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Mycelia Board Game Review

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Outback Crossing Review

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Teaching Games: Teach-As-You-Go

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08 Feb 2022 00:00 #330561 by oliverkinne
First of all, let me say that this style of...

I have mentioned it on this blog before, but my favourite way of being taught a new game is by diving right in. Teach me only the absolute minimum, just so I roughly know what sort of game we're playing and get an outline of what I'm trying to achieve and then let me start taking my turn. It's the sort of style of teaching that Paul Grogan of Gaming Rules advocates and it's probably the best option for demoing a game at a convention as well.

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08 Feb 2022 11:04 #330562 by Jackwraith
Good piece. I certainly don't mind if people want to learn that way, but I lean away from the "let's just dive right in" approach. There's a player in my (currently only) regular group who starts to insist on that approach after a few minutes of my normal explanation ("OK. Let's just get going.") who is also the one who complains most prominently when it comes up later that his whole strategy may be disrupted by a rule he didn't know. That's the point where I usually say: "You would've known that if..."

But it also depends on the game. We could probably do a "dive right in" on something like 51st State, as the game tends to grow around you and few moves are so problematic that they'll bury you for making them or not doing so. There's no way I could teach something like Pax Pamir in that way, though. Players would be clueless and totally skewing the game with every card they tried to buy and would have an utterly negative experience with it; probably from me winning on round 3 at the first dominance check because I was six points ahead, if not more.

Might be interesting to go through my pile and see what could be taught in that manner and what couldn't, though.

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08 Feb 2022 11:26 #330564 by Shellhead
My dad got me into board games at an early age, and he was a strong believer in teach-as-you-go. It was fine for some games and unreasonable for others. Now that I am the one who is constantly teaching people how to play games, I find that teach-as-you-go is an excellent approach for a co-op game. But if there is any competitive element to a game, I start with a brief summary of setting/theme, emphasize the victory conditions, talk about how to win (in broad strokes), and then break down a single turn. If anybody looks uncertain at that point, I run the table through a couple of complete turns, then start over for a real game.
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08 Feb 2022 12:40 #330571 by Msample
I am much more of a "lets dive right in" approach BUT I am very tolerant of missed rules, etc. The more time spent explaining, the less time spent gaming in most cases. Sure you need some explanation, but depending on the game, play aids, past experience, etc can go a long way. The analogy I used is test driving a car. Some people want to spend an hour sitting in the drivers seat ( ie looking at every button etc ) whereas others like myself want to get it out on the highway.

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