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Subject: Power Grid or Steam for family game rss

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Kadian O'Reilly
United Kingdom
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Hi,

I have a lot of good family games in my collection, we usualy play 2-3 games a week with myself,wife and 7 year old son who has been playing games with us since he was 5! and is very good at most games 7 Wonders, Vikings,Ticket to ridw and Airlines Europe and so on.
I can buy one more game before Christmas and I have short listed to Steam or Power Grid any feed back will be greatly appriciated, Many thanks.

Kadian
 
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Mark M
United States
Florida
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Honestly, those are both a pretty big step up from the others. You might want to try Railways of the World over Steam. It is a more forgiving version of the same game, expandable, and has very cool components that I'm sure your son would love.
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Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
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I would agree with Mark. The good news... RotW is a great system and everyone I've introduced it to loved it.

meeple Keep playing...
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Green Knight Games
United Kingdom
Cheltenham
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Couldn't agree more. Those two titles are a bit much for family play. Power Grid is probably the more approachable but it can be frustrating for non-gamers when they can't work out how to win.

Railways of the World is a good choice but largely unavailable in the UK.

Some lighter options:
Kingdom Builder
Samarkand: Routes to Riches

Medium-weight options:
Fresco (worker placement game)
Stone Age (this would be a good choice)
Kingsburg

Edit: I've just noticed that you own several of these already, so this may be pointless advice



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Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
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The problem we can see here with Kadian is he is a vegetarian player,
Anything with any meat on scares the lad to death.
This guy needs to learn to walk before he can run and I hate to say it but at present this guys still in a baby grow.
 
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Mathue Faulk
United States
Cedar Park
TX
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Power Grid is more approachable than Steam imo, and while RotW is a bit more simple, it can also take a bit longer to play in my experience.

Are you interested in some type of connection, or train game? Or a game with an auction? Just curious what it is that interests you in the games before I throw out any particular suggestions...
 
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Jade Youngblood
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Power grid is too dry for my kids, 9 and 5. I recommend alien frontier, and or through the desert. My kids enjoy these games.
 
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Andy Holt
England
Rayleigh
Essex
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To play either with a reasonable degree of competence requires a decent standard of simple arithmetic - you may well consider this to be a way of encouraging his education, or it may be a problem.

First Sparks might be a better choice than Power Grid proper at this stage (still a fair bit of arithmetic, but everything can be counted on the board)
 
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Greg Cornell
United States
Corunna
Michigan
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I introduced this game to my family when my son was 8 and he loved it. He is not too good at math but that did not stop him from loving this game, even when he loses.

A couple of years later we introduced this game to his younger cousin who was also 8, and he fell in love with it. Whenever he comes for a visit he tries to get everyone to sit down and play the game again.
 
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Kadian O'Reilly
United Kingdom
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Thanks for all the replies Guys,my Son takes after me and is very good at maths, his latest School report pointed out he is well above the average.............like me English is his weaker!
He has managed every game so far, Stone Age, Ghost stories and so on, he remembers the rules better than me or the wife, I must say Board Gaming has really brought him on its very educational for children and such a sensible hobby and also brings on there imagination, its a great hobby.
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Jade Youngblood
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I agree. My kids have benefited greatly from gaming. The mental exercise and family time is a win win.
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Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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Power Grid is far more forgiving. A player who makes a single poor play can be destroyed in Steam
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Robert Zaleski
United States
Wintersville
Ohio
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If you're confident he's up to it, I think either will do fine. Power Grid has a big bidding component, Age of Steam is more network optimization. It's really a matter of taste, and I don't think you can go wrong owning both. We play a lot of strategy games and some in our group won't play Power Grid because they feel the random plant draws can sway some games too much even when you work your positioning.

I'd +1 Steam for that reason, it's a better game, and there are other better (IMHO) games that have heavy bidding elements (The Princes of Florence). Even if you push him a bit now, within the next 3 years he should be beating you guys regularly at anything.
 
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Jason Carlough
United States
Seattle
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While I am a big fan of Age of Steam and I also like Steam well enough, I think that Power Grid is probably a better choice in general. In my experience people seem to take to Power Grid fairly quickly and the game is usually very close competitively and always enjoyable. I wouldn't worry about it being too heavy unless the people you are playing with are just really averse to basic math.

Steam is a much more divisive game that puts the players in much more direct and intense competition. It requires a willingness to make very flexible plans and to watch your best plans get ruined by the other players. I think of Steam very much like a wargame, only fought with trains instead of guns. Many people do not enjoy the game system very much. This is coming from somebody who is mainly experienced with Age of Steam but Steam is still the same basic idea just with a bit less pressure.
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Robert Zaleski
United States
Wintersville
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I don't know about less pressure in Steam versus Age of Steam, but certainly more refinements. The clunk, and a bit of the unnecessary AP seems to be smoothed out.

I think both Power Grid and Steam have a good amount of direct conflict, which was a good point. You bid for plants in Power Grid, and sucking up resources in Power Grid can be especially crippling. It takes a bit of playing with experienced players to really find the cut-throat in it. There is a lot of blocking out and stealing cubes you planned on using in Age of Steam / Steam. I don't know that the blocking is as bad 3 player as it is in a 5 or 6 player game.

But if you're going to let your kid really get into a meaty competitive adult game, either is fine. The first few games will likely be more casual until you all really sink your their teeth into it. If I had to have only one, I would personally go for Steam. Like I said there's other economicish bidding games I'd pick/recommend over Power Grid, and after 20-30 plays I think there's a wall with how the plants drop. Power Grid just has that classic appeal like Catan or Puerto Rico where you kinda feel like you have to have it.

As bright as your son seems to be, I think you'll be fine with either after 7-10 plays. Assuming he can go the 2-2.5 hrs for either a few times, he'll get to know it. And knowing kids, they tend to stay fascinated with stuff longer than us old geezers (30 years + :-) ). Whether the direct competition is good or bad is more personality and resilience. I know my oldest two have that, and my 3 year old is learning it.

I think in Agricola and Puerto Rico the conflict is less in your face, but just as meaty in more subtle ways, which I don't know if that's good or bad (Depends on your kids). I do know some spouses prefer those two for that specific reason though.
 
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