I got together with one of my Eve buddies (who lives in town, instead of half way around the planet, for once) for board games this week.
"So - you said you had not played board games in a while, what sort have you played?" "Uh, I used to play Risk as a kid, and Monopoly... but I'm down for learning new things, I'm a clever monkey"
I figured Theme would be a good thing, so he could ignore the mechanics a bit. By the time he had managed to find me in the bookstore where we were meeting (I got a nice book on the history of Flappers and a cheesy spaceship sci fi novel!) and food, it was quarter to 8. I had actually been thinking Runebound, or Moto Grand Prix - but since I had not really brushed up on the rules much, I ended up going for Galaxy Trucker.
There is a big difference between playing a game, even the 2nd or 3rd time, with someone who knows the game, and trying to explain something to someone completely unfamiliar with the standard bits. It's good demo practice to get a victim who is a blank slate, you don't find yourself comparing mechanics or assuming stuff.
We played through the training game with 8 cards to show the basic types of encounters, after building our tiny ships. There was one illegal join, which I pointted out and let slide. (In this game, you build your ship out of modules). That passed, we moved to a bigger ship, and he kind of got schooled because he did not build enough storage. The third game, was a great exercise in 'Watch a third of Thaadd's ship break off with 2 meteor hits' I can just picture my cute little astronaut looking out the rear view mirror to see almost a whole ships worth of parts left in the dust. I let him finish his ship after the time ran out too, sometimes helping, as he seemed to have a bit of a problem visualizing the modules.
Of the local internet spaceship nerds, there is a crew that are already playing Arkham (and pestering me about Android) and I want to try to get this new one up to speed so I can get a regular crew together. The guy from last night is a huge BSG nerd too, and wanting to try that. I also like the idea of dragging gamers I know via the interwebs face to face and socializing that way. We all have stuff in common, despite our relative differences in occupation and sometimes age. I am finding myself more and more wishing there was a better way to get some sort of play by webcam? something way for my friends who live in other countries to play. We're tossing around the idea of voice-over-IP RPGing. We already use the website 'Stickam' for web camera chatting some evenings. (Stickam is very NWS for browsing though, be warned.) Part of what makes me love boardgames is the face to face aspect - but some of the faces persist on having citizenship in other countries! There should be some happy medium....