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Subject: Type of outline and approach u prefer in teaching games? rss

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I find myself for the typical lightweight to mid-weight eurogame level complexity of games, I tend to provide an outline/overview ("50,000 ft high above the earth view"), then go into more and more details ("500 ft above the earth view"), so more like covering topics in-breadth first than going in-depth first.
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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We just play out a few turns, usually almost half a game, then stop and re-start again.
 
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Clement Tey
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I begin with the end in mind. For instance, Dominion, I tell them that the way to win is to garner the most Victory Points. Then I give them the turn breakdown and we're good to go. I also add that they should feel free to ask whenever they don't understand what a card does.
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Christian Holmes
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I had kind of developed my own order of teaching, but the "how to play" podcast seems to have read my mind, and refined it to a science. Check them out.
 
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Paul Evans
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I always start by explaining what defines a victory; and then work backwards. sp typically:
- This/these is what constituets a win
- This/these are what determine the game is over
- This is how you accumulate the victory condition
- These are the mechanics of how to accumulate

Then I may give basic stragety concepts.

Finally we play one/two open rounds.

Then we restart properly.
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Kan D
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Quite the same here:
*First and what others doesn't seem to do, I speak about the theme of the game ("Once upon a time there where a king that wanted to build a big castle..."), even if the theme is pasted on, it helps the players getting into the game.

*Goal of the game ("most victory points win")

*How you reach that goal ("you can get victory points by building huts or getting civilization cards")

*general phases of a game turn ("First everybody put his workers, then we resolve the actions following that road")

*What do I do when it's my turn? What are the possible actions i can perform? In this part comes the most important rules. ("On your turn u can play an action card then u can buy one card, then you discard your hand and draw 5 cards")

* Game end

I rarely give strategic advices because i think it's part of the game to discover those by yourself (except for certain games, where you can have a hard time if u missed something :"Beware of that provost!!!!")

I give lots of examples when i explain, so we usually never play open rounds.
Plus i often adds some minor rules during game play in order not to give too much information at the begging, so as the players don't feel overwhelmed or lost(this depends mostly on who I am teaching the game and how heavy is the game)
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Steven Backues
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I start by asking the new players what sort of explanation they prefer - how much detail they want, with or without examples, and whether or not they want any strategy advice. I have found that preferences differ on all of these points.

Then, depending on the game and the preferences of the players, I will do something similar to what some of the others have outlined (start with goal and overview, then the basic mechanics, then various exceptions). But I try to tailor the explanation both to the game (for example, in some games there are some elements that really don't need to be explained until halfway through the game) and to the players (some players have to know everything up front; others don't sweat the details and just want to get going).
 
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GeekInsight
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This is my step by step (with Dominion as an example!)

1: Introduce Theme
- In Dominion, we are lords adding to our kingdoms (OK, so a theme for dominion is a stretch).
2: Introduce Victory Conditions
- You win by having the most points in your deck at the end of the game
3: Go through an example turn, go over each phase
- (Discussion of Action, Buy, Cleanup, and deck shuffling)
4: Brief Strategy Overview
- (thin decks are better, buying more coins or actions, victory points are dead draws so don't worry about them at first, etc.)
5: Any Questions?
- Answer anything specific.

Throughout gameplay, remind players that it is a learning game. So I reassure them that they shouldn't be upset if they don't win. No one expects a win on their first game when they are playing more experienced players. Also, if a new player is unfamiliar, I will often give him some advice (though less as the game goes on - like training wheels coming off) even if that advice is to attack me.
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GeekInsight
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Also, I think its critical to keep the rules as brief as possible (without omitting anything). Even the eyes of experienced gamers can start to glaze over after 30 minutes or more of rules explanation.
 
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Brian Schroth
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definitely an overview, followed by the victory conditions, followed by a sample turn.

My personal preference is to dive right in ASAP, but some people really want to know every last detail, so it depends on the crowd. I think it's helpful to try to play through a round and then start over.
 
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MyParadox wrote:
Also, I think its critical to keep the rules as brief as possible (without omitting anything). Even the eyes of experienced gamers can start to glaze over after 30 minutes or more of rules explanation.
Not bad... the benchmarks I have on "non-gamers" go to the 10-15 minute mark.
 
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Pater Absurdus
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This is my basic outline:
1. Theme (use this to briefly explain the games basics)
2. Components 101
3. Win Conditions 101
4. End Game conditions 101
5. Basic Gameplay and how it interacts with components, end game, and winning 101
6. Common strategy mistakes
7. Good strategy tips
8. Important things to remember and brief review
 
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