View Full Version : The First Game - Advice for Mentors
07-17-2004, 07:17 PM
I had the opportunity to help introduce a newbie to DBA by playing as opponent in his first game. I thought it went reasonably well, aided by the fact that his Athenians overwhelmed my Spartans 4-1. But it got me to thinking how to do it better.
In introducing a player, you can focus on the basic rules, the history of the armies, the tactics of the game, etc. Given all the finer points of the DBA rules mechanisms, it is easy to make an easy game seem complex. And at some point, I'm afraid too much information may just overwhelm the new player, whose primary goal is to just have fun.
Do that Fanatici, especially recent newbies, have any advice for DBA mentors on how best to introduce a new player to the game?
07-18-2004, 03:36 AM
Well, it sounds like you are being more of a teacher than mentor, so you might ask teachers how they do their job. smile.gif
I would suggest tailoring the lesson to the interests of the "student". Are they interested in the history of a particular era? Are they looking for a strategy game like chess but with a little more spice due to greater freedom of movement and dice rolling?
Just some thoughts...
07-18-2004, 04:30 PM
in my immediate area, I have indroduced roughly a dozen or more players to DBA over the course of all the revisions. What I have learned that works well for me, is that you teach DBA as a game and not a history lesson. I first start out showing the pluses for using this game system (thin rule book, many periods and regions covered, low cost of 15mm armies, less time required to paint smaller number of figures, etc....). Then I will show the variety of elements (mostly for recognition) and their purposes. I will divide these into mounted and foot with subs of heavy, light and missile troops. Then I use a empty board (no terrain) and let them chose 4 elements and I counter with 3 or 4 myself in a line for melee. This allows to get the feel for the characteristics of troop types and the results of recoils and overlaps. Eventually, I will show them "closing the door", missile overlaps and introduce terrain (BG and hills). Then we will run a regular game. I feel this type of tutorial allows the new player many oppurtunities for questions and select the fighting styles he prefers. I never let the new player read the book until this tutorial is over, since the writing is very confusing and may put the player off. I have had good luck with this introduction style and have maintained a good number of players to run campaigns.
07-18-2004, 09:39 PM
Most of the new entries to DBA in Canberra come in by way of my big campaign games.
The tricks we use to introduce them include
1) They enter the campaign with a new country some time after a year has begun, thus they are unable to be invaded (no-one could declare war on them) and they are unable to invade (couldn't declare war on anyone else).
2) They are actively encouraged to send contingents to help the invaded. This allows them to witness the game mechanisms, but not risk their entire army or their country.
3) Come the next year, I suggest that the hang back and send contingents tactic be tried (if possible) for another year. After that they should have some experience and some grateful allies.
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