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The Importance Of Concise Board Game Rules

Aug 18, 2008
Nothing can be more frustrating than sitting down to play an exciting new board game, only to find that the rule book is a confusing jumble of words that barely seems to make sense. This can be a real dampener to all of the anticipation that both you and your friends have built up about getting this game and sitting down to decipher the rules can often take a lot longer and produce many more headaches than the game itself might. There is nothing more important than having a set of rules that are clearly understandable and allow you to easily sit down and begin the game.

Ideally, if you and your friends get a new game with a confusing set of rules, it would be ideal if everyone could sit down independently and read the rules on their own. After this, everyone could sit down and discuss the rules, agreeing on which points are clear and figuring out the troubled area of game play. By thoroughly discussing all the finer points of playing the game, all of the players can have a clear understanding of not only what is going on, but of what the other players understand too. A game is only fair, and therefore evenly matched and fun, if everyone has the same understandings going into the game.

That approach isn't always possible, however. Sometimes only a limited amount of time is available in which people can play a game together and a thorough, yet understandable explanation of the rules is important for everyone to be on the same page. When this is going to be the case, the best scenario is for you to thoroughly read the rules well before the game time arrives. This gives you time to digest the rules and figure out the best way to explain them to the other players. There are a few methods you can use to explain everything to the group as well, helping you teach them the mechanics of the game in as sort a time as possible.

It's often easiest if you set the board up for everyone before the other players arrive. This way, you can use the board to show them examples of the finer points of the rules and let them visualize what might happen. Then, once everyone is seated and paying attention, it can often help to summarize the game using only a few sentences. This gives everyone a clear view of the goals of the game and what it is that they need to be working towards. Once they understand what the winning conditions are, it is often helpful to give a general summary of the basic mechanics of the game, what usually happens turn by turn, before going into the finer points of the rules. Explaining too many of the little details before covering the basics can only confuse players and make a muddled gaming experience.

Once the smaller details are covered, and the other players generally have a working idea of the specifics of the game, it helps to cover any exceptions that might take place inside the game which are outside of the rules. Finally, and this can be especially helpful if you have played this game before, it is generally helpful to offer a few strategies to the other players, to help them start to get a leg up on the game and allow everyone to have fun!
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for board games, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures. You will find all these things and more if you visit board game rules, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures.
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