Games I played during my week off ... all with my six-year-old son.
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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One of the perks of being a teacher (and believe me, 'perks' have been in steady decline for some time now) is the week off you get for 'Winter Recess'. I had all week off last week, as well as yesterday and today. (I'm back at work tomorrow.)

As December was a 5-Saturday month (my gaming group meets on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays), I often try to host a gaming day on that 5th Saturday. With extra time, I extended it to have two days, throwing in the day after Christmas. And I had great groups set up for those two days.

Alas, Wednesday was scuttled due to unforeseen appointments and Saturday was lost to snow predictions (that didn't really materialize where I was, but one can never be too careful). So it would seem that I got no face-to-face gaming in this week.

But that would not take into account my son.

You see, he had the week off too. And he's been watching me play games (face-to-face and online) for much of his existence. So he's taken to asking me to play him at a number of games. Which I have.

And I'm not talking about 'Candy Land' or 'Chutes and Ladders' or 'Trouble' here. I've introduced him to a number of 'heavy' games. Doesn't stop him from wanting to play. (Or winning, occasionally.)

Here's a list of all the games played with my son this week:
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1. Board Game: Catan Dice Game [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:5449]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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One of two games that he got for Christmas (my wife's idea). But I gotta admit: I'm not a big fan of this. The 'Island 1' game is the embodiment of 'multiplayer solitaire', and 'Island 2' only has competition for Longest Road & Largest Army. But I did enjoy a three-player game (my wife played) with Island 2. And now that she enlarged & laminated four copies of the board (we can use dry-erase markers and not go through the included pack of maps), maybe I'll give it another shot. But at least my son can play with Island 1 if he wants. And, he enjoys rolling the dice.
 
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2. Board Game: Zombie Dice [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:1714]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
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The other game my son got as a gift. But this one, I have no problem playing. Quick and fun, and my son has beaten me as often as I've beaten him. He especially likes the red brains (hardest to get). OK, it's really me who likes them.
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3. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14924]
Mike K
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Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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I've never been excited to play this, and my son knows it. But we did play a couple games this week. And wouldn't you know it: he beat me for the first time (at this game). Lesson learned: NEVER allow someone uncontested Australia. (I had Africa, but couldn't keep it intact long enough.)
 
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:127] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Mike K
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Fairless Hills
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I'm not a huge fan of this game, but I do enjoy playing my son (and he enjoys it a lot). And he has beaten me a couple times ... which may explain why he enjoys it so much.


All the above games are kept in the house: my normal gaming bins are usually kept in the trunk of my car, as I play them exclusively at group meetings. But in anticipation of hosting, I brought the games into the house early on in the week. As such, it's been easy to get to my games, and my son's been very happy about being able to play all of the following:
 
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5. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:46]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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This is the first true Eurogame I ever exposed my son to ... and it's still one of his favorites. And I no longer try to 'dumb down' the game: we play with the standard rules, and all favors in play. And to date, he still hasn't come close to beating me. But this has not diminished his interest in the slightest. He likes to build buildings when possible, especially residences and prestige buildings, often at the expense of resource-gathering or castle-building. I'm sure he'll learn, in time. And for now, he has something to shoot for.

Oh, and if you think he never beats me at anything 'Euro', keep reading.
 
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6. Board Game: Amyitis [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:815]
Mike K
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Fairless Hills
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Another game I've introduced my son to, and another one he enjoys playing. Only got one game of this in this week (I won comfortably). I think he likes other games better, but he still requests this from time to time.
 
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7. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:169]
Mike K
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Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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The first time we played this, he nearly pulled off the greatest upset in boardgaming history. He hasn't come so close since (recently, I put up over 200 in a game), but he enjoys moving the boats around the board. Admittedly, I enjoy playing this more than he does, but he's nice enough to play this when I choose the game.
 
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8. Board Game: Olympos [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:900]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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Maybe his favorite game ... and for good reason.

The third time I played him at this, I received a little warning about the future ... he will beat me from time to time. We've played this a lot this week, and he DID beat me for a 2nd time. Two things he's learned (that I still haven't): sometimes you pay extra to get a particular resource, and Democracy kicks @$$.

I still have more wins than him at this ... which really means nothing, since he's still only six!
 
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9. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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We've played a number of two-player games of this, if only because there's no set-up or put-away time. And usually I win, since he tends to bid too quickly and squander his suns, leaving me with big hauls at the ends of rounds.

That didn't help me in our most recent game, when those 'big hauls' at the end included Civ-killers and such. We tied 52-52, but he had the high sun and beat me for his first Ra victory.


Of course, with success comes hubris. And now that he's beaten me at a number of games (including Ra, TTR, and Olympos), he thinks he can take me on at ...
 
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10. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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It was inevitable, given how often I play this game online. He watches me, he loves reading the text on all the cards, and he thinks he can win.

Well, he's been pushing me for games of this all week. And recently, I've been obliging him. I've stuck to the 'Family' variant for now, and informed him that we'll play the regular game when he's able to read the cards on his own and understand their meanings.

And we've played.

If you're wondering why I haven't posted a Session Report yet, I won our last game 48-14. (To be fair, he got to a Stone House and I didn't.) When he's able to come closer, I'll mention it.

(As I type this, he's asking for another game of this. Guess I know what I'm playing with him next.)



Tomorrow it's back to routine, the games go back in the trunk (except for the first four listed) ... but if I had to guess, my son will be accompanying me on a few more gaming days this coming year.

Happy New Year, everyone!
 
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