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Author Topic: Challenge: Design the best beginners kingdom!  (Read 5864 times)

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KingZog3

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Re: Challenge: Design the best beginners kingdom!
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2013, 02:36:50 pm »
0

Okay, here's my full set:


$2
Vagrant

$3
Menagerie
Fishing Village
Wishing Well

$4
Throne Room
Cutpurse

$5
Tribute
Jester

$6
Harem
Fairgrounds


I would be careful with Throne Room with beginners. It can get strange, and especially when they don't know what to buy. In general, I think alt VP's shouldn't be in. They won't go for Provinces. Many beginner already say "Why can't I just buy all the coppers and Estates?" so any kind of alt VP gets them thinking that you don't need Provinces (which you may not in a rush, but it's their first game).

It also depends on who the beginner is. If they don't play games, make it VERY simple. If they already play many board games but just want to try this one out, you can add some complexity since they will grasp it faster. But ALWAYS play their first set-up more than once, so they get a chance to try what you did one their first game.
Throne Room was a late entry and so was Fairgrounds.

The reason I included Throne Room is because I remember my first games with my friends and parents, all beginners at the time. The first time they TR-ed a card they got this euphoric feeling that I want beginners to have. Yes, it may be a bit complicated at first, but I can just talk them trough it and once they hear: Well, you can draw a bunch of cards and get a bunch of actions they're always delighted.

I want beginners to enjoy playing their cards whatever they might be. Beginners also have a tendency to just buy one of every type just to "see what it does" and Fairgrounds rewards them for it.

I don't think Provinces won't get bought with a decent Fairgrounds setup if you happen upon $8 anyway. More likely than not they won't even know or realize they've hit a Fairgrounds benchmark. Good old Vagrant will make them happy instead of sad when they pull up a bad card from their deck. :)

Those are good points. TR is fun the first time you play it :) I might still wait for the second game when they get the grasp of the basic gameplay.
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Stealth Tomato

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Re: Challenge: Design the best beginners kingdom!
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2013, 03:25:13 pm »
0

Throne Room was a late entry and so was Fairgrounds.

The reason I included Throne Room is because I remember my first games with my friends and parents, all beginners at the time. The first time they TR-ed a card they got this euphoric feeling that I want beginners to have. Yes, it may be a bit complicated at first, but I can just talk them trough it and once they hear: Well, you can draw a bunch of cards and get a bunch of actions they're always delighted.

I want beginners to enjoy playing their cards whatever they might be. Beginners also have a tendency to just buy one of every type just to "see what it does" and Fairgrounds rewards them for it.

I don't think Provinces won't get bought with a decent Fairgrounds setup if you happen upon $8 anyway. More likely than not they won't even know or realize they've hit a Fairgrounds benchmark. Good old Vagrant will make them happy instead of sad when they pull up a bad card from their deck. :)

Those are good points. TR is fun the first time you play it :) I might still wait for the second game when they get the grasp of the basic gameplay.

Throne Room is indeed really cool, but you have to ensure someone is counting the cash accrued; Throng Rooming something like a Tribute mid-turn can lead to a lot of counting problems once you get to the Buy phase. It's even a problem with Market for new players.

Also, there's no drawing (except the unreliable draw of Tribute). Throne Room is no fun without drawing. +Actions with terminal draw also give players a chance to get used to treeing the cards as they lay them out rather than just putting them on the table in order (although that may not be a necessary thing for the first game)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 03:36:51 pm by Stealth Tomato »
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KingZog3

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Re: Challenge: Design the best beginners kingdom!
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2013, 05:50:00 pm »
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In the end, the "First game" set-up is one of the best for beginners. If you want to spic it up try replacing the Village with some variant that's not too crazy, or something similar with another card.
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markusin

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Re: Challenge: Design the best beginners kingdom!
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2013, 07:02:42 pm »
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I agree that the "first game" is a good setup for the first game. However, since you have other sets, you might as well try to make the game a bit more exotic. The "first game" includes Mine, which is an intriguing card to start with. I think adding a few cards form Cornucopia that care about variety helps. You don't wan't Dominion to seem like a game where "there are 10 kingdom cards every game, and you choose 2 or 3 to use in your deck". As far as duration cards go, why not have Tactician?

Using the "first game" as a model, some things to consider:
1) Not only do you want cards that satisfy most of the possible roles for Dominion cards (drawing, TfB, + actions, + buy, attack, reaction, sifting), but each card should more or less be dedicated to its role. Power cards like Margrave that do a bunch of things at once draw too much attention to themselves. You don't want a must-buy in the kingdom.
2) Have a $2 cost card in the kingdom. You don't want to have a new player start with 5-2 and be like "This sucks! The game is already unfair".
3) Include a market-variant card that's still good when spammed.

I might as well try to suggest a kingdom while I'm at it.

2$
Squire

3$
Warehouse
Menagerie
Village

4$
Militia
Horse Traders
Remodel
Caravan

5$
Bazaar
Rabble
Mystic
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Just a Rube

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Re: Challenge: Design the best beginners kingdom!
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2013, 10:42:20 pm »
+1

As others said, don't include cards with choices (either directly like pawn or indirectly like swindler). Courtyard is about the limit of where I would go. They already are trying to figure out how this game works and what's good or not, no need to give them even more action paralysis.

I agree with what others said about the first game set, but if you want to spice it up, try to pick similar cards (e.g. worker's village or bazaar for village, courtyard or similar for smithy). In particular, I think cards that lend themselves to treasureless engines or alternate victory cards may confuse the issue; you want them to pick up the basic concepts of the game as a whole, not unrepresentative edge cases.

Also try to limit the bookkeeping aspect of things; this is one reason I would be tempted to hold off on duration cards, since the "did I play that this turn or last turn?" aspect can be annoying to keep track of when you're already trying to remember what everything does.

Avoid cursers; you want her to have fun, not discover the "joys" of a torturer chain her first game. Once she's seen how a regular game goes (and hopefully enjoyed it), then you can hit her with the torturers. And obviously, King's Court-Goons-Masquerade pins are right out.

Ideally, you want a game where they can both learn things and have fun.
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Powerman

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Re: Challenge: Design the best beginners kingdom!
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2013, 12:12:28 am »
+1

$2: Courtyard
$3: Oracle, Village
$4: Envoy, Bureaucrat, Silk Road, Horse Traders
$5: Council Room, Mine
$6: Hoard
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AdamH

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Re: Challenge: Design the best beginners kingdom!
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2013, 02:38:11 pm »
+1

I haven't seen this suggested yet, so I'll just throw it out there.

For a beginners' first game, I don't even get the kingdom cards out until I've explained all of the mechanics of the game except for actions, just try and skip over the "buy random action cards and fail" phase of learning the game.

Then when I get the kingdom cards out, the first game we play has only five Kingdom cards. For this set I prefer something like

Village
Smithy
Market

...and if we're feeling ambitious, Militia and Library to reinforce that we aren't playing multiplayer solitaire.

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Davio

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Re: Challenge: Design the best beginners kingdom!
« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2013, 10:48:20 am »
+1

I think the best beginners kingdom depends on the beginners, but not so much their skill level as well as their personality.

Some people like to do a lot of discovering on their own and the kingdom should allow this. Others are easily confused and turned off by "complex" games so vanilla cards probably work best for them.

When you're trying to make some one else enthusiastic and hope he or she will play more games with you, part of your design strategy should be what type of gamer the other person is. Be careful with mean attack cards (yes, even Bureaucrat) and too complex engines.

If I look back at games with my parents we started off pretty basic, but pretty soon added Seaside and other expansions. I picked the kingdoms semi-randomly, avoided Torturer for example, and they liked to see me pull off crazy stuff. They just enjoyed my company and applauded my double Colony turns while I explained them that buying money is almost always a good option. So after the early games they didn't buy every action card anymore but sometimes Silver and Gold.

Your mileage may vary as always.
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