New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in June 2014
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Summertime, and the gaming is easy.......

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: Priests of Ra [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1607]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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At £10 in the infamous Works sale, this was a bargain, and one I thought worth picking up even though we already have Ra as it sounded a bit different, and possibly a bit 'friendlier' for the kids (who all like Ra).

We played several games with various combinations of players, and everyone enjoyed it. There are more ways to score points and people do diversify what they are looking for relatively early on. The addition of the choice of which side of tiles to put face up means there are a few more decisions. Recommended, especially if you are near a Works shop and don't have Ra.

All kids (15, 12 and 8) liked it.
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2. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:415]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Matthew (12) had seen Helena and I playing this and asked for a go. He got the rules pretty quickly, and quickly challenged me to a second game when I beat him (playing as the good guys). This time, Mr Jack escaped - the first time in any of our games, so he did really well, thinking of some good tactics and using them. He's asked to play it since, so clearly enjoys the challenge!
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3. Board Game: Tantrix [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2223]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Rebecca (8) is always keen on new games and hadn't played this. I must confess she utterly crushed me, with a massive loop. I'd like to claim that this was because I had to concentrate on getting the rules right, but this would probably be a lie.
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4. Board Game: The Bucket King [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2214]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Two new games at the school games club towards the end of term: this jolly card game and Zeus on the Loose.

Both were approved of!
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5. Board Game: Fresco [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:246] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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This was played with Shawn (11) and Sharlene (16). I played it with the 3 expansion rules included in the base game. Shari did a good job and won, but Shawn took too much time in blending and got a bit frustrated when the tiles he wanted to paint got taken. I'm thus not sure if he would like another go, but I think Shari wouldn't mind.
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6. Board Game: Dungeon Fighter [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:793]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Played once with Shawn. I "fudged" the dice in our first game so as to not discourage Shawn, and it worked as we won. It did help that most of the monsters encountered (even the boss) did not require any funky throws, just that we both got hit with every miss.

This is sure to get more plays, but the next time no "fudging" and we will call the throws more tightly.
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7. Board Game: Credit Mobilier [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:8388]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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This month it's really tough to pick the game to showcase because it was such an amazing gaming month with my kids. The tiebreak went to the game I played more.



Players complain that the randomness is too high and there's no question that randomness can swing the game one way or another. However, it teaches players about working together, about return on investment, about shifting between early and late game strategies. All of this in a game with simple rules and enough hinging on the dice that it's anyone's game. Played this 3 times with my 8 yro daughter and 12 yro son and one of those times also included my 12 yro daughter.



This was my second highlight of the month. Traditional card games are my partner's favorite genre so this has been on my "want to play" list for a while. However, I've worried that the kids were too young and wouldn't get the idea about holding back cards for later. Didn't appear to be a problem as they were competitive in both games we played.



Only got one play of this so too early to say, but the kids seemed to like it. I want to start to expose them to a couple of German family games without overwhelming them with the flavor of the month. They love Finca but I have yet to get a copy of it. This seemed like another good one to try on them. Hopefully they'll like it as much as Finca.


Other new games played with the kids included: Volta, Toledo, Kaigan, Splendor, and Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant.
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8. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:753]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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Machi Koro was the big hit of the month with my kids. Linsey (age 9) in particular asks to play daily.

A neat little game with a whiff of elements from other games we love (Settlers, in the dice mechanic, Dominion in the market, Splendor/Saint Petersburg in the strategy of engine-building versus transitioning to the VP chase).

All in a tiny box, and a playing time of ten minutes/player.

Awesome cool
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9. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:383]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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Camel Up is a worthy nominee for the SdJ, and while I personally like Splendor far better, I think if I were a voter I would consider Camel Up as the best choice for the award.

A comment for those considering this for their children: this is not a game for the youngest kids. I would say eight-and-up is pushing it, and ten-and-up would be my recommendation. The rules are very simple. My five-year-old can play. But the decisions in the game require a very basic sense of probability that will be beyond most young children.

And this can cause a problem. The game has a strong seat-order-binding element. It is one of those games where if you sit right after the player in turn order who "doesn't get it" then you have a large advantage. Not great.

But when everyone understands the game, this is an outstanding and fun family game. My oldest four kids (ages 9 to 14) are having a great time with it.

One other note: while it plays up to eight, I think 4-5 is the sweet spot. The game is a little chaotic and random. More than that and it gets TOO chaotic and random.
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10. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:288] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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Two kids: My son Ashton is 10 (almost 11) and daughter Ainsley (9).

I convinced my kids to try out Settlers (I had not played it before either, so I figured playing it for the first time in my life with the kids was the best way to do this). This turned out to be a big hit with both of them. The first play they enjoyed, even though I destroyed them in points (to be fair, they are shrewd traders, but they didn't recognize the whole flow of the game yet).

In our second game, we picked our starting spots and my daughter started on a 3:! trade port, while my son and I went for 2:1 good-specific spots. I specifically picked the brick spot as there was a 6 and 8 on bricks. Guess what never got rolled? I don't recall using my 2:1 trade at all My daughter on the other hand, managed to have double settlements on both 5 spaces (sheep) and was getting 2-4 cards EACH ROLL (we rolled so many fives that at a Vegas Craps table, I would have made their college tuition). She wasn't very efficient in building (she like collecting stacks of cards). However, she did manage to build all her cities and was sitting at 9 points. Neither kid figured out I was about to get the longest road award, and neither realized I had a hidden VP, so I snuck out another win. I think I may see some road blocking in our next game and I expect my son will grab a 3:1 trade port instead of a good specific one (he had the opposite luck of my daughter and was rarely getting goods).

I also introduced two of the TtR maps to the family. First was Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia - we played the team game. The kids liked that, but my wife doesn't normally play games with us, so the team game probably won't get played as much with the kids. We also played Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland on the Switzerland map. My son like that he can take wild locos at anytime, but disliked that he couldn't use them everywhere. I like that it is fast and a good choice for three.
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11. Board Game: Mykerinos [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:810]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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Removed this one from my regular rotation to make room for other games. My son (turning 8 soon) really likes it, but hasn't beaten me (or even been close) yet.
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12. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:189] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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This one, however, he's done better with ... to say the least.

He beat me twice in a row, and three times out of four. And he should have won tonight's game, but on the last turn, rather than take 6 points with the Pillaging Dwarves, he paid 5 points to grab the Merchant Rats, getting 6 points for 3 territories (a net gain of a single point). I won by 4 points, 71-67.

Either he's getting really good, or I'm getting really bad. Or both.
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13. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:137] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Sara
Belgium
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We played the real Carcassonne for the first time last month, but without the farmer rule. I think my five-year old daughter liked it, so when we play it again during the holidays we might even try it with the farmers.

She already knew My First Carcassonne, so the concept was not completely new.

I hope we'll play a lot of games with her during the holidays.
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14. Board Game: Don't Break the Ice [Average Rating:4.72 Overall Rank:15743]
Philip O'Brien
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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Broke this out after a long time in storage, now stored in a plastic bag as the original cheap box has disintegrated.

6 year old still enjoys it, the 3 year old who played it for the first time also likes it, although he's slightly lacking in hammer co-ordination at the moment.
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15. Board Game: Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:2422]
Philip O'Brien
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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Attended a local games Con for a single day. Rene, one of the organisers who is Mexican and is our Rio Grande rep organised a tournament for this game.

I didn't enter, but afterwards saw a lot of the older kids playing and enjoying it. Rene's daughter who is 5 was also playing the game a lot.
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16. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:293]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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I got this to play with my old RPG friends, although the game was out of print at the time so the RPG-friends-weekend has already gone. But there will most likely be another one in the fall, so I still want the game.
My kids (8 & 10) were interested immediately becuase there's a guy with a big sword on the box - especially the oldest one is fond of fantasy.

I figured the language might be a problem for them, but the oldest one convinced me to play it with him anyway. He liked it a lot, but - as expected - because of the language problem I had to do a lot of explaining before he could make his own decisions. In the end my character died, but he managed to defeat the end boss just in time.

Don't know if we will embark on a full campaign in this game - he might want to, but I think I'd rather wait a few years until his knowledge of English is better. And besides, we still haven't finished Legends of Andor.
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17. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:53]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I was able to introduce 4 new games to my kids in June.

I got a chance to play Lords of Waterdeep for the first time at Geekway in May. I had to get it, I loved it. I got my own copy and was anxious to play it with my son (12). I thought he'd like it. I was right. After the game, he mentioned how fun it was and looked forward to the next game. I'm sure the fact that he beat the old man sure helped.


I got my PnP version of Sushi Go! done just in time to take on vacation. I thought the nice light card game would be fun for the family. We were traveling with my parents (6 people in the mini-van) all the way to Florida. My son played with us a couple of time. I laughed, because all he wanted was to get the Wasabi so he could proclaim, "Don't eat the mint ice cream!". It wasn't his favorite, but he humored the rest of us and played.


My daughter (10) has been anxiously awaiting this game to get to out house. We had to play it immediately. I like the idea of the game, taking your family on vacation, trying to find things they want to do and trying to keep them happy to score points at the end of the game. We both had a good time playing. I do think it would be more fun with more players. Hopefully we can talk my wife into playing with us.


The last game is Power Grid. Some of my remote co-workers were in town and one of them brought Power Grid to my place to play. I was looking forward to trying it out again. My son asked to join the game. I was a little nervous about him playing. Hoping he could pick it up easily and that he would actually be engaged and not goofing off like he does when he gets bored. He did great. He played well and was engaged in the game and did well. The owner of the game even commented to me that he was impressed how well he played and quickly he understood what was going on. Good thing he takes after his mother in the "smarts" department!

Good month with the kids for me. Have a great July everyone!
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18. Board Game: Robot Turtles [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:3650]
Dave Anderson
United States
State College
Pennsylvania
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A friend got us a copy of this and my two girls, 8 and 5, really like it and they keep asking to play it!
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19. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:722]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I completely forgot about this! My wife and I played it with the two boys (15 and 12). It went pretty well, Daniel managed to start off in what proved to be a poor location so got a bit frustrated at his lack of progress. But it is easy to pick up and quite fun. A nice little trading game.
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20. Board Game: Guess Who? [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:15774]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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I introduced this game to my youngest (aged 4) right at the start of the month, initially playing against my father when we visited them - he beat him three times in a row (the last time with a very lucky guess - picked mainly because it was an easy name to read, but happened to be right!). Since then it's been his game of choice all month, and when we get it out we always play several rounds in a row - one time we must have played more than a dozen! It's a great game for a four year old - teaches them to spot the differences between different faces, as well as which questions to ask.

Now I want to introduce it to my daughter (8) with two cards - which is how my sister and I used to play it against each other as a child - adds an extra layer of logical thinking.
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