Author Topic: Question for boardgamers  (Read 1063 times)

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Offline JudgeDredd

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Question for boardgamers
« on: April 11, 2018, 12:20:03 AM »
How do you get on with having so many games? There are so many rules to take in with one game, let alone, 10, 20, a hundred games. Particularly little nuances for each set of rules.

I'm getting on a bit and my short term memory is getting quite poor - so buying a new boardgame for me is a particularly large investment in time and so I don't buy board games very much.

Computer games aren't too bad - the AI takes alot of the work away and I can get a decent time from a game even if I suck at it because I don't understand all the mechanics of it.

But boardgames require much more dedication and in-depth understanding of the mechanisms.

So how do you get on with learning new rules and nuances within specific rules? Does it mean some games take a back seat or even never see the light of day again because a "better system" has appeared? Do you often waste money, finding out that not only is a game not better than one you've got, but actually worse? Also, what makes you say "It's your turn" when choosing which game to play?
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Offline bob48

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2018, 04:13:25 AM »
I've been playing board wargames for so many years now that I find that once I've learned and absorbed the rules I can usually pick it up again at a later date and only require a quick review of the rules. Once I start playing a game, with few exception, I usually get back into it fairly easily.

On the other hand, I don't have a vast collection these days, and the games I do buy tend to get a lot of playing time rather than just opened and stuck in a pile somewhere.
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Offline Barthheart

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2018, 05:34:25 AM »
I tend to buy games that belong to the same system so there are not many new rules to learn with new editions.
Also lots of games use similar ideas and game play mechanics that make it easier to lean and retain.
I've just recently picked up a couple of games that are hard for me to grasp and it's mostly because they are very different from what I'm used to...but to be honest I'm just not absorbing complex rules as well any more. The simpler games I've picked up are getting more play. I also can't seem to find the time to dedicate to learning new complex systems.
As much as I'm talking up the new 1985:Under an Iron Sky monster game and I'd love to get it I doubt I'd ever actually learn the damn thing and my game group would never play it.
As for the collection, I've got maybe 50-60 games. Some are my originals that got me into the hobby. They don't get played much but I can't part with them. Most of the rest get played when my group gets together or when the subject of the game comes up and interests me again.
Some of my collection I could definitely sell as they won't get much play as they just aren't for me... but I've a hard time to part with stuff....
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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 06:46:08 AM »
To be honest, JD, it's like exercise for the brain to jump from one game to another. Like Bob, I find it pretty easy to get back into a game I've played before, with a bit of rules referencing first.

The hard part for me is the first absorption of the game's rules and nuances, but once I have that down, I'm pretty good with keeping it in mind, fortunately. That said I have other short term memory issues myself - for one I'm really bad with names.

Offline mirth

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 07:07:18 AM »
Combination of reading the rules and playing multiple times. Usually by a third play of a game, I have a pretty good handle on the rules. Nothing helps you learn the rules more than a couple of painful losses :P

There are some games my group has been playing for 10 years and we routinely discover we've been misinterpreting a rule, sometimes with serious impact on game play. Our biggest problem is that we often think we know a rule without reading it closely.

As far as purchases, there have been very few games I have felt were a waste of money. These days games from GMT, Compass, MMP, etc are usually well play tested and the rules generally work. There may be certain mechanics I don't necessarily care for, but it doesn't mean the game is unplayable.

Deciding when a game makes it to the table usually depends on what I can get a buddy to play with me.
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Offline mirth

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2018, 07:10:50 AM »
As for the collection, I've got maybe 50-60 games. Some are my originals that got me into the hobby. They don't get played much but I can't part with them. Most of the rest get played when my group gets together or when the subject of the game comes up and interests me again.
Some of my collection I could definitely sell as they won't get much play as they just aren't for me... but I've a hard time to part with stuff....

Same here. I have not done a count recently, but my collection is well over 100 games. I'm not much for selling games and I know there are games I have that will never get played by me.  :crazy2:
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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Offline smittyohio

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2018, 10:49:25 AM »
My collection has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years, and I'm trying hard to rein in my purchases, with exceptions for games that I think are unique or exceptional.   I need to try to concentrate on playing fewer games, but more often, instead of constantly learning new ones.   For some games, re-learning is easy.   For others, it almost feels like learning it from scratch again.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2018, 10:57:03 AM »
There are some games my group has been playing for 10 years and we routinely discover we've been misinterpreting a rule, sometimes with serious impact on game play. Our biggest problem is that we often think we know a rule without reading it closely.

This is one of the greatest challenges, I think...thinking you're playing it correctly, or worse getting into a procedure you think is right, and then you reference something to find you're not actually doing it right.

Offline Nefaro

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 04:38:53 PM »
Also lots of games use similar ideas and game play mechanics that make it easier to lean and retain.

I've just recently picked up a couple of games that are hard for me to grasp and it's mostly because they are very different from what I'm used to...but to be honest I'm just not absorbing complex rules as well any more. The simpler games I've picked up are getting more play. I also can't seem to find the time to dedicate to learning new complex systems.

This.  Bart makes a point I'd like to reinforce.    O0


JD-

Once you've learned a few different games in a genre, you'll find most of them use very similar mechanics.  It becomes easier to follow the logic being used in the rules, so they become easier to learn.

I don't have the most difficulty learning games with big rulebooks and lots of rules, but in figuring out the unusual ones which break out of the normal mold.  The rules could be much smaller than others, but still take me longer to get locked into my thinkmeats simply because some of the major mechanical concepts seem alien to me.  It just takes time either way.

I guess the point is not to worry so much about the amount of rules, but understanding the mechanical concepts and how it's all intended to work together, as a whole.  You can always look up specific little rules while gaming, it's expected, but the first learning of a game is to understand the overall structure and flow.


I've begun to learn that it's easier to learn a new game by doing it at the gaming table.  With the pieces laid out while you're reading the manual.  You can even do the setup as you're reading, and possibly even start playing a learning session as you go if the rulebook is laid out by turn sequence. 

Some rulebooks are a bit of a mess and have the rules scattered, but you can still learn faster by visually associating what you read with the components all laid out.

Anyway.. as Bart and others have mentioned, it's like any other endeavor.  You get better with experience.  <:-)

Offline Nefaro

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2018, 04:43:37 PM »
There are some games my group has been playing for 10 years and we routinely discover we've been misinterpreting a rule, sometimes with serious impact on game play. Our biggest problem is that we often think we know a rule without reading it closely.

This is one of the greatest challenges, I think...thinking you're playing it correctly, or worse getting into a procedure you think is right, and then you reference something to find you're not actually doing it right.

Something I've been very grateful of, in the online tabletop community, is the preponderance of user-created 'cheat sheets' people upload to BGG.

I regularly look for such rules cheat sheets to download and print off for new games I'm getting ready to play.  Those rules summaries often boil it down to the essential crunch, in the form of a couple pages, and ditches the extra wordy bits, examples, reiterations, etc that clutter a rulebook. 

Makes it easier to get it all right & memorized, using such condensed versions.

Offline mirth

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 04:48:51 PM »
I've begun to learn that it's easier to learn a new game by doing it at the gaming table.  With the pieces laid out while you're reading the manual.  You can even do the setup as you're reading, and possibly even start playing a learning session as you go if the rulebook is laid out by turn sequence. 

Some rulebooks are a bit of a mess and have the rules scattered, but you can still learn faster by visually associating what you read with the components all laid out.

This. I enjoy reading through rules, but I learn best when the game is front of me. Many games now include specific tutorial scenarios designed to teach a specific aspect of the game. Many times the tutorials are designed to lead you into a larger scenario or campaign. It's a great way to learn the rules while playing.
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Offline JudgeDredd

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2018, 03:08:19 AM »
Excellent. Thanks lads.

Some very interesting ideas here and I'd not thought about those condensed versions of rules...so may look for those.

Unfortunately my gaming table is my modelling table and, on top of that, isn't out all the time...so managing time for games is tricky, modelling being my immediate go to passion.

I was asking the questions for a couple of reasons really...

1. I'm getting pretty poor at retaining information, so the idea of buying more games, which is appealing, seems daunting

2. I've been kind of put off with games like Lock and Load where the rule books are not as clearly laid out as, say, DVG games.

My first jump back into boardgaming was actually Conflict of Heroes and the rule book was a masterpiece and very easy to pick up and follow, with great examples, tutorial, sections and - more importantly - design notes on why a rule was implemented in such a way which hugely helps to remove any double meaning or interpretation you may be thinking about.

My next game after that was DVG and Phantom Leader which again was well laid out with a great example scenario.

After that I met LnL and I may be being unkind here, but the rules really stumped me. As it is, I have several of their games now (including the Heroes of the Falklands and Vietnam) which I'd love to get into but I'm put off by my memory of the rule books

I wish I could give board games more time. I've said this before - I should probably make the most of the good light months for my modelling and then move onto board gaming in the winter months.
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Offline mirth

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2018, 04:03:48 AM »
LnL rules can be tough. The games are generally not complex, but I often find the rules poorly written and poorly organized.
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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Offline JudgeDredd

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2018, 04:23:49 AM »
I so want to learn their games though because they are very interesting to me...though I do find the armour hits/rolls/checks/etc very daunting.

I have a tendency to over think things - so there's also that. Add that to ambiguous rules and bingo - pack the game up  O0

Another system I really liked and though was well written was the Combat Commander Europe game. The rules, iirc, seemed very easy to pick up. I know some people didn't like it because you had the constraints of the cards on what actions you could perform, but I quite liked that aspect...particularly for solitaire play

I should visit BGG more.
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Offline mirth

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Re: Question for boardgamers
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2018, 04:27:27 AM »
I should visit BGG more.

BGG is your friend  O0
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

"Can’t ‘un’ until you ‘pre’, son." - Gus