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Subject: How would you teach this game to first time players? rss

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I just orderd this game online! and im soo pumped! i think my friends will LOVE it. I have never played this type of game before which is great too, cause now my collection is more rounded , now on with the thread! It has not come in the mail yet, but i would like to have a strategy down to teach it even before i get the game, so it runs smoothly, my group is a big belive-er on first impression, i want this to make the best first impression it can, cause the game seems epic and i spent like 60 bucks haha.



im not the best teacher when it comes to boardgames, and the 44 paged rule book scared me initally but im very good at understanding rules and quick to find/adapt a strategy, but once again im not the best teacher haha.


Yes i know theres scenarios to teach the game, start at 1 and hope it goes really well, then the rest will be a breeze, if not, then the game possibly wont be played to its full potential. which would result in an epic sadface.




So how would you explain the game,well scenario 1, to catan/heroscape players? Start with mechanics of the game? explain cards? talk about the components? the goal of the game? how would you teach it? No walls of txt, a list would be fine



and im curious to see how other boardgamers would teach this game. and i could mash up all the goood stuff i like, and apply it.



Thanks
 
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James
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Must...put...grading red...pen...down (there).

To be frank, you have a challenge on your hands. If first impressions are a make or break affair with your group, then the first scenario may miss enough of the elements of the game which make it great. Scenario three starts to show the game's potential. However, if you don't think of yourself as a good rules explainer, scenario three may seem overwhelming for you to teach and for them to learn. Finally, you mention your gaming "group;" unless you're using the downloaded 3/4 player scenarios, it only plays two. Maybe you are (?). If you aren't, you will need to download those scenarios to get the game to accommodate four players.

Here's your list.

1. Punch out and learn the components (check out one of the excellent aids which help you know how to get everything back in the box).
2. Print out Universal Heads' player aids for everyone; read them yourself along with the rules (it will take a while for everything to come together).
3. Play through a scenario just by yourself with you playing both sides in order to learn the game.
4. Choose a scenario based on the feelings you've gotten from steps one through four and your knowledge of your group.
5. Prime them for the fact that learning this game is going to burn some mental calories, but that it will be so worth it. Consider e-mailing them some of the more entertaining reviews on BGG.

It's a really fun game but it can be a hard sell because of the initial investment required. Good luck!

Edit: Fine, Moses Beard, go ahead and thumb and GG tip me after I made the red pen quip. Way to take the fun out of being snarky! Thanks and good luck again.
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Eric Foldenauer
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Brother Jim gives great advice. I would add that you can download 3-4 player training scenarios from ludically instead of the 2 player training scenarios from the rule book, if you so desire.

Most importantly, though, act as game master instead of player the first few games. You will know the rules, they won't. Show them the game by having them play while you observe on the sidelines teaching.
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Here's my 5 minute demo:

1) Lay down the "5 biggest tiles". Make sure everything is connected. I like to mix indoor and outdoor locations. I like cover. (TIME: 5 seconds)

2) Lay out the minis and character cards. Have players pick a character. Show players the movement and combat stats. And show players a couple order tiles. Give each character a random weapon card. (TIME: 1 minute) I usually disuade people from using the MKII right at first.

3) Pick two characters and set them on the board. I like using Jack Saw and Vasquez. Show players melee combat with minis-cards-order tiles. (TIME: 1 minute) Set figs further apart. Show players ranged combat with minis-cards-order tiles. (TIME: 1 minute) Set figs apart to show interruption becoming melee, and/or ranged combat (TIME: 1 minute, 55 seconds). In general, interruption brings it all together.

Viola!

Cutting down to combat makes everything else easier to digest for everybody. Many of my students are simply content to go on tag-team cat-and-mouse killing sprees. This is the start of SAGS on a mini scale (use the frame and make the smallest frame you can), but add the above combat, movement, interrupt first. Then basically follow the scenarios of the book as far as rules progression (destroying things, searching, etc). I usually hand a mission card to each player/team. Playing these cards open offers a unique challenge, too.

You can all eventually graduate to "proper" ER, but your grasp of the core rules will be strong--and you gained that strength by playing-over-reading!

Whatever you try, welcome to the game and have fun!
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Now thats what i am talking about! if we could just have a few more people post there views on the matter, i would probobly jump up and down and do a dance.



haha and sorry for the lousy GG tip, i barely have any, and thanks for whoever covered it up! hahaha
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Have some GG for the enthusiasm! (^_^)v Again, welcome to the game. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!
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Tim McCormley
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moses beard wrote:

So how would you explain the game,well scenario 1, to catan/heroscape players? Start with mechanics of the game? explain cards? talk about the components? the goal of the game? how would you teach it? No walls of txt, a list would be fine

First of all, I would break out Mage Knight the Boardgame and spend 3 hours explaining how it works. And then you all play the first introductory scenario which will take roughly 8 hours with 3-4 people and will involve roughly 20 minutes of downtime between player actions. Afterwards, I would comment on the amazing excitement that MK the Boardgame is generating on the geek.

The following week, assuming your friends actually want to show up for any game you would suggest, I would break out Earth Reborn and explain it according to the suggestions of awakeneddragon. You'll be playing it in about 10-15 minutes, assuming you've already set up one of the scenarios to give the players some context while you're explaining things, and NO ONE will think the game is hard.

Tim
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awakeneddragon wrote:
Have some GG for the enthusiasm! (^_^)v Again, welcome to the game. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!


geez holy crap! i dont need that much geek gold!! thanks though!


armor_11 wrote:
moses beard wrote:

So how would you explain the game,well scenario 1, to catan/heroscape players? Start with mechanics of the game? explain cards? talk about the components? the goal of the game? how would you teach it? No walls of txt, a list would be fine

First of all, I would break out Mage Knight the Boardgame and spend 3 hours explaining how it works. And then you all play the first introductory scenario which will take roughly 8 hours with 3-4 people and will involve roughly 20 minutes of downtime between player actions. Afterwards, I would comment on the amazing excitement that MK the Boardgame is generating on the geek.

The following week, assuming your friends actually want to show up for any game you would suggest, I would break out Earth Reborn and explain it according to the suggestions of awakeneddragon. You'll be playing it in about 10-15 minutes, assuming you've already set up one of the scenarios to give the players some context while you're explaining things, and NO ONE will think the game is hard.

Tim


haha my sarcasm detector has been broken for quite a while, this reminds me i need to go get it fixed. But hey everybody does things differently, thanks for posting. If i had that game, and maybe the gamer experience and friends who can spend a long time to learn directions. i belive that could work. But im an ultimate noob here who is a catan and heroscape dude. i wish to be super geeked one day though haha. I belive im headed in the right direction, well i hope I must get my friends there! haha. A great first playthough of this game will DEFINILTY put us on the right path.

So keep goin! im liking this stuff so far.
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Jan Tuijp
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If it helps, I started playing ER this week. We (2 players) do it by the book. I read the rules up to scenario 1, set up the first map and explained the rules to my son. It took some time, because the order tile mechanism is a bit alien at first glance.

Once we were on our way, everything fell into place and we quickly finished the game. At that point we had not formed an opinion yet, but we we're eager to continue with the next scenario.

The next day we did duelling and interrupting and now we are very eager to start shooting! In these two games we came to appreciate the map, the order tile mechanism, the CP's and of course the interrupting. This game has some really smart new mechanisms that do not in any way feel contrived, but work very well together to simulate tactical skirmish.

We've become enthousiasts in just two plays because during playing we got inklings of the marvels ahead. If SAGS is as good as everyone says it is, there's a truly awesome game lurking around the corner.

One tip: there are some complaints about setup time. There are ways to speed things up:
- As someone already said: learn to use the insert.
- Note that every tile has an "outdoors" and an "indoors" side. Store the tiles on size first and on faces second and it will be much easier to find that particular tile you're looking for.
- Note that EVERY tile is unique in some way or another. Do not study a tile before you go look for it, but use your brains impressive pattern recognition skills instead. Just glance over the tile you're looking for, note what size is it and what face it has and just pick it up.

After just three plays I think I can manage setting up any scenario within 30 minutes (including doors). And given the length of time involved in a serious scenario, I think that is very reasonable.

Have fun!
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James Boardgame
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awakeneddragon wrote:

Viola!



Cello!
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Jan Tuijp
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Thanks for the GG, Tim. This thread is turning into a geekgoldrush...

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One minor point. I am a fan of trashy stories etc but some of my friends aren't. The one background modification I made was turning Deeler's digestive problems into a drug addiction that noone else is aware of.
If he keeps his stash in the bathroom no rule changes are required.

Not strictly about teaching the game but I have a feeling the true background might have actually made a player or two not want to give this a shot which would have been a shame.

I always put the tiles needed for the first scenario we'll play in cloth bags the evening before. One for outdoor, one for indoor. Then I set up the scenario before anyone arrives, helps a lot.
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