Markku Jaatinen
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EDIT: Check this thread for the updated PDF version of this guide
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/99969
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Hello everybody!

As part of the my board gaming hobby I have been writing network gaming guides and instructions for the Finnish Board Game Society. Because BrettspielWelt (or BSW as we also call it) is quite central place to play good board games I spent some time in writing a Finnish BSW player guide. Since some parts of that might be useful to fellow players here I thought to put the text here in few parts. The original Finnish guide (http://www.lautapeliseura.fi/Tiedostot/BSW-opas.pdf) is in PDF format with pictures but from this forum version I dropped the pictures off. I might create an English version later on but we'll see. English is not my native language so .. well, be patient.

This text is partially based on the English tutorials and translations our BSW hero Boomer with fellow BSW players have created and made available on the excellent website: http://www.brettspielwelt.info/. Kudos to his ground-breaking work to bring BrettspielWelt to us non-Germans. Equally similar praise is in place for all the hardworking persons behind the whole BrettspielWelt concept. Without you there wouldn’t be too much to write about!

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know. That way I can correct and change text to serve everybody here. After all this is just one players idea of things and how they seem to work.

But enough of that and let’s get started. This first part is all about registering and get going with BSW.


1. Introduction

BrettspielWelt (Boardgameworld in English) is a German board game website/game server in the Internet. The address of BrettspielWelt is www.brettspielwelt.de. You can switch the language into English on the front page but when you play you often meet German players and see German discussion. Don’t be discouraged by this, it’s very easy to get along with board gamers from other countries.

BrettspielWelt is a very important service to a any board gamer because:
• It’s easy to register and you can play for free
• BSW offers THE best selection of well-known board games in a network playable format.
• You can find co-players at all times in BSW.
• Within BSW there is a very active community for board gamers (around medieval city theme) that offers new friends and help & company for playing.

The user interface of BrettspielWelt might seem confusing in the beginning but with very little practice and by reading this guide you will be playing with ease soon. In addition to this text you can find more English documentation and instructions here: www.brettspielwelt.info. If you play board games in Finland (as I do) you can follow network gaming related discussion (in Finnish) in our forum http://www.lautapeliseura.fi/foorumi/.

The reason to learn how to use BSW can be found here. Check this list of board games!
http://www.brettspielwelt.de/gate/jsp/base/enter.jsp?nation=...

2. How to register

Before gaming it makes sense to register into BrettspielWelt server. You can try gaming with unregistered nickname and password but registering is worthwhile because:
• Registering doesn’t cost anything and requires very little personal information about you
• It’s easy to register and you can tweak personal messages for yourself
• All games you play will be registered to you nickname and with the points you will go up in player levels and get more commands you can use in BSW.
• Playing with a shared network connection (computers use so called private IP addresses / NAT) does not work without registered user accounts.

Start the registration from this address http://www.brettspielwelt.de. Click the proper flag (Union Jack) to switch the pages to English.

Click next the Register button on the first page to start the registration. Because you do not have a nickname and password yet, press Not a Member of BrettspielWelt? link in the bottom of the window.

Registration page from the BSW’s Community section opens. The information in the upper part of the page is mandatory. Choose a title for yourself and after that type in the nickname you want to use in BrettspielWelt. Type a suitable password 2 times. Put a working e-mail address to eMail field. In practice this is needed very seldom and you can choose not to show it to other users if you like. The last mandatory information is the date of your birth (note the format!).

Next there is some voluntary information which you can fill in if you like. It probably makes sense to add in at least your country information. That way other players can see your location and have a right attitude to your language skills.

In the last part you can adjust messages that are shown after your nickname when you log in and out from the BrettspielWelt game server. Teleport In and Out messages are shown when you enter or exit a game room. Messages are appended directly after your nickname so add a space before the text so that it is properly separated from your nickname. The last information (personal statements) is shown after your player statistics when users are e.g. checking your information with /info command.

When you press Submit your new user account is registered to BrettspielWelt server. If you notice that nickname you wanted was registered or there was a problem with your data, fix it and try again. Later on you can adjust your information by pressing Register on the BSW front page. Go then to Community section and choose Registration. You should see your information already filled in. Make the changes you like and press Submit to store changes.

3. How to connect to BrettspielWelt

You need a computer and a working Internet connection to play in BrettspielWelt. Playing happens using your browser or a separate BrettspielWelt client program (BSW players talk simply about client). All games in BSW are programmed using Java language so you need to have Java support installed on your computer. If necessary, you can install Java from this address using Download link www.java.com. You don’t need a specific operating system or a browser so long as Java support is installed and works properly.

In this example we will play using a browser interface. You can find more information about the separate BSW client later on. Playing starts by switching interface to English and then pressing Play button on the front page of http://www.brettspielwelt.de. Your browser starts the Java support and retrieves the gaming interface. In the meanwhile it asks our nickname and password.

Type your nickname into Name field and your password to Passwort field. Sound on/off lets you choose whether you hear the sound effects from the games or not. Typically it makes sense to keep the sound on so that notice the changes in taking turns not only by seeing but also by sound. Note! On the first time it takes longer to start the playing system because you computer loads game components from the server.

If you chose English as your default language the first thing you will see on BrettspielWelt is the home city of English players, Englishtown. BrettspielWelt is organized around the theme of medieval cities and player communities form their own towns. There are houses in the towns and within those houses the rooms where all games in BSW run. There is no need to know more about the town theme if you want to just play board games. The majority of players in BSW play board games without belonging to any specific town. If you are interested more about the communities and towns, check later discussion on towns.

On the top of the game window is a toolbar that gives a shortcut to the most used game commands. On the bottom of the windows is a grey message field that shows messages from system and other users. In the start it shows messaage of the day text and a notion that you logged in. In the very bottom of the window is a command line for typing in messages to other users and giving BSW game commands that start with /. The /manager command for example would move your player character to the Game Manager window.

Note! You can find information about list of command line commands of BSW here: http://www.brettspielwelt.info/tutorial/commands.html

You can adjust the size of the game window on your screen but it is a good idea to maintain the proportions of the window so that you see at least a couple lines of the messages in window.

In the top of the gaming window is a toolbar that offers you a shortcut to some of the BSW commands. The rest of the commands are typed in using the command line. Buttons in the toolbar are:

• News: Shows news from BSW administrators and guilds.
• Game: From Game you can join into games, start a game and reset a game. If the game offers options or expansions these can typically be activated from the game menu too. Note! If you press the downward arrow next to Game button you get quicklist of all game commands. You can close the Game Wizard window by pressing the red button in the right top corner of the window. You can give all these commands from the command line too if you like.
• GamePartner: Shows the invitations to starting games and link to Game Manager you can use to choose the game you would like to play.
• Info: Shows information about the gamers in the same room. You can use command /info from the command line to check player info too.
• Room: Show the players that are currently in this room.
• Channel: Shows the chat channels of BSW.
• Help: Opens help window.

After login you probably see chat windows opening to your screen. Windows like #SPV show discussion gamers are having and invitations to come to play with them. Discussion in the window might be in German or some other language. At this point you can move this window so that it does not disturb you learning.
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