Brief post today – I’m sitting here manning the Sunriver Games booth at BGG.CON and things are slow (too early, folks were gaming pretty late last night).
So yesterday I spent more time learning and teaching games than playing games. Funny thing is, I only taught Havoc once. I taught Siena, Antike (twice), and Railroad Dice 2. For Siena I did get to play most of the game, but had to leave before the final endgame banker bash.
I found myself wandering around the floor and seeing people picking up a game that I’ve played and obviously trying to learn from the rules. Peter Drayton (also here) was trying to figure out the shipping rules for RR Dice and I explained things then offered to teach him and three others how to play the game. I would have liked to play myself, but I really did enjoy just teaching the game. Side note: I had no idea Peter was a gamer. We met 3 or 4 years ago at one of Chris Sells’ XML DevCons, and he’s a very accomplished author.
It is so much easier to learn a game from a human being than from reading rules. Maybe I’m slow, but I had to read through the rules for Antike and Indonesia at least 5 or 6 times before it started to make sense. I think I need to rethink how I teach myself – most people that play wargames teach themselves by setting up the game and playing solitaire. For any medium to heavy-weight Euro game I think that’s also a good approach, as it greatly helps to see the pieces in action and build some context. There’s always that ah-ha moment when all of the mechanics click together, and I have hard time reaching that moment from just a rules reading.