New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in September 2013
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Autumn has appeared around here (although it sometimes feels like we skipped autumn and went straight to winter), time to huddle in front of a roaring fire playing games!

In the meantime, 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: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:760]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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This has been a quiet month for new games with the children, unusually I've learned far more new games than them!

However, we did get out this old Co-op game with Matthew, knowing his fondness for all things Tolkien. Not having played for some time we did rather badly and Sauron corrupted the ringbearer somewhere in Rohan. Still, we had fun, with some impromptu roleplaying included.
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2. Board Game: Tally Ho! [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:2642]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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With Rebecca there were no new games, but she did request this several times. It's a nice 2 player game, though you have to swap sides and play twice to be fair. As it only takes about 10 minutes each way, that works out fine anyway.
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3. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:253]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Some great games for our family.



Also: My daughter beat me at The Castles of Burgundy for the first time ever this month.
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4. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2188]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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Only one new game for my kids this month, but it was a big hit as they requested to play it a number of times.

I got Dungeon Roll mainly because I expected my kids to like this, so I'm happy they do. The dice-rolling is exciting of course, and the dungeon crawling theme appeals to them.


Also, not a new game (we've played this once or twice before), but an unexpected hit last month was Europa Tour.



My oldest son had a geography exam where he had to learn (most of) the European countries and their position on the map, so I suggested we'd play this game so he could look at a map of Europe while doing something fun.
He liked the game enough to still request it, even though the exam is already done (he scored 9.5 (out of 10) by the way).
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5. Board Game: Rise of Augustus [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:843]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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I managed to introduce this to my daughter Sharlene (15 yrs old) and my son Shawn (10 yrs old) and it was received quite well. This game has been the surprise of the month and has been well received by the people I've taught to so far.
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6. Board Game: Zoowaboo [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:4266]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Miska is 5 years old.

he got Zoowaboo for his birthday.
He enjoyed it and we have played it a few times since. I'm not sure it's his favorite game right bow but it's enough that he enjoys it as it's an interesting game that helps to develop a few skills including extimation, spatial thinking and some social skills (as sometimes you have to solve the task of fitting the animals in a raft as a team).


I also explained
Callisto: The Game
to him and we played it twice. Playing a Blokus-like game (well, So you say it’s Knizia's Blokus clone?) was very interesting for him, and although he had no chance to win (I didn't want to make only sub-optimal moves as even he knew that he is a bit too young for this) he rather enjoyed it and was ready to learn some tactics and strategies.


We also played
6 nimmt! Junior.
I’m a fan of Wolfgang Kramer. But this so-called ‘children’s version’ of 6 nimmt! is a sad misfire. It is a game for age 5+ but it offers zero strategy or tactics; it’s like Hisss with slightly more complex placement rules and no influence on the results. As even games for 4+-year-olds offer some decisions this card game felt very weak and unnecessary. Even my 5-year-old was a bit bored.
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7. Board Game: Krosmaster: Arena [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1052] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Wolfgang Kunz
Germany
Netphen
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My son is 7 and we played Zombicide over the summer. He was playing with me and my buddy and was really proud that he can play the game with 2 adults.

So while we waited for the expansions I got a copy of this game here and found it a good way to introduce my son to some tactical gaming (before I put him in front of the ASL SK). And he really learns fast and gets an itch for these kind of games - finding out the weakness of your team and using it to its best for getting the tactical advantage and winning the game. It is not about the strength of a team but mastering its weaknesses, I told him.

Very funny game with cute figures. I bought two expansions for some variety but I think thats it. Definitely not following the path and collect "all of them".

Also played a lot of Legendary: Marvel plus the expansion Dark City. He always beats me at this game and I am amazed how he builds his deck and really uses it to the best possibilities. Have played about 40 times with him and no win for me. Man, I get old.
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8. Board Game: The Downfall of Pompeii [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:478]
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
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A big hit with our kids and my wife. Very fun game for the family.
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9. Board Game: Cardline: Animals [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1847] [Average Rating:6.59 Unranked]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I played this game 3 times with my kids (ages 5, 8 and 10) and they all liked it. I found this game works better than Fauna with kids this age. It's less involved than a game like Fauna, just ordering the animals according to size, weight or lifespan but that's a big part part of why it works so well. I liked it too as I found I was just about as good as my kids at ordering things properly.

I assume the Timeline games would be better for older kids or adults, but for younger kids, this "Animals" version of the game is great because it's so easy to make a reasonable guess about where the animal belongs.
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10. Board Game: Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:1488]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This was the only game new to my older son, 6, this month. I thought he might like the maze element. He was only just old enough to work out what happened as he pushed various rows, but did seem to enjoy it, getting very excited when he reached his cards. Too early yet to say if he'll ask to play again though!
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11. Board Game: Shopping List [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:13955]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This was my younger son's (aged 3) favourite new to him game this month, with quite a number of plays! He's enjoyed Crazy Chefs for a while, and this is basically the same game with a different theme, that we owned before we were given Crazy Chefs. I was quite glad of the variety anyway, although sadly we do seem to have lost the bacon at some point, so we can't play with one of the lists!
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12. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:45]
Will Plante
United States
Greenville
Rhode Island
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While I don't think this is the #1 family game it is really fun.
This game has hit the table 9 times in 2 weeks, showing up during our weekly family game night for 3 weeks in a row.
There are two things that really make this game shine for my family.

First is the simultaneous card drafting, there is absolutely no down time in this game.
As much as we love playing games like Kingsburg or Stone Age there can be extended periods of downtime while someone is trying to figure out their optimal move.
In 7 Wonders everyone is making that choice at the same time and as the amount of cards you have to pick from dwindles the pace of the game picks up.

This leads into the second highlight of this game: 1/2 hour game length with 3+ players.
This makes it a great game to pull out with Lucien (11) and Madeline (8) on weeknights when we don't have time to play a longer game.
We have some great 2 player games that play in a similar time frame (Agricola All Creatures, Morels and Jaipur) but up till now no really good 3+ player games that fit into that time span.

Overall I couldn't be happier with this purchase, my wife and kids love the game.

Now I am just trying to decide which expansion to pick up first, Cities or Leaders?
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13. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:75]
Neal Sofge
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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This is now Maia's self-described favorite game (she's almost 10) and her brother Carlos (7) liked it too. The co-op nature helps -- though neither one would be willing to admit it, not having to beat your family members at something makes for a better play experience.

Also new this month were:

The Isle of Doctor Necreaux, which we miserably lost at, souring both kids on further play;

and

Black Box, which is still a bit too challenging for Carlos, and which Maia has shown no interest at all. I'm afraid she's like her dad, uninterested in abstracts but obsessed with storyline.
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14. Board Game: Ring-O Flamingo [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:6346]
 
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Ring-O Flamingo

 


Ring-O Flamingo is a great little game for the young and young at heart. Basically, each player attempted to flip their hoops onto one of the scoring pieces (a flamingo) with points being awarded for how well the hoop goes over the flamingo token.

This really engaged the four year old we played it with and I think the all the adults at the table also had a ball. The only downside is searching for rings that ‘overshoot’ after each round. Not a bad game for youngsters who will enjoy both the action and the theme and one I’ll consider for the Little Fish for Christmas.
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15. Board Game: Get Bit! [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2047]
Clare Marie
New Zealand
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We played a few new in September but this was the stand-out favourite for my son/12 & his best friend/10 .. Both were familiar with the card mechanic which is the same as in Giro Galoppo) so it only took a couple of minutes to explain, and from then on it's been played multiple times per day .. They've even pimped it out with a bigger more impressive shark, and we got the deluxe tin so our men are pirates arrrh .. The only thing I take issue with is the rule about the first person of two winning which makes no sense to me, especially when they might only have a body/head left and the second only missing one limb, but perhaps I got that wrong? Either way it's now played till the death in our house!


The 2nd top pick of the month is photojenic's 'homeschoolers' version of Delve: The Dice Game .. We're not home-schoolers but I answered her plee to look through it a couple of weeks back, and am glad I did as we've all enjoyed it to the point I've printed out a number of extra copies (on request) for school friends, and some spares for geocaching swag too


And finally my copy of Forbidden Desert arrived .. I'd read that this was different enough to still warrant getting if you have Forbidden Island, and I agree it is .. It's far more challenging (we almost always win FI no matter which characters we play or what level we start on), and this really requires strategic group planning = less solo exploration and risk-taking, more making sacrifices for your partners and hiding out in tunnels! It is however far more fiddly, and I can only hope my (carpal tunnel) inflicted hands adjust to the constant picking up of sand-tiles .. Too soon to say if this will become the preferred 'version' (term used lightly), but I somehow think the original will hold it's own in the long-run as it has simplicity, cool locations with great images & names, and a better 'story'/theme (again imho) on it's side meeple
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16. Board Game: Memory [Average Rating:4.74 Overall Rank:16983]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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I played seven games of this with my son, using traditional cards. Nothing fancy, but he enjoyed those plays. We've played a few memory like games, like The Little Orchard and Chicken Cha Cha Cha, so he's getting familiar with the mechanism. I haven't played this game since I was a child I guess.

Also brought Sorry! Sliders out to see if it would work for him. Not sure it does, but we enjoyed flicking the pawns and especially if we could knock other players' pawns out of the way!

Rory's Story Cubes: Actions and Rory's Story Cubes: Voyages also got a run out. As I've mentioned, these are hardly boardgames, but rather a fun story telling device. I'll probably bring it out from time to time.
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17. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:286]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I feel like I've been talking about this game a lot lately, sorry if you are hearing this again from me.

In September, I finally got 1775: Rebellion to the table. My main "war game" partner is my son (12 yo). He has proclaimed this as his new "favorite game". I really enjoyed it myself. It's pretty simple to learn/teach, but really does have some pretty deep decisions to make as you are trying to control areas, when to play a truce card, when to run from a battle. Good stuff!
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18. Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:209]
Graham Walker
Netherlands
Hilversum
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Played this with my 6 (soon to be 7) year old daughter this weekend.
I was really pleasantly surprised about how easy it was for her to pick up.

She had no problem with the concept of building fences, or how many animals each area could hold and that the different resources allowed you to buy different things. For the first game though we did not worry too much about the extra buildings, but next game I will certainly spend some time explaining that part to her.

Two special moments for me:
- When she took back first player in order to ensure she would be first to get a big juicy pile of stone. Good to see her gamers gears turning...
- When she had had a fenced area of 4 pigs and during breeding she needed to move the 5th pig to a new fenced area. She orchestrated a major farm re-org to make sure the new baby was in the fenced area right beside the mommy and daddy so they could be close to each other. The sweetie...

Now she is asking more questions about "Big Agricola"
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19. Board Game: Wildlife Safari [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1406]
Kendahl Johnson
United States
Syracuse
Utah
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Introduced this to the family and everyone loves it. My daughter (8) asks to play. It's such a short game that it can be played pretty much anytime. I think there is an issue in the three player game...every game we've played, when the start player ends the round he/she scores the most points. Getting one extra animal makes a huge difference. This balances out over three rounds where all players get to be start player, but if you're just playing one round then I think we have to house rule it.

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20. Board Game: Playmobil Soccer Match [Average Rating:6.31 Unranked]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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I won this in a prize drawing, and it has been quite a success. It is similar to the German classic Tipp-Kick but is more charming and less serious, I guess. Also, the rules are sufficiently unclear to leave room for your own interpretation. Played this with my seven year old, but the three year old has also tried (without standing a chance against us older ones, though).
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21. Board Game: Pipifax [Average Rating:5.24 Unranked]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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An Amigo novelty that left me cold, but the kids liked it somewhat. It's memory with an extra helping of luck (courtesy of a die).
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22. Board Game: Topfrosch [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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What are you doing!? I don't even know you!
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The first test of our new game with our seven year old. She liked it fine, and in the simple version, beat me once.
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23. Board Game: Rise of Augustus [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:843]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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We didn't introduce much new this September with Gabby(our 9 year old), but she really did like this "Gamer Bingo" game. We've played it a couple times and overall we all like it pretty well. Easy to grasp, enough strategy to make you think a little instead of putting it on cruise control and it is a really nice looking game.

One we didn't like though was Primordial Soup, but she did agree to give it another try at a later date, I think maybe we played it at the wrong time.
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24. Board Game: Hawaii [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:599]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
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Son #2 is 11; and mostly prefers League of Legends to boardgames. But he enjoyed two of the latter this month. I'm highlighting Hawaii because it was new-to-him (the other, Elements, was a game he was happy to play last month, too.)

He found the game quite sensible in play, and enjoyed the fact that he could aim for completely different things than I was and still be competitive (he's not so fond of games that force one into a single strategy - with the one that executes it best winning.) And, for my part, I was surprised how functional the game was with 2: it's better with more, I think; but quite viable as a 2p family game.
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25. Board Game: Aton [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:932]
Renee Thorson
United States
Albert Lea
Minnesota
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Received this in the Pay it Forward geek list and have played it a few times with my 11 yr old son. We both enjoyed it!

Flash Point: Fire Rescue has been the new hit with my 8 yr old son.
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