It did take me several reads to learn it while two-handing and then it went to the “omg my partner will hate me if I pull this out” stack Obviously, now I have forgotten the rules again.
The amount of games I played on the Lancaster app before even remotely grokking what was going on was staggering. But it is the kind of game that I am glad I played before jumping for Brass B After figuring out how not to get destroyed by the AI through trial and error, Brass B was not that hard to learn. And I had several “Oh, that’s the reason the app makes me do this?” moments.
This reminds me that sometimes I try to learn a game simply by playing the app or a scripted version of it. This is how I learned Dominion or more recently (on BGA) Tranquility. Of course that one will fail quickly if you do not at least once look into the rulebook because why would anyone start the numbers in the lower left corner when all civilized people want to start in the upper left corner?
That reminds me that one I really struggled with was Black Angel which has one of the most disoganized rulebooks I remember.
I haven’t played that many of their games, for a number of years I simply avoided them at Essen because the local boardgame guru loved them and back then his recommendations had failed me a number of times. This changed in recent years… my tastes have grown more similar to his.
If I didn’t play in a demo game of Pax Transhumanity in Essen, I would never have been able to learn the rules from the rulebook. When we gathered for a huge game night shortly after, it took me half the running game to teach all the rules to the players–they were very generous with my sad teaching skills. It’s all nice to have games in a small package but when the rulebook suffers… especially when half the rulebook is footnotes.
The Heavy Cardboard Teaching videos are too long for me to sit through them. I like to sometimes have one of their playthroughs run while I am doing something else.
Honorable or rather dishonorable mention to the automa rules for Gaia Project. I relearned them yesterday to be able to teach them and while the automa is pretty good, it has too many fiddly bits and the rulebook doesn’t even do a card anatomy thing.