I was commenting on a post in Enricos blog. It struck me...."How does that dude learn SO many games so well and so fast!"

So - dear exiles, Social members and players, how do you learn a new game?

Do you have a process?

I typically do the following:

  • read designer notes.
  • look at counters and maps and Victory Conditions.
  • d.load any and all cheat sheets I can find.
  • Read rules questions and CSW folder. looking for 1st timer questions.
  • read core rules making notes in margins. "." key rules and exceptions.
  • Sometimes- grab a scenario, walk thru a turn or two, very slowly usually rules referencing and marking up rules extensively.
  • Re read the rules.
  • Ask annoying questions on CSW and BGG.
  • Play campaign (or equivalent) correct and adjust along the way. Reset upon hard, or game changer errors.

My theory is I shall likely only ever get to a campaign once or a full game once. so get it right as much as possible the first time. I desire more games that allow you to focus on strategy and tactics and less on rules compliance.

What do you do?

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I skim the rules, and more or less fake it (which is pretty damned obvious if you see all the mistakes).

Strong case numbering, cross references,  and a good index, are very very valuable to picking something up during play.

Examples, especially extended ones, do me very little.

I've broken down and really tried to 'solve' some games (Empires in Arms, AWE ones) which

had some pretty big open questions - running as far as having an extended conversation with

one of the designers of La Grande Guerre to get questions answered (I believe it's still up at

web-Grognards) since I was an early adopter of the game.

I read the rules completely.  Next, I play the game.  Then I read the rules again and play it a second time (correcting all the rules mistakes I made in the first game).  On a game of medium complexity or higher, it's nearly impossible to get everything right "The first time".  Hence, reading the rules again after finishing the first game.

This is actually helpful for me. I am always "worried" about making mistakes. The reality is I should be comfortable with the mistakes and learn from them. Thanks for the perspective/tip David.

No problem!


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