Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview and How to Teach Your Kid SWCCG

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Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview and How to Teach Your Kid SWCCG

Post by Corran »

On a very special episode, we interview Mark Walseth, a middle school teacher who runs a Star Wars CCG after school program at Rosemount Middle School. He has developed a unique technique for teaching kids how to play the game, starting with 10 card decks and slowly building bigger and bigger decks and introducing new concepts.

https://www.kendallcast.ninja/2020/06/b ... lseth.html
Last edited by Corran on June 2nd, 2020, 5:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.


Check out Bad Deck Breakdowns, a Star Wars CCG Deckbuilding podcast, on the podcatcher of your choice or https://www.kendallcast.ninja
dvphimself wrote: https://www.twitch.tv/kendallcastnetwork/ is my favourite SWCCG channel.
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Re: Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview

Post by CRG »

HOW TO TEACH YOUR KID SWCCG

So you want to teach your kid SWCCG. Or your kid wants you to teach them. Perhaps they’ve seen your collection, watched the arts-and-crafts parts of deckbuilding, or has seen you playing or watching games on GEMP. Or like mine, was hooked on Star Wars from the second the Tantive IV and Devastator flew over Tatooine (mine stopped moving, mouth open, sandwich-in-hand paused in mid-air until the droids were in the Dune Sea).

How do you foster their interest in this complex game? In a few wordS, slowly and with community and fun at the forefront. Here’s a where/how/what to start from Mark Walseth, Rosemount Middle School Teacher who runs a SWCCG program for his 8th graders. The nuts and bolts (and lists) are his, with a few details flushed out based on my teaching my nearly 8-year-old son.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • Go Slow (and the order of teaching cards)
  • Go set by set
  • Equity
  • Community over competition
  • The 10/20/30 decks (and beyond)
GO SLOW (AND ORDER OF TEACHING CARDS)
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First, and foremost: Go slow. Make sure your student masters one thing at a time for the game. Also have fun. If you or your student isn’t having fun, take a break, set the game down, and come back to it another time. It also means you make less-than-optimal plays so you (intentionally) lose. Winning is good for new players.

0.0 - SWCCG writ-large.
Talk about the Players Committee, the history of the game, the source of this program (from Mark Walseth) and Mark’s current and former Rosemount Middle School players and the success they’ve had (e.g. Bryan Mischke as Worlds Runner-Up in 2019), and major tournaments, such as Worlds. Let them know what they’re apart of by playing the game. Mark spends one day (20 min session) with his students just talking about this topic before even touching cards.

0.5 - Talk about the goal of the game
Perhaps this is the lawyer in me, but I always when teaching a new game to a person is to explain the purpose of the game. What are you trying to do to win? In SWCCG, that is reduce your opponent’s face-down cards (lifeforce) to zero.

1.0 - Teach the phases.
What each one is, and what you do during each of these. I made an index card for my son that I put in front of him during each game for several weeks, and even now I make sure he is actively thinking through phases. Often I hear him announce “I don’t control anything” after he activates. Everything else is built on this, including the order in which they learn each of the following steps.

The index card in question:
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Image from iOS.jpg
Image from iOS.jpg (966.57 KiB) Viewed 871 times
Image from iOS.jpg
Image from iOS.jpg (966.57 KiB) Viewed 871 times
1.5 - Activate
The activate phase teaches the importance of locations, icons, and the Force they generate themselves. Have them manually count it out, ask them how much Force they can activate this turn.

2.0 - Force Draining
The 10/20/30 decks are designed to have strength in different theaters. Light has ground, Dark has space. Teaching Force draining introduces the concepts of controlling a location, Force icons, and risks of deployment of a location.

2.5 - Deploy
This phase allows you to talk about deployment costs and where cards can deploy to (need presence or icons).

3.0 - Battle (and battle destiny a/k/a “the bonus card”)
Battles offer opportunity for conflict and interaction in the game. Talk about how much power each side has, who is the winner/loser (kids loving winning battles), battle damage, forfeit values.

Don’t teach battle destinies yet, just make sure they get the mechanics of what happens during a battle down. Thankfully, the decks don't give themselves much of an opportunity to draw battle destiny until at least the 20-card decks which have the power 2/ability 2 characters (or stronger).

Battle destinies, when you start, are only a “bonus card.” They add to power only. You can use this to teach your student about what is a destiny draw, and what happens with it after you draw it. When they have mastered this, go ahead and move on to attrition.

4.0 - Attrition
This is perhaps the hardest concept to teach because it requires the student to at the same time track power (and resulting battle damage) and also attrition while at the same time knowing that forfeiting something from battle can satisfy both.

I have taught my son this by going in a very step-by-step process asking him questions that would be answers in a GEMP game log:
  • Initiate
  • Weapons phase actions
  • Battle destiny
  • Winner/loser
  • Damage segment (and order of forfeiting)
I often ask him to tell me: Who won? If I lost, what is my battle damage? What is my/your attrition? When he forfeits something (especially when he loses a battle), how much of your battle damage did that cover? How much of your attrition did that cover?

4.5 - Movement
As you add applicable cards, talk about landspeed, hyperspeed, shuttling (capital vs. starfighter), landing (TIE requiring docking bay vs. others landing at an exterior site).

5.0 - Drawing
The decks naturally do not have a lot of cards in them, and so what you draw in your opening hand and draw into can swing games hard. Teach strategies about when to draw, and when to stop. This is mostly once you get into the 30-card decks (or larger) where you may need to save Force for use on your opponent’s turn (for a Barrier, grabber, It Could Be Worse). The cards Reactor Terminal and Traffic Control can also help here.

6.0 Weapons, Interrupts, and Effects
These cards are in the 30-card training deck, and they teach you that items other than characters or starships can deploy, and where they go/what they deploy on. Interrupts also teach each person’s trading right to take a top-level action. Weapons also teach top-level actions because it is something that a player can do in battle. This also an opportunity to teach your student that if you have a question about what a card does, read it!

7.0 - Starting Interrupts
I haven’t gotten here (or past it) with my 8 year old, but once you get to Jabba’s Palace these open up.

8.0 - Objectives
Now is an opportunity to talk about objectives, which set up decks and platforms instead of using a starting location. Against, teach the student to read what is on the card and follow those instructions.

9.0 Starting Effects (shields)
This takes you up to Reflections 3 for a card set, and are there to curb some of the abusive strategies which existed before their creation.

10 - Maintenance cards, virtual cards, etc.
Once you’re here, it’s just an expanded card pool.
SET BY SET
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The training decks can be made completely with Premier and A New Hope cards, which keeps the universe of cards simple. Once those are mastered, the card pool can be expanded by going to Hoth, or as far as Jabba’s Palace (due to starting interrupts). Add sets slowly so the student can expand their card knowledge. Doing this also helps with the next topic, equity (i.e. fairness).
EQUITY
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This goes hand-in-hand by going set-by-set, but make two decks (one Light, one Dark), make them balanced, and do it ahead of time. When starting with a brand-new player, start with the sample 10-card lists. They are balanced and designed for this practice. Start with a hand of 3, cards face-up and work through the phases. Once those are mastered, add the next 10 cards. And so forth. Play a game, then in a day or so, switch sides without changing any cards in the deck. This way, the student will learn the cards by playing as them and against them, in a closed environment.

If doing this for multiple students, decks should be roughly the same cards in an interest of fairness.
COMMUNITY OVER COMPETITION
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Talk about this and early, about how the time commitment involved, and stress community over competition. If your group is too focused on winning and not celebrating each others wins eventually you'll have no one to play with. Having fun is the most important thing.
THE 10/20/30 CARD TRAINING DECKS
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These are Walseth’s original lists of what specific cards to use when teaching a new student. I have changed them slightly in the actual lists I used for balance/functionality/my availability purpose (e.g. Probe Telemetry and Swila Corey has no use in this format even though they teach players that cards can become important virtual later, going to Probot and Ysanne Isard, respectfuly).

LIGHT SIDE

Set 1
Rebel Trooper x3
Rebel Guard x2
Rebel Pilot
Y-Wing
X-Wing
1/1 Tatooine Site
2/1 Tatooine Site

And my example:
Walseth 10 card - LS.png
Walseth 10 card - LS.png (635.41 KiB) Viewed 868 times
Walseth 10 card - LS.png
Walseth 10 card - LS.png (635.41 KiB) Viewed 868 times
Set 2
2/2 Unique Pilot x3
Power 3 (or more) Character
Ability 3 Character
Ability 4 Character
X-Wing
Ship that holds 3 (or more) pilots
2/1 System
2/2 Site

And my example:
Walseth 20 card - LS.png
Walseth 20 card - LS.png (505.96 KiB) Viewed 868 times
Walseth 20 card - LS.png
Walseth 20 card - LS.png (505.96 KiB) Viewed 868 times
Set 3
It Could Be Worse x2
Rebel Barrier
Old Ben
Traffic Control
Sai'torr Kal Fas
Timer Mine
Blaster
Any Starship Weapon
LIN-V8M (Mining Droid)

And my example:
Wasleth 30 card - LS.png
Wasleth 30 card - LS.png (480.42 KiB) Viewed 868 times
Wasleth 30 card - LS.png
Wasleth 30 card - LS.png (480.42 KiB) Viewed 868 times
DARK SIDE

Set 1
TIE Scout x2
TIE Advanced x2
TIE Fighter
Stormtrooper
Imperial Trooper Guard
Imperial Pilot
Tatooine System
Any 2/1 System

And my example:
Walseth 10 card - DS.png
Walseth 10 card - DS.png (613.16 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Walseth 10 card - DS.png
Walseth 10 card - DS.png (613.16 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Set 2
2/2 Unique Pilot x3
Ship that holds 3 (or more) pilots
Unique Ship that holds 1 pilot x2
Power 3 character
Ability 3 character
2/2 System
2/1 Tatooine Site

And my example:
Walseth 20 card - DS.png
Walseth 20 card - DS.png (460.2 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Walseth 20 card - DS.png
Walseth 20 card - DS.png (460.2 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Set 3
Limited Resources
Scanning Crew x2
Imperial Barrier
Probe Telemetry
Dark Maneuvers
Takeel
Swila Corey
Any Character Weapon
Any Starship Weapon

And my example:
Walseth 30 card - DS.png
Walseth 30 card - DS.png (402.13 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Walseth 30 card - DS.png
Walseth 30 card - DS.png (402.13 KiB) Viewed 891 times
BEYOND
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I am currently playing with 47-card decks with my son, in a P-ANH limited format. Those additional 17 cards are here, and the reasons for the same - essentially, teach game concepts. I am also planning to go to 60-cards with him. Again, the cards (or slots) and the reasons (again, game concepts) for them are given.


Set 4 - to 47 cards (both sides)
Walseth 47 card - LS.png
Walseth 47 card - LS.png (861.66 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Walseth 47 card - LS.png
Walseth 47 card - LS.png (861.66 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Walseth 47 card - DS.png
Walseth 47 card - DS.png (739.45 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Walseth 47 card - DS.png
Walseth 47 card - DS.png (739.45 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Set 5 - to 60 cards (both sides)
DOC CRG's going-to-60.png
DOC CRG's going-to-60.png (54.75 KiB) Viewed 891 times
DOC CRG's going-to-60.png
DOC CRG's going-to-60.png (54.75 KiB) Viewed 891 times
Primers and Decklist/Match up/Game Libraries for: Hyperdrive (V) and Hunt Down. Teach your kid SWCCG!

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Re: Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview and How to Teach Your Kid SWCCG

Post by arebelspy »

Your lost and force piles are on the wrong side.

Awesome write up though, thanks for sharing!

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Re: Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview and How to Teach Your Kid SWCCG

Post by Bib Fortuna »

arebelspy wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 8:24 pm
Your lost and force piles are on the wrong side.

Awesome write up though, thanks for sharing!
Growing up, I was always more comfortable putting my Force pile below my Reserve Deck, and my Used Pile off to the left or right side. The idea of rotating my Used Pile and putting it above my Reserve Deck felt wrong to me.
They fly now!

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Re: Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview and How to Teach Your Kid SWCCG

Post by 3MW0J8 »

And, well, living in Minneapolis....

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Re: Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview and How to Teach Your Kid SWCCG

Post by Corran »

3MW0J8 wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 11:06 pm
And, well, living in Minneapolis....

WATCH OUT FOR THE POLICE!!!
Yeah, it's really weird recording a podcast before major world events happen and then posting it afterward.
Check out Bad Deck Breakdowns, a Star Wars CCG Deckbuilding podcast, on the podcatcher of your choice or https://www.kendallcast.ninja
dvphimself wrote: https://www.twitch.tv/kendallcastnetwork/ is my favourite SWCCG channel.
seitaer wrote: Corran's streams are great, even if he likes the last jedi

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Re: Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview

Post by Tarelion »

CRG wrote:
June 1st, 2020, 11:35 pm
HOW TO TEACH YOUR KID SWCCG
....
It's taken me a while to get around to reading this guide, but I really like it, and am going to try it with my two sons. I'm thinking of even making little "booster packs" of the new cards to move from 10 to 20 to 30 card decks, and beyond, to give them the thrill of opening something that's theirs.

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Re: Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview and How to Teach Your Kid SWCCG

Post by TieAvenger »

Thank you for doing this and thank you Mark for sharing your methods. I built the 10 card deck and "played" for the first time with my 7 year old. I thought she was too young, but with the simplicity off the 10 card decks she caught on. I was initially skeptical to how the decks were imbalanced in space/ground but it really is an excellent teaching idea because it creates more opportunity for force draining so kids learn the control phase. Also making it very difficult to get 4 ability really helps simplify the battle phase. Printing out the playmats was also essential because it lists out all the phases and gives a short explanation that helped my daughter. Links below, but also on the New Players section of the swccg.org. Thank you again!

One question that may have been mentioned on the podcast that I can't remember is do you start with all the locations on the table or just one?

https://res.starwarsccg.org/wp/wp-conte ... t-Side.pdf

https://res.starwarsccg.org/wp/wp-conte ... k-Side.pdf

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Re: Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview and How to Teach Your Kid SWCCG

Post by scottrick49 »

Great interview! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Bad Deck Breakdowns - 12 - Mark Walseth Interview and How to Teach Your Kid SWCCG

Post by CRG »

Bumping this because of today's changelog for GEMP, which enabled a 40-card open format for those wanting to use smaller decks on GEMP to teach their kids.
9/19/2020
[snip]

Updates:
[snip]
New format: Open (40 cards)
Primers and Decklist/Match up/Game Libraries for: Hyperdrive (V) and Hunt Down. Teach your kid SWCCG!

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