Watching my son become a real gamer
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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My son is now 6 1/2, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow into a true gamer. The past 6 months, especially, he has become fairly savvy at the gaming table and can even play with the big boys. This list is some of my fondest memories of watching my him become one of us.
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1. Board Game: Mouse Trap [Average Rating:4.08 Overall Rank:16013]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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Christmas Eve, 2002. We let my son open one present: Mouse Trap. He's thrilled, we play a game and off to bed. Christmas morning went like this:
"Are you ready to open PRESENTS!?!?"
"No, Daddy. I want to play Mouse Trap."
"Really? You don't want to open the rest of your presents?"
"NOOOOO! I want to play Mouse Trap!!!"
"OK. We can play one game first."

A three year old. Would rather play a game than open presents. On Christmas morning!!

Now, this is my Daughter's (3) favorite game.
 
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2. Board Game: Lionheart [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:10060]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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This is the game that brought my son into the world of "adult" games. (Although some might question how adult this one is). He quickly figured out how to use the mobility of knights and the range of archers to put up a good fight. He still has trouble looking a few moves ahead, but I've used this to give him some "Chess-like" instruction on anticipating moves.
 
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3. Board Game: Monopoly: The Simpsons [Average Rating:5.19 Overall Rank:15830]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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My wife loves Monopoly. I have always hated it, even as a kid. But I absolutely love everything Simpsons. My son discovered this on a shelf and insisted we play. We played a lot for about a month. He learned how to make his own change and read the deed cards. Turns out, they were studying money in school and his teacher was impressed at how quickly he picked it. Hmmm? Monopoly, an educational game?
 
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4. Board Game: The Mystic Wood [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3552]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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He loved this one. I think the dungeon crawl feel really appealed to him. He keeps getting fixated on fighting the same monster over and over. He'll spend the whole game going back and forth from the tower instead of just moving on and trying to get stronger. Oh, well.
 
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5. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:441]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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"The Haunted House Game" Still his favorite. He insists on playing whoever goes first and always wants to be the traitor. He likes this one so much he turned his sister's "Dora's talking dollhouse" into a haunted house for Dora (and my daughter) to explore. Good times.
 
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6. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:246] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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He made it through this one twice. Both time he played a key role in winning. He figured how things worked and made good decision on where he should go and what to do. In fact, he needed less help than my wife who can never remember how many dice to roll.
 
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7. Board Game: Zombies!!! [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:4696] [Average Rating:5.84 Unranked]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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He loves Zombies!!! and Zombies!!!4 (Zombie Dogs). The problem is he throws a fit almost every time he gets killed. Never mind he wins more than everyone else, and most of the time he wins the same game he gets killed in. I had to threaten to ban him because of the melting down when he dies.
 
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8. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:130] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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Two great moments: The first day I got the game, I played with him and my 3-year old daughter. As usual, my daughter bagged out after about 15 minutes. My son looks at me and says; "Is Lily done playing?" "Yep, she's done." He reaches down and wipes all of her trains off the board. "Good! Let's go!" He proceeds to put up a really good game, but I had too many good tickets in the end.

A few weeks later. My wife, my son, and I sit down to play. At least ten turns go by where he has done nothing but draw cards. I'm starting to think he doesn't want to play. Suddenly he starts building tracks. Quickly. Before my wife and I can readjust our thinking, he has completely taken over the game and wins a decisive victory. This is the first game my son (again, my 6 1/2 year old son) has beaten me at a game that I didn't throw. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it.
 
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9. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:415] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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"Daddy, will you teach me how to play Chess?"
"Yes, son." Wipe away tear. "Yes, I will teach you how to play Chess."
 
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10. Board Game: Carcassonne: The City [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:533]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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He and I spent the bulk of a game making a magungous (that's a technical term) market. I think we scored somewhere in the 70's for that one market. Of course we shared the points, but it forever changed the game. Now, every game revolves around him wanting to make a gigantic market. Boy, does he get mad when I won't help him.
 
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11. Board Game: A Dog's Life [Average Rating:5.55 Overall Rank:12442]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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Here's the scene: My son has two bones buried and is carrying two. He is close enough to win on the next move. My wife counts up her moves and realizes she can go bury one of the two bones she is carrying and still have enough moves to attack my son and try to send him to the pound. She moves to her home and announces she will bury one bone. My Son says: "Why not bury them both, Mommy?" She pauses, and says "Sure, I'll bury them both." My son giggles uncontrollably as she realizes she no longer has enough moves to fight him, he goes on to win, and my wife realizes that her six-year-old tricked her.
 
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12. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:98]
Christopher KrackerJack
United States
Portsmouth
Rhode Island
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The day I got this in the mail, he was thrilled. He helped put on stickers and couldn't wait to play. I eased him into the rules initially, but we are now playing with the full compliment. He is not only getting good at this game, he is ruthless.

Two days ago he played against a good friend of mine and an accomplished gamer. It was my buddy's first time with C&C, but he is long time M'44 Vet and picked it up quickly. My son lost 7 flags to 8, and we all agreed that had he gotten a single card that let him attck with his elephant he would have won easily.

Last night his Warriors charged my Auxilia. He rolled 3 green circles and a crossed sword with four dice. He decides to advance and attack again, this time against my Medium Infantry. Two blue triangles and two retreats. The two guys who survived in the attack drowned as they retreated into the lake. Two full units wiped out in one move. Final score: Me one flag; Him six. No more going easy on that kid!
 
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13. Board Game: Kings & Things [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1878]
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
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Never play block wargames with a dentist, they have those little mirrors to peek behind the block.
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Now out of print my son Carl Robert played time and time again. I changed some of the rules at first to make it easy to learn. He liked Hero Quest too.
 
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