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What are the odds?


One of the best moments I can remember from board gaming is the time when I was playing Avalon: The Resistance. It was one of the first games that introduced me into the Hobby and as it needed many players, I was teaching it to everyone. Even to people who were non-gamers and didn’t like or could not easily understand the mechanisms or how to play a social deduction game! That was my fault that day! I explained the game to 2 non-gamers at the same time. There were also me and 3 more gamers who knew the game quite well. After the explanation was completed, we started playing regularly, but the newcomers couldn’t participate much, as it was expected. After the game was over, they (the non-gamers) were excited and wanted to play again, as they didn’t get a special role in the previous game and wanted to try something different. We added Mordred to the game, to spice it up, explained what his role was and started a new game. It was obvious now that they each got a special role, as they were talking and arguing more than the previous game and seemed to have a more specific mission!

The game was soon over and the loyal servants of Arthur prevailed. But then the bad guys had to reveal themselves and try to guess who Merlin was, to assassinate him. And they did so, but we were all surprised when one of the revealed characters was Merlin himself and at the same time Mordred was not revealed. We asked Merlin, “why did you show up?”, but we were also confused because during the game he was not acting like Merlin, but as a bad guy, and we all though him as one! At that point we all revealed our characters and everything became crystal clear. The 2 newbies were given the roles of Merlin and Mordred. But instead of playing them correctly, they played as if they had the opposite role, without knowing it. From the beginning till the end of the game they both did everything as if they were one another! We laughed so much when we understood what had happened and especially when we understood that the chances for something like this to happen are very small.

Well, I took a lesson that day! You should take into consideration the limits and needs of every new player when you explain a new game to them. I think that everyone can become a gamer, but he needs to find the appropriate game to appeal him. If you want to “create” new player from your friends or other people you meet, your “job” is to understand them and make the right choices regarding the games you teach them first!

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