One of the biggest mistakes you can make is setting up a game for your players. I know that some of you are thinking I just wrote the worst statement in board game history, after all new players don’t know how to set up the game! They haven’t even read the instructions! By god and they could put something where it doesn’t belong!
Now take a moment to stop, breathe in and gently put down that copy of Dead of Winter your cradling because
what you’re doing is a serious disservice to your players and to yourself.
Squash Pre-Game Boredom – Have trouble getting people off their phones when explaining instructions? Or do you have that one player who just has trouble focusing? Well give these players something to do! In fact take your most serious offenders and give them the most important tasks. Have them flip over cards during the game, set up pieces, be the banker or give players their starting hands. Why? Because everyone enjoys setting up a game! It’s interactive, they get to explore the pieces and won’t be sitting around for the next 15 to 20 min getting bored.
Rules Start to Make More Sense – As players help setup the game they will become familiar with the key words and terms. Naming cards and tokens that are going to be used during the game will give them a valid reference point. They’ll also get a chance to preview the cards before they shuffle them and when you finally do start explaining how the game is played the blank stares you’re used to will quickly dissipate! Players will know what you’re talking about when you reference “Door Cards” and the rules suddenly start to make much more sense as they can finally picture everything in their heads.
Add More Time for Backstory – You know what everyone really likes? Quick set up and a longer backstory. Why are we here, what are we doing, how do we win? Since your players didn’t have any down time and had less frustration with the rules; they’ll be more interested in the backstory and setting of the game, which will really add to game play.
Still not convinced? You’re the owner of the game and you have to remember that you brought this game to the event because you wanted to share the adventure with your friends. An although you’re the captain of this gaming ship, you can’t get anywhere without a crew.
Very compelling thought. I’ll try it!