(Salvaging some bits and pieces from the old Fire Hazard blog, in preparation for writing a lot more about games)
Then I learn the rules and the game runs more smoothly, but I'm still playing at random. I have the 'what' but not the 'why'. If the game is physical, then I can have some fun here.
Then I devise the strategies. Now I'm playing with intelligence, and I get an achievement rush when I plan something and it comes off successfully. This is fun.
Games need to minimise the time it takes to get to step 3 by having simple rules and obvious strategies - or maybe even a discussion of simple strategies along with the rules. The first time I played the Comfort of Strangers, I didn't understand strategy at all until nearly the end.
I'm confused that many games, particularly technology-based games, deliberately extend Step 1. Perhaps I'm atypical?
I love this. Absolutely nobody used it strategically - see the Strategy Point - but if we had, it would've been amazing. Suddenly, the familiar world takes on a whole new shape.