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Subject: Presence doesn't mean presence - a teaching problem! rss

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Nigel Clarke
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Tried playing TS with my wife yesterday, on Vassal (wife can't sit for prolonged periods at a table at the moment).

The biggest initial confusion was with scoring.

Domination rules understood but Presence and, to a much lesser extent Control, rules not understood.

Wife: Why haven't I scored x VPs for presence in region?
Me: Because you haven't got presence there.
Wife: Yes I do - I've got x number of markers in x number of countries in that region.
Me: Yes, but in order to have a presence in a region, you have to control at least one country.
Wife: Why is it called presence then, when it isn't?
Me: Well, I think that you can have presence in a country but presence in a region is only counted if you control one of the countries.
Wife: If I controlled one of the countries, wouldn't I score the VPs for Control?
Me: No, because control applies to the region, therefore you have to control all battleground countries and more countries than me.
Wife: I understand Domination but I cannot get my head around the other two.
Me: We need to work at that then, because it's pretty fundamental to the game.

Some time later .... at the start of turn two!

Wife: I'm not getting this game; I need to do other stuff now - ebay, phone calls that sort of thing.

In the process she closed vassal and we couldn't get back to where we were. It's true that I got a little frustrated too, and decided that enough was enough; perhaps it's just not her game.

Game over
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Olav Riediger
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That's a sad story... Perhaps one shouldn't put to much into words, but what they stand for. "Presence" may be misleading, but the definition in the rules is pretty clear to me. The same is true for "Control". Maybe a native speaker has more problems memorizing the meanings of these term within the game, but you are right: They are pretty fundamental. I believe, it may really just not be her game...

Olav
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Jack Smith
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English is a strange language as it's so contextual. The definitions make complete sense to me but I can see where there could be a lot of confusion. Hopefully she will try again some day. TS is not the only game where this can happen, in Dominant Species people get mixed up between a Domination Action and Dominance. I'm sure there's many examples in other games.
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JayJay Twicotcha
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It may not be the matter of understanding the rules. I think that many women use this sort of talk to avoid playing They just don't like it. In the end that is good, as they take care about the kids when you are pursuing your Twilight Struggle addictions.

I once let the cat out to the balcony and forgot to invite it back home. It was December, Warsaw. Weren't it for my wife (who consistently refuses to play TS) the poor kitty would have died out there.
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Stephen Allen
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jason_55 wrote:
women... They just don't like it.


Amen, brother!
 
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G K
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Recently got the game and played with the Mrs. It went well, but I also noticed that the terms "Controlled" and "Control" are both used, but in reference to different things.

Controlled is when "The player has Influence points in the country greater than or equal to the country’s Stability Number, and the player’s Influence in the country exceeds his/her opponent’s Influence in that country by at least the country’s Stability Number."

Control is when "A superpower has Control of a Region if it Controls more countries in that Region than its opponent, and Controls all of the Battleground countries in that Region."

I think the term Presence ("A superpower has Presence in a Region if it Controls at least one country in that Region.") would be perfectly understandable if there was a different term used for the max level of scoring a region instead of Control. Of course this is only an issue when you are first learning the rules. Otherwise the rules are some of the best written I've seen, but it is too bad they used different forms of the same word for different things.
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some_guy wrote:
jason_55 wrote:
women... They just don't like it.


Amen, brother!


Ha! My husband doesn't like it.

Also had that same exact conversation, except he actually played to the end. And he'll still play it (but with a lot of bribery only).
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Evgeny Reznikov
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speltor wrote:
Recently got the game and played with the Mrs. It went well, but I also noticed that the terms "Controlled" and "Control" are both used, but in reference to different things.


Control of a country and control of a region naturally mean different things. I've taught Twilight Struggle to at least a dozen people, and none of them had any problems with the distinction - you just have to take the term in context.
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Nigel Clarke
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azuredarkness wrote:
speltor wrote:
Recently got the game and played with the Mrs. It went well, but I also noticed that the terms "Controlled" and "Control" are both used, but in reference to different things.


Control of a country and control of a region naturally mean different things. I've taught Twilight Struggle to at least a dozen people, and none of them had any problems with the distinction - you just have to take the term in context.


Good for you. And your point is?
 
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Derry Salewski
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banzai123 wrote:
azuredarkness wrote:
speltor wrote:
Recently got the game and played with the Mrs. It went well, but I also noticed that the terms "Controlled" and "Control" are both used, but in reference to different things.


Control of a country and control of a region naturally mean different things. I've taught Twilight Struggle to at least a dozen people, and none of them had any problems with the distinction - you just have to take the term in context.


Good for you. And your point is?


Probably the last clause of the sentence you, um, quoted.
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Nigel Clarke
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scifiantihero wrote:
banzai123 wrote:
azuredarkness wrote:
speltor wrote:
Recently got the game and played with the Mrs. It went well, but I also noticed that the terms "Controlled" and "Control" are both used, but in reference to different things.


Control of a country and control of a region naturally mean different things. I've taught Twilight Struggle to at least a dozen people, and none of them had any problems with the distinction - you just have to take the term in context.


Good for you. And your point is?


Probably the last clause of the sentence you, um, quoted.


True
I was really referring to "I've taught Twilight Struggle to at least a dozen people, and none of them had any problems with the distinction."

That's as frustrating a comment as the comment you get when you call a help desk for something - I can't recreate your problem - which I try not to use if I can help it!
 
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asj
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Hard to generalize.

I got TS to play with some co-workers and because it was so highly rated. I took it out to learn it with my wife and as we're setting up she says "huh, this looks like it's going to be more fun than A Few Acres of Snow." We mostly play euro games, railroad tycoon, agricola, etc.


She's enjoying it so far, even after a rough start to the first game when as the states states she got a hand mostly soviet cards. Which for a new player can be very off putting as you help your opponent expand everywhere. So we restarted and she really seems to be getting into it. (playing over a few evenings)
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Conor Hickey
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boren wrote:


She's enjoying it so far, even after a rough start to the first game when as the states states she got a hand mostly soviet cards. Which for a new player can be very off putting as you help your opponent expand everywhere. So we restarted and she really seems to be getting into it. (playing over a few evenings)


When I started I used to hate getting a hand full of Soviet events as the US in the Early War. Now I love it
 
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Jeff Dunford
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I also found the two definitions of "Control" annoying, along with the fact that "domination" is less dominating than "control" of a region.
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G K
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azuredarkness wrote:
Control of a country and control of a region naturally mean different things. I've taught Twilight Struggle to at least a dozen people, and none of them had any problems with the distinction - you just have to take the term in context.

Well I'm sure that the next dozen people I teach this game to will not have any problems with the distinction either (now that I will always remember this point and be watching for any confusion regarding it).

Now that my wife and I understand the rules, the terms Control, Controlled and Presence make total sense. However in the manual they have chosen and defined these terms specifically, even to the point of capitalizing them to distinguish these words from their regular contextual usage. The game definition of the term Presence actually uses the capitalized term "Controls" with an "s", which is a different form of both Control and Controlled. I'm not really trying to nitpick or suggest GMT changes anything, but myself (and perhaps the OP) both observed or experienced a bit of temporary confusion regarding this.

Just because the people you have taught the game to "naturally" got it without any issues doesn't mean that the OP and myself did not have a problem, or that others might also. Especially when first learning/teaching the game.
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asj
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TwoShedsJackson wrote:

When I started I used to hate getting a hand full of Soviet events as the US in the Early War. Now I love it


Oh no argument there. But before you played a game or two and saw how it works it's pretty demoralising. And first games are hard enough.

I find teaching games to be very hard, and there certainly is an art to it.
 
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Kevin Brown
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iNano78 wrote:
I also found the two definitions of "Control" annoying, along with the fact that "domination" is less dominating than "control" of a region.


The Presence-Domination-Control ranking seemed perfectly natural to me. I suspect it's because I had played many games of History of the World, which uses the same terms in the same hierarchy to describe a given player's scoring level in an area.
 
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