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Subject: How to Teach New Players rss

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OhMee
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Do any of you have tips on how to ease my non-gamer friends into playing Puerto Rico? The games we've played so far are: Carcassone, 7 Wonders, The Resistance, Cash n Guns, Elfenland, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, and LNoE.

I know PR is more complex than any of the games we've played but I want my gaming group to like it.
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Brenden Johnson
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I'm a big fan of the How to Play Podcast.
He did an episode for Puerto Rico that is very good:

Learn how to teach and play Puerto Rico from the "How to Play" podcast.
 
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Neil Brooks
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Here's some mental notes I've made. Hopefully they make sense and are helpful!

Explain that you know how most games have phases? Well PR doesn't. The phases are defined by the roles that are chosen.

The basics are easy. You make goods to either sell or ship. Selling gives money, shipping gives points. To produce, you need a plantation, a manufacturing building and people in both of them. Unless it's corn, of course.

Making money is important at the start of the game. Making points is important towards the end.

Give a brief explanation of what the roles actually do. Then, by means of deduction, rule out which of the roles aren't helpful at the time, and explain why. Then explain what each of the remaining roles will do for both the learner and everyone else at the table.

Then explain that each building changes the rules in some way. Explain why you're buying what you buy, and advise which building they should buy, given the current situation.

Do this for a few turns until the learner gets a grasp of the basics. Then fall back into the role of just answering questions. It won't take long until you see that Eureka! moment on their face(s).

Hope this helps!
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Andrew Miller
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milkolate wrote:
Do any of you have tips on how to ease my non-gamer friends into playing Puerto Rico? The games we've played so far are: Carcassone, 7 Wonders, The Resistance, Cash n Guns, Elfenland, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, and LNoE.

I know PR is more complex than any of the games we've played but I want my gaming group to like it.


If they've played those games they've long been ready for Puerto Rico.

PR was the first euro I ever played and I taught it first to all my close friends before any other. It worked out fine.

Honestly, most people are ready for Puerto Rico before having any exposure to other euros. You just have to be discerning with the people who AREN'T inclined to games, and you've done more than enough with those people so far with all those other gateway games.

--ElSoy
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Gary Bergeron
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Scott Nicholson's Board Games With Scott:www.boardgameswithscott.com
Just enter Puerto Rico in the search and enjoy.
His explanation was the reason why I purchased the game.

Have Fun!

Wimpgod
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David Dawson
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I've had a lot of success teaching Puerto Rico to non-gamers. The great thing about the roles is that you can explain the game in chunks, and help players along on just the one, simple part of the game when it comes up.

Just explain that the players are going to be choosing jobs to do on the island, and once someone picks a job to do, everyone else gets a chance to do that job, too. But the person who actually picked the job gets a bonus privilege. That's most of the game right there, and allows you to explain everything else in the game piece by piece. Good luck!
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Dexter Ang
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I have introduced this to non-gamer friends and so far all of them liked it. My tip is the setup time must be a breeze. I have items organized everything in containers so they wouldn't think that it is complicated.

For the rules, I just explained how to play the game (governor, etc), the roles, how the building works(explain production bldgs only, how it produces good), and then how the game ends. Start playing the game. In my case I didn't explain the violet buildings as it will overwhelm them. Explain the violet buildings as the game goes.

Have fun!
 
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Mik Svellov
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PR is extremely friendly to teach new players since virtually everything is open: simply explain the options a player has and their consequences, then let him make up his own mind.
 
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Linda Baldwin
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Actually, there is one more thing I toss in, particularly if not all the players are new. I give a warning about the Craftsman role -- that most of the time when you take it, it will help the person after you more that it will help you, and may wind up not helping you at all.

That's not obvious to a beginning player, and causes game imbalance among experienced players. But once they're aware of it, they can at least make an informed decision. (And it helps avoid that sad face when all their carefully crafted goods wind up floating in the harbor.)
 
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Steven
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Oh Puerto Rico is so easy to teach. (1) Explain the different ways of earning VPs. (2) Explain the different ways of making money. (3) Explain each role.

Things to leave for a little later: (1) The individual building functions. (2) Strategy.

The game is super clear upon playing.
 
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Hobie
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I taught it to a neighbor a few months ago...I helped him throughout, giving suggestions. He won the game, and I'm cool with that. Bottom line: expect your first game to be a teaching game/trial run, and that will let you know if they are ready for the next game of PR.

I second the "Board games with Scott" video. It lets people see it explained before you play your first foray.

Enjoy.

Edit: Also, consider teaching San Juan first. It has role selection but does not have the shipping factor. It could be a good bridge to the full PR experience.
 
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Andrew Miller
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One thing I like to know first about games when I am taught them is what constitutes a turn/phase/round and how those turn over until the game ends.

As such, I always start out:

1. Governor picks a role and everyone partakes in that role in turn order.
2. Next guy picks a role, everyone partakes in that role in turn order.
3. Rinse, repeat until everyone has had a turn.
4. Return roles, money up the unchosen, governor passes.
5. Rinse, repeat until one of the three game ends is triggered.

Role explanation comes later, and endgame trigger explanation comes way later.

This way the new players can have a VERY general mental structure of the game, and all the other mechanics, when taught specifically, can fit into that structure. Of course, everyone's different, but I've found myself on numerous occasions floundering in an explanation wondering what a basic turn looks like. That information, when delivered first, saves me a lot of time and frustration.

--ElSoy
 
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