Shut Up and Sit Down: The Best Way to Handle Explaining a Game's Rules

The Best Way to Handle Explaining a Game's Rules

Want to introduce your favorite new game to some friends? Here's some friendly advice on the best way to explain its mechanics!

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I just thought my family to play munchkin. Pretty much did things like that. One thing I like doing with card games is pretty much play open handed and explain why I am doing this or that. What I would do if I was them. And address the rules as they come up. Instead of boring everyone with confusing rules they don't make sense until they see it work.

Rule 0.25(1) about actually knowing the game really well is super important. I'm kinduv' a "rules guy", so I actually love reading the rules. That also means I'm always the guy in charge of a new game that someone just got. So, I get to read the rules as quickly as possible and then try to teach and run the game.

Yeah, I'd much rather have the time to carefully read the rules, play through the game solo controlling several players, re-read the rules, think about how I would explain them, and then re-read the rules.

Whoa when did Shut up and Sit down make it's way to The Escapist? I was sad when Penny Arcade went kind of silly, cause I had too many websites to monitor already. But yay, now everything I care about is more or less on one thing. Also double yay for actually getting some decent advise on helping with rules. I'm always catching my own tongue when I realize I'm making no sense.

how exactly does one use these powers for evil?

Great video, as always.

Explaining rules is most certainly a talent, one that most gamers need to work on developing. A few nights ago I taught my family Power Grid, and it ended up being a very competitive game considering none of them had played anything like it before. They all had a good time with it despite the fact their favorite game before this was Bohnanza, which took them a few rounds to get how the game worked just because I botched the rules.

One thing is for sure: the more you explain how to play games the better you get at it. Just another reason to play games more often.

SadisticFire:
Whoa when did Shut up and Sit down make it's way to The Escapist? I was sad when Penny Arcade went kind of silly, cause I had too many websites to monitor already. But yay, now everything I care about is more or less on one thing. Also double yay for actually getting some decent advise on helping with rules. I'm always catching my own tongue when I realize I'm making no sense.

You should go check SU&SDs own site, they've posted a tonne of videos, podcasts and articles since (and before) PATV shut down.

Very good tips, thank you! Love this tabletop content.

Woah! Why does this keep happening?! First, I find Matt Lees on Youtube and start liking his content, just to find him come to the escapist. Then I found Shut Up and Sit Down separately from him, just to find out the Matt Lees also does stuff for SU&SD. And now SU&SD is on the Escapist. WHAAAAAT

These few weeks have been just been getting better.

As a side note, SU&SD has convinced me to be slightly insane about buying board games, as they have already convinced me to buy Pandemic and Arctic Scavengers. This video is very useful to me because somehow I've managed to avoid board games alltogether for a good 17 years of my life while being a huge video game player, so I have no idea what I'm doing when I play these things. All I know is that I've never been a happier gamer in my life due to these guys.

Also one point he should address is strait off with simple games. Not Uno or Connect 4 but Ticket to Ride and Munchkin and if they come back then bring out the more advance games. Always not the rules to a game before you play. It helps the players have confidence in you when you explain it.

Great video as always; good to see you guys on the Escapist!

fangclaw:
how exactly does one use these powers for evil?

Teaching people to play games that suck the very fun out of life and consume all reality until there is but one game in their field of vision.

Like Twilight Struggle.

Well that certainly would've helped this group:


Then again, they did jump right into gameplay, which is good, right?
Also- totally buying Ladies & Gentleman, as our gaming group solely consists of couples at the moment.

PlasmaCow:

You should go check SU&SDs own site, they've posted a tonne of videos, podcasts and articles since (and before) PATV shut down.

Yeah I have when I try to remember. I have a filter when I'm at school(Most of the time when I'm browsing the internet) so their video provider gets blocked.
But yeah it's nice to see them get here.

Something to add specifically for getting new players. If you are trying to get people into board games pick games that are played out in the open. If you're playing an open game where most everything is in plain sight you can explain the basic objectives and then immediately start playing. Carcassonne is a great example of this since you're basically putting a puzzle together which people understand intuitively. So when they draw a tile you show them how putting it in different places effects the game. Once your friends begin to understand the basics of table top games you can take for granted that they will understand certain things, then you can lead them further down the rabbit hole :P

I started my friends off with Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride. And now I have them playing Thunderstone and the Firefly board game. At this point they're willing to try any game I bring home because they trust my judgement. I also buy them games as Christmas gifts and stuff. All part of my nerd master plan, lol.

I really hate SU&SD.

Because they constantly make me lose my money.

And all i ever eat are meepls.

 

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