Would it be faster to do [whichever game you're thinking about] by mastering different scenarios?
I'm totally against the idea of "mastering scenarios". I just hate it to death. A lot, this is because the person who first introduced me to games did this, and it always seemed show-offy and of little help to someone (like me) who wasn't naturally good at doing games. I can totally see how if someone's already really good at games, that itemizing every possibility may seem comforting, but here are the three reasons I never do it, and I don't suggest for my students to, either:
1. If a person can't succeed in a game by following the explicit instructions of the rules, how could one possibly be more successful by isolating and acting upon the implicit inferences it contains? This doesn't make sense to me. It seems like telling someone who's struggling with Algebra to try doing Calculus instead.
2. How do you know when it's helpful to "master scenarios"? There are definitely, looking backward, many games in which there are only four or five total possible outcomes. This is what my trainer talked about, and it always felt ad hoc and hindsight-based. If there's such a thing as some games for which it's useful, and others for which it's not, how do I tell the difference? Again, it seems like in order to tell when it's useful, you'd have to already know how to do the game. If you are instead trying to figure out how to do the game, then adding the question of "Should I 'master scenarios' here?" seems to further complicate an already difficult task.
3. How does it save any time? And here, let’s consider the very typical Game 1 from PT 58. In completing this game, I answered question 1 first, then did 6, 2 and 3. Question 1 is just reading rules, and the other three meant applying rules. My work from those questions answered questions 4 and 5 completely, so in four lines of work (one line of which was just writing down the correct answer from Question 1), the entire game is finished. Looking at this work, I can see that there are at least 10 different ways these monuments could be ordered. So writing out 10 ways would be much, much less time-saving than writing out 4 answers.
That's how I do: It's brutal, but effective for someone who doesn't think in Games, which takes care of point 1. The technique I've described here is precisely the method I use for every game, with the same kind of results, and this solves point 2. Finally, it's much more efficient than any other method - by only answering the questions that I'm asked, I'll never end up with work that I don't need, and my work will always be done in service of directly earning points. This takes care of point 3.
But that’s like, just my opinion, man.