Learning a Game
Posted by sodaklady on March 17, 2007
When my kids were in high school, they took a test to determine how they learn. There are three main ways: visual, auditory and kinesthetic, although Wikipedia also includes reading/writing. This information is then used to suggest appropriate occupations for the future wage-earner. This was a new idea to me ten or so years ago and I thought it was pretty interesting; I still do or it wouldn’t be stored in my memory! A couple of good sites for more information are The Learning Curve and Learning Styles.
This brings me to the subject of learning new game rules. Like many of you, I’m generally the rules reader and explainer, a weighty responsibility which I’m still working to improve. What I’ve discovered is that the best way for me to retain rules, unless the game is very simple, is to write down the salient points in an order that is logical to my mind. This is especially helpful in reminding me of all the rules since I am in the habit of forgetting something until it comes up and then interrupting play with, “Oh, yeah, you can also….” Very annoying to the new players and something that I am often teased about when I’m teaching a new game.
So with all that said, why did I think that a simple twice-reading of the rules to something as complex as Combat Commander: Europe would suffice?! I still had only a rudimentary understanding of the game in the vein of “You play an Orders and then we can both play Actions after each one, then I play an Orders and we can both play Actions after each one.” Right, that sums it up! I had no idea of where to start to teach this to my husband. Oh, I could get him to read the rules himself…*stops to laugh*. That’s only happened once and it was after we’d played a couple of games of Command & Colors: Ancients.
I finally sat down with pen and paper yesterday to go through the rules once more, writing down the main points that I need to explain to get the game going and all of the finer rules that are often forgotten (or so says experienced players in a thread on the geek). Between this list and the start-up sample game in the back of the scenario booklet, I think I’m finally ready to teach this game to my husband.
This re-writing of the rules isn’t something I’ve ever heard about before and I wonder if I’m the only one. Does everyone else just open the rules and start explaining, even for a complex set of rules? Do you play the game several times solo until everything comes easily and naturally? Do you just start playing with a basic explanation, referring to the rules constantly?
This entry was posted on March 17, 2007 at 7:44 am and is filed under Game-related Thoughts, New Game. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.