How To Teach Board Games Like a Pro -

How To Teach Board Games Like a Pro

Shut Up & Sit Down
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  1. Great video! Watched this when it was first posted, and watched again a year later…and I realize I actually do a lot of these things already. I'm always the one to teach games, and my girlfriend has complimented me on how I teach to our friends. Not sure if I just learned all this stuff naturally by teaching so many times, or if I subconsciously internalized the lessons from this video! Either way, thanks for putting this together and bestowing us all with your knowledge and experience.

    The one bit I'm hesitant about is the second tip about handing everything out and letting people fiddle. Specifically, I'm worried about handing out the player aids and such before explaining anything because then people might be too focused on reading those and won't hear anything I'm saying. Of course, I guess a solution to this would be to let them read and then dive in to rules explanations…but then I fear letting them read without any context will confuse them more or raise questions that would have been answered easily within my explanation. I do like to let them fiddle around with the pieces though. No harm there.

  2. Love this video, we need more vids like this!

  3. Haha plus one for the dummy game! I always dummy play before I invite my friends over. Mainly because I don’t have any friends, but still it’s great practice for when I get some.

  4. 5:09 Alright, that was a litt-le weird: from where precisely did you pull out that notebook? 😉

  5. I'd like to add another tip (or two). It's part of knowing the rules, but actually gets overlooked in our boardgame groups.
    12. Use game theme Terminology
    Instead of saying "put your thingy on the open spot" (or something much, much ruder), or even "remove your worker", use the actual theme terms, like put your scientist on a free research area or remove your gnome – it makes for a richer if subtle and clearer playing experience.
    13. Make sure to be clear on play terms and turn hierarchy. The terms round, phase, action, bonus action, extra bonus action etc. can be daunting. Generally, rounds are comprised of phases which may each include multiple actions, but there may also be rounds within phases, depending on the game.

    Great tips! 🙂

  6. This is a great video. I'll try and put these into practice when showing friends things on Board Game Arena. Minus the tactile toughing and fetching them snacks, of course.

  7. My tip is to avoid saying exceptions. For example: "The rule is you have three actions per turn…except for if a card says you get more."
    There are always exceptions and people familiar with games will know this.
    Otherwise, you can save it for your example turns or when you talk about a specific component.

  8. “play a dummy game”
    everyone: naaaahhh who does thaaaattt???
    me be like:

    i just played the entire Pandemic legacy season 1 and 0 (both) with the team being me and me and me and me…

  9. you no what? his simple review of Taj Mahal is soooo intriguing

  10. i've been teaching games since 2003 and that is exactly what i do lol, i think i might have invented it. (i totally stole it from someone though can't remember who)

  11. Ive just realized that Quinns is aplaying the adivces himself to teach us how to teach as well

  12. I teach games in a very similar way to your suggestions.
    (a) Theme. The narrative, aesthetic, and degree of cooperation or competition expected. Puts the players in the right headspace.
    (b) Win Condition. Explaining a boardgame is like planning a roadtrip. And you don't plan a roadtrip without having the destination fixed firmly in your mind, to which all other information and directions build towards. I'm giving you piece of information X. Without knowing why this matters towards the goal, X just gets sorted on a shelf of the mind to be swiftly forgotten as you begin explaining Y and Z.
    (c) Typical Turn. Play a turn while explaining the rules and systems. Encourage questions, and reinforce that it's completely expected to not have the full picture on a first explanation; understanding and strategy comes with the first round played. To that end…
    (d) Test Round. Play one or two rounds with the players fumbling through a turn, taking actions, getting things wrong and out of order, and building a lattice of understanding while you answer questions and correct errors.

  13. Wow this is literally more prep than I put into the D&D sessions I DM

  14. rewatching this before I teach twilight imperium to random friends tomorrow, wish me luck

  15. Doesn't he sound like Vision? Well done, well done

  16. The Who, how and most importantly why will this be fun is rather difficult with Hansa Teutonica.

  17. On the can, reading the rules for TI3, game night in one week.

    (People are ordering tests and staying isolated.)

    Thank you SUSD for all the great videos and podcasts.

  18. I find that a whip and cattle prod are effective tools of pedagogy.

  19. I'm really really bad at teaching games. My friends will thank you

  20. I was teaching five tribes to a friend last week but I found it hard to balance between giving helpful tips and playing the game for her, do you have any advice for that?

  21. I actually dont believe in rule 2. Instead i get my friends to help me set up the game. Eg, hey Mike can you find me 4 of these counters and Dave please find me 5 of these cards and put them here etc. I find it makes them feel more invested in the game so they want to get something out of it. Also they're less intimidated when they see how the game is set up as opposed to walking in and seeing a massive sprawling board game ready to go

  22. I felt so bad when the tip for two experienced players came up because I always do the exact wrong thing and try to explain the game together with my boyfriend which almost always ends up confusing new players and annoying him. I will try to incorporate your awesome tips into my next game night, thanks for the great video.

  23. Quinns assisting Quinns in teaching the Power Rangers game is so wholesome.

  24. This feels prophetic considering forced isolation with family started 4 minutes after this video went up.

  25. I began teaching board games in order to get rid of the fear of public speaking. Now I work as an auctioneer at a sheep market.

  26. Tip 5 is also important because it's a great way to cement someone's name in your mind that you just met.

  27. the first game I ever teached me and my friends (we all never played any tabletop games except stuff like chess, domino or UNO)
    was Machina arcana. I got myself and my friends hyped for the hard adventure full of Lovecraftian monster and hundreds of different weapons, armor, items and magic stuff.
    spent about 1 hour explaining afterwards we had a test run, and now we have played for over 50 hours the same first level!
    why we don't go forward? we are playing a free version on a site, but one day we are planning on buying the full version with all expansion and play together!
    since then we have played 20 news games from simple to complex

  28. "In 2020 of course you do have the option, quite often, of putting on a how to play video… but I don't like to do that because it has the stmosphere of inviting people over to my house for a Skype call."

    That little quote aged… interestingly.

  29. This is a great helpful video, with your familiar cheery manner, sharp wit, and brilliant editing, to keep it interesting. Well done! Thanks 🙏

  30. I can watch the video over and over. It’s so dang helpful. Thank you!

  31. My biggest tip is to consider if ALL the rules need to be explained at the beginning of the game, or if you can save them for when they become relevant later on. One good example is Ticket to Ride. In Ticket to Ride, you choose from one of three actions each turn. However, you never need to do the third action (getting new tickets) until at least 25-40% of the way through the game. So when I teach Ticket To Ride, I tell people there are 2 actions you can do: draw cards, or spend cards to play trains. Then when we're about 20% of the way through the game, people have those basics totally down, I introduce the third possible action: getting new tickets.

  32. There is a trick to getting people to ask questions. I used to run meetings with a lot of young managers. No one wanted to ask questions, because they didn't want to let their peers know that they didn't understand something. Especially something that the rest of the room appeared to understand. I would always "seed" the room beforehand. I would pick a manager and tell them to ask questions during the meeting. Even if they knew the answer. It would break the ice, as it is always much easier to be the second person to ask a question than it is to be the first.

  33. I can follow all these steps but the hardest one would be to lose the game

  34. Next time I'm playing with my brother who's too angry to ask me a rules question, I'm going to ask him if he's "an unhappy bottle full of farts" to know if I was rude about questions before.

  35. 3:20 Cheeky Slytherin mug, I see you… now I know who I'm playing with 😉
    From: a fellow Slytherin

  36. Addendum to Tip #9: If you're the only one at the table who knows how to play, then just ignore the rules for assigning first player, and take the first turn yourself. The new players probably aren't entirely sure that they know what they're supposed to be doing, and are planning to watch the first player take their turn. If you follow the rules, then you're likely assigning that responsibility to another new player, shoving them into the deep end and forcing them to try and swim while everyone watches. It's just an awkward and uncomfortable experience for everyone involved.
    Or, if there's anyone else at the table who's played before, offer them the first turn. Because they've had time to plan their turn while you've been busy with the explanation.
    Also, a huge middle finger to the designers that assign the first turn to the youngest player. You're dumping the responsibility of understanding the game on the player who's the least likely to have fully understood the explanation, and the most likely to get upset if they mess up.

  37. I relate to explaining to dads so hard. Even Ticket to Ride was too much for him. I think it's an issue where many old people aren't used to thinking abstractly.

  38. This is brilliant. I've been doing demos at cons for some time and this really coalesces some stuff I've been missing and doesn't make me feel stupid about it. Bravo!

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