Winning/losing when teaching

Gameplay

Often when I first teach a game, I will tend to perform worse as I spend all my time focused on helping the other players that I spend minimal time on my own strategy. I often think this a good thing as it feels bad to introduce someone to a new game and then trash them at it (plus you risk putting them off what is a game you probably love and as such deprive them of the opportunity to enjoy it for years to come). However, if someone is quick off the mark with the rules (so you have the time to consider your own plays) or on their second play, do you find you still go relatively easy on them? I am never sure if it is condescending to not play your best against someone to try and make the game close/interesting? What do you guys think/tend to do?

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5 months ago

I do not win games super often in general, so I tend to try and win any opportunity I can lol. 

Supporter5 months ago

This is my favorite answer.

5 months ago

I am just speaking truth over here lol

5 months ago

Ha, a victory is a victory

5 months ago

To be fair I almost always send out a rules video before hand as well so people can get on the same page as me!

5 months ago

Ha, got to give them a fighting chance! I've never really used rule videos to learn/teach a game. Do you prefer them to a rulebook?

5 months ago

I like to give people the option. I know I learn a game better through videos, I always have learned visually so it helps. I send the videos but fully prepare to teach the game in person. I would say at least 1 or 2 people do not watch them so I do teach the game anyways but it helps to have a second person who knows the rules to help!

For a game like #Root I sent out homework assignments lol. It was a requirement!

5 months ago

Gotcha, that makes a lot of sense, of course it would involve my group deciding what to play in advance, which we are not known for :D

Ha, I can imagine in root it pays for people to prep a little otherwise you would spend like a hour teaching each faction!

5 months ago

Haha yes, We typically pick out a game before we get to the game night. If we do not we typically play some games that are easier to teach. 

Yes it can be overwhelming. We even assigned people to the factions before hand so they can be masters of their own faction!

5 months ago

Have actually found we plan more now that we are playing on TTS than we ever did in person, which is interesting.

I have sent every the rules and asked them to decide factions since I have been teaching #The Defence of Procyon III as that is a similar situation where each faction plays differently 

5 months ago

I would have agreed with you early on in the pandemic, but it has died down with online gaming for me. We are all just craving in person games!

5 months ago

Oh for sure, I cannot wait to get around a table!

5 months ago

It is definitely refreshing being in the presence of real people lol. 

Supporter5 months ago

With the exception of my daughter I never go easy.  I do think sometimes (as you mentioned) I mess up in my strategizing when teaching and playing especially if I'm teaching a lot of people.  I approach it the way I'd want to be approached.  I'm only going to get better quickly if the person teaching me plays to the best of their ability and gets the best out of me.

5 months ago

I often find as I am helping someone with their turn and am explaining some possible move I notice that it can be used to exploit a massive whole I left in my own plan because I wasn't concentrating, it often goes something like "...which you could use to absolutely ruin me, but you wouldn't do that would you?" Turns out they usually would :D

Supporter5 months ago

I know if I were also playing and I knew the game well already, I'd definitely be giving the newbie the following advice... 


Supporter5 months ago


5 months ago

Haha, they do, often with great prejudice!

5 months ago

I am the one who almost always is teaching games in my group. I am also almost never the winner of games, other than a very select few that I would consider myself very good at. As a result, I am probably never going to take it easy on someone while they are playing it for the first time unless its one of those very select games. However, I am extremely lenient on turns in someone's first game. If they make a move and instantly feel like it wasn't the most optimal, I will gladly let them redo their turn even if it means worse results for me. 

5 months ago

Yeah, I often try to point out what the downside of a particular move, if it's not going to do what they think it might or that I will be able to do something devastating in response, especially if that information is available they just haven't gotten used to reading the board.

5 months ago

I try to go easy on people , if you dominate right off the bat esp if youre better just because you have played more and not necessarily have" the goods " you want people to want to come back. That being said after a few times all bets are off and the teeth come out !

5 months ago

I do know that I played #Not Alone with a group for the first time, which is a light 1 vs many, and I randomly was assigned the '1' and through a few lucky guesses ended up smashing the group and I really think it put a bunch of them off of the game. As such, I always excuse myself from being the 1 when I teach it now so I have a smaller impact on the game mechanically (and also spend more time helping others)

5 months ago

yeah, its a delicate thing esp if your group is not full of rabid gamers , there is an element of wooing them into wanting to play the game involved in teaching a new game.

Supporter5 months ago

My attitude depends a lot on who I am teaching, and if I have played the game before or not. I tend to not "go easy." But, if I have played the game before, and am familier with it, I might try a different strategy, or coach players a bit more if they want it. If I have never played it before, I don't give any break. 

Owner5 months ago

Whenever I'm in the position to teach, it's usually with first time or very casual gamers. So I tend to prioritize making it a fun experience. This means that I'll sometimes go for sub-optimal moves if it allows a player who's slow on the uptake to catch up even a little bit. It also means I'm going to be adventurous in exploring different options that I wouldn't have tried before, and I'll also take more risks than usual and have fun with it. I'd also make moves that livens things up a little and stir up the board state in a way that will make things more interesting.

If I happen to be playing with experienced gamers? Hmmm I think that would depend on the group dynamic. If most people are competitive, I'll bring out my competitive spirit. If there's anyone who doesn't like direct conflict or is poor at handling it, I'll adjust my play just a bit. But honestly, if it's first time playing the game for most people at the table, I'd be focused on helping out or giving reminders that I wouldn't be playing at my 100% anyway.

Supporter5 months ago

I find that sometimes players in my group don’t grasp a game as well if I walk them through their turn without them asking me to. I will often talk my way through my turn to explain rules and strategy. If I’m asked I’ll always help the other players out even if it hurts me. But it’s true that I don’t often win the games that I teach. 

5 months ago

That's a good point, I am definitely sometimes guilty of being overly 'helpful', usually I just get excited about a combo that is open to them but I do sometimes have to catch myself and let them play how they would like to.

Supporter5 months ago

I had meant to say that it was a good point. I will still point out those great combos but will wait to see if they pick up on it first before I do. 

5 months ago

Yeah, usually it's if I can see what goal they are trying to work towards and they say the are going to do X, I might chime in a point out a more efficient way for them to do that. Although I sometimes do this even when I play with experienced players, often to my own detriment in terms of scoring but I do just tend to get excited about cool moves or combos.

Supporter5 months ago

Right, when you see those great moves, even when they aren't yours, its satisfying seeing them play out