New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in October 2013
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Last month included our half-term and me starting a lunchtime boardgames club at the local Primary School. So plenty of material for this list! How about you?

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: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:652]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I'll start by talking about my new lunchtime games club for the Primary 6s (aged approximately 10). I went in the week before to explain the idea and there was lots of interest, so we decided to limit numbers to 10 initially, and switch to some others at some point. I went armed with a number of games, of which we played two.

I started with the classic game Pitfor the early arrivals. They were slightly diffident at first but as I expected very rapidly got into the shouting and swapping concept. After a couple of games the rest of the group showed up so I left a couple of old hands to explain and play Pit whilst I taught Incan Gold to the other half.

This went down even better, if anything, and they all wanted to join in, so I put them into pairs for the last couple of rounds. It was very definitely requested for next week!

All in all, it went very well indeed, though I think I'll only take along games that can take a bit of hammer as the excitement got to them at one or two points. Especially when they got eaten by zombies due to excessive bravery/foolhardiness.
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2. Board Game: Scotland Yard [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1138]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Rebecca hadn't played this herself but we thought it was about time. As a cooperative game (from the detectives' point of view) it's easy to play, but by the end she was coming up with her own suggestions for what to do, which is great.

She also learned River Dragons and 6 nimmt!, neither of which she was all that keen on. Can't win them all.
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3. Board Game: Pirate Island [Average Rating:4.65 Overall Rank:16043]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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As it was Talk Like a Pirate Day at some point I thought that Rebecca (nearly 8) and Matthew (12) might like this old 3 player game in a tube. They got quite into it (appropriate silly accents and so on) but were both rather unlucky with the dice which soured the experience for them slightly. It is frustrating when that happens without anything you can do about it. Still, it passed an hour or two in half term quite nicely.
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4. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:562]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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This military sci-fi horror co-op was new to me and my 8-year-old daughter this month. I didn't think she'd want to play it, but she asked for it. I tried to explain that Space Marines are wacky souped-up guys in armor, but they remained "robots" to her. We lost, of course, and though I enjoyed it, and she seemed pretty chipper about it, I doubt we'll play this one together again.
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5. Board Game: Monster Factory [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:4178]
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
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Just in time for Halloween, we got this game for my daughter's 7th birthday earlier this month. The kids LOVE it. It's pretty simple, but a lot of fun. Perfect for elementary school-aged kids.

Also, I'll give a shout out to Rio Grande Games. Our tiles came misprinted/mispunched -- ranging from minor to pretty bad -- which made it hard to line up the monster parts correctly. An email to RGG, and within a week or two, we had all new pieces.
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6. Board Game: Guildhall [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:809] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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I got to introduce a few new games to my nephews during my family clan get together for the mooncake festival.

Introduced to Ethan (11)
Guildhall
Rise of Augustus

Introduced to Ethan, Maki (12), and my son Shawn (10)
Forbidden Island

Introduced to Ethan and Shawn,
Walk the Plank!


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7. Board Game: Roll & Play [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:10882]
Greg Cox
Australia
Petersham
NSW
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My daughter is almost 2-1/2 and I've dug around for board style games she can play. Most of the games I found via BGG

This was recommended a lot online and Roll and Play is a terrific game for her age group and she loves rolling the die and turning over the cards.


Ear Tug
She also loves the 'animals' game and always gives daddy the bear tile...

Zitternix
She like the 'sticks' game although doesn't play it as it supposed to play.

I've bought a lot of HABA games, among them the First Orchard although this one has not been a hit so far.

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8. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:152] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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I play most of my games with my daughter(9 years old), so just about everything that is new to her would be new to me, this month there were several that we tried, but Magic: The Gathering is the one that stood out for her. We started with the Heroes vs Monsters duel decks and then added some other starter decks and some packs. We've built a couple decks and have played quite a bit this month against each other, she predominately plays mono Green or sometimes Green/Red, while I've been messing around in the Blue spectrum.

Quite fun, and I can see how folks could become addicted to trying to add the best cards available to their decks, but for now, we're just having a lot of fun playing against each other.
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9. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:837]
Clare Marie
New Zealand
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This had been on my wishlist for well over a year and I'm so glad I finally ordered it because Sol (12) is loving playing and requesting a game each and every night .. He particularly like when we use the dragon tile variation ..

I think the simple design/mechanic is a real strength, and find it surprisingly un-repetative = Highly Recommended!



I also picked up
Great theme and some interesting new mechanics, but the general consensus here is that it's too fiddly and not as good as it's big brother .. I can't count how many times we've finished a game and heard "NOW can we play Forbidden Island?", as though this is just a warm-up to the real deal lol .. That said I'm still glad to have it in our collection as they do play very well one after the other, but this isn't the one to choose if you're only wanting to buy/own one
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10. Board Game: Glücks-Piraten [Average Rating:5.42 Overall Rank:14316]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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My kids /7 and 3) enjoyed this meaningless game, but I didn't. Well, it is a decision-less game with lots of pointless dice rolls. Boring to me.
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11. Board Game: Ahoy [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:8904]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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At least for my three year old, this was new. My seven year old had played it before when she was a little too young for it. Both liked it somewhat, but I was probably the one who enjoyed it most (it offers a mean kind of fun for grown-ups, after all).
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12. Board Game: Piece o' Cake [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1592]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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This was new to all of us, and I sure hope we will play it again. Fun, thematic for the kids and decision-making for me. A great family game!
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13. Board Game: Brandon the Brave [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:4685]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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This wasn't half bad - tile laying for kids. Recommended (at least for my 7 year old).
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Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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Gaming with my kids last month... well, let's start with the highlight: I took them to Essen! We spent two days at Spiel with the family.

For my oldest son (9) this is paradise, he will play new games all day and even the ones I'm interested in. He's been to Spiel before, two years ago, and he was very happy to return.

For the younger son (7), it was the first visit. He loved it too, although it was a bit too much at times. The first day went great, but during the second day he got tired and didn't want to play games all the time (although luckily still most of the time). But he was quite happy to make a few visits to the Galeria where he could play in the bouncy castle or make some drawings. My wonderful girlfriend went with him, while me and the other boy would play more games.

In the next items, on to the games themselves!

(Image by Markus Unger, I lifted this from Essen 2013 Photo Contest)
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15. Board Game: Hollywood [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:3473]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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This is the new family favourite. We tried this in Essen, liked it, bought it, and have already played it five times at home.

The main mechanism is drafting (as in 7 Wonders), and after the draft round there is an auction.
With all your cards to try to make films: a film needs one script, one director, one or two actors/actresses, and then you may add as many "other" cards as you wish (this category includes stuntmen, composers, guys in suits, girls with clipboards and many more).
Score points for your films, discard all cards (used or not) and play two more rounds which are the same.

The kids are requesting this game often, so that says enough for me.

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16. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:19]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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According to the 9 year old, this was the best game we played at Spiel. And I agree with him. (This was one of the games we tried while the younger one was at the bouncing castle, so he doesn't have an opinion - I'm afraid it would be a bit too difficult for him anyway)

In Concordia, you are building a trading network in the old Roman empire. You build houses in cities, and these houses produce resources for you (much like Catan). Actions are card-driven, and these cards also determine which categories you score points in at the end (points per city, points per different province you are in, points per different resource produced). You can buy more action cards to specialize in a certain action or in a certain type of scoring (mostly the latter). Excellent game.

There is some language on the cards, but not much and after a few rounds he didn't have much problems with it anymore.
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17. Board Game: A Gamut of Games [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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Because I don't want to clog up this list too much, here's a rundown of other games we played:

Trains - Played only with the 9 year old. He loved this too and considered this his favourite until we played Concordia.

Relic Runners - The 7 year old liked this better than the rest of us.

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends - I knew my kids would love the monster summoning theme of this one. But there was too much text on the cards for them, the older one played with some help from his mum, but the younger one (who was on my team) lost interest halfway through. Maybe we'll get this if it ever appears in Dutch (or we wait until they are better in English).

Templar: The Secret Treasures - Nice enough game, but nobody seemed really taken by it.
Steam Park - Nice enough game, but nobody seemed really taken by it.
Warlock - The first game we played at Spiel. Not a very good one unfortunately.
Trains and Stations - Played only with the older one. Again, nice enough game, but didn't thrill us.

And finally, one item not related to Spiel:
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small - The younger son wanted to play this. He has watched the game when I played against his brother and now he wanted to try for himself. He did pretty well, although I did beat him - he was focussing only on his own needs so he didn't try to block me in any way which helped me put up a new record score of 67. His own score of 49 however was higher than what I scored in my first game, so he definitely didn't do bad!
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18. Board Game: Monsters Menace America [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:3531]
The hardest part of becoming a self-made man has got to be creating your own DNA sequences.
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am.
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My son (Iain, age 12) has been anxious to play this since I got it in trade a few weeks ago. We finally got to break it out at the monthly game night at Mysteryscape book store, always the last Friday of the month.

We played for a good hour but didn't finish the game -- we had to clear the table to allow for a "quick" game of Carcassonne. We found a couple of rules that we hadn't noticed or had mis-read, which changed the play only marginally. (The rules about deploying the National Guard could be re-worded a bit to make them more clear.) It seems like the monsters have it too easy when fighting the various branches of the military, so I'm thinking of making a couple of house rules to even the odds just a bit. Of course, the monsters need to be in pretty good shape for the "battle royale" at the end, but a little fudging in the military's favor wouldn't hurt things, especially since the monsters can still get re-charged before the big melee.

We both had fun, but realized that it works better with at least three players, and probably really shines with four. We are definitely looking forward to trying this one again.

Our favorite thing about the game was the bits, especially the monsters. Iain took the giant eyeball and I had the "toxic waste" creature. The monsters are all good, sturdy plastic figures nearly 3 inches (7-8 cm) tall, and very colorful. The planes, tanks, and missile markers are a bit small and easily lost, so care must be taken with handling.

I also have a copy of The Creature That Ate Sheboygan I've had for thirty years that I've never played (could never find anyone that wanted to try it) and MMA looks like it might replace TCTAS on the shelf due to ease of play.
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19. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:241]
Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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This quick playing filler was new to the entire family. Both my 12 year old son and 10 year old daughter enjoyed the game. My daughter was particularly fond of it. It went over well because it is simple, fast playing, and a good mix of luck and deduction.

We got in 22 plays in October.
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20. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:611]
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Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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Actually Perudo, well at least that's the name on the tin meeple

Introduced this to Daughter the Younger (10). My wife refuses to play because she says she is cursed with dice.

So a lot of two player games. She is quite the evil bluffer.
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21. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:235]
Renee Thorson
United States
Albert Lea
Minnesota
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I received this for my birthday in October and played it with my 8 yr old son. We both enjoyed it! As a tip - the game plays much better when you make chomping noises as the panda eats the bamboo!
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22. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:281]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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My daughter, aged 8, has enjoyed watching us play this for a while, so when she came along to watch us play this month I suggested she joined in. She enjoyed it enough to play again, although we've lost both times. It's very unusual for her to play games without the boys, so that is an extra bonus - I've always thought of her as the least interested in games of the three, but maybe that is starting to change!
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23. Board Game: Quit [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This is a very old family game, that I used to play with my great-grandmother, and my grandparents' copy was so well worn that most of the card corners were missing, and you could barely read some of the cards as they were so well used! I have acquired a much better condition second-hand copy, and introduced it to the kids this month. All three, aged 8, 6 and 3, seemed to really enjoy it, but it was definitely the biggest hit with the 6 year old, although all three of them have played it several times now. It's very simple - just following up a chain of numbers (B1, B2, B3 - playing the appropriate card if you have it), with just a few decisions such as which suit to play when we get to the top of one, and the few Quit cards, but that's just right for this age-group - they learn the basics of thinking through a few bits of strategy and forward planning, while the winner is still determined largely by luck.
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24. Board Game: Eruption [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:3349]
Pat Johnston
United States
North Liberty
Iowa
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My 8 yo son has taken a liking to this one lately...he enjoys the ability to point that lava flow towards me!

We have also enjoyed the following with him and his 10 yo sister:
Las Vegas
Cube Quest
Tumblin-Dice
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25. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:330]
Kim Williams
United Kingdom
St Just
Cornwall
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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has definitely been the game of the month with my family. We've been playing a four player campaign (with my 9 year old daughter playing Lini, and my 11 year old son playing Valeros) plus my husband and I playing our own two player campaign after they've gone to bed.

This has worked really well for us - it truly is a co-operative game with everyone really keen to be able to help each other out ("I've got a blessing I'm happy to give you" "Take a d4 from me" etc.). We've had to take multiple attempts at completing some scenarios but this has lead to such joy upon finally succeeding - and then the extra pleasure of choosing rewards

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