoder
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I plan on teaching this game this weekend. Never played it myself, but I've read the rules and understand it well enough.

For the first game, I'm going to exclude certain book cards, and I'm going to remove the mustang and scope cards as I think the changing range will throw certain players.

But I'm also thinking of not including any character cards for the first game. I understand they give the game variety and flavor, but I fear they will confuse first time learners who are non-gamers, since the char cards are essentially rule-breakers.

My question is, if I remove the char cards (even if only for the first game) will it "gut" the fun factor of the game too much and make it bland? Possibly to the point they may not want to play again?

Thanks.
 
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Andrew Tullsen
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The character cards add life to the game - don't remove them! meeple
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Ryan Lennon
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Part of the fun is getting to be the different characters. I usually deal two characters per person and let them choose who they like. Definitely leave them in.
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brian
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Honestly, the best thing you can do is get everyone to commit to play 2 games back to back and do not remove anything. The game is not hard but it is a little difficult to explain to newcomers because there are so many different cards.

When I learned the game, we struggled through the first game as a group (none of us knew how to play it) but immediately played a 2nd game and undertood it 99.44% and were hooked playing a few more games that night.

The times I tried teaching it and we only had time for 1 game, everyone hated it and that group never played it again.

If you are going to remove anything, then I guess pull out the "distance" cards as there aren't that many and it is the most difficult thing to explain (though I like the idea of the "Scope" it was much harder to explain when you had 2 horses).

Book cards are easy enough as long as the other players can actually read the rulebook. Just pass the book to them.
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Andrew Tullsen
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rlennon wrote:
Part of the fun is getting to be the different characters. I usually deal two characters per person and let them choose who they like. Definitely leave them in.


That's what I do as well.

I left the "book" cards out of the first few games we played - it made it a lot simpler. But on the whole, it wasn't that hard to explain and play.
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Jeremy Yoder
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Thanks for the input, everyone. Guess I'd better leave them in and push on through.
 
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JYoder wrote:

Thanks for the input, everyone. Guess I'd better leave them in and push on through.


Errr, well maybe I'll insert a counter-note ... I quite often find myself teaching Bang to new groups of people, and I always remove the character cards for the first game, and introduce them in the second game if that happens.

I guess it depends on your audience and how much experience they have with playing complex games. Bang is fairly complex, and having different rules for different players can really shock people who are trying to learn the game, perhaps to the point they'll not want to play again.

Obviously you gotta keep the "role" cards in!

The game's never seemed boring without the character cards, the players have a great time with the hidden roles. Obviously I'd not want to play it permanently like that. Never thought of taking the horse/scope cards out. Might be a good idea actually.

I never feel it's a great idea to have a rulebook being passed around when people are trying to learn how to play a game. Pretty soon everyone wants to check the rules almost any time they go to do anything, and you get a long drawn out game. +1 to boredom. Best to have someone who has played before, or at least who has read through the rules ahead of time.
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Mark Thomason
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My suggestion if you're truly worried about the complexity is drop the character cards for the first game but leave in the books and everything. Horses and Guns are not that complex, particularly if you have an experienced player who can tell you each round who you can hit and who you can't.
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brian
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Rainbow Snake wrote:
I never feel it's a great idea to have a rulebook being passed around when people are trying to learn how to play a game. Pretty soon everyone wants to check the rules almost any time they go to do anything, and you get a long drawn out game. +1 to boredom. Best to have someone who has played before, or at least who has read through the rules ahead of time.

Just tell them they can only use it if their card has a book symbol. It's worked fine with us.

Most of my friends shun the rulebook anway and wouldn't start reading a rulebook ever, let alone in the middle of a game,. But if your friends like to do that, then send out a PDF of the rules before hand.
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Rik Van Horn
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If the people you play with have trouble learning Bang, might I suggest you teach them Tic-Tac-Toe or perhaps Monopoly instead?
 
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Blackfaer wrote:
My suggestion if you're truly worried about the complexity is drop the character cards for the first game but leave in the books and everything. Horses and Guns are not that complex, particularly if you have an experienced player who can tell you each round who you can hit and who you can't.


Yeah that's how I normally introduce Bang. It can be quite confusing so I explain who they can currently hit.

ColtsFan76 wrote:

Most of my friends shun the rulebook anway and wouldn't start reading a rulebook ever, let alone in the middle of a game,. But if your friends like to do that, then send out a PDF of the rules before hand.


Usually with my introductory Bang games, I tell them it's not supposed to be too serious - if you can't work out a card - feel free to show me and ask what it does, it's not going to get them suddenly killed. I try to disuade reading of the rules during a game, they're missing the social aspect and probably reading all sorts of irrelevant stuff.

Rokkr wrote:
If the people you play with have trouble learning Bang, might I suggest you teach them Tic-Tac-Toe or perhaps Monopoly instead?


Okay, so it is true that most people I teach the game are what you call "non gamers" who have never heard that there are games beyond Monopoly and Scrabble, but someone has to take these people, get them hooked on the softer stuff so that in the fullness of time they'll be ready to move onto the harder stuff... devil
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brian
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Rainbow Snake wrote:
Okay, so it is true that most people I teach the game are what you call "non gamers" who have never heard that there are games beyond Monopoly and Scrabble, but someone has to take these people, get them hooked on the softer stuff so that in the fullness of time they'll be ready to move onto the harder stuff... devil

True and that is what I have done with a good portion of my family and friends. We often (and I am guilty of it as well) don't think newbies can handle a game without our supreme guidance through the first few games. But most people are fairly educated and can pick these games up. The publishers are supposed to be writing these rules so that anyone can pick them up whether they have played games before.

So I think we expect too little from our "targets" into the gaming world and they have been spoiled by the over-simple rules of past mass-marketed games. I think people can handle mroe than we give them credit for. It is Bang! after all and not Die Macher.
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Jeremy Yoder
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Well, I taught and played it last night, and I'm happy to say it was a hit, mainly because everyone got into their roles and had fun with the theme. They were instantly open to a second game, which was just as fun. It had been a while since a new game brought that much laughter to the table.

I can see where the right crowd is important with this game, and I had the thought that light-hearted non-gamers are probably more fun with this game than serious gamers -- something I'd never thought in regards to a game before. Both players who were the sheriff were only too happy to pin on the sheriff badge, which very much helped to set the playful tone of the games.

In retrospect, if I had to do it again, I would not have used the char cards for the first game. Sure, they add variety, but for the first game, they were more of a hurdle as people had enough to learn with the playable cards.

I also made the call to not hand out the cheat sheet cards with the symbols. This worked really well. Those who saw them set off to the side and asked to look at them, simply handed them right back. This is because everyone was comfortable enough to simply show cards they couldn't remember as no one felt it was a big strategy killer. (Again, more of a non-gamer approach to the game that worked really well.)

I am glad I removed the mustang/scope cards for the first game (as well as removed char cards with altered ranges), since the range tripped up a couple of people early on until they caught on. For the second game, I think I could have added the mustang/scope cards in, but I forgot to do so, so it was no biggee.

Play of the night: My mom, who was playing the sheriff, slapping down a volcanic gun, and popping off a neighboring outlaw at full health with 4 bang cards while saying, "This town just ain't big enough for the 2 of us."

Comments of the night: A gal cousin, who was playing the sheriff with quickly dwindling life, was getting frustrated (in a very playful way). My dad (who we all figured was her deputy) just wasn't getting the cards late in the game to help her, so she says while looking at him, "It doesn't help that I've got Barney Fife on my side." Everyone erupted, after which my dad started fumbling into his shirt pocket, saying he couldn't help it -- he only had one rusty bullet to use.
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David Seal
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ColtsFan76 wrote:

If you are going to remove anything, then I guess pull out the "distance" cards as there aren't that many and it is the most difficult thing to explain (though I like the idea of the "Scope" it was much harder to explain when you had 2 horses).


Uhhhm, two horses? If by horses you mean two Mustangs then you can't have two Mustangs in play at the same time. Unless that is, you're referring to the character whose special ability is a 'permanent Mustang'. shake
 
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brian
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dankdave wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:

If you are going to remove anything, then I guess pull out the "distance" cards as there aren't that many and it is the most difficult thing to explain (though I like the idea of the "Scope" it was much harder to explain when you had 2 horses).


Uhhhm, two horses? If by horses you mean two Mustangs then you can't have two Mustangs in play at the same time. Unless that is, you're referring to the character whose special ability is a 'permanent Mustang'. shake

Before there was thetwo horses: the Mustang that put you 1 distance farther than everyone. And then you had the Appaloosa that you put everyone 1 distance closer to you. (and maybe I have the descriptions backwards since I am going from memory) Since you could have one of each horse, it was difficult to grasp in game terms why you were able to have two different horses.

This makes it much easier because for the same effect you are thematically on a Horse while targeting them with a scope. It makes a lot more sense.

But otherwise, yes, you can only have one copy of each horse in play.
 
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ColtsFan76 wrote:

This makes it much easier because for the same effect you are thematically on a Horse while targeting them with a scope. It makes a lot more sense.


Hey, in another thread I was wondering ... I know that in Bang v3 the extra range of the guns only comes into play when you're shooting "Bang" cards, but range modifications of the horses affects everything including Panico cards. Since a Panico only has a distance of 1, a Mustang normally puts the player out of its reach ... unless the holder of the Panico is next to them and has an Appaloosa.

I don't have Bang v4 where the Appaloosa has been turned into the Scope. Does that mean you can now only use it when firing, not at other times?
 
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brian
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It is the same card, just a different name and art. But they both would come into effect whenever distance matters.
 
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