What's the best way to ease your board game partner into a game you're already experiencined with.

by moudimash99. Posted on Jun 30, 2020    14    22

This question is more towards the heavier type of games, especially 2 player ones like war of the ring and twilight struggle (these are the ones I have played) . It's gonna take half a dozen full games for them to be able to be almost at par with you, and in those games you won't be able to play competitively. I know their are games that are quite dense that are beginner friendly but what if I like a game that rewards repetitive plays but no one Close to me is in that level yet.


Board-of-it 1

You could also do it in a lateral way of having them play a few different games. We've found that you get to a point where you've pretty much already seen some variation of each games mechanic in another game, so then even if two of us have played a specific heavy game more times, the others can more or less be competitive to an extent because they have seen the mechanics before.

It might be better than having them replay one game over and over till they are at your level, because it'll be the same problem when you try the next game.

zombiegojaejin 1

(Deep breath)


(Another deep breath)

What do experienced golfers do to have their less experienced friends play with them?

Do that. If you still win easily, then do it by MORE.

Welcome to handicaps, the board gamer's eternal solution in search of a problem.

Soylent_Hero 1

Be sure to pick the correct advice that sounds like it would best match your partner.

Everyone learns anything a little differently. The safest approach is to start with a simple game that teaches fundamentals. Like Star Realms, Sushi Go!, or Zombie Dice, maybe base Catan, for example. You can then start integrating those mechanisms into larger scale games.

  moudimash99 1

Ouhh they're already experiencined with heavy games, ww play spirit Island, Peurto rico, and Concordia

ChimpdenEarwicker 1

Play for style points. Try out weird strategies and make the fun of a game in putting yourself down a road that requires you executing a weird strategy to win.

Dont actively try not to win, just try to win on unusual terms (without being obnoxious about it).

[deleted] 1


conservation_bro 2

Just talk through their best options on their turn and explain the consequences of their choices and then let them make the decision.

flyliceplick 3

For TS, I would simply let them play as the US, give them a good handicap like +4 influence, and try some risky strategies.

MuzzaBzzuzza 1

Came here to point out a related factor - (@OP) don't make the newbie mistake of thinking you should play as the US when you teach them so they have the "easier" side.

Sure, the US has a rougher time of it in the early game... but only if the Soviets know what they're doing. Against a brand new soviet player, the US will likely win by turn 3, and the new player hasn't learned a damn thing.

GodotIsWaiting4U 1

I can’t imagine why anyone would think a newbie should have the USSR. The USSR starts strong but deteriorates, while the USA starts weak and builds — starting with a simple goal of “survive” while they learn the ropes so they can make use of their power in the late game is precisely what you want a newbie to have.

KiwasiGames 2

> and in those games you won't be able to play competitively

Screw being nice, play competitively from the start. The only way your opponent is going to learn good strategy is to see good strategy.

They should expect to be beaten soundly on the first few games. It makes the game where they finally do click and beat you that much better.

Mark5n 2

I think the key is not tell them how to win, but get them excited about the game so they find out how to win.

I used to play Netrunner competitively and my new friends getting into it would struggle. So I gave them the works on tempo, strategy, deck builds, resources etc

Suffice to say they didn’t come back. So... just don’t do that.

Brodogmillionaire1 2

These games are Grand Strategy games with a lot of sandbox gameplay. Meaning that since everything is at least kind of connected to victory, you can try out anything you want without sacrificing the unwritten rule that you're both "trying to win." You get to spend these early games experimenting with odd strategies while also using them as teachable moments. When I first play a deep strategy game against a novice, I like to run through the gamut of actions so that they get to see all of them firsthand.

Conversely you could handicap yourself by giving yourself a point differential at the outset or taking away some resources in the early game, etc.

Bass1stas 3
  1. Be sure that there is still the fun element and they enjoy the time spent as long as you play. So don't overload them with all the rules at once.
  2. Explain them that the first game will be purely a tutorial and that you will help them to understand it the best you can.
  3. If it has many rules, say only the core ones and as long as there is an opportunity or you notice that they have a great momentum, strike them with a new rule ON THEIR TURN - never on yours. The point is to make sure you want to help them - not to fool/ cheat them.
  4. Encourage them on every excellent move and explain what's wrong when they do a blunder.
  5. Let them win.
JenaMV 4

It sounds like you’re talking about several games in your collection and not one in particular? If so I’d suggest one that they’re highly interested in. Perhaps it has a mechanic they really like or a theme they think is cool. People put more effort into something they enjoy. I’m a special ed teacher for K-2 and I use this same philosophy for teaching my kids to read. If they love Dinos then they’re more likely to struggle through a book they find interesting than one that’s slightly easier but less interesting. Basically if you’re going to lose a lot then you better enjoy it :)

R_Not_Alone 9

Take a step back and play the role of tutor for a game or two. Teach them some simple strategies and some critical thinking within the game. Take the time to experiment with a few strategies you wouldn’t normally play with more experienced players.


Yes I thought about playing different Idea, though maybe that would give them a wrong idea per say of the usual actions. Maybe they're gonna be surprised when you start to play ur best game.

My idea is they start learning how to react to false scenarios

R_Not_Alone 2

The alternative, if that’s what you’re concerned about, is playing your usual strategies and having them learn that, but the nice thing to do as someone who is teaching someone a new game is to teach them valid counter moves.

Sounds like you’ll just want to play the role of tutor for a few games and show them “if I do this, then you’ll want to do that” and “now would be a good time to do this since I can’t do that” type strategies.

On deep games it’s ok to step back and just teach strategy without worrying about losing.

  moudimash99 1

Yeah I get what you're saying and you're right. It's a nice perspective to see how it might fun

pvtparts 12

Something I like to be careful about is to not be too heavy-handed in teaching them strategy/how to win. I find if I don't seed their mind with some of the stuff I assume/know is optimal, new players can often surprise you with strategies they pursue and the approach they come up with. And they will probably have more fun exploring the game, though that might depend on the player.

  moudimash99 1

That's a really good idea. To give them general advice like just facts but not strategy. Thanks alot

FabioFLX 4

This. I used to teach strategy beside rules, and this was ruining their experience all the times.

Now, I just teach the game and, when there is something like a false scenario, I just make them aware the case is particular. They will surely go wrong, but they will also learn the lesson and improve.

So, the first rule is don't play for them, and let them get wrong. Almost sure they will ask you to play again because the feel they're better, and that's a win-win.

DeathbyHappy 15

I usually slow down my turns and verbalize my reasoning for making the moves I did. The I follow that up with a couple vague suggestions related to possible counter play or ways the other person can press towards their own goal or win condition, backing off on suggestions as they get the hang of it.