Gaming with the Girl(s)

My oldest daughter is starting to be at the age where she can play games with me that go beyond the typical child fare. This blog is about my experiences with her (and, hopefully as they grow older, her sisters as well).
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Went over better than expected!

Scott Lewis
United States
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Dread Our Coming, Suffer Our Presence, Embrace Our Glory (Solonavi War Cry)
Although I love Twilight Imperium (Third Edition), I still like to get ahold of other space-themed games. Honestly, I don't expect any of them to supplant TI3 from my Favorite Games, but even I must be honest - TI3 takes a long time to play, and I don't always have that time to commit. Thus, when I started looking into Eclipse (prodded by a good friend of many years!), I decided it may help scratch the itch in a shorter time. So I pre-ordered it, waited, waited some more, and then waited just a little more.

Because Christmas was approaching, I decided to have it shipped directly to my in-laws, where we are spending a couple weeks, just in case. I'm glad I did, as we would have missed it had I had it shipped home. And that would have just resulted in MORE waiting!

So upon receiving it yesterday, I quickly unpacked it. No, before you ask, it wasn't meant as a Christmas present; another game in the package (Mage Knight Board Game) is filling that role. But not too long after getting it sorted, I realized... who am I going to play it with right now? My brother- and sister-in-law like playing games as long as they aren't too complex/long (they played TI3 with me once, and while they did well, it was a bit too much for their tastes), but are busy for the next few days. I checked with my wife's cousin, who lives next door, but he had stuff going on. Alas!

But then, remembering a post someone made about playing with their 10-year-old son, I decided to ask my daughter. She's only 9, so I wasn't sure if it would be above her head, but she not only seemed willing, she actually seemed excited about it. Off to a good start.

So we got it out, set it up, and I started explaining the rules. She seemed to get the gyst of it, though I was a bit worried because there were times she seemed to be zoning out. "Uh oh, maybe she isn't ready for this yet." But I decided to press on, and see how she does in the actual game.

Lo and behold... she actually seemed to grasp it pretty well! Now, granted, as a 9-year-old, her sense of strategy and planning isn't super-great yet, but after the first couple rounds, especially, she started putting the various pieces together in her mind, and started getting a good grip on it. She started working towards some big ships to take out the Ancients, and by the end of the game, she'd beefed up her Dreadnoughts and Cruisers enough to take on the GCDS... and won rather handily!

In the end, I still outscored her (35 to 27), but she seemed to be excited to "beat the boss", as she put it. Now, granted, in this particular game it ended up being more of a "race", as it wasn't until Round 9 that we finally got any connections to each other that didn't go through the Galactic Center... and even then, I decided to be nice, as she went gung-ho on the center, leaving one of her hexes undefended. I warned her in the future that I may not be so forgiving though

All-in-all, I think it was a success. And while I would still take TI3 given the time and the right group of players, I definitely feel thus far that Eclipse was worth getting, if nothing else because I have a feeling Kortnee will play with me often!
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