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Author Topic: Keeping your friends  (Read 6188 times)

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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2012, 04:26:32 pm »
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Two things.

1. DO NOT TEACH YOUR FRIENDS DOMINION. Ignore advice above that asks you to. When I'm learning a new game the last thing I want is a master player yammering at me about engines and BM and greening phases and cantrips. Stick to clarifying the rules WHERE THERE IS CONFUSION and answering tactical questions WHEN THEY ARE ASKED.  When they open with Estate, bite your tongue. Bite it OFF if you have to.

2. Handicap yourself, then play to win. My favorite way of handicapping is to simply skip a turn every x turns. Have x start at 2, then increase it slowly as friends learn (by thinking for themselves, learning from their mistakes, and watching your plays, not by being lectured at).

I agree. Don't talk strategy when teaching someone Dominion. That comes later. I also agree about opening Estate. I think I did that a couple of times, maybe more. It is better for the other players to make mistakes and learn. They will still enjoy the game even if they are far behind.
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zporiri

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2012, 04:28:16 pm »
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try doing what geronimoo suggests in this article. play with the "first game" set from base and play smithy big money, then play it again and do the engine.

http://dominionstrategy.com/2012/07/30/building-the-first-game-engine/
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Ozle

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2012, 04:29:43 pm »
+1

You get better by playing the game and watching someone do the 'right' things.

When they moan about having too many dead cards they cant play in thier hands, you point out that they might not want so mean 'non-action' cards
And so on.

I have taught 5 people from scratch now, and while they are not up to my level, they certainly good enough to win a fair amount of games.

Just play normally, with the base sets, and then when you plan, explain why you are doing things.
'im tashing all these rubbish cards so i can get to my better cards more frequently'
'im buying a second witch so i can give out curses quicker'
'im overpaying for this silver because my deck is short on money and i dont want too many terminals'
'im not buying that province this turn because id rather buy more money/actions as otherwise it will slow me down'
And so on.

Playing sub optimally wont teach them the right way to play, they will think what they are doing is close to what you are doing if they come close to winning, and so wont try to find what they are doing wrong
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Hockey Mask

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2012, 11:11:16 am »
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Don't choose the cards.  You already have an advantage by knowing the game.  Picking the cards and you're already picking favorites and thinking strategy before anyone else.  Go random and go in blindly with them.
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Kuildeous

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2012, 11:17:48 am »
+1

Don't choose the cards.  You already have an advantage by knowing the game.  Picking the cards and you're already picking favorites and thinking strategy before anyone else.  Go random and go in blindly with them.

I can't agree with that just because some cards are not that newbie-friendly. I only need to point to Dark Ages for illustration.

Also, some cards can turn off newbies. Witches and Mountebanks, for example.

Besides, if you're a skilled Dominion player, then you're going to know all the cards anyway and can whip up a good strategy that'll trounce the newbies. A random configuration won't be a handicap for you, and you run the risk of souring the game for someone else.
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wrathofmine

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2012, 12:59:23 pm »
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Don't choose the cards.  You already have an advantage by knowing the game.  Picking the cards and you're already picking favorites and thinking strategy before anyone else.  Go random and go in blindly with them.

I can't agree with that just because some cards are not that newbie-friendly. I only need to point to Dark Ages for illustration.

Also, some cards can turn off newbies. Witches and Mountebanks, for example.

Besides, if you're a skilled Dominion player, then you're going to know all the cards anyway and can whip up a good strategy that'll trounce the newbies. A random configuration won't be a handicap for you, and you run the risk of souring the game for someone else.


To avoid that I take all the randomizers and look one card at a time. And I see if it fits on the board, if it's too complicated etc... When I have a card like mountebank in hand "hey look at that, believe me you don't want to try it now"
It permit to have a game somehow random but with no hard cards. And I remember a game where we had Harvest, Lighthouse and Bank: not too complicated and you can explain what are the expansions themes.

My priorities for the first game are :
- easy to play/understand cards
- some expansions variety
- no powerhouse combo "oh what a shame you didn't see the KC/Wharf/Goons combo, sorry for you"
- no obvious alternate way to game than province buys. And I explain dominion is so rich, that's not the best way to win on every game
- at least one attack but no curser (except jester), no pirate ship and no ghost ship

And I only explain a little strategy things:
- the too many terminal thing if an opponent goes that way
- if he wants to buy the first province I tell him "it can be a good idea to fasten the tempo of the game, but are you sure you want to do that ? you are the best to know if you have 8$ by luck or if you deck is able to do that regularly".

I always try to play optimal, I don't want my opponent to think Dominion has no learning curve, and I remember my first games when I saw my opponent draw his deck and I was like "I need to be able to do that one day"

For the moment nearly everyone called my one week after "hey I bought the base game, (what's the point of chancellor ?)". I think that prooves it's a good way to learn.
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Kahryl

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2012, 01:16:09 pm »
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Actually I think Dark Ages is pretty newbie friendly. We see DA as complicated because we think "gosh, Ruins! Trash interaction! New opening decks! This changes everything!" Yeah, it forces veterans out of the super-comfortable zone they knew, but newbies will have no such problem - they weren't in a comfortable zone to begin with.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2012, 01:23:00 pm »
+2

Actually I think Dark Ages is pretty newbie friendly. We see DA as complicated because we think "gosh, Ruins! Trash interaction! New opening decks! This changes everything!" Yeah, it forces veterans out of the super-comfortable zone they knew, but newbies will have no such problem - they weren't in a comfortable zone to begin with.

I disagree.  There are lots of interactions that are not quite intuitive, as far as what happens when.  This is the expansion where the Lose Track rule finally had to be included in the official rule book.  DA is the crazy combos expansion, and newbies should really learn the basics before they start trying to piece together crazy combos.
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Octo

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2012, 06:41:47 pm »
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Yeah, in their early games people still miss details like the difference between remodel and upgrade ('up to' and 'exactly'). Even once they've got what all the cards do nailed, they still need to figure out what the cards are for if you see what I mean. Playing with Dark Ages with new players would just involve too many rules clarifications. Things that you've forgotten like how at first you would just throw all your money down - trying to explain to new players that you have to play your money (when you first use Bank for example), but also that it's not an action - that kind of stuff gets complicated.

One suggestion I often use is keeping the kingdom the same, and just letting them pick out 2 or 3 cards they want to swap out that they didn't like or that felt dominated the game. I also definitely curate the kingdom to make it work too. Cards like masquerade are great for newbies, but I find duration cards etc. not so much as they continually clear them away by accident. Cursers are okay, but heavy cursing can be really off-putting. I think I tend to go easy on the attacks with new players because having your deck pinned down repeatedly can be really un-fun (even for experienced players actually).
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 06:43:22 pm by Octo »
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Tdog

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2012, 06:42:45 pm »
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People like treasure map. Lots of em.
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wrathofmine

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2012, 02:48:24 am »
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Cursers are okay, but heavy cursing can be really off-putting. I think I tend to go easy on the attacks with new players because having your deck pinned down repeatedly can be really un-fun (even for experienced players actually).

I remember the first day I played dominion, after a fey games my opponent added the Witch, he did'nt know we only have 10 curses for 2 players. He managed to do a village/witch/moneylender engine against my beginner's deck. 24 curses in my deck... it was definitely not fun.
That's only after I read the rules that I wanted to let a second chance to the game.
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Rhombus

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2012, 03:59:39 am »
+1

To echo a bit from above:

Always start with the recommended first game.  Now, when I first started, playing the first game once was enough - I instantly understood most of the combos.  Playing the same setup was terribly boring the 2nd time (and Dominion was my first deck builder).

It depends who you're explaining to.  With some people, explain big money, terminal actions, terminal draw, cantrips, villages, and engines (after you've played the first game).  With others, introduce each concept slowly and show by demonstration.

Once you've played 2 or 3 recommended game setups, do randoms.  As you play, discuss board strategy.  "I'm thinking of opening Smithy/Silver, because I see village on the board, and a Smithy engine appears to be the best strategy.  I'm going to end up purchasing another Smithy and more villages, then perhaps more Smithies and Villages and then some money.  In the middle I'll purchase a Market or two so I can buy multiple cards on the same turn with the +buy."  Explain things like "I notice Sea Hag on the board, which is typically considered the strongest $4 card, so I think I will open with that.  Lookout is also on the board, which is a very strong counter because ..."  I've never played with any sort of handicap.

Then they'll ask questions for the next handful of games and rules questions will arise every once in a while, but now you have a new Dominion player!  The most frustrating thing to me is explaining to a player why their weaker strategy beat your stronger strategy due to the shuffle luck and/or probability that they can't comprehend.
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Asklepios

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2012, 05:27:12 am »
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Unfortunately my RL friends won't play Dominion with me anymore, as I win almost every game against them. This would bother me more if I owned the game, but actually its a friend of mine who owns it and every expansion before Hinterlands.

I've only offered them strategy advice when they've asked for it, and I've pointed them in the direction of dominionstrategy.com. Unfortunately, their philosophy is that "if you analyse a game too much you take the fun out of it." They are in no way interested in knowing how many points they've scored so far, nor even how many provinces are left in the pile. They just want to have fun buying cards that sound interesting, and seeing what happens. Even with the full knowledge that 2 Smithys + Big Money is stronger than a Village Idiot deck, they'll play the Village Idiot deck because "playing villages is fun, because I get a longer turn".

Thats all fine, except when I play, I play to win, and I enjoy mastering the game as best as I am able towards that goal.

The weird thing is they're quite keen to master other games, just not Dominion, which they regard as a fun beer-and-pretzels game, and not a strategy game.

Gaming with them isn't a problem - we game regularly playing a lot of other stuff. They just won't play Dominion with me.
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Octo

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Re: Keeping your friends
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2012, 06:24:59 am »
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Hm, yeah, that IS weird - with Dominion it very quickly seems apparent (to me at least) that it's a deep, skillful game - there's clearly powerful combos lurking all over the place that you just can't see yet, you have lots of control over your deck, and there's the space for wildly divergent strategies. What seems even stranger is both that they get deep into other games - so they're not only playing games in a lightweight/fun way - and also that they've clearly watched you pull off superior strategy repeatedly - making the presence of strategy/skill in the game undeniable. Odd.

Do they say why? Sometimes it's a way of distancing yourself from having to learn something, by not taking seriously and sort of dismissing it, particularly if someone is already loads better than you.
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