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Playing a New Game

Opening a new game box and uncovering the treasures that lie within is an enjoyable experience. We've created this short guide on how to best discover and enjoy your new game. Whether the game is a fun one, or more challenging, follow these suggestions to avoid frustration and disappointment.

If you're planning to invite some friends or family around for an evening of games, make sure you have familiarised yourself with the game beforehand and at least have a working understanding of the rules.

The wrong approach is to tear off the shrink-wrap and try to read the rules when everyone sits down to play. Spend a little bit of time beforehand, then you will be able to explain the game to the others in your own words.

Open the box and look through the contents. Use the rulebook to try and identify all the components. You may have to punch some cardboards bits out of their sheet; spend some time doing this and getting to know the bits and pieces.

Scan the rules to get an idea of their layout and locate the section that describes the overall turn sequence. If there are any player aid or summary cards, have a look at those. At this stage, the idea is to get an overall sense of the game.

Now, read through the rules once or twice. Don't get stuck on any specific point that you don't understand. Instead, try and get an overall grasp of the game's successive steps, overall flavour and game flow. Some rule books can be very long and detailed; try not to get bogged down, as you can always look up specific rules points as they arise.

Play through a practice turn or two to get the feel of how the game flows. Then, when your guests show up, you'll be in a much better position to demonstrate the game.

After your first game (or two), if the rules are particularly long and complicated, you've probably missed something so it's worth going over them again. Often, the rules make more sense when the game is more familiar. The same applies if you feel that one player seemed to have a large advantage - this probably implies that you have missed something in the rules, as most modern games have balancing mechanisms built in.