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Subject: OBG 34: Bait Games rss

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Donald Dennis
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Round Table
Donald Scott and Erik discuss bait games
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/36564

Giles talks about games he played at the Australian Games Expo 2009 Moto Grand Prix, Snow tails, RattleSnake, Army of Frogs

Bart shares his success with Avid Gamers

Reviews
Lascaux reviewed by Donald and Connie
Red November reviewed by Erik
Animal Upon Animal and Zitternix reviewed by Giles and Kylie

Outro
* On Board Games is covered under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Listen at:



Web Site: http://onboardgames.net/
RSS Feed: http://onboardgames.libsyn.com/rss
Email us: onboardgames.net@gmail.com
Episode Link: http://onboardgames.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=434294

Edit to add episode link, and Bait Games Geeklist.
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Ben Lott
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I guess the only thing I don't like about this discussion is the same thing that bothers me about the whole gateway games discussion (Erik kind of touched on this at the end.) Why must we always look at these extremely fun light games as a step towards "something deeper" with a new gamer? Why can't we be content with the fun that the simple games provide?

When I introduce my family, friends, or the youth at our church to Tsuro, I'm not looking at it as a first step towards something bigger. I'm showing them that game so that we can have fun playing Tsuro. The next time I'll play a different game, perhaps Lord of the Rings. After that I could jump into Catch Phrase. There really doesn't need to be some complicated precisely-planned transition process. I play a couple games with them, they learn to trust my judgement when selecting games, and then I can introduce virtually anything to them.

Sure I'll keep in mind that ASL isn't ideal for a 15-year-old with a short attention span, but that has more to do with selecting a game that suits the audience rather than a properly tiered introduction system. I have a friend who said a few months ago he "doesn't like boardgames." I introduced him to a couple party games first and the next thing you know I had him playing Cutthroat Caverns and Pillars of the Earth. Now he claims "I never liked boardgames, but I like your boardgames."

Just my 2 cents...
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Donald Dennis
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Blott wrote:
I guess the only thing I don't like about this discussion is the same thing that bothers me about the whole gateway games discussion (Erik kind of touched on this at the end.) Why must we always look at these extremely fun light games as a step towards "something deeper" with a new gamer? Why can't we be content with the fun that the simple games provide?


I think I understand your point, and I've just deleted several paragraphs of response because I'd like to hear what other folks think.

But I have to ask - is there a problem with encouraging the creation of new boardgame enthusiasts? Or at least creating a larger population of people more generally aware of high quality games?
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Bernhard von Gunten
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I was surprised by Giles! Here in Switzerland we just call it beer (instead of "coffee-energy-drink-mix")

Nah, cool episode - as always ;-)

Thanks guys!
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Donald Dennis
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I thought the intro was lots of fun. Thanks Giles!
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Giles Pritchard
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bvongunten wrote:
I was surprised by Giles! Here in Switzerland we just call it beer (instead of "coffee-energy-drink-mix")

Nah, cool episode - as always ;-)

Thanks guys!


blush

Beer may have been a minor ingredient in my 'energy drink' - but the massive quantity of coffee should never be underestimated!

Walsfeo wrote:
I thought the intro was lots of fun. Thanks Giles!


Hehehehe! Well what else was I going to do while I waited for BGG 2.0 to come back online???

--

Great discussion I think. I agree that there are a level of games that could be described as bait games - I like the term Scott!

I also agree that sometimes board gamers can over proselityze the hobby - but I als believe that in many cases they are simply passionate about what the games provide (the social fun and thought involved), and genuinely want to share that with others.

My perception on the discussion is that generally there is a path (at least with the people I have introduced to the hobby), that will meander from simply 'bait' games, through gateway games, and on into fuller or meatier games.

Some people (my wife's mother for example), will never become a gamer, and will often never even play a simple gateway game. Bait games are fine for her, and if she is happy to play them then hell, so am I!

I think though that Don, Erik and Scott weren't encouraging or arguing for a progression or path of conversion to a full gamer... but rather discussing a typical experience when introducing people to games. I know that this has been a path for me - to see people go from a bait game and on into more complex games - which is great.

Whatever our view, I think we can all agree that seeing people enjoying and deriving social fun from a board game of any sort, is a pleasing sight.

---

Scott, you mention Tulipmania... as an obssessive preorderererererer of the game I am curious - any recent news?? I am looking forward to giving it a shot (and not just on the JKLM site!)!!

Cheers,

Giles
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Giles Pritchard
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By the way - sorry for the audio quality of Kylie and my review!! Hopefully I'll fix that up for next time!

The reason I was laughing so much is that she was taking me off in the background - as I tend to gesticulate when i speak, and as I was making the motion of rolling dice and stacking animals, she was taking me off. It may not have come through clearly enough either - but when I ask her "what's the secret" in regard to her always winning Zitternix, she replies "Not to be you"

I love her laugh

Cheers,

Giles.


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Ben Lott
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Walsfeo wrote:
But I have to ask - is there a problem with encouraging the creation of new boardgame enthusiasts? Or at least creating a larger population of people more generally aware of high quality games?

Nope. Nothing at all. And I didn't mean to come off as so argumentative in my original post. It's just that I think the settings you guys describe for introducing games are probably more of the exception rather than the rule. I can guarantee I will never be in a convention hall with a bunch of people, trying to convince them to play board games instead of video games.

Usually my situation is sitting down with another couple just the 4 of us, and I have a captive audience that was planning on playing games. So there is no need for some bait to lure them in, I merely need to show them good games that they will enjoy so that they will trust my judgement in the future.

But I think what I was really trying to get at in my original post was what Giles touched on when talking about his mother-in-law. It feels like many people consider that situation a loss (this is based on many conversations on BGG, not just your roundtable discussion.) Yet they're failing to realize they have a person who is perfectly willing to play some really fun games, but they get hung up on the fact that they won't go any deeper.

I guess I'm just not a very good boardgame evangelist. I'm content with having family and friends who are willing to play some great games, and feel no need to tell the world about our hobby. Sure, I may never sit down to a game of Agricola, because it's beyond my family's desired complexity. However I'm not focusing on not playing Agricola, but on the fact that I get to play Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, etc.
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Donald Dennis
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I think the most important thing about bait games is as a checklist to remind game enthusiasts what elements might have the broadest appeal. Is it necessary to push the people you expose to them to the next step? Nope, but it at least exposes a larger audience to games that aren't ugly and boring.

Blott wrote:
Nope. Nothing at all. And I didn't mean to come off as so argumentative in my original post. It's just that I think the settings you guys describe for introducing games are probably more of the exception rather than the rule. I can guarantee I will never be in a convention hall with a bunch of people, trying to convince them to play board games instead of video games.

Ah, I understand. The point about when bait games might be useful as bait, or just to play, is a good issue, and was something we should have addressed a little more. I tried to talk about it at the end, but we werent ready to discuss when they would be useful or how to get the best benefit out of them. I don't think bait games require such a public setting to get use out of them.

As for our use of bait games, Scott, Erik, and I didn't really stumble on to our public opportunities to utilize bait games. Within the past few years Erik has set himself up as the 'go to' game guy at his church, and has even organized a game group. Scott has merged his career and hobby passions; for me, it really has been part of my career path since before I got out of college. So yes, to use bait games at the same scale we were talking about takes more than just a little effort.
Blott wrote:
Usually my situation is sitting down with another couple just the 4 of us, and I have a captive audience that was planning on playing games. So there is no need for some bait to lure them in, I merely need to show them good games that they will enjoy so that they will trust my judgement in the future.
Absolutely, a very different setting. Not one in which bait games are needed.

Blott wrote:
But I think what I was really trying to get at in my original post was what Giles touched on when talking about his mother-in-law. It feels like many people consider that situation a loss (this is based on many conversations on BGG, not just your roundtable discussion.) Yet they're failing to realize they have a person who is perfectly willing to play some really fun games, but they get hung up on the fact that they won't go any deeper.
I agree, any time I can get my family to play games, the happier I am. I don't really see my parents, brother, or sister getting heavily into these games of ours, if they ever get past bait games I'd be shocked. My Mom and Dad might not even make it into any of what we'd normally call gateway games, so the bait is a good step down for them.

Blott wrote:
I guess I'm just not a very good boardgame evangelist. I'm content with having family and friends who are willing to play some great games, and feel no need to tell the world about our hobby. Sure, I may never sit down to a game of Agricola, because it's beyond my family's desired complexity. However I'm not focusing on not playing Agricola, but on the fact that I get to play Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, etc.

I am certain there are good ways to use bait games in casual social situations, or even professional settings. Do you have your own desk at work? Bait games might be attractive enough to use as desk art, and quick enough to play with a co-worker should they express interest.

Still, if you aren't interested in performing 'board game' outreach, then even that might not make bait games worthwhile.
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Ben Lott
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Walsfeo wrote:
Still, if you aren't interested in performing 'board game' outreach, then even that might not make bait games worthwhile.


The funny thing is...Most of the "bait games" that you guys discussed on the podcast I do own, and love quite a lot. My favorite thing about them isn't their ability to draw people in, but their simplicity so that I can set up some of the youth playing several different games at the same time without having to monitor and teach every game.
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"Three minutes and counting...." Brilliant, Giles.

Here's the post by Bart (armed-medic) mentioned by Giles:
Gaming with High Schoolers in the AVID program
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Giles Pritchard
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Thanks!

Thanks also for posting the link!

Cheers,

Giles.
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Robert Cannon
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I can't believe you didn't mention Wasabi as a "bait" game. It has the right look to draw people over, the rules are simple to teach and the play is pretty quick. But the biggest factor was the lost opportunity to classify a game about sushi as bait!
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Donald Dennis
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robcannonsoftware wrote:
I can't believe you didn't mention Wasabi as a "bait" game. It has the right look to draw people over, the rules are simple to teach and the play is pretty quick. But the biggest factor was the lost opportunity to classify a game about sushi as bait!
That roundtable was recorded awhile ago, I don't know if Any of us had played Wasabi at that point. I still haven't.

What other games did we miss on the show? Or are there any we suggested that you don't belive are bait?

Also, check out Scott's bait game geek-list and add your favorite.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/36564
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Scott Nicholson
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robcannonsoftware wrote:
I can't believe you didn't mention Wasabi as a "bait" game. It has the right look to draw people over, the rules are simple to teach and the play is pretty quick. But the biggest factor was the lost opportunity to classify a game about sushi as bait!


I have played it, and despite the pun (wocka wocka), I would not qualify Wasabi as a bait game.


Why? 2 reasons:

The big 1 - It is too long! If it took 20 minutes, then it would be much better. But it takes 45-60 minutes to play, and in my opinion, stops being fun after the first 30 minutes. The fight to get those last recipes is exactly what you don't want new people to the hobby to experience.

The other 1 - The cards and rules with them are too complex. If it was simply match recipes to cards, that would be easy. But then you have X different types of cards, and many do something different, and the Wasabi card really screws up everything. In my opinion, those cards ruin the simplicity that the game could have had.


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Robert Cannon
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snicholson wrote:
The other 1 - The cards and rules with them are too complex. If it was simply match recipes to cards, that would be easy. But then you have X different types of cards, and many do something different, and the Wasabi card really screws up everything. In my opinion, those cards ruin the simplicity that the game could have had.



That is disappointing to hear. I have the game on order and I haven't had the chance to play it yet. From everything I had heard, it sounded like a good fit.
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Donald Dennis
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robcannonsoftware wrote:
That is disappointing to hear. I have the game on order and I haven't had the chance to play it yet. From everything I had heard, it sounded like a good fit.
I wouldn't fret over having ordered Wasabi. It may not be a perfect bait game, but it would probably be a great one to have out as one of the background games we mentioned. It is certainly as eye catching as a bait game, but it's the next level up - perhaps like a Ticket to Ride. I still want to give it a try, despite Scott's misgivings about the game.
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J M Duran
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I agree,

We played Wasabi at our Boardgame Meet Up group and it fell flat. The bits were a hit and it wasn't disliked, but it wasn't a bait game. Scott's right it drags near the end. Although one player (we were all new to Wasabi) had fun laying tiles and scoring multiple recipes in one move.

But, I still got "what else do you have?" and "can we play Coloretto again?"

BTW I encourage game players to use Meetup.com as "bait" The El Paso Boardgamers Group is flourishing thanx to this web site and I can't think of a better way to form gaming groups. We have to get them to the pier before we even consider Bait (Forming Your Gaming Group previously covered in an OBG episode).
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Tom Gurganus
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Great episode guys.
I have enjoyed the discussion on the podcast and the followups here. I think this is a germane topic and was very interested. I'm glad Erik mentioned his gaming with his church oriented group. I'm thinking in that direction myself and could use some suggestions for games. This podcast helped for that. I'll try to keep you posted on how things go.
I really enjoyed Giles' contributions this time. I have heard several reviews of Tier auf Tier and now know that it is one we need to buy. I was glad to hear about Zitternix. I would not have thought that it would be fun based on the website info but I think it would work with my family.
Thanks for the Red November review. I have heard both good and lukewarm reviews of it and am glad to have another good one. I had thought that I would like it and the review bolstered that. I believe it would be a good introduction to coop games for my group. Do you think Pandemic or Shadows Over Camelot would be better? I would appreciate some opinions on this.
Thanks to Kylie for joining the show!
tomg
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Giles Pritchard
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Thanks Tom!

Kylie and I both hope you enjoy those games (if you get them ). We certainly do!

Hopefully I can convince Kylie to come back and do another review! She was trying to ban me sending the audio to Don, but I did it secretly one night while she was asleep on the couch laugh

I have to bribe her with flowers and chocolates ninja

Cheers,

Giles.
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Tom Gurganus
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Giles,
I hope to pick up at least one of them soon.
I forgot to thank you for the Games in Education sections. What a great idea! The report from Bart was very good and inspiring.
Thanks!!
tomg
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Donald Dennis
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boffotom wrote:
I forgot to thank you for the Games in Education sections. What a great idea! The report from Bart was very good and inspiring.
We will still have some games in education items on the show because we all feel it is very important, but Giles has migrated the bulk of his education content to his own show over at http://gamesforeducators.com/ .

Yes, I dragged him onto On Board Games to talk about that topic, but it really makes more sense to have it associated with the other site. Fortunately, Giles really likes to talk, so we've convinced him to keep submitting segments to On Board Games.
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Erik Dewey
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boffotom wrote:
Thanks for the Red November review. I have heard both good and lukewarm reviews of it and am glad to have another good one. I had thought that I would like it and the review bolstered that. I believe it would be a good introduction to coop games for my group. Do you think Pandemic or Shadows Over Camelot would be better? I would appreciate some opinions on this.


It depends a lot on the group you play with. Pandemic feels more like a team effort to me than Red Novemeber because in Pandemic, each player does the same thing when it is their turn to run the "game." That is each turn a player turns over 2 (or 3 or 4) disease cards. In Red November, the player may choose to take a little bit longer to perform a task and draw 4 event cards instead of 3 and that 4th one could be the one that kills the sub.

Shadows has the traitor element so someone will be hosing everyone else and if the person that is the traitor is sensative to that in any way, it can make the game fall flat.

So if I were to walk in cold with a group of 4 players, I'd bring Pandemic. If I knew there were more than 4 than Red Novemeber. Once you know the group, you can tailor the games as you see fit.
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