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5 ways to win more games!

It seems that when I play tabletop games with certain people, they always beat me. What’s with that? I mean, how can they consistently win all the time? I decided to sit down with one such guy, Jon DeYoung (pictured here), one of my excellent play testers, and ask him, “How do you always win? And why is it always by a huge margin?”​  I mean, even in co-op games this guy wants to take on the hardest level and still always wins! Here are some things he told me. I hope they are helpful in your game play:

1. Identify primary and secondary points. In most games there is a primary way to gain the most points. Other ways to gain points are consolation points or secondary points. For example, you may notice that you gain points for having money, but what the money buys is worth more points than the money. The money would then be a secondary or consolation source of points. Make sure you’re spending as much as you can to get those primary points.
2. Do quick math checks on 2 or 3 routes. There may be several or sometimes a dozen routes to take in a game to gain points. Don’t worry about analyzing all of them. Choose two or three routes and do a quick math check to see what is the most profitable. Just by choosing the best route of two or three will increase the number of game you win.
3. Play your opponent not just the game. Know a general idea about the other players’ plans. Taking a quick guess on their strategy can show you the actions you need before the other players can ace you out. It may also show you what actions you can put off because the other players are not ready to take them yet.
4. Don't do what no other players are doing. You never want to be the second or third player to take a specific action. In most games if you are second or third you get a smaller benefit. Once you have a general idea of the other players’ plans, work on getting your points either by beating them to it or by another route. This will usually mean more productive turns—and don’t forget that a turn is part of the price you pay for the benefit so try to make each turn of maximum profit.
5. Play a lot of games. Many times the player who has the edge knows the best strategy for each type of mechanic. There are natural advantages for deck building games, for worker placement games, area control games and for every other game mechanics out there. By playing a lot of games you will more easily recognize these strategies for each type of mechanic and be able to implement them into any game.

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