New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in March 2013
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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We have been 'enjoying' a spell of unseasonably cold and unspringlike weather round here. At least this has meant a preference for huddling in a nice warm room inside, well-insulated with wall-to-wall games!

Looking back over the last month, which are the best games you've newly introduced to your kid(s), and why? Please pick an entry even if it's the same as someone else's because it's more fun that way. Or are there some which have enjoyed a new lease of life and have suddenly become popular again?

It would probably be helpful if you say what ages the children you played with are, and how much they enjoyed it as well as how much you enjoyed it.

Please, add you own entries - one per child might make sense if they are of different ages and abilities. And if you play with kids that aren't yours - nieces, nephews or friends' kids, include those!

Just like the idea of this series of monthly lists, I've also nicked the idea of an announcement thread from Grimwold (Thanks Andy!). If you'd like to be alerted to the existence of the new list when it appears, subscribe to this subscription thread..
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1. Board Game: Diskwars [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:6105]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Disk Wars has really captured the imagination of Matthew, 11. I'd never played it, but he spotted it when I was looking for a different game and so we gave it a go at his request. He really seems to like the quirky rules and is enjoying working out different tactics. We've played it several times, and he even taught it to a visiting friend. I've even gone to the extent of acquiring further disks in a trade - not bad for a game I was at best dubious about!

The game I'd been looking for was Star Quest- mainly because I am famously bad at this in our family, invariably being thrashed by my wife who clearly has a better grasp of intrastellar spaceship combat than me. We gave this a go too, and he coped OK with the slightly tricky movement plotting system, and enjoyed it well enough.
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2. Board Game: Flying Carpet [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:7238]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I was surprised we hadn't played this with Rebecca (7) before but she was convinced we never had, and it has come out several times this month. I was quite impressed at her ability to do the vector movement, thought it might be confusing.

Also new to her were:

Carcassonne: The Discovery- she just wanted to try another variant of Carcassonne, much the same as the others really!

Galopp Royal - silly sedan-chair racing game, she really liked this one.

Billabong- fun kangaroo jumping abstract, she enjoyed playing but I don't think she was able to plan far enough ahead to play it very well.
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3. Board Game: Power Grid: The First Sparks [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:896]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Another strategy game which Daniel (14) seems good at - he won his first game fairly convincingly, and was clearly thinking about what to do.
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4. Board Game: Lord of the Fries [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:3597] [Average Rating:5.96 Unranked]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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All three kids got a taste of zombie-waitering. As expected it went down quite well! This is a fun game for all ages, even with the low-budget version we have.
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5. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:423]
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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Played four games of this all in row with my daughter and nephew.

It was fun and they wanted to play it over and over (ages 13 and 15). the only real issue I found is that my daughter and I would get black masked out our have trouble moving sometimes, (basically a part of the game), but nephew never really did. After watching him a bit, he was fudging his dice and basically just used what ever he wanted even if he did not have the dice he needed. Also, he'd pick up the black dice and then re-use them.
I said something nicely once, which slowed him down, but did not stop it. I guess that's an issue with this game is there is really nobody to watch as each person is doing their own thing.
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6. Video Game: NBA 2K13 [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:3855]
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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Played many games of this with my son and nephew (different one). This is a great nba game to play on you Xbox 360.
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7. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:63] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Introduced this to Shawn. He plays the rebels and he won the first game (1 x-wing versus 2 Ties).

In the 2nd game he used a fully kitted out Falcon versus Vader and 2 Ties. It was a close game and I won, only to find out from someone who posted in one of the geeklists that I could not use a double evade action by Vader since you cannot pick an action twice. That SHOULD have made Shawn win. Oh well next time.
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8. Board Game: HeroQuest [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:551]
Todd Walden
United States
Minneapolis
MN
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Just started really playing this with my 5 year old son. We played once or twice before, but he didn't really do much. What's new now is that he wants to be the overlord. He likes to set up rooms and have me run the heroes through them. He's more interested in the interior decorating than the combat, but he gets into both. Plus, he has his own rules, and you never know if a new monster will come running down the hall to destroy your party from behind. You can also never be sure there's not a pit on any given spot, even if you've walked over it once already. And Heaven help you if the monsters in the back decide to open the treasure chests before your hero can get to them. However, this is balanced by the fact that sometimes you'll open a door to find the monsters quietly reading the tome on the altar, so they're pretty easy to slay. Generally, in those cases, they have an orc or goblin at the door who does little more than say, "shoo!"

Let there be no doubt... he's an unpredictable overlord.
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9. Board Game: Cartoona [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:8059]
Todd Walden
United States
Minneapolis
MN
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We've also played the heck out of this in March. My 5 year old just loves it.

My only complaint would be that I wish there had been iconography on the cards so that you could use those with kids who can't read yet. It would make the game a lot better. That said, the up side to that is that we'll have a "new" game when he can read.
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10. Board Game: The Classic Dungeon [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:5814]
George Kinney
United States
Bellefontaine
Ohio
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My five year old loves this game. We play by house rules, movement directly from room to room, kill monsters, take their stuff. Game is over in fifteen minutes.

I loved the original 'Dungeon!' when I was in grade school, it led me directly to D&D in '82 or so. I played all the D&D I ever need to play before I made it to high school, but it's fun watching the boy get all excited over crushing a werewolf or such.



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11. Board Game: Gumball Rally [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:11438]
Neal Sofge
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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Got this one off Tanga for cheap near Christmas, but waited to play it until one of the kids picked it. I'm glad they did -- it's fast, easy to play, and relatively gentle in competitiveness.
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12. Board Game: Igloo Pop [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:2603]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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First--and so far only--try of this one for the five oldest Saccenti children (ages 13, 11, 10, 8 and 4). Didn't go over well, which surprised me. We will definitely give it more tries though.
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13. Board Game: Spot it! [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:881] [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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We got this in a kid's meal at Chik-fil-a. Preston (age 4) LOVES it, and the older kids don't mind playing it with him. So that's great.

I don't enjoy it. It is very much like Beep! Beep!.
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14. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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Linsey becomes my fourth child to join me at Dominion. Just a few plays of the base set. She sees her older sibs playing with me and wants in.

For the month of March it was Dominion, Love Letter and Sleeping Queens that Linsey asked to play the most.
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15. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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Race for the Galaxy was the Big One for my family in March 2013.

I had put off learning this one with the kids for a long while. We have gotten pretty competent at San Juan, so I figured it was time.

With 18 plays of Race in March, this is an immediate favorite and Top Ten for me and the two oldest boys.
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16. Board Game: Crazy Chefs [Average Rating:5.27 Overall Rank:13158]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This was my 3 year old's "new to him" game last month, and a huge hit with him, playing several times over the month with me, as well as several times with his older siblings. I don't expect this to be in my collection much longer, as children rapidly grow out of it, but preschoolers love it!
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17. Board Game: Runaround [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This was the best new to my kids (7,5 and 3) game this month - we only played it once, but they seemed to enjoy tearing around the house trying to find things that began with a certain letter - the 3 year old needed help obviously, and even the 5 year old struggled a bit, but the 7 year old got really into it. We were given this about five years ago as a gift, but it's not really a game to play with adults, so we've had it sitting on the shelf for ages waiting for the kids to be old enough to try it.

I also inroduced the younger two to an old family game, The Last Straw, but neither was particularly impressed with it.
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18. Board Game: Sleeping Queens [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1952]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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Oh wow, what a great game for the kids. Got this in early March and played it 97 times since (with a handful of plays just between my wife and me). Both my six year old and my three year old love the game dearly. The older one learned a good bit of addition through it, while the younger one doesn't care about that yet, but still likes to play (which is perfectly possible). I am very grateful that I discovered this.
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19. Board Game: Pelican Bay [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:6995]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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Another newcomer for us - just got this at the end of March, and intended to play it with adults, but my daughters like it, too The little one usually messes up the layout, and the older one needs some assistance with the scoring concept, but they like the graphic design and especially the pelicaneeples.
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20. Board Game: Runebound (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:706]
Rob Harper
United Kingdom
Wantage
Oxfordshire
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My 6-year-old daughter got into a few new games in March. I'd say the pick this time were...

Runebound, which we've just played once so far, but was a great success (though there were breaks given the length of the game). She is comparing it very favourably with Talisman.

RoadZters got a few plays and stayed set up in the conservatory for a couple of days. Flicking good fun, though bordering on frustrating at times. I really should have bought some extra barriers to make it easier.

Love Letter just snuck in under the wire as we got to play it for the first time on the last day of the month, but has proven very popular already. Nice to have a game that is this fun, accessible, portable and cheap. Win all round.
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21. Board Game: Niagara [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1109]
Peter D
United Kingdom
london
UK
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After recently getting this game I produced it this evning to great delight from my 11 year old daughter. The boats falling over the Falls, the tension from retrieving pink gems from the top of the Falls, the stealing from other boats...it all made for a huge success and I am sure it will be requested again soon.
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22. Board Game: Cheeky Monkey [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2169]
Chris Halaska
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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So many new games the last couple of months (since I forgot to check in last month)...

With my big boy (7 3/4 - he's fond of adding the 3/4 lately), there are so many great games we've played it's hard to pick a top 3 or 5 or even 10, but I'll try:



Cheeky Monkey - we played this only a few times, but every time it was a blast, mostly because my little kid has learned how to trash talk! (For those not well acquainted with American idioms, trash talk is a way of talking to opponents during a sporting match or game, hoping to put them off their game by talking about how great you are, or more commonly about how bad they are and how easily you are going to beat them.)

We mistakenly named him Felix (lucky, fortunate), because in any game where chance plays a role, he will win most often. Now he's started to revel in telling us how great he's doing, and how easy the games are, and how many points ahead he is. That could be obnoxious, of course, but he's doing it in such a clear-hearted, joyous way, that it's hard not to join him in his delight. Since we're more interested in having fun than winning, anyway, it's fun to see him having such fun. And, it can be astonishing to see the runs of good luck he has!



Marrakesh - This one is long out of print, so you'll only be lucky to find it second hand, as I did. The board that continually regenerates & the cameleeples keep this one interesting.



Hanabi - I made up a version of this using Slamwich cards, so we've been cooperating on trying to make the best BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich, probably another Americanism). This has seen only a couple of plays, and we're probably giving each other more clues than we should, but we've really enjoyed the deduction and intense thought that goes into this - tough game!



Elk Fest - As a silly addition, we've played a ton of games of this silly little dexterity filler. Flick disks (stones) to get your moose across the river first. He spends too much time stealing my stones without helping himself, so I win a lot.

Lots more, but I'll leave it there!

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23. Board Game: Snail's Pace Race [Average Rating:5.24 Overall Rank:15299]
Chris Halaska
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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With my 3 year old, we've had a major breakthrough! With both listening to books and playing games, she's become much more patient and willing to sit through a full story or game. She's finally on her way to being a full-fledged gamer! I've mostly been pulling out some old classics to play with her:



Snail's Pace Race - Bright colors, huge snaileeples, the excitement of watching a race - what could be better!



Candy Land - People dump on Candy Land here, but I have a soft (nostalgic) spot for it. The little one gets to learn about taking turns, the random nature of the universe, the disappointment of having to go back down the path, and how to stack the deck by picking out all the candy cards.



Monkey Madness - Another sleep-inducer for the grownups, but one the littlest ones can get a handle on, and enjoy playing over and over and over and....

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24. Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1877] [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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This is my only new kids 'game' in March, and it was a modest success. My 3 yo son rolled the dice, one by one, and I told a story as he rolled. I'll probably try this more often with him, as it will be interesting if he can make up stories himself.

But it's not a game...
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