Fair play – Teaching boardgames to newbies

I’ve been playing a lot of new games lately with my newly acquired love of all things “boardgame” and as part of that experience there are a lot of games I have to learn. Now, there are a few ways to learn how to play a board game, but because of the nature of the play experience (i.e. -mostly in person with other people) I tend to lean towards the learning style of in person as well. I know you can go online to learn the games through video and step-by-step instructions, or even on forums (like Board Game Geek) but I feel it’s hard to ask questions about the game play and overall rules clarification through those other mediums. Plus, being able to have a quick walk-through with game in person really can clear a lot of things up.

Which brings me to the issue I see with learning games from certain players.

For simple games like Splendor, I find there’s not much to teaching the game or playing it. It has a simple rule set and can be taught in mins, even if you want to give players possible strategies to get them going, it’s not going to take long to teach and a player (even one very new to playing board games) will catch hold of the nuances quick enough to make it enjoyable for all.

For more complicated games like Bruxles, Brass, Scythe, or one I just recently played called “Tzolk’in” these will take more time to teach without a doubt. Worker placement and 4X type games can and will be demanding on the players for rules and objectives. But fun, don’t get me wrong – a lot of fun strategizing and plotting. Still there’s a lot to teach, so I get it’s a time investment for the host of the game. All that said, I’ve begun to see a pattern with certain players to teach these kinds of games to do all the basics of teaching without ever giving a hint to the kinds of strategy a new player can implement to be competitive in the game.

They would go through the process of


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