New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in March 2014
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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March: the month of madness! Are your kids mad for games, or do they just make you mad?

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: Carcassonne: The Castle [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:494]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Rebecca (8) asked to play this. She's very familiar with ordinary Carcassonne, so the rules were fairly easy for her to pick up. On the whole placement is easier in this version as you don't have to match terrain types other than the paths. However playing well is more difficult, especially timing your scoring so you pick up the bonus chits as you progress along the scoring track. She enjoyed the game, but found that aspect more difficult. She was particularly pleased that she had managed to construct by far the largest house!
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2. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Rebecca also tried out this - she understood the rules pretty quickly, and had a good time building up her tableau. Of course, knowing the buildings helps enormously so I won fairly easily. However, it was an enjoyable game for both of us, and learning the core system for things like Race for the Galaxy and Puerto Rico will no doubt stand her in good stead in later life.
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3. Board Game: Ave Caesar [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1074]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Chariot racing in ancient Rome was a popular suggestion at the school games club - the theme really appealed. They enjoyed zooming around the track blocking each other, though I did weary slightly of explaining the rules repeatedly to some of the less attentive kids! They really got into the spirit of the game and have asked to play again next time, so very much a success.

I also taught them Love Letter, which they also enjoyed - I had to get them to pair up as it only takes 4. Again, they enjoyed the theme, and were beginning to get the hang of how to play by the end of the game. I'm hoping this is something that they might play at other times during the week as it is short and doesn't take up much space.
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4. Board Game: Quarriors! [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:686] [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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Quarriors saw a lot of play in March between my son (10) and I - he always wins. My daughter (8) also joins us occasionally if she is bored.

What was really cool was - something clicked this month. My son's choices were very obviously much more tactical and well thought out. He stopped taking crap and started taking good spells and when he saw something worked, he sought it out again. Very cool.
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5. Board Game: Tales & Games: The Three Little Pigs [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1855]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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This has been a big hit with my youngest Shawn (10) who has kept on requesting it. This resulted in several family members getting to try it, including my daughter Sharlene, my nephews, my wife and her 2 sisters. Not bad considering that the game can get quite vicious!
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6. Board Game: Isla Dorada [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1208]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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My son also joined my friends for this new game. I wasn't sure how he'd do with the bidding, but since it was new, none of us really understood the value.

Again, he started making decent choices and trying to control the game rather than just playing it. Of course, he's 10, so he does let revenge take over some decision making rather than attacking the leader, but that's to be expected still.
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7. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:179]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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My daughter Sharlene (16) and I got to try this out once, and I got beaten when she achieved a breakthough. This has hidden depth, and I hope to try it out some more!
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8. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My 8 year old daughter and I played this at the start of the month and she picked it up right away. We had a fairly close round. Later in the month, she asked to play again and we did. She really likes the game and the fact that she is playing a more "grown up" game in her eyes. I've always liked Lost Cities as a short, two player game that isn't very taxing and has a fair amount of push-your-luck. It feels like the perfect game to introduce to an 8-10 year old who is doing well with basic math.
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9. Board Game: Say Anything [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:807]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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Only a couple to report this month.

My daughter loves party games, so when I found Say Anything at the thrift, so was overjoyed. We played it with the whole family (including my parents) and had a great time doing it. I was pleasantly surprised myself. My daughter of course loved it!



Another thrift store pick up was The Game of Life: A Jedi's Path. This was not the kind of game I was expecting. It my say life, and you may have a spinner, but it kinda stops there. My son really liked it, I can't say the same for my daughter.

That's all for this month.
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10. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:288]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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Finally got this out of the shrink, and debuted it with both my older boys (ages 14 and 12). We played 2-player games.

I like it more than they do. My kind of filler game...quick to teach, quick to play, just enough decisions to be interesting. Good stuff.

They seemed underwhelmed. But that is often the case with the first few plays. So we will see.
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11. Board Game: Web of Power [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:507]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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Another "my kind of game." Quick to teach, quick to play. More than a filler, but a play of this comes in under an hour, which is awesome for gaming with kids.

I've played this a few times now with my older boys, and it is great fun.
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12. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1114]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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So Ra is a family favorite in my home, and something that gets played pretty often. My oldest three kids (ages 11 through 14) all ask for it.

So at a recent game day, we learned Ra: the Dice Game. I was intrigued by how the game cleverly incorporates the Ra system of set collection and scoring. Pretty neat.

But ultimately, the game replaces one of my very favorite mechanics (auctions) with one of my least favorite (Yahtzee dice).

And that's the difference between a |9| and a -3- for me.
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13. Board Game: Go Piggy Go! [Average Rating:5.06 Unranked]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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We won this in a prize drawing during a con earlier this month. It is a pile of plastic garbage that I rate a 1.5. My four year old liked it more, but my seven year old was equally unimpressed. Avoid at all cost, unless you want to pay Mattel to dispose of their plastic garbage.
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14. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:50]
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
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This one took me by surprise. After trying the iOS app first, I bought the "real" game. Turns out that my wife and 10 year old daughter LOVE this game. And my 10 year old is really good at it too.

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15. Board Game: Temple Run: Danger Chase [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:10000]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My 10 year old daughter received this for Christmas and she and I played it. It's not a good game, but she was into it (because she likes the iPhone version). She is the least into board games of my children, so seeing her excited about a game was fun. It's a simple dice-rolling game where you must roll and re-roll some dice within a time limit to move your piece and you need to avoid the danger spots and the demon monkey who is chasing you. It isn't horrendous, but it is definitely something I would not normally play. Since she liked it, we played again with her sister later in the month. Her sister (8 years old) got into the game a bit, but was less excited about it.
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16. Board Game: Show Manager [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1034]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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For a change, I had a game day with a part of my gaming group instead of a game night. And it was at my house, so the kids were around and obviously wanted to join.
I asked my friend to bring this game, as I knew we would be with six and I thought the kids (7 & 10) would like it. They did. It's a good family game, relatively straightforward rules but the choices can be a bit less straightforward (although not too taxing).
The kids spent their money a bit too freely and it hurt them in the end, but I guess that's a good lesson for real life!
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17. Board Game: Space Cadets: Dice Duel [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:932]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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And then there was the next weekend, where my old AD&D buddies came over to catch up, play games and drink beer. The weather was so good we added a BBQ for good measure.
But once again, the kids were around so they joined in some of the games as well.
They loved this team game, although the youngest one (7) needed some guidance as to what to do - he seemed to lack the overview of what was going on. Luckily in a team game, giving some guidance to team members is not a problem at all. We played this twice, with the boys on opposing teams. Both teams won once, so there were no hard feelings between the kids (they can be a bit competitive at times).
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18. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:389]
Tom Bigwood
United States
Golden Valley
Minnesota
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My son, daughter, and I played Carcasonne: Hunters and Gatherers with the real rules for the first time. Before this, we had just played with the tiles like a puzzle--trying to build the coolest looking landscape. They really liked it, though they were frustrated that they couldn't just place meeples anywhere on the board. (Sample conversation: -There's a great forest over there that nobody's in, I want to play there. -Does your tile fit over there? -No, it's just a river through plains, but I already have a fisherman on this river.) They still want to play again soon.


We also played Ticket to Ride for the first time. It went about as badly as a game can go.
-Their hands can't hold twenty (or fifty) cards at a time so they ended up spending all their time sifting through piles of cards to find the ones they wanted.
-The hidden goals were a problem. Though they have no problem foiling each others' plans in other games, it really bothered them that somebody could accidentally foil a carefully laid plan.
-I'm realizing that the awesome part of the game (laying down cool little trains and connecting cities) happens so rarely compared to just drawing cards and waiting for somebody to decide what they're going to do. In a two-player game, it's not such a big deal, but adding more players makes the game less fun.
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19. Board Game: Zombicide [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:325] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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A game where you get to shoot hordes of zombies!? That's just totally awesome!
Well, if you're one of my kids, it is, anyway. I personally I dislike the zombie theme and I think this game is very low on meaningful choices for the players, so I rate it a couple of notches below awesome, but one of my AD&D buddies (see above) brought this along and so we played it.
During a previous attempt, we were overrun by zombies, but this time everything went very smooth and we were never threatened. We did eliminate 30-40 zombies, so there was some action.
After we completed the mission with no casualties the kids immediately wanted another game with MOAR zombies, but I (and half of the other adults) had had enough and so that was that.
Now I hope they don't come asking why we don't own this game...
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20. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:226]
Jay Sachs
United States
Woodinville
Washington
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While there were many repeat games from the previous month, especially Coup, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, and Gulo Gulo, we did try two new games in March.

The hit was King of Tokyo. Short play time, some take-that, good competition between the 15 and 11 year olds, even the 4yo joined in, just to roll dice and try and get paws or hearts. Everyone seems to enjoy it. Even me ... the luck involved is properly inversely proportional to the game duration. The one complaint was that while the monsters all had cool visual identities, they had no distinct game characteristics. So, yes, the expansion is on its way, which adds this.
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21. Board Game: Terror in Meeple City [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:627]
Jay Sachs
United States
Woodinville
Washington
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This was a game that just arrived in March. I had high hopes, but so far the person whose had the most fun with it is the 4yo who likes to set up the game, stacking the buildings on the meeples. It kinda fell flat for me too a bit. It's an odd combination of Euro (meeple set collection) with dexterity (flicking and dropping the wooden monsters). I'll give it another try or two, but this may be in the trade pile for us.
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22. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:700] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Ken Newell
Canada
Prince George
British Columbia
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On pure impulse I bought this from my local FLGS. I brought it home and taught it to my eldest daughter (12). We had a good time that evening just the 2 of us. The next day she wanted me to teach it to my youngest daughter (9) so the 3 of us could play. That game resulted in an immediate "can we play again" from both of them.

The next day I brought them home from Girl Guides (Brownies & Pathfinders), and once they got in the house, they were both asking to play again. They were hooked.

They were so hooked they even wanted to check out some old Justice League cartoons on Netflix to get to know these characters better. To date neither girl has shown any interesting Superheroes or even comic books (despite me having several long boxes of Batman, green lantern and a few Superman's just gathering dust).

I know this game doesn't get much love on here, but for me and my kids it was a terrific way to connect and introduce them to the world of superheroes I so loved as a child.
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23. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:213]
Dave Millar
United States
Fort Wayne
Indiana
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Introduced this one to the family, my 9 year old daughter Riley absolutely LOVES this one. Since playing two games with her, she's personally introduced it and taught it to her 11 y/o cousin, her 13 y/o brother, her 20 y/o sister and her mother.

Best $8.00 I think I've ever spent.
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24. Board Game: Vector [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:9515]
kathy tuschhoff
United States
Kansas
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I picked this game up at a thrift store to try to move my 9yr old son from the roll and move games to a game that has a little more strategy. He's good at it too. We've played three times in the 2 weeks we have had the game and he has won 2 out of 3 times. I see us playing this one many times.
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25. Board Game: Ævintýralandið [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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I played one game of this rpg/story-telling game with the 4 yo.



You start out with a basic character whose attributes you can somewhat customize at the start. Place the center of the board on the table and randomly add four parts around the center, forming the board. Characters then travel around the map, trying to solve problems that come up and get various items, gold etc. as a reward. The gold can then be spent on improving the attributes and the items can help in later problems. Very rules-light and open-ended, so definetly something that I'd like to try again. I've even been thinking of using Rory's Story Cubes to help with decisions.
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