Learning

First time teach (Topic Discussion)

I have now spoken quite a bit about how to teach board games to people. Those articles were about teaching games that you have already played yourself and therefore know relatively well. However, when you buy a game, you will be faced with the difficult task of teaching the rules for the first time, before having played it yourself even once.

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We Can Play (Saturday Review)

From ancient times to the present day, women have never been recognised for their contributions to the world. Yet, throughout history, there have always been women who were strong leaders, who fought for better conditions and equal rights, and not just for themselves, who made significant scientific breakthroughs, were trendsetting artists and did everything their male contemporaries did. So it is time for all women around the world to say: We Can Play by Julia Johansson and Albert Pinilla by Julibert.

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Player aids (Topic Discussion)

Teaching a game isn’t easy and the same is true for learning. The teacher will do their best to explain everything and get everything right, but the first play of a game should always be chalked down to experience. Players should do what they can to help and expect mistakes to creep in. However, there are also things the game itself can do to make learning a new game easier, some of which will also help with playing the game again later.

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Implicit conventions (Topic Discussion)

The longer you have been part of the board game hobby, the more you are used to various terminology and conventions. You will also have become more accustomed to the way rulebooks describe games and how to read them to get the most out of them. However, if you’re still new to the hobby then some things may not be obvious. In this article, I want to look at some of these terms and conventions that won’t be familiar to people new to our hobby and also touch on whether rulebooks should be expected to describe them in more detail.

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The Metaverse (Topic Discussion)

Learning a new game, playing it for the first time, probably with a few rules mistakes, then playing it again, now with a better understanding of how the game works, then playing it once more, after having formulated a rough strategy and feeling you know what the game wants from you is a lot of fun. We’ve all experienced this, I’m sure, but there is another level to playing games that only becomes apparent after several plays. It is what is often called the “meta” of a game.

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Small and beautiful (Topic Discussion)

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know how much I like small box games. From wallet games to mini mint games to mint tin games to Oink-sized games to a deck of cards to any game that you can repackage into a smaller box and take with you anywhere. The other thing I like are games that are very quick to teach and learn and very quick to play, but still provide a lot of fun and excitement and many small box games provide exactly that. So in this article, I want to discuss why small and quick games are sometimes the better choice than big, heavy and long games.

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Kingdomino (Saturday Review)

Four mighty rulers compete to create the most wonderful dominion of them all. They stand proud at the top of their keep and survey the blank canvas of their lands below them. They want to create beautiful lakes full of fish to cater for many fishermen, large forests with mighty trees that will keep their many woodcutters supplied all year round, expansive meadows full of content sheep and happy farmers, giant fields bursting with healthy grain that hard-working millers will turn into flour in their many mills, expansive mines which overflow with precious ore and make the people rich and some wonderful swamp that… well… does something amazing too. Whoever creates the most productive realm will become the Kingdomino by Coiledspring Games.

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AireCon 2020 (Saturday Review)

It feels like a long time ago now, but thinking back to AireCon, which took place last month, still puts a smile on my face. It meant a long car journey for me, travelling over five hours from the South Coast all the way up to Harrogate in deepest Yorkshire. I started early, around 6am, on the Friday, because I was aiming to get there by lunchtime. I wanted to see a few people who were going to be there – one of my wonderful Patreon supporters, a game designer who I got chatting to on Twitter and who was demoing his new game at the event, a more established game designer who I was hoping to arrange an interview with, as well as the board game “celebrities” who had made their way from across the pond. It was going to be busy.

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Heavy Times (Topic Discussion)

Text and board games are inextricably linked. You find text in various places in every board game to a greater or lesser extent. I can’t think of any game that doesn’t have some text somewhere, but feel free to prove me wrong in the comments below. At the very least, there will be text on the box, stating where the game was made or what its player count is. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find games that are text-heavy. I want to look at the varying levels of use of text in modern board games.

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Tapestry (Takebacks)

Your tribe is sitting around the fire – a new invention that will prove to be the spark of great things to come, things that nobody can yet predict or even dream of. It feels like you have been here before though. The scene seems very familiar. The faces may be different and so is the location, but the warmth of the flames and the crackling of the embers trigger memories in you – memories of a bright future, memories of generations to come, of a civilization rising out of the plains and large structures reaching into the sky. Yet, something is different this time. It seems as if your tribe of Traders has an extra coin and an extra food in this more balanced version of Tapestry by Stonemaier Games.

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