New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in February 2015
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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OK, so February has fewer opportunities than all the other months but that is hardly an excuse!

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: Robotanks [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:12069]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Dim but lovable tanks duke it out in the arena in this oldish game, which is chaotic but fun, with an interesting mix of programming and randomness. I thought Matthew (13) would enjoy this and he got the hang of it pretty well - apart from an inability to work out which way his tanks would go if they weren't facing the same way as him, that is. Anyway, much mayhem occured and he had a good time. I even wrote a review of it !
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2. Board Game: Attila [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1850]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I managed to persuade both boys (15 and 13) to give this a go on the basis of the theme, though in all truth there isn't a huge amount of actual theme there. Still, it is a good tactical area control type game, with a large number of small decisions to be made (basically, one per turn). They both seemed to enjoy it and certainly got the hand of it, though it would be fair to say it isn't their all time favourite. A bit dry, perhaps rampaging barbarians should be more dynamic to really appeal!
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3. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Only one new game for the youngest this month, an old favourite of the family, which she has probably seen us play and is thus at least a little bit familiar with how it works. She certainly enjoyed it - we just played with 2 of us as a learning exercise, and I was very lenient on the building side of things of course. She struggled a bit to do things quickly, though admittedly I remember I was quite slow when I first played it too, so that's not unreasonable. Hopefully she'll be able to join in with everyone else, though for a full complement we'd need an expansion I guess.
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4. Board Game: Pinguin-Party [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2724]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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The school games club (10 year olds) mostly opted for already known games in the last few weeks, so there were only a couple new to anyone. One of these was Pinguin Party, a fun game which is quick to pick up and play - though several players only realised good possible tactics towards the end, with many comments of "I should have put that card down in the first row" and so on. Also new to a couple of people was Ave Caesar, already a favourite with some of the group, and highly recommended in this setting.
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5. Board Game: Apples to Apples [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:3204] [Average Rating:5.89 Unranked]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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We took this along when visiting some friends at the weekend. They have 3 girls with ages similar to our kids. All really enjoyed it (as did their mum and dad), with a high point when one girl snagged Fantastic from her sister by cunningly playing "Chocolate". As always, a great party game, enjoyed by all.
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6. Board Game: Tales & Games: The Hare & the Tortoise [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:666]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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BGG's 2014 Children's Game of the Year, it has earned it's title for me as I managed to teach this to Sherwin, Shawn, and Sharlene. It's been well received by adults as well and is a nice racing and betting game.
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7. Board Game: King of New York [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:426]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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This evolution of King of Tokyo was introduced to my nephews Ethan and Mikel. It's basically the same game with an added layer of depth due to the addition of buildings, units, and burroughs, and the escalating rewards you get if you stay longer in Manhattan was a nice touch.
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8. Family: 10 Days in...
Colls
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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My girls (7 and 10) wanted to play games from this series over and over in February, perhaps because it's anyone's game: we're all probably tied in terms of number of wins. Also, we enjoy scoffing at how it says 10+. Wha???
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9. Board Game: Snake Oil [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1236] [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked]
Colls
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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My daughters and I have had a blast playing this. That a Secret Admirer (10 year old) would choose Tent Armor (my product) over Belly Glue (seven-year-old's offering) - well, that's just awesome. It's fabulous how articulate they are both trying to sell some trash and explaining why my ideas are LAME.

We don't really play to a certain number of cards, just until we don't have any more time.
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10. Board Game: Burgoo [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:6626]
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
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This was in a collection of smaller games our infinitely awesome Secret Santa sent us. This quick little abstract game is fantastic! Our kids have really taken to this one.
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11. Board Game: Red7 [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:545]
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
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This was another one from our Secret Santa, which we finally got around to playing this past month. This is a solid card game, but it was a bit of a dud with our kids. I think this one will go over really well with my in-laws, who love more traditional card games like this.
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12. Board Game: Buccaneer Bones [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:5469]
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
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Another Secret Santa small game. Love this with the kids. A very simple dice game, but it hits the sweet spot of cute, quick, and fun with a mixture of parents and kids.
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13. Board Game: TacDex: Pirates [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:12838]
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
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I just played this yesterday with my 8 year old daughter. Technically it was in March, but it's part of our Secret Santa small game collection, so it goes with the games listed above. Anyway, this is a spin on the venerable and interminable card game "War," but with enough changes -- including, thankfully, a defined ending point -- to make it fun with a kid. I won't be breaking this out anytime soon with my wife, but I think my daughter will want to play it from time to time, especially since she beat me handily...

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14. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:341]
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
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This one wasn't from our Secret Santa, but it was one we tried out for the first time this past month. This one was a hit with all our kids, young ones and teenagers both. Great, simple card-drafting game.
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15. Board Game: The Magnates: A Game of Power [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:2758]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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It's not a short game. We played a 4 player learning game and it took over 2 hours. However, my 9 yro was engaged the entire time. The blind bidding combined with the bid resolution means that everyone is always engaged. Also, the rules are simple enough that the kids were easily able to grasp it. Plus, the blind bidding resolution one auction at a time (there are 13 each round) excited the kids every time, win or lose.

Only one play so far but I'm really hopeful this'll be a keeper.
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16. Board Game: Pairs [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2014]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Pairs is a very quick, push-your-luck card game with a unique deck (one 1, two 2s, three 3s, ..., ten 10s). The rules are very simple and then regular game ends when one player loses... just one loser instead of one winner. I played it twice with Ivory (11) and Dane (6). Both of them got it right away as it's a very simple game. They both liked how it worked and so we played it twice. There is nothing super special about the game, but it is fun and plays very, very fast. I like it too as an ultra-fast filler.
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17. Board Game: Yardmaster Express [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:4406]
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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I picked these up as part of an ACT group ten pack pledge for ten Australian dollars (including postage). It was originally intended as another addition to the stable of short-ish fun little fillers that for my lunchtime gaming group. Without the Yardmaster Express: Caboose Expansion the base game itself is a little too simplistic, it's only just worth playing with this group even using the expansion.

Yardmaster Express does, however, work pretty well for the Little Fish; one thing that keeps their attention is they both like trains - not n unusual trait for (nearly) five and two-and-a-third year olds.

The game plays very simply and they can identify the need to match the next car with either the same colour or numerical value.

All-in-all, not a bad game for little ones, there is some decision making but nothing too complex. It plays quickly and doesn't overstay its welcome. Not a world beater but a reasonable little filler that should see a bit of use by the Little Fish over the next few years.
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18. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
Ken Newell
Canada
Prince George
British Columbia
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Taught my daughters (10 & 13) how to play this classic. We only played to 4 points just to make it quick. Girls had fun and the idea that you don't really gang up on any one but let the cards decide helps to make it fun for the family. I have to play this one with the girls again but with more players.
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19. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:112]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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I borrowed Splendor from a friend to introduce it to my family. It turned out this would just be me and the boys, my girlfriend was too busy with other things most of the time.

Splendor is a rather straightforward set-collection/engine-building game. But it turns out that playing this efficiently was sometimes hard for my youngest son (8). I thought he might be turned off from the game, but that didn't happen - he still wants to play. The oldest (11) grasped it quickly and beat me by a single point in the first two games.
I guess this game will be permanently added to the collection in the near future!
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20. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:1635]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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Got this game recently and tried it with my brothers and nephews and it was fun. It was really tense whether to play a merchant ship or attack others, so all in all it was a fun and quick game.
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21. Board Game: Cuckoo Zoo [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:11416]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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Played this with my brother and newphew/niece, my first play in over a year. Fun and silly game, especially with added variants.
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22. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:112]
Dan Hughes
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
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Played this for the first time with my 11 year old daughter.

It's a great game, and one of my favorites. But what i was really pleased about was the learning experience it gave me. My daughter started by not enjoying the game due to not quite grasping the fact that cards give you a "free" gem of their colour. She got quite sulky and beligerent about it all, which is usually my cue to become sulky and beligerent too and start off the negative shouting cycle that we've found ourselves in a few times recently.

However with a bit of effort and selective ignoring I managed to keep my cool, and kept calmly explaining it. She ended up really enjoying herself and we had a very positive evening.

The journey into teenage strops and arguments has well and truely started in our house and this was a great lesson for me in how to handle it going forward.

The game is pretty good too
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23. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:662]
Dan Hughes
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
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This has been on my wishlist for quite a while, and I finally took the plunge and ordered it a few weeks ago.

It's basically scrabble, but without the need to know how to spell - something that I'm more pleased with than my kids as my spelling is dreadful.

Which is all academic anyhow because it turns out that I'm not just bad at scrabble due to the spelling - I'm also bad at the core mechanic too as I've lost all my games of this. Something that both my son and daughter relish obviously.
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24. Board Game: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1263]
Alan Gates
United Kingdom
County Armagh
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This has been a big hit with our boys (4 and 6). They wanted to play the hard variant with all the cards and collecting the gems in the correct order. We still have to beat it at using the hard variant but it isn't stopping them from wanting to play it.
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25. Board Game: Tales & Games: The Three Little Pigs [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1870]
Alan Gates
United Kingdom
County Armagh
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Another hit with our boys (4 and 6). Our 4 year old hasn't quite grasped the yahtzee dice rolling but he enjoys building his houses. Blowing the house down is fun when you are the wolf but hard to take when you are a 4 year old pig
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