New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in March 2015
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Spring is in the air - have you put a spring into your gaming steps?

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: Black Box [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2853]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Not many new games for my kids this month, but this charity shop find went down well with Matthew (13). It's a game along the lines of Mastermind in which one player sets up a puzzle and the other has to solve it. In this case the puzzle is the location of four atoms (metal balls) in a grid, deduced by shooting 'rays' into the edges and seeing where they reappear. This requires a fair bit of attention for the setter as well as the deducer, so it is quite engaging and surprisingly good for an old game.
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2. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:911]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I brought this out at the school games club - ten-11 year olds. Some of them had played it before but one person hadn't. Inevitably, he won. They all like it, though Apples to Apples remains their favourite.
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3. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:87] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Matthew likes this deck-building card game, so I helped him teach it to one of his friends. They now play it nearly every time they see each other, without my input, which is great!
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4. Board Game: Bling Bling Gemstone [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:2966]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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Only new game for my kids and I this month. Even tho it's the only one, it was a very fun one. My kids (and I) have had a great time playing this game... and getting G'ma and G'pa to play as well. I can highly recommend it!
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5. Board Game: Scotland Yard [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1079]
Andrew Baker
Canada
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When I was trying to play the last games from my collection from 2014, I never did get Scotland Yard to the table. A few weeks ago my 7-year-old son asked he he could try it. He asked to play the detectives so that he could see where his pieces were. I took out a few of Mr. X's abilities in order to make things easier for him:
- no double moves
- no secret moves
- show the starting location of Mr. X

I guess I took things too far because he caught me on turn 8! Afterward, he said, "I'd play this with you ANYTIME!"

Having done my Masters in graph theory, I was a very proud father.
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6. Board Game: Rune Age [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:888]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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This game was new to our household, and my 10-year-old played it with me a dozen times this month. We never succeeded at the co-op scenarios (although I managed against them solo a few times), but she beat me solidly in our first competitive plays! It was so much fun that I picked up the sole expansion right away. Her main attraction there was the Orcs of the Barren Plains. (Girl likes orcs, what can I say?)
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7. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:753]
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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Mrs Fish received a copy of Machi Koro for her birthday and when we opened it up Little Fish the Elder (aged nearly five) was pretty keen to join in.

He picked the game up fairly quickly and really enjoyed playing and quite liked the theme.

He required a bit of help with how some of the green card worked but other than that he played well. Note that we left out the purple cards for his first game.

This is one I'm sure that we'll keep playing together for years to come.
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8. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:28]
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 took the game along to a local board game meet up (GLOG at Gungahlin Library) in the expectation that a chum who knew the game would be there to teach it to me; alas he wasn’t. Nevermind, maybe another time.

I was a bit surprised when Little Fish the Elder insisted we play this game, despite me only having given the rules a cursory glance (most of my rules reading time had been devoted to Cthulhu Wars). Anyway, Star Wars: Imperial Assault it was so I set up the introductory scenario and was joined by a few other others (one of when was an experienced player in the ‘dungeon crawl’ whose name escapes me that this is shares similarities with) so it wasn’t too much of a learning curve.

Sadly, while he was pretty helpful in getting the board set up (this takes a bit of sorting through a large amount of tiles, tokens and suchlike) he didn't really have the patience for learning the game in its entirety. Not huge surprise. he did give overall directions about what he wanted his character to do and then played with the unused miniatures which worked fairly well.

Actually, her really does like the miniatures a lot and in a few years I have every confidence he'll be right into this once he sees the movies.

In years to come, I'm sure that we'll all find playing out a full campaign will be a very satisfying gaming experience. In the meantime, I'll be sure to buy all the expansion packs because Star Wars.
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9. Board Game: Taluva [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:409]
Colls
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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My eight-year-old got really into Taluva this month, even playing once with two of my gamer friends as well as me. If she's left alone for the most part, she can win (and did once out of four games tonight). If messed with, she will play overprotectively, placing her pieces too slowly to win. I love that she really enjoys this game, and she's a menace at Samurai.
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10. Board Game: Frank's Zoo [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1237]
Pete K
United States
Arizona
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Frank's Zoo was the new game that the kids liked the most. My personal favorite of the month, Biblios, was also well-received.

Frank's Zoo might be the simplest decent example of a "climbing" card game, where you have to surpass the last player's card in value or pass. Since the first player to empty his or hand is the winner - there's a strategy around using strong cards to "win" a trick and consequently have the privilege of leading the next trick by dumping a weak card.

We don't play for points, but use the partner rules to keep the game moving along.
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11. Board Game: Piratissimo [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:11018]
Philip O'Brien
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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The only new game introducted to my kids aged 3.5 and 6.5 this month. Played with slightly modified rules to make the Tornado less destructive. It certainly is a great looking game. Both kids enjoyed it, although the 3 yr old needed some assistance.
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12. Board Game: Timeline: Inventions [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:867] [Average Rating:6.72 Unranked]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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I introduced my children to Timeline as their only new game this month - children aged 7 and 9. The 7 year old actually got on with it better - being more willing to make guesses that might be wrong, although he obviously lacked a little more knowledge. The 9 year old successfully guessed a few, using the pictures in the cards to help her sometimes, but got very stuck on a couple that she had no idea one, and was unwilling to make a random guess that might be wrong. Not played a second time yet - time will tell whether they will do. Meanwhile the Settlers of Catan craze continues (and Sevens with my youngest, aged 5).
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13. Board Game: Stratego [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:2303]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My 6 year old son, Dane, happened to receive this in a blind gift exchange at a birthday party. I have fond memories of playing Stratego as a kid, so I was up for it. I removed my 1 and 2 from my side and we set up our pieces and played. He decimated most of my board, but I was able to get to his flag before he did. He learned something about how the things you say and do give your opponent clues about your pieces. I expect to get destroyed next time.

We both enjoyed this, but I don't see it as a game we'll play a lot.
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14. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:346]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Dane (6) has seen this a number of times and we've set up the pieces and goofed around, but we've not actually played the game. I own the original. This time, we played with all of the rules except that he earned 1 extra rubium for every 3 rubium he earned. I was collecting points despite my shortage of pieces, but he eventually ran me over for the win. We both liked this a lot.

Pretty sure this is his new favorite game... he's been asking to play it for a long time.
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15. Board Game: Kahuna [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:930]
Clare Marie
New Zealand
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The most beautiful things in nature stay that way because most humans are too lazy to ruin them ...
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I picked this up via the Geek Marketplace and it's been a real hit with both me & the boy (13) .. We've been playing it almost daily for weeks! meeple
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16. Board Game: Dino Dude Ranch [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:5410]
Al Grant

Madison
Wisconsin
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My son got this for his 8th birthday and our family has played it every night since. Nice introduction to resource allocation. Fun art. Plays in about 30 minutes which is good for my 6 year old.
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17. Board Game: Risk: Star Wars Edition [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:675]
Al Grant

Madison
Wisconsin
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My son received this for his 8th birthday. I've played it with him and with his 6 year old brother. They both loved it. Still very luck based with a lot of rolling of dice but the playtime is good at around 45 minutes and both kids picked it up very quickly.

I probably would not play this with another adult because of how much luck is involved but playing with my kids is quite enjoyable.
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