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Subject: Best way to prepare for first game? player aid, short game, 4-5 players? rss

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UA Darth
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1. http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/20733 got the most thumbs up. Is this the most helpful player aid for first timers?

2. Is it recommended to play with 4 players instead of 5 the first time?

3. Do you suggest doing the short game variant first?

Thanks!
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First, I'd watch Scott Nicholson's video review. When we played, everyone watched that beforehand, and it was immensely helpful.

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/984798

We found that the game wasn't nearly as much of a beast as people make it out to be. We have fast players, but I don't remember it taking more than 3 hours our first time--and that was a first play for everyone.
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Chris B
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Whenever we play this at a con, we usually start in the morning 10 am or so.

Everyone always comes by and jokingly says "see you guys tomorrow". We shrug it off.

We're usually finished before 2 pm. Most of the time with a couple of breaks thrown in.
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UA Darth
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I do appreciate the responses... but can anyone answer my 3 questions?
 
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Jeff Wiles
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shadow9d9 wrote:
1. http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/20733 got the most thumbs up. Is this the most helpful player aid for first timers?


That is a fine player's aid.

I especially like the sequence of play with reminders. Having that on hand is vital.

shadow9d9 wrote:
2. Is it recommended to play with 4 players instead of 5 the first time?


My two plays were both with 5. Four newbies the first time, three the second. My gut instinct tells me that five is the way to go. I realize that this is an utterly useless answer.

shadow9d9 wrote:
3. Do you suggest doing the short game variant first?


Nah. Jump right in. By the time you get to round 6, you'll have the play sequence down, and round 7 is abbreviated. 7 is nearly 150% of 5, but 7 rounds won't take you nearly 150% of the time that 5 will.
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Well, the title of your thread asks for the "best way to prepare for a first game," so the first part of my response was answering that.

Then the rest of my response seems to imply that the answer to #3 was no, but since I was too vague:

As to question #3: No, there is no real reason to play a shorter game, as it's not as long a game as people make it out to be--if played quickly.

Question #1--I think that's the player aid we used. Either way, it seems to be a good one.

Question #2--I don't think playing with 4 rather than 5 your first time makes it easier, if that's what you're asking. Play with 5 if you can; play with 4 if you can't get 5; play something else if you can't get 4 or 5.
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UA Darth
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Thanks! Hopefully I could convince them all to play it today!
 
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Fraser
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The best way to prepare is to have one person who knows how to play or at least has gone through the stuff as mentioned above and can drive the game through the steps.

With three or four newbies in a five player game (accept no substitutes) including a rules explanation expect four hours or a bit more. It gets shorter with experience.

If you have an option use the Moskito version.
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oystein eker
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4 or 5 I cannot see the big difference. You should go for the standard game. You will be amazed how slow it starts. Checking the clock after two rounds -"OMG - Two hour and just played two rounds. We have five left - OMG!!!!" And regretting not playing the short version...

but...

then the game accelerates very fast. Fewer cards on hand. Long term planning done. -Next - no more cards to worry about. Just minor adjustments to your politics. Now boards are removed - fewer places to put your cubes ... fasten your seatbelt in the final two rounds - this game moves really fast!!!

Hope you enjoy may teaching lesson here. Have a dry run with it first.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/159702

Edit - I do not think you find the best player aid. You will play too much of round 7. (It is just scoring)

A quick glance -Guess Wizardless are better (2 parts)
http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/12795

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Andy W
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1) That's the player aid I've used and it helped quite a bit, I would recommend it.

2) If you have 5 players that all want to play, I would go that way and not force yourself to only play 4.

3) I agree with eker above, I started with only playing the short game a couple of times. Each time, once it was wrapping up, I had wished we played the full game. The game both feels like it is going faster, and actually is going faster as you get further into it.

Teaching the rules will be a huge pain. People's eyes will glaze over (including those of the person teaching it). And as a warning, it seems like people are ready to riot once you've gone through everything, then add on the "oh, there is a special phase in the first round" rules. Once you get through the first two rounds, I've found the game seems fairly intuitive, and with the player aid, I would expect it'll flow pretty well for you.

And I can't agree more with the recommendation to watch the Boardgames with Scott video. It's long, but short of finding people who have all played before, it's the best way to prepare for the game.

Best of luck, I hope you enjoy your Die Macher experience!
 
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UA Darth
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eker wrote:
4 or 5 I cannot see the big difference. You should go for the standard game. You will be amazed how slow it starts. Checking the clock after two rounds -"OMG - Two hour and just played two rounds. We have five left - OMG!!!!" And regretting not playing the short version...

but...

then the game accelerates very fast. Fewer cards on hand. Long term planning done. -Next - no more cards to worry about. Just minor adjustments to your politics. Now boards are removed - fewer places to put your cubes ... fasten your seatbelt in the final two rounds - this game moves really fast!!!

Hope you enjoy may teaching lesson here. Have a dry run with it first.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/159702

Edit - I do not think you find the best player aid. You will play too much of round 7. (It is just scoring)

A quick glance -Guess Wizardless are better (2 parts)
http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/12795

:)


Are his aids compatible with the VG version, which came out a year later than his aids?
 
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oystein eker
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Sorry - I do not know. Maybe you should not use them to be sure. I had just quick glance and they looked clean and logic. (But they can be OK)

Suggest you print out a couple that looks fine for you. Then run a solitaire round (two boards and two colours will do) with both rules and the aid for cross check. And finally check the final 7. round on the player aid. It should refer to scoring phase only. This will help you pick the one that suits you.

My players aids are perfect for me. Too bad I cannot find the download ..... Maybe I found them on another site?
 
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Chris Shaffer
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My take on the questions:

* Play with 5 - the game is better and won't take much longer.

* The short game is just as good as the long game. If you're going to be pressed for time, play the short game. It's better to start with the short game and finish than to play the long game and quit before you finish.

* I use wizardless' player aids too - they are completely compatible with the Valley Games edition. I like them a lot. The one you linked in your first post above looks pretty nice too - I'll have to put a copy in the box and see how it works next time I play.

* Having everyone watch the Board Games with Scott episode is HIGHLY recommended.
 
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