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Old 07-12-2019, 02:04 AM   #11
Steve Plambeck
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Ditching Megahexes

Funny story about megahexes. Circa 1981, I tried to get a co-worker (my boss actually) interested in playing -- I thought he'd dig it. One weekend on my advice he bought his own copy of Melee or Wizard (I don't recall which) and tried it out at home with his teenage son.

He comes into work Monday morning telling me he was all frustrated and disappointed in the game, said they tried to get started and gave up. I couldn't believe it and asked why.

He said they made characters and put them in those starting spaces on the map, but nowhere did the rules explain how they were supposed to get at or fire at each other "with all those walls in the way."

At first I thought he meant they cast wall spells, but no, he was talking about being locked in those cells... the megahex borders.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:14 PM   #12
JLV's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Ditching Megahexes

That's a good story -- and makes a very important point that anyone trying to bring a new person into TFT should remember.

People who have never played (or in some cases, even seen) a board wargame before have a near-vertical learning curve; not because the rules of Melee or Wizard (or Ogre, for that matter) are too complex, but because the entire environment is based on fundamental assumptions that they've never seen or heard of before. Odds ratios (or differentials) are often a huge stumbling block in teaching even a basic game like Ogre to someone who's never played such a game before. Movement points and allowances is another fundamental concept that most of us don't even bother to think about any more, but which often needs to be carefully explained to a new player. And the hex grid -- what the HECK is that all about? (One dead-serious question a new player asked me once -- not kidding here -- was; "Is this happening inside a beehive or something?" The entire intro session halted for half an hour while I made sure that everyone understood that the hex grid was merely a tool that allowed them to accurately place their figures and calculate ranges and movement and had nothing to do with the actual terrain of the map.)

Sometimes these fundamental assumptions on our parts are a MUCH bigger problem to a new person than any rules set could ever be -- because we tend to gloss right over it and just "assume" they can figure it out. Like any other form of teaching, you have to be careful when teaching gaming to a first-timer because you need to make sure that the basic assumptions are understood as well as the rules.
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