A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Games of Success

What does that topic mean you ask?

Well last week I had a kind of sort of epiphany whilst playing many many games. Wednesday became I GAMED A LOT DAY. (For content posting I may bring up these events in a comic format just to make up for my currently low frequency of posting. I am keeping my blog to at least 4 posts a month, but it could use some more content...)

While the earlier games I played were gamer games with gamers, its the later games that I wish to talk about.

I played these games with a mixture of gamers, non gamers, and "well my SO is gaming so I will play too I suppose" types.

The games I introduced for the most part were really basic and quick to explain. Under 5 minutes and everyone knew the basics, or enough to start.

They were all highly regarded and the game that seemed the most "gamer" of the group (Wings of War) was a REAL hit, the second time I have gotten a horde of people involved and playing. (Which helped the epiphany part leading to this post.)

The rules take less than 5 minutes to learn the "basic" version of. Setup really takes about the same time (players selecting airplanes to use then putting them a reasonable distance away from other people's airplanes), and then everyone is on their way. Few exceptions to deal with, not too many rules, anyone can win, but skill has some effect, games take less than 30 minutes depending on number of players and scenario.

Now if the 2 different groups I had run Wings of War with had been introduced to say, Twilight Imperium, Warhammer 40K, Advanced Squad Leader, or something of that ilk? Not only wouldn't have many of them wanted to learn, I would have lost their interest before the game even began.

(Yes there is a thing called Phased Learning which helps here and I may go into in another post sometime, but for now we are just gonna keep things simple.)

Quick, fast, and easy to learn games you can teach quickly are more likely to engage people, especially casual gamers.

They will understand the game quicker, and start having fun much faster without being bored by endless explanations, subrules, and exceptions. Some folks later on may want the extra depth and crunch of a more complex title, but most won't. And they need that springboard, that solid foundation with core concepts before moving on to them.

And even hardcore gamers like myself sometimes want a lighter and more elegant game. Heck, its becoming my preference! Something I can learn fast, and teach even faster.

Almost every one of my most beloved RPGs usually fit into this quick and simple category. Basic Roleplaying/Call of Cthulhu? Roll percentile dice equal to or under your listed skill. D6? Roll that many dice and add them, beating a target number, with a Wild Die that causes gonzo effects as determined by the GM.

You can teach em quick and have them on their way fast, grabbing them.

So next time you pick out a game for new players, or as a new game for your existing group, look into some of the lighter, faster, simpler games.

You may find your fun comes in faster for everyone.

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