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Rulebook Nerd

Premium User

I am just curious.  Does anyone else get a kick out of reading through rulebooks?

Near perfect evening:  Say goodnight to kids, warp up chores, have bed warmer started 1 hour before, around 8pm sink under the sheets with the rules to a new boardgame or to review rules for a game I'm about to set up and play.

Sometimes I'll print the rules to a game I'm waiting for and read through them before it arrives.  If I've kickstarted a game I'll almost always do this if given the option. 

1. Does anyone else get this excited about reading rules?

2. What's your favorite way to digest rules for a new game?

 

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Premium User34 days ago

I thought about posting a YouTube video of myself reading through rulebooks.  That's it.  Just reading the rules and maybe holding it up to show the pictures now and then.  I haven't decided how much of a waste of time that would be yet or if it would hit this weird niche and get a cult following.  

34 days ago

Hahaha, like some weird board game ASMR niche

34 days ago

Ok I searched "board game asmr" on youtube and...it's a thing...I don't think the rulebook reading is a thing, but there is board game ASMR

34 days ago

Hmmm not sure if I want to give it a search. I don't want it to awaken anything inside me I didn't know was there.

34 days ago

30 days ago

I started doing that for kickstarters, but then I stopped considering how far away they are from being delivered. I will start reading when it's closer to arrive.

More complex games, I do enjoy rereading before plays to make sure I don't forget anything. But I'd say the main reason for reading Rulebooks are badly written ones! At this day and age, the fact that companies manage to produce a bad rulebook still amazes me.

33 days ago

Only if I'm super excited to play the game and have no means to play it yet! 
If I have no familiarity, then I'd watch a video. If I already have some familiarity, then I'd read over the rulebook myself and go over the things I feel the need to brush up on.

33 days ago

I'll go and read the other comments after I post this one, but yes, I do love a good rule book reading session! 

I mean, yeah, I'm a rule book editor so people pay me to read their rule books haha but I've always enjoyed the process of reading and learning and having everything click together. In fact, we're giving #Patchwork to my wife's brother and his new bride for Christmas, and she suggested we teach them how to play on Christmas because "Who actually likes reading the rule book and learning  new game? Besides you, of course." haha So yeah, guilty as charged. 

I always prefer a rule book, because I like to use the time as "homework" for getting to know how various books are written, worded, etc. But I also like to see how well I can understand it from the book itself. If it gets too confusing, I'll watch a video or look up some blog about it, but it's rule book first and foremost for me. 

And, to be fair, I always enjoyed reading instruction books for video games I'd buy/rent.

Premium User33 days ago

I think you understand my love more than others mt friend

Premium User33 days ago

I wouldn't say I get excited to read a rulebook.  If it's just before a game session I do enjoy reading a well written rulebook to get that "got the rules down" feeling.

Typically I will watch a "how to play video" and then read the rulebook afterwards.  If I own the game I'll read the rulebook with the components on the table.  However, since we mostly play digital these days that's not an option.

Owner34 days ago

Does the quality of the rulebook impact your level of enjoyment at all? Also, which rulebook was your favorite/least favorite to go through?

For me, I have fun reading through the rules when the mechanisms described are so good that it makes me excited. On the other hand, if a rulebook isn't well put together, I have the hardest time reading it through in one sitting. I'm very detail-oriented and digest things slowly, so it's painful when the rulebook doesn't flow well

33 days ago

On this note...have you gotten a chance to go through the rulebook for #Dune: Imperium yet? I read through about half of it last night before bed, and, while I haven't played the game yet and therefore can't verify this, it struck me as a very good rulebook, at least so far. Everything is clear and well explained, to my eyes. We'll see how gameplay goes, but so far I'm liking what I'm seeing :D

Owner33 days ago

Not yet! I'm buried under a mountain (or at least a small mound...) of games to go through :D

It'll probably go in the order of #Obsession -> #Nemo's War (Second Edition) -> #Dune: Imperium -> #Star Wars: Rebellion -> #Black Orchestra

I'm glad it's well put together! Always music to my years :)

That was my experience with #Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, although I'm not sure how much of an involvement Direwolf had on the rules

33 days ago

Well the game was designed by the same person as Clank, so I'm guessing Dire Wolf was still pretty involved with the rules. I'm not sure when I'll get to play a multiplayer game of D:I, but I'm pretty excited to do so!

Premium User34 days ago

There are two sides to answering your question. On the one hand, poorly written rules are more challenging to read and I find myself flipping back and forth for clarity. I will often watch a play through and then compare that to the written rules. I enjoy asking myself, "how could I write these better?" and will work toward that.

The other side is, I get excited about playing as I read through well written rules. It's easier to understand the flow of the game with well written rules and so my excitement builds as I begin playing the game in my mind. 

War of the Ring was a challenging rule book for me to get through as it felt thick and sloggish to grind through. Gloomhaven and Heaven and Ale rules could be formatted better ( IMHO) which Gloomhaven appears to have fixed in Jaws of the Lion. 

Tapestry did a very nice job on their rules. Teotihuacan is nicely laid out. 

Along with digesting things slowly I also like to reread rules for games I haven't played in awhile. I'm starting to think about picking up 7th Continent again and looking forward to re visiting the rules again.

Owner33 days ago

Tapestry really did a great job. I remember seeing some people sharing issues about it but it was more than enough for me. I guess it wasn't 100% clear for people who were playing a ton with different civs and running into questions, but it was great for someone like me who just wanted to dive in quickly by myself.

33 days ago

I also enjoy re-reading rule books for games I haven't played in a while. And you'd be surprised about how many times I realized I was playing some part wrong! haha So it's always good to freshen up after a while. 

34 days ago

It absolutely makes a difference to me.  As much as I like the gameplay of #Altar Quest the rulebook made getting to the point where I could actually experience it fully was a heck of a challenge.

Owner33 days ago

I'm having a hard time going through #Obsession at the moment. It comes off as a passion project in need of that extra professional touch that's would've taken it to the next level

Supporter34 days ago

Definetly, I make a 'thing' out of reading the rulebook. It hypes up the game and sets the mood for the game later on. I rarely watch videos on rules unless I don't own the game. Plus I also enjoying being prepared for teaching the game so I read thoroughly.

Supporter34 days ago

I really do like reading through rulebooks. I do sometimes, when researching a game print out it's rulebook for me to read. But, generally speaking I like to read the physical rulebook. When I got a new game I open it, generally right away, and break out the rulebook. That gets read before I do any sorting of any of the pieces.

34 days ago

Only when the rules are actually well written. My recent batch of games I opened late at night just so I could lay in bed and get a good understanding of all of them before I actually started playing them. It feels so much better playing the game when the basic understanding is already there and I don't have to pull up the rule book for simple things.

34 days ago

Yes! I love reading a rulebook for a game I just picked up. It usually helps me get even more excited! Open the game up, sometimes punch out the components first, and then open the rulebook. I don't think I've ever printed up a rulebook prior to getting the game, though.

I also learn the rules the best through the rulebook. Videos are ok sometimes, but I personally find it easiest to learn rules when I can flip back and forth and reference things rather than just view it all in one shot. Of course, you can scrub back and forth through a video, but it's not as easy, in my opinion. Sometimes I do supplement my reading of the rules with a video, just to make sure there's nothing I misunderstood.

Premium User34 days ago

If I don't have a good rulebook to read I'll sometimes watch a Heavycardboard rules runthrough or a Rodney Anderson "Watch it Played" video.  

34 days ago

I think Rodney Smith is who you're looking for, and yeah his videos are great.