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Subject: pairing up veterans with newbies rss

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Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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One of my relatives read the Wall Street Journal article on Settlers (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126092289275692825.html) and decided to pick up the game. At a recent family gathering he broke out his brand new copy, and we decided to play a game in teams. We had 3 veterans and 5 newbies. This was my first time playing with the 4th edition. The new land tile design was fine enough, but I liked my old 3rd edition harbors better. The new cardboard frame was a nice addition. After setup and an explanation of the rules, we broke into 4 teams of 2 players each.

The 1st team had 2 newbies. They had played once before, with other newbies, but clearly didn't play by the correct rules in their previous game. This team was a married couple, and without fail, argued every turn. They underestimated the value of cities and instead focused on building lots of roads and settlements. At the end of the game, they ran out of settlements and couldn't get the cards they needed to upgrade to cities. The 2nd team, a veteran and a newbie, was in heated competition with the 1st team for longest road. This proved to be the undoing for both teams, as neither could pull ahead in the arms race and ultimately overinvested in roads.

My newbie and I didn't have access to brick, and all of the brick available for trade was scooped up by the other teams. As a result, we were boxed in pretty early and were unable to expand much beyond our starting points. Luckily, we had plentiful access to the resources for development cards. We ended up with largest army and a couple victory point cards to boot.

In the end, our development card strategy wasn't enough. The 4th team, another veteran/newbie pairing, had the most balanced approach and flew under the radar most of the game. When the other teams stalled out, they surged ahead and closed the deal.
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Joke S
Netherlands
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that is a LOT of newbies lol
I hate pairing up (instead I bought a pink and purple set so we have jubileum edition (basic+5/6) with 2 extra colors) so we played with 7 players, expanded Seafarers' Great Catan

If I know newbies will be joining our group of veterans (looking for a new base game because the resource cards are starting to fall apart) we play 1 veteran - 2 newbies with another veteran advising during their first game for 1/2 games and then let them join, explaining things the first time they are thrown in with the sharks- and they tend to do quite well.

I would advise you to play without teams, maybe buy 5/6 expansion and let one person do the bank and another (veteran) educate the newbies as they go.
 
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