Frankengamer - The Making of Gamers
Brad Morgan
United States
Schenectady
New York
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My wife, my 9 year old son, and I are all gamers. My wife's family is well aware of our hobby, and while polite about it, I am pretty sure they secretly think we are nerds and geeks. And, I guess to some degree they are correct.

Several months ago, while out to dinner with my wife's cousin and his fiance we mentioned our gaming hobby, and they said they would be interested in gaming with us.

Needless to say, we were ecstatic! A chance to broaden our gaming community is always a beautiful thing. It is even better when it gives us the chance to strengthen family bonds!

This list is going to be a living record of their journey down the path to game geekdom!
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1. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:43]
Brad Morgan
United States
Schenectady
New York
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We had them over for pizza and wings - and games!

We started with this one, thinking that it was:

a) Relatively short - don't want to scare away the newbies with a 2+ hour game EXPLANATION and a 4+ hour game!

b) Relatively simple - Please don't misinterpret this statement. I LOVE this game. It is one of our favorites! It is just not overwhelming, and you don't get the feeling that if you make an early mistake that you can't recover. Although I love it, I didn't want the stress of something like feeding your family in Agricola.

c) Very light on "screwage" - I love screwage in my games! My son loves it even more. (He may love it too much, as he often spends entirely too much time and energy screwing up other players as opposed to playing his own game, but that is another discussion for another forum). However, I didn't want this night to become an attack on the beginners.

Results: This game was a big hit. It was a pretty close game, except for her cousin's fiance, as in her words "I don't think I quite got it". We played a second game, and she "got it" and it was another close game. We actually used this at our second game night as our "warm-up" game.
 
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2. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:141] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Brad Morgan
United States
Schenectady
New York
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As this was one of my families gateway games, we thought it would make a great "starter" game for them too.

Again, pretty short rules description, pretty easy game play, not too many decisions, no real in game stress, not too much (but some) in game screwage.

My wife's cousin caught on to this pretty quickly, and was the runaway winner. He quickly caught onto the stealing other player's cities aspect, and was excellent at adding just the piece that you didn't want added to your own city.

This game was also a winner with our new gaming friends!

This was the end of our first game night and it was a great success! Two new games, with new mechanics, and they liked them both and wanted to schedule our next game night before leaving.

In the words of Borat: Great Success!


 
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3. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:433]
Brad Morgan
United States
Schenectady
New York
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Our second game night kicked off with a quick game of 7 Wonders and then we moved into new territory.

This was another one of our gateway games, so again we thought it may appeal to them as well. It also nicely introduced another game mechanic that we hadn't used before, Auction/Bidding.

My wife gave the rule's explanation for this one (which she never does) because she was running this game at a local game-a-thon and wanted to practice teaching the game. (Long story short, she never had to teach the game at the game-a-thon, no one signed up to play her game, cry)

The game went well, and they picked up on it very quickly. (I guess I should mention that my wife's cousin is a Physician's Assistant and his fiance is a Graduate Student - thus I guess it makes sense that they would be able to learn and comprehend things so well). It was a close game, and everyone enjoyed it thoroughly.

Unfortunately, our son developed a bit of a belly ache, and cut our game night short, so this was our only new game on this night. We are having our next game night on Saturday, so there will be a new entry (or two, or three, or five whistle) soon!
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