Michael
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Hi all,

My weekly game night is happening later tonight, and I am considering bringing AGoT 2e. None of us have ever played it, so we'll be working through rules as we play.

The game night lasts roughly 4-4.5 hours. Is this worth bringing? I've read several posts where the game can exceed that time. Most of us are experienced gamers, thought there's a possibly someone might show up who's new to gaming and/or doesn't learn quickly.
 
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Sean Combs
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I would make sure everybody read the rules twice before starting.

Because of the level of strategy in this game, people need to know the basics in the beginning of the game, if not so they might make some moves which will leave them severely crippled for the rest of the game.
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Edward Morland
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I played it last night with a bunch of people trying it for the first time, we had to agree to finish on the ninth rather than tenth turn and our game lasted aprox. 4 hours with rules explanation. In that case however I'd played a couple of times before so could provide some structure and knew the rules I was explaining. So while it should be possible for you to finish in 4 and a half hours it will certainly be tight.
 
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Georgios P.
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If you're attempting to play a full six-player game, I wouldn't recommend it. Definitely not with players who don't know the game.

With 3 or 4 players, it might work. Although even then, I'd recommend letting people read up on the rules ahead of time. Just to be on the safe side.
 
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Gregor Terrill
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Yeah, probably not a good idea if you haven't had a chance to learn it on your own yet. The rules are pretty long-winded so it's not something you want to be doing at the table. And on that note, make sure wherever you bring it has a BIG table.
 
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Ben Nietzel
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so, how do you recommend people learn the game? I just bought it. My buddies have a lot of board game experience, and love the books. We want to play, so how do you guys recommend we learn this beast?

 
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Gregor Terrill
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Nitz wrote:
so, how do you recommend people learn the game? I just bought it. My buddies have a lot of board game experience, and love the books. We want to play, so how do you guys recommend we learn this beast?

I find the best way to learn any game is to have one person (usually the owner, but if someone else in the group likes doing it and you're okay with it, more power to them) sit down by themselves and read the rules and, most importantly, actually play a game. It's hard in a game like AGoT, because most of the strategy is hiding your actions from the other players. If you are playing as all the players to learn it, the effect is kind of lost. You just gotta think "Okay, if I were in this position in a real game, what would I do?" and try to ignore what you know about the other "players". You will run into issues and have to check the rulebook a lot, and that's good. Doing it on your own means you'll have answers to the questions other people ask, and you won't have to waste time during the real game to hunt for answers while everyone else sits twiddling their thumbs.

Bottom line: It's way, way, way easier for a group to be taught a game by one person who knows it rather than having to all huddle around one rulebook and learn it together from scratch.
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Georgios P.
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My suggestion would be to have one player learn the rules and explain it to the others, as you would in a regular game.

But you should warn them ahead of time, that since the games is fairly complicated, you are going to be looking up rules often. And there are most likely going to be situations where you won't have an easy answer ready or where you might make a judgement call, that may turn out to be wrong in hindsight. (Generally, when timing is concerned you usually cannot go wrong by looking at the Iron Throne track.)

As for the rules themselves, I found the way that the rules are laid out in the introductory videos over at the FFG website very helpful.

1) What's the goal of the game?
2) What's the difference between the troops?
3) What are the five basic orders?
4) What are the special orders?
5) How does combat work?
6) What are the influence tracks?
7) What is the supply track?
8) How does bidding work?
9) What are the Westeros cards and what are wildlings?
10) How do ports work?

(A little tip, try to think about how you lead from one question into another so as to allow people to easily follow the explanations.)

Ports are a little tricky, in that their significance and importance isn't readily apparent when you are learning the game. Although some people are very quick to pick up such things, so you probably should explain them to those who are still interested.

As long as people are aware that the game usually takes a little time to play naturally, you should be fine.

I would also suggest, if you can spare the time, to have one practice turn, where you set up three parties crashing in the Searoad Marches for example. This way you can show both the power of a naval bridge (Stark), the effect of well placed support tokens (Greyjoy) and the power of house cards (Lannister).
 
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Seli L
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I would suggest to read the rules first too, but otherwise I see no problem with learning how to play on the go. Your first game will be "wasted" anyway (meaning that there are things in the game that are non-obvious without seeing them in action, e.g. many first-time players do rather poor opening moves or bet blindly on the influence tracks), so if you accept that the first game will a learning one anyway, you can simply learn, play and stop the game on whichever turn you are about to run out of time. After that, you will be in a much better position to judge the game for the next "real" play.

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Frank Franco
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Tennberg wrote:
. None of us have ever played it, so we'll be working through rules as we play.


People who do that should be shot.
 
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Kim Brebach
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Quote:
I would suggest to read the rules first too, but otherwise I see no problem with learning how to play on the go. Your first game will be "wasted" anyway (meaning that there are things in the game that are non-obvious without seeing them in action, e.g. many first-time players do rather poor opening moves or bet blindly on the influence tracks), so if you accept that the first game will a learning one anyway, you can simply learn, play and stop the game on whichever turn you are about to run out of time. After that, you will be in a much better position to judge the game for the next "real" play.


I completely agree. Its such a good game you would be mad never to learn it because you didn't have enough time. 3 key factors for the timeframe you have are;
1. how many players you have
2. how experienced they are in games of this level of complexity
3. how much trash talk / scheming they enjoy...

Realistically games can go anywhere from 5 to 10 turns, the more players, generally the more turns you will need.

We played a fully resolved 4 player game of 5/6 turns in under 3 hours last week and a 6 player game halted at 7 turns in 5 hours this week. You can always just agree that the game turn first started at midnight is the last or whatever. the 10 turn limit is kinda arbitrary anyway.

It doesn't matter though - commit to a learning game and then make a call as to how well it fits in your 4.5 hour games window.

We have a similar window and have decided 4-5 players is worth attempting in that time frame but 6 player games are best savoured when we have our occasional 9am - 12am games marathon days.
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Sdric
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Why not make the first game with a victory in 8 turns or 6 castle/stronghold ?
 
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Michael
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Tennberg wrote:
. None of us have ever played it, so we'll be working through rules as we play.


People who do that should be shot.


That's a bit harsh, don't you think?
 
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Frank Franco
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Tennberg wrote:
Mr Skeletor wrote:
Tennberg wrote:
. None of us have ever played it, so we'll be working through rules as we play.


People who do that should be shot.


That's a bit harsh, don't you think?


Not really. I can't stand it.
If you want to play a game READ AND KNOW THE RULES BEFORE YOU BRING IT ALONG!
I want to play, not spend an hour having someone read to me, then another hour playing 1 turn with everyones nose in the rulebook!
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Michael
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Not really. I can't stand it.
If you want to play a game READ AND KNOW THE RULES BEFORE YOU BRING IT ALONG!
I want to play, not spend an hour having someone read to me, then another hour playing 1 turn with everyones nose in the rulebook!


And if I'm someone who learns by doing, not reading? Then what? Should I attempt to play a 6-player game solo before bringing it to game night? Should I play the game with my non-existent other game group before bringing it to my real game group?
 
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Frank Franco
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Tennberg wrote:
Mr Skeletor wrote:
Not really. I can't stand it.
If you want to play a game READ AND KNOW THE RULES BEFORE YOU BRING IT ALONG!
I want to play, not spend an hour having someone read to me, then another hour playing 1 turn with everyones nose in the rulebook!


And if I'm someone who learns by doing, not reading? Then what? Should I attempt to play a 6-player game solo before bringing it to game night?


Yes. That's what I do.

Read rules.
Set up and run a mock game.
Read rules again.

Then Im ready to introduce it to people.
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David Neumann
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Tennberg wrote:
Mr Skeletor wrote:
Not really. I can't stand it.
If you want to play a game READ AND KNOW THE RULES BEFORE YOU BRING IT ALONG!
I want to play, not spend an hour having someone read to me, then another hour playing 1 turn with everyones nose in the rulebook!


And if I'm someone who learns by doing, not reading? Then what? Should I attempt to play a 6-player game solo before bringing it to game night? Should I play the game with my non-existent other game group before bringing it to my real game group?


Yep. I set up every game I'm going to teach and run through a solo play through before I take it to game night. Sometimes, I'll even do this with games I've already played, but not for awhile, to make sure I have the rules down.

If I don't have the time to do this, I take other games with me to game night that I am familiar with.

This often means that new games sit on the shelf for months before I have the chance to solo them and work out the rules, but I'd rather wait than sit and read the rulebook in front of them.
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Brian Mc Cabe
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Whenever we have a number of players new to a game, even if a couple have played before, we don't worry about it. The most oft-used phrase at the table in that case is, "It's a learning game."

But our group has that mentality when it comes to new games. This advice isn't any good if your group wants to get everything perfect, or nearly so, the first time.

Brian
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Michael
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apatheticexecutioner wrote:
Whenever we have a number of players new to a game, even if a couple have played before, we don't worry about it. The most oft-used phrase at the table in that case is, "It's a learning game."

But our group has that mentality when it comes to new games. This advice isn't any good if your group wants to get everything perfect, or nearly so, the first time.

Brian


Thanks. That's the approach we went with, and we thoroughly enjoyed the game. We got through 9 rounds that night, and know we made mistakes along the way. Still, everyone had fun and there wasn't a single complaint.
 
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