The day we started playing board games may feel like a fever dream at this point, but there are still people out there who have never picked up a board game in their entire lives. There is always an opportunity to help someone learn something new, and there is no time quite like the present.
If you’re wondering how to teach board games to someone who is just getting started or may have not ventured into modern board gaming, we’ve created a list of some tips and tricks that can help you get started.
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Our Top Tips for How to Teach Board Games
Know the Game Yourself First
When you sit down to play a board game with a group of friends, it’s beneficial that you know the ins and outs of the game yourself first. There’s nothing more confusing than being taught a game by someone who only knows part of what they’re talking about, and not everything in full.
Set Everything Up Beforehand
Make sure you have set out the board game before you explain anything, this will make it a lot easier to reiterate the game to your players instead of trying to explain it as you lay everything out bit by bit. You can easily navigate each section of the board game and easily explain how it’s relevant
Start From the Top
It’s best to start from the very beginning and summarise what the aim of the entire game is. Doing this gives the players a general consensus about what to expect, what the theme of the game is, and the level of skill included with participating. Allow time for a small walk through, explaining the basics of each major section or level.
Exceptions to Rules
Something that happens all too often when playing board games or teaching board games, are exceptions to game rules. Keep these far away from your game if you want fair and effective gameplay. If any of the players ask for exceptions to some of the rules, even if it’s your sweet old grandma, you’re going to have to refuse.
Play an Example Turn
One of the best things you can do when teaching new players to play a board game is playing an example round. This gives the players a visual of what needs to happen when involved in the gameplay and allows time for questions to evolve. People process education better when there is a visual aspect, so taking them around the game is sure to help upon playing.
Allow Time for Questions
After you have gone through the basics and the aim of the game, allow time for questions. Players might be a little confused at this point, but that’s where you can go into detail about different sections of the board game to clarify any missing points.
Remembering Things Mid-Game
If you can recall the entire outline of a board game before even starting, consider taking up marketing for that specific board game… However, realistically, it’s okay to forget some aspects and pick them up as you’re playing. What’s important is knowing whether the game can go on if a small mistake is made and what rules are imperative that the players know before the game can continue. It’s perfectly fine to make mistakes and as long as everyone can agree, there’s no reason to not continue the game!
Difficult Goals and Confusing Challenges
In hand with playing an example round, if there are any major difficult or confusing points of the game, it’s best to cover those in detail first. There’s no reason to go into a game without having explained any challenges in the proper manner. Without doing that, players will get completely frazzled and it will disrupt the game more than that needs to happen.
New players aren’t going to get the hang of the game immediately, there are going to be hiccups along the way and you’re going to find yourself explaining things countless times over. It’s important that you don’t get frustrated, and you remain calm, we all started out with board games at some point in our lives and a frustrated player is never fun to game with.
Play the Game!
Now it’s time to get stuck into the game. Keep in mind that this is the first gameplay, so it won’t be a speedy round; it’s going to take some time to finish. Players will continue to ask questions, and some may make the wrong move. It’s important that you stay calm until the end and remember that we all started from the very beginning.