“Cards. Deal With It.”
July 7, 2018 8:59 AM   Subscribe

“Everyone hates learning the rules to tabletop games. It's like going to one of those long timeshare presentations before getting your free vacation: if you want to have fun, you have to suffer through boring torture first. That is... until now! My name is Jeff Kornberg, and I make "How To Play" board game tutorial videos on my channel called "The Dragon's Tomb." A lot of other YouTube channels currently make similar kinds of videos, but most of them get the rules wrong, go on too long, or have boring hosts who are nerdy. My channel aims to fix all that. Each one of my videos concisely covers all rules of each game, while being hosted by someone who isn't a nerd (me). I am planning on making a "How To Play" video for every board game that exists, so if you get a new game, please wait until I make a video for it before attempting to play.” [via: Kotaku]
How To Play - The Settlers of Catan [YouTube]
How To Play - Cards Against Humanity [YouTube]
How To Play - Ticket To Ride [YouTube]
How To Play - Twister [YouTube]
How To Play - Codenames [YouTube]
How To Play - Carcassonne [YouTube]
posted by Fizz (65 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
 
My housemates are avid boardgamers (I am a card player) so I'm sending them this in the hopes it will ease the droning of the instruction sessions. Thanks.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:10 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I am planning on making a "How To Play" video for every board game that exists

Current number of board games listed on BoardGameGeek.com: 99,611.

Current number of board games on his site: 7.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:17 AM on July 7 [22 favorites]


Just sayin'.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:20 AM on July 7 [9 favorites]


That is some brilliantly straight-faced satire. As a non-gamer surrounded by such I am thoroughly on board with this.
posted by freya_lamb at 9:20 AM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Can I somehow set a notification for when he does Canasta?
posted by hippybear at 9:22 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


All in all, these videos are a blast to watch!
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:23 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I can't WAIT to play Settlers of Catan... I love fat dogs and Lincoln Logs.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:26 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


The one for Cards Against Humanity seems to be exactly the way it is actually played among my friends... Or will be now.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:29 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


A lot of other YouTube channels currently make similar kinds of videos, but most of them get the rules wrong, go on too long, or have boring hosts who are nerdy.

So, "Bite me, Will Wheaton", I guess.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:34 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Current number of board games listed on BoardGameGeek.com: 99,611.

Current number of board games on his site: 7.


What's your point? He has to start somewhere!

These are extremely informative, and I think he's going to get there, even if it takes months. I'm just glad to be getting in at the ground floor, as it were.
posted by Edgewise at 9:36 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


This makes me fondly think of my friends who really love board games, trying to teach my husband and I - who don't really love games but do love our friends - how to play board games.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:50 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


The most fun part about playing a board game is explaining the rules. I'm against this.
posted by subdee at 9:57 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Just sayin'.

That’s some of that nerd talk he’s complaining about. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:02 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


From experience, ricochet biscuit is pretty good at explaining games without droning on.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:04 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


This is very good. I think I like his take on Catan a lot better.

Also I now have the horrors of how many times I've swung through a thread and not realised I've left a completely daft comment due to not checking out the links...
posted by ominous_paws at 10:15 AM on July 7 [13 favorites]


Just sayin'.

Hey now. He's already got Sufjan beat.
posted by cortex at 10:19 AM on July 7 [15 favorites]


I quite like his explanation of Ticket To Ride as a series of long distance trash runs collecting dumpsters.
posted by mannequito at 10:20 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I like this idea a lot, I'm curious how many he ends up doing. Right now, it seems like he's making two a month. This seems like it could be a great crowd source project.
posted by Query at 10:23 AM on July 7


I’ll probably only call those wildcards “Rainbow colored pride dumpsters” going forward.
posted by ElliotH at 10:26 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I don't think we'll ever see him do ASL
posted by Max Power at 10:28 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


> Homeboy Trouble:
"All in all, these videos are a blast to watch!"

Glad to hear it, because I was going to skip them. There was a supercilious, superior tone to the quoted text in the post that really made me not want to watch them.
posted by Samizdata at 10:47 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Or will be now.

*ahem* Or __dildos__ will be __your mom__ now.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:00 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


This is hilarious! I want to play Carcassonne (or carcass-own) now. I hope our set has the waterslide feature.
posted by Kris10_b at 11:03 AM on July 7


Also: His version of Twister seems dumb but not unplayably-dumb, so I'm kind of looking forward to his rules for Candyland, which might end up being actually better than the real rules for Candyland
posted by 23skidoo at 11:09 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I can't tell if half of these comments are committed to the bit or if they just haven't watched the videos yet
posted by Think_Long at 11:20 AM on July 7 [34 favorites]


I can't tell if half of these comments are committed to the bit or if they just haven't watched the videos yet

Yes.
posted by Fizz at 11:30 AM on July 7 [12 favorites]


so I'm kind of looking forward to his rules for Candyland

Just flip a coin and be done with it?
posted by jedicus at 11:31 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I thought these were real, until I watched the Cards Against Humanity one.

Good job, The Dragon's Tomb!
posted by newfers at 11:31 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Just flip a coin and be done with it?

I mean, sure, if the point of "The Dragon's Tomb" was to actually try and describe how to play the actual games.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:03 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I really got a kick out of these, thanks for posting.
posted by xarnop at 12:24 PM on July 7


I really find a good YouTube video is the best way to introduce people to complex games, and these are particularly great. I hope he does Sushi Go Party soon.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:45 PM on July 7


I may actually play that version of Settlers.
posted by rednikki at 12:59 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


These videos are delightful. Looking forward to his videos for Risk, Monopoly, and other classics.
posted by mogget at 1:03 PM on July 7


Boy are the people complaining about these videos without watching them going to feel silly when they see them and realise they've been playing all their favourite games wrong for years.
posted by howfar at 1:21 PM on July 7 [12 favorites]


I'd never heard anyone say "subsequent" that way.
posted by pracowity at 1:33 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I'd never heard anyone say "subsequent" that way.

I used to say it that way when I was younger. It is one of those things you get wrong when you mostly see it written. Like "sequence", but with a "sub-" at the beginning. I probably still say it that way sometimes.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 1:38 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Okay I was honestly excited about this premise and read it aloud to my ladyfriend (who is a nerd and who wishes I wanted to play games but knows learning new ones is not my thing) and then scrolled through the comments, had a hunch it wasn't what it seems, then clicked on one to watch. :(

I don't know how to play any of these games so this isn't funny to me because I don't know how far off he is. I can see that it would be funny to people who are familiar with them so I'm not shitting on the concept, I'm just bummed I can't enjoy them!

So, I guess, if I actually wanted to have someone explain how to play games to me, is there like, a non-white-male out there (ideally female-identified) who has a YouTube doing this in a non-droning way?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 2:36 PM on July 7


I don't know how to play any of these games so this isn't funny to me because I don't know how far off he is

He's 100% off and apparently that's the in-joke. I know some of these games and it's not really funny to me either.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:51 PM on July 7


Um what the fuck?? Maybe if you play the idiot version of Carcassone then you drop your assistants on the track but if you actually read the fucking rulebook you see that it's a bidding game, you determine who drops the assistant by an OPEN BID which totally changes the strategy and makes it a completely different game; have fun playing shit Carcassone for baby dumbshits otherwise.
posted by fleacircus at 2:52 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


Count me in as someone else who really wishes this were a real thing! Actually I always thought that there was a market for videos of people just doing straight playthroughs of games, with Pop Up Video-style annotations explaining what's going on. In my group of friends I'm the non-board gamer who always complains loudly about having to sit through extended rules explanations but then gets it pretty quick after we actually get started.
posted by btfreek at 2:54 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to watch the rest of these but let me guess: he calls the Captsone Hex in Catan a fucking "tower hat".
posted by fleacircus at 2:54 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]


I might be too charitable but I like the idea that you can invent new games to play using the same pieces.

The actual rules he make up are hit and miss (part of the joke seems to be that some of the made up games are unplayable (i.e. rolling a 4 and an 11 with two 6-sided dice), and the Codenames one is too skeevy for me even though he acknowledges it as such at the end).
posted by Tha Contender at 3:02 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I think I would be much more likely to play the above version of Settlers than the actual game.

A side note on Carcassone: my husband and I had been playing our game for months before realizing that the blue people (which he always selected) had an entire whole extra goddamn person in the set. Insanity! I’d still won occasionally, but the games have been much more balanced since this discovery.
posted by obfuscation at 3:02 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I hope he makes a video about the Jerry Maguire game next.
posted by solotoro at 3:08 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


There's a proliferation of board-game-explainer youtube channels out there, for those who don't want the Pronunciation Manual approach to board game explanation. Here, for example is The Rules Girl explaining Carcassonne. A decent number of board game makers also make their own rules-explainer videos these days, too.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:02 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I'd never heard anyone say "subsequent " that way.

People at my work do this and it confuses me.
posted by greermahoney at 4:05 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


> hosts who are nerdy

[after watching 3 seconds of the first video] Sorry dude, that ship has sailed. And that's fine. Own it.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 4:07 PM on July 7


I completely and totally hate the recent trend towards YouTube explainer videos for anything, including for board game rules. Any time friends want to make me watch somebody’s explainer video, I simply read the paper rules while they watch and that works much better for me. (I just don’t take in audio information well).

But these explainer videos? Well I might have to watch all of them.
posted by nat at 4:08 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


So, I guess, if I actually wanted to have someone explain how to play games to me, is there like, a non-white-male out there (ideally female-identified) who has a YouTube doing this in a non-droning way?

Geek and Sundry might scratch that itch.
posted by calamari kid at 4:44 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


which might end up being actually better than the real rules for Candyland

Isn't the only rule for Candelaria "Let your younger sister/brother/cousin win"?
posted by madajb at 6:12 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


[after watching 3 seconds of the first video] Sorry dude, that ship has sailed. And that's fine. Own it.

And if you watched 5 or 6 seconds of the videos you might begin to suspect that you shouldn't take everything he says completely seriously.

Also, I'm legitimately glad that people are discovering the vast genre of boardgame explainer videos in this thread, but as someone pretty invested in boardgames, part of me is still surprised people who wanted these didn't know they existed. There are "how-to" videos for everything on Youtube. It feels sort of like someone saying "I didn't really get Blazing Saddles, I'm actually interested in the history of the American frontier, and the interaction between agricultural laborers, law enforcement and indigenous peoples, are there any movies like that?"
posted by firechicago at 6:30 PM on July 7 [11 favorites]


Oh, hey, there's a guy here in Hawaii that does first impression reviews of board games (which includes a bunch about how to play them) and "quick set-up" videos among other things under the title Aloha Nerd and Geek.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:02 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


In the YT comments, someone mentions that it's almost impossible to collect the 7th carcass in Carcassone. The nerd that wrote this comment claims it's a 1 in 50 chance.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:03 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I posted about a series of board game explainer videos like eight years ago, with Board Games With Scott. His video was the only way I managed to learn to play Agricola.
posted by JHarris at 12:31 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I cannot wait to find out how to play Agricola.
posted by egypturnash at 12:34 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Ping me when there’s a video on why to play Agricola.
posted by Iteki at 8:18 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


I laughed in a vaguely panicked way at the idea of having to do 100 trash routes.
posted by jeoc at 11:47 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Iteki, I can tell you why to play Agricola right here!

Agricola is a game about competing for resources. If you focus on blocking other players just to harm them, you usually end up hurting your own farm a fair bit too unless you already needed those resources. But if you don't take the other players into account, you'll end up getting blocked by them a lot.

So, it becomes a game about foreseeing where the resource chokepoints will be, figuring out what the other players will need and either not needing those things when the time comes, or being sure you can get them first. The first of those two things is optimal, let the other players block each other while you already have that stuff. Then you can scoop up the other resources that have piled up because they aren't being chased.

The catch is the cards. The cards give everyone different advantages and different priorities. You might look at the other player's boards and foresee a run on wood, but one of them might have an Occupation in their hand that lets them use Clay for Wood. And likewise, your own hand gives you the potential to get out of the running for the "normal" chase goods by getting other stuff.

We've played it a lot and always seem to enjoy it. Even if you lose, if you managed to fill out a substantial portion of your board it's still very satisfying to play.
posted by JHarris at 8:03 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


(And Caverna is basically Agricola but with dwarves who sometimes go on adventures and bring back loot. It's the same designer as Agricola, using almost entirely the same mechanics. It effectively turns Agricola's occupation cards into things that you can build from a common stock, which resolves the problem of drawing a shite hand of cards. It's a great evolution of the Agricola concept.)
posted by kaibutsu at 9:15 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Yes, the only problem is that Caverna is expensive. Agricola's not cheap itself, but Caverna lists at nearly $100.
posted by JHarris at 9:57 PM on July 8


I would totally play this dude's version of any of these games. Well, that's not true. I'm more than happy to let my gifted copy of Cards Against Humanity continue gathering dust.
posted by zeusianfog at 3:25 PM on July 9


Absolutely fantastic.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:43 PM on July 12


Ping me when there’s a video on why to play Agricola.

There is literally no reason to play Agricola when Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small exists. Want a meatier game? (You don't.) Then Caverna is a superior implementation of Agricola mechanics. Want to play a game that is less like a multi-tabbed spreadsheet that was set up by a guy who no longer works there and now you have to figure it out, and more like a fun time? Then Eurogames cannot help you with that.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:58 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Battleship
posted by RobotHero at 5:59 PM on July 27 [3 favorites]


I have to disagree turbid dahlia. We've played a lot of Agricola, and still find it entertaining. I've not played ACBaS, but Agricola is at least better suited for us because it's for more than two players. And Caverna lacks Agricola's wide array of situation-mutating cards. And the last time I checked Agricola is cheaper than Caverna.

Well, we like it. That's really all I can definitively speak for, but I insist that we are an important data point.
posted by JHarris at 11:44 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]


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