So Frankly...

So Frankly...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rules Reduction

In the past, I have talked about using player aids, and I also use rules summary sheets. For some games, I have developed my own summaries or player aids. For others, I use documents I find on the web. The catch with rules summaries is that I still find myself going back to the full rules published with the game.

November is the final month of our gaming group for 2013. It’s just too hard to try to put together a time during the month of December. I am pulling out all the games we have played this year, a total of 21 different titles. (If you are curious, you can find the list here.) Some of these games we only played once during the year, not often enough for me to be familiar with the rules. This is particularly true of the games that someone volunteered to take home and learn so they could teach the game at a session. More specifically, there are five games that I need to review.

One would think a summary sheet would be great here. However, I am taking a different approach. I am using a copy of the rulebook as an aid, by highlighting and writing notes. I don’t want to mark up the original rulebook, just in case I trade away any of these games down the road. Specifically, I am highlighting things that might easily be forgotten, like a specific sequence of actions, or some other procedure that is important to get right. One common part of a rulebook that gets this hit hard is the combat section (if it has one). Often there are very explicit rules on when casualties are taken, when retreats occur and how, or some other aspect.

This is a pretty easy approach, since most game publishers put their rules out on the internet these days. Next time you are looking at a game and its rules, try this approach. It might keep you going in your game when the rules aren’t immediately coming to mind.

It's Your Move!



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