Sunday, January 4, 2009

Teaching Games – Can you help me?

I was really intrigued by a BGG thread I read yesterday on teaching games.  Certainly not the first thread on the subject, and I know it is something that comes up as an issue quite a lot.  I am generally the game guru in the circles where I most often game.  I certainly am the one with the largest game collection.  It often falls to me to teach new games.  I am OK at it, but it seems I am forever forgetting some of the rules, or worse I get them just plain wrong.

I thought I would try and better organize some notes on games, and keep them handy for the times when I do need to teach some games.  Here is where I need your help.  Below is a general outline of what I want to write down for each game.  Leave me a comment if you think I have the right mix of items.  Anything on there not needed?  Anything I have left off?

My hope is that I could hand one of these sheets around to each player before the game, and walk through it with them.  I will put this online so that I can send it to people for review before a planned session as well.

30 Second Overview

This would be just a simple overview of the game to setup both the genre and theme as well as the general type of game.

Goal of the Game

This is the victory conditions, and a reinforcement of the type of game.  In Carcassonne I might say that  your goal is to place tiles and your meeples in the best way to score points from the roads, cities, monasteries and fields.  It is important here to also set out what triggers the games end.

Core Mechanic

Describe the type of things players will do on a turn.  Placing tiles, placing meeples, rolling dice.  Describing how tiles can be placed in Carcassonne would not go here.

Turn Order

This takes the core mechanic and describes what each player will do on a turn.  I would imagine that for most games I would copy and paste this from the rules.

Components Demonstration

Here is where I would show each of the components and how they can and should be used in the game.  In Race for the Galaxy, I would grab out one of each card type, show it to everyone and explain what it means.

Special Rules & Situations

This is where the confusing game bits go.  These are the rules I often forget, or that require extra explanation.  Each item will include the page number in the rulebook as well as any notes I want to make.

Basic Strategy

Some rules list it, others I can get from BGG.  I will include links where I can for those reading online.

Learn from Experience

This is just a place for me to write down what I have learned about the game as I have played it.  If we did something wrong, I will write it here so I don’t do it wrong again.

What do you think?  Sound good?  Sound complete?  What is missing?  I know that things like this do already exist, but I think that it will help me a lot to actually write these.

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