Gaming with our Thai exchange student
David Gregg
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My wife and I started hosting exchange students last year. This year our student, Song, is from Thailand and a bit younger (15), so the language barrier is a little tough. I'm hoping that I can help her practice her English via gaming while here.



This list will be an ongoing report of the games I attempt to teach her and how well they go over, especially given the language barrier. I plan to reintroduce the games that don't go over as well later on in her stay to see if her increasing English proficiency helps make them more fun for her.

Wish me luck!



-------------------------------------

Song's home with her family now! We had a great time gaming with her and there were several that she liked, even though she never quite got into gaming as much as the rest of my family. Was some great fun.

meeple
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1. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:78]
David Gregg
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For Song's very first game here I decided on something light on both rules and text. She picked it up very quickly and even sunk a couple 20 point shots, though it wasn't quite enough to win. She seemed to enjoy it and even requested a second game.

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2. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2191]
David Gregg
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Immediately afterward I looked over my collection and picked out Dungeon Roll. This one has been very easy to teach my less game-y friends and family, so had hoped it would go over smoothly here as well. Unfortunately, there was a lot more verbal explanation involved than I had thought and it ended up being difficult to convey everything.

She made some inefficient decisions in her first couple delves that gave away that she didn't quite understand it all and actually requested that we end the game early prior to her third delve.

I'll be revisiting this one later on.

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3. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:838]
David Gregg
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Decided to try another game very low in English content that's very easy to explain. As expected, she understood it very quickly, though she trapped herself in a corner the first game, lol. She did say that she liked it and ended up requesting 2 more plays before the wife needed to stop playing. All 3 games were 3 player.

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4. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:341]
David Gregg
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Huge success! Setup a map from the rulebook and started a game (no qualifying, just went first to reduce initial rules explanations). Then played again with her first. Had her choose the next map, which we played SIX times. Then had her choose again, which we played FOUR times. She enjoyed it immensely and even managed to win a couple times in the later games as she learned to cut around corners. I expect this to be played much more during her stay.

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5. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:314]
David Gregg
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After some initial rules questions that were tough to get sorted due to language barrier, she figured it out and we dove in. She had a hard time keeping track of what she'd been told, figuring out what is and is not an efficient hint as well as deducing from trash the odds of what is left, so... we only scored 11 points due to all 3 red chips being acquired. Near the very end she was starting to pick up on it, so I expect next round to go better. She did very much enjoy it, but it was getting late, so didn't immediately play a 2nd round.

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6. Board Game: Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:4231]
David Gregg
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Cute little rhyming game I found via Watch It Played. Rules are very light, so was easy to explain and was good English practice for Song as some she knew and others she asked about. She enjoyed the game, so I imagine it'll be getting the table plenty more in the future.

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7. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:204]
David Gregg
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Wanted to get in a quick game tonight, so broke out an old favorite. First game was pretty rocky, but by the time we started up the second game... well, lets just say I've never seen Song laugh so hard or for so long. Great success.

The Resistance =
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8. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
David Gregg
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Played a 5 player game on the US map a few nights ago combined with the 1910 expansion. Took a couple times explaining the cards to get it to click and a few rounds before I could start seeing the wheels turning on her strategies. Song and I blocked each other's paths a few times over and laughs were had by all. She took wild cards a bit often, so efficiency was a little low, but other than that she played well and had a great time.

Coincidentally was one of my best games ever completing 14 tickets and scoring 240 points surprise

We'll certainly be playing more of this one as well as exploring the various maps I've collected thumbsup

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9. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:257]
David Gregg
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Wife and eldest were out with the women's church group tonight, so I broke out one of my favorite gateway's to teach Song (and roped my youngest into playing too, lol). Explaining the dice faces / point system was a little challenging, but once we got past that, the game moved along very well. The first couple rounds were oddly high scoring with lots of sets of 3's and 2's being scored, but then... then Song entered Tokyo and I immediately bashed her pretty good. The look of surprise followed by that evil grin of "aight, I'm comin' for ya!" was priceless.

My kido won the first game purely through points (ridiculously lucky die rolls) and Song wanted to play again right away, so we reset and went at it. The second game was much closer with me winning the turn prior to Song (she was in Tokyo with 18 points and plenty of health) and kido being able to win as well (was at 16 points).

Great time with this once and seeing as the wife and rest of my family really enjoy it, I definitely see this hitting the table again.

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10. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:502]
David Gregg
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Franklinville
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Hadn't broke out this one in a long while. Wife and kidos were requesting it, so taught Song how to play real quick and got in a 5 player game. Song copied my wife and eldest's terrible strategy of ducking out early each round, so while she only had 2 cards in the negative, her final score was still only 18 points. My youngest however is quite good at this one and managed to win by 4 points with a total of 35 (I had 31). Song enjoyed it, so will certainly play again sometime.

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11. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:458]
David Gregg
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My girls were itching to play a game tonight and ended up convincing Song to join us. Was in the mood to play something different, so decided to teach Escape. Fortunately for Song, my youngest and I are very good at this one, so we had no issues winning with the recommended number of gems (we were all out before the 2nd gong).

Song wasn't used to the fast paced nature of this game, but liked it and so we started up a 2nd game. This time we won right at 4min into the game. She really liked it, but we're definitely going to have to increase the difficulty next time.

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12. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:45]
David Gregg
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Youngest was itching to play this one, so broke it out and taught Song. This was a bit tougher to teach with a limited vocabulary, but we got through it. Song ended up getting a lot of free cards, mostly by accident, but was happy when she found out the card was going to be cheaper than planned.

She seemed to be getting the hang of it by the 3rd age and seemed willing to play it again another night. Will have to see if it grows on her like it did for us.

7 Wonders =
 
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13. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:218] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
David Gregg
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Kids were in the mood for something different tonight and we hadn't gotten this one out in a while, so decided to play. Super easy rules to teach made it easy for Song to pick it up and dive in, though she had a hard time scoring well, hanging out in the back with me most of the game...

I NEVER WIN THIS GAME, EVER

Song really liked it though, so we'll be playing it more for sure.

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14. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:274]
David Gregg
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Decided to break out this classic filler tonight. Song picked up on it very quickly, though she played a bit too frugal the first phase, not gaining enough valuable properties to be competitive during the second phase. We immediately played a second game in which she did much better.

We don't play this one often, but Song did enjoy it, so I know she'll have no problem should we play it again soon.

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15. Board Game: Spoons [Average Rating:5.25 Overall Rank:16612]
David Gregg
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This is a family classic with which we have a dedicated deck of cards (this game tends to mutilate playing cards) and we also play with our regular kitchen spoons (yes, the metal ones). We've actually played this with Song prior to tonight, I just forgot to add it here...

Anywho, played again tonight with just the 5 of us and had a great time. This game tends to make for some very... "animated" moments between the kids.



Good times as always.

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