Kids on Board Games Geeklist - September 2017
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
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Welcome to the
Kids on Board Games Geeklist
September 2017



Hello all and welcome to the monthly "Kids on Board" games Geeklist.

Children need time to play alone and with other children without adult intervention, but playtime with adults is also important. As we all know board games are great for that. Not only do they teach children patience, problem solving, social skills and creativity amongst other things they can just be plain FUN for everyone.

This is a geeklist for anyone that plays any board games with children. Remember, they don't have to be your own children! (Just get permission first if they aren't!!) Hopefully it will inspire, inform, advise and open our eyes to the world of gaming with kids.

Feel free to post geeklist items, comment on other peoples items and generally mingle in the comments below. Also, consider spreading the word to anyone you feel may be interested.


Now, all you need to do is:

1. Play a board game with kid(s) within this month - it'd be extremely helpful if you can give the ages of the kids
2. Post a geeklist entry after you've played
3. Let us know how it plays
4. Provide feedback for others:
- hopefully one comment/word per child, maybe they can devise their own rating system?
- give your own overview, the adults perspective on how it was for you and how it seemed for them
5. Be nice, it's okay to disagree but it's not okay to be rude - we're all different but also the same
6. That's it!

Feel free to post photos but also feel free to avoid using full face pictures and avoid full names. You know, the usual internet safety rules.


Previous Months

For past and future geeklist notifications consider subscribing to the Kids on Board Games Geeklist - SUBSCRIPTION THREAD



Kids on Board Resources

Gaming with Kids BGG Forum
GeekDad - 10 reasons to Play Games with your Kids
The Benefits of Board Games
10 Benefits of Board Games with Kids
Stop Playing Monopoly with your kids and Play These Instead
BGG Family Games List
BGG Family Games Subdomain

Kids on Board Games Geeklist - SUBSCRIPTION THREAD




This Month's Theme - BACK TO SCHOOL!

Welcome to the third ever Kids on Board games geeklist! This is my first time hosting one of these monthly geeklists, and I'm excited that Ibbo has offered me the chance to do so!

And to start off a themed month, let's go with something our kids have likely just done or are about to do - it's BACK TO SCHOOL month! Either the kids in your country are back at school already, or they're due to go back soon. Or your country has the school year starting at a completely different time (I hear that countries in the southern hemisphere often start around Jan/Feb time, coinciding with the end of summer in those regions), but if that's true for you, don't worry! You can still join in with the month's theme!

So, as a challenge this month, I'd love to hear stories, sessions, reports, whatever, about games you or your kids get to play in schools. Maybe you're a teacher and use boardgames in the classroom. Maybe you run a games club at your / your kids' school. Maybe your kids play in a games club at school. Maybe you home-school and get to play games with your kids all the time! Whatever the case, your challenge - should you choose to accept it - is to report on whatever links boardgames with you and/or your kids in school.

And the best part about the challenge? I'll drop a bit of bag to any entries relating to boardgaming in schools.



If you're interested in hosting a future month's Kids on Board Games geeklist,
drop a geekmail over to Ibbo for more info!
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1. Board Game: Blood Rage [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:30]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Thank you, Nick, for hosting this months geeklist. Mr. E started at a new school this week, thus we know little about how the teachers do things. Hopefully something interesting will come up.

While this might appear to be another game that is dubiously appropriate for kids, we found that Blood Rage is far easier to learn than we suspected. It is essentially an area control game with a combat mechanism and card drafting, and is fairly forgiving in many aspects.

Part of the problem is that the terminology used in the game makes the rules far more opaque than they need to be. Rage, the mechanism that everyone found so innovative, is just a variable reserve of action points. Actions and cards require a certain number of points to play, and players can increase increase the number of actions points they start the round with through said actions and cardplays. Glory is just victory points. Helms is the number of figures you deploy to the board; axes are the amount of victory points earned for successful combats.

The game isn't as mean as it might appear. When a player challenges to take a territory's objective (pillaging), other players may choose to move figures from adjacent areas into that territory. They may also play cards that add strength to their figures. The combat is won by the player with the highest strength. The losers' figures are removed from the board (go to Valhalla), but they are returned at the end of the round. Moreover, it is possible that the loss of figures could bring benefits: I had an upgrade that gave me a point for every figure returned to me. Moreover, the losers keep the cards they added to combat. The losses are, at worst, temporary. At times, there is a point-salad feel to the game, as objectives (quests) and upgrades give players new opportunities to earn points.

Mr. E was skeptical at first. It took a moment to realize what he was looking for in the card draft, thus his actions were less assured. By the last round he was playing very quickly, almost impatient with how slowly I was playing. He won narrowly, although that was mostly because I had played objectives (quests) more effectively in the early game. He thoughts this game was great. I think it's quite good. At MSRP, it might be a tad overpriced as the figures aren't entirely essential, though those figures really drew in Mr. E.

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2. Board Game: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters: Expansion Pack [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
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De Forest
Wisconsin
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Been having a bunch of fun with the base game. Z (4yr) got this expansion for his birthday. The expansion is awesome. We lost our first game but we both had so much fun. We used every thing except the locked door cards.

He even gets the concept of moving to help fight the haunted.

The new gems are a good evil addition. Likely to be much tougher game too win than the base game. (But we didn't play using the numbers on the gems)

This ranks maybe even higher than gulo gulo on my list of great kids games. (Gulo gulo can be played by younger kids though)
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3. Board Game: Ghostel [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:4177]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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I was lent this game by a friend to try it out with the kids, to see how they enjoy it. Well, they enjoyed it a lot! Lovely elegant and simple mechanics with some fun artwork and kookie theme. A few odd choices of imagery (pentagrams, odd in a game where you are the ghosts, not people trying to summon or contact them (far from it)), and odd wording ("terror" seems a bit strong; nightmares might be a better name). But it *is* labelled as 14+ so fair enough, and my kids loved the game regardless. Of course it helps that my 9 year old won and my 7 year old came 2nd, beating me!

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4. Board Game: Pocket Mars [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2326]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
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I then taught my 9 year old this cute little card game. She picked it up very well, though I managed to push the end game for a win, 18 to 14.

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5. Board Game: Star Trek Panic [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1328]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Mr. E and I love this game. We have perhaps played it more times than any other since purchasing it. First, it's Panic, a great game for kids. Second, it's Star Trek, which we both love. Three, you can do cool stuff, like move the ship and complete missions. It's a game where you are playing to see what happens.

... which is good, because we got creamed.

(Picture forthcoming).
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6. Board Game: Bottom of the 9th [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1438]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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A great game, but one that I'm tiring of. Mr. E (11) wanted to play this, but whenever we do, he always takes the same pitcher: one of the Sentinels of the Multiverse characters. I tend to put together a lineup from random card draws, which always puts me at a disadvantage. The game should have lots of replayability, but I'm not seeing it when I am always facing the same pitcher every game.

Needless to say, Mr. E loves this.
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7. Board Game: Mice and Mystics: Heart of Glorm [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Rafał Olek
Poland
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Our second chapter and it's going great. The stroy is developing so we are eager to see what's going to happen
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8. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:90] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Ben Croswell
United States
heath
Ohio
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The Bubba Nugget(6yr) and I have been playing a lot of Star Realms. He enjoys playing with cards and on his tablet. I like the fact that it reinforces the math he is working on.

"I shoot you for 13 so I can hit you for 10 and 5 and then heal you 2"
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9. Board Game: Outfoxed! [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:1210]
Peter Schott
United States
Roanoke
Texas
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Played this a couple of times at a family get-together for our AHG troop. The girl who was trying to explain the rules was taking a while and I figured I could just moderate and keep their thinking in line. The kids won both games, liked flipping cards and looking at clues, and enjoyed moving the fox. One of the players wanted to keep opening the decoder panel without a clue card in front, but it wasn't a huge help to them.
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10. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:237]
Peter Schott
United States
Roanoke
Texas
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Played this with my wife, daughter, and daughter's friend. My toddler was on my wife's team (as much as that was possible). She mostly enjoyed playing with the irrigation sticks and rolling the die. My wife got her 7 objectives to end the game. My oldest daughter actually won the game, though. She had a couple of high point objectives that she had kept hidden. Pretty sure I came in last. My high point objective for the "4 green bamboo stalks of height 3" was scuttled by my wife finishing a different green gardener objective (with one step to go to reach it, too). That was too late to reach any other major objectives for me so I just resigned myself to the loss and moving a panda.
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11. Board Game: What's Up [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:5524]
Dr. UDO
United States
Chandler
AZ
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Received this recently and it is already a hit with my kids. A good take on the memory game and allows some strategic moves.

Played with kids 6 and 7.

Their comments: "It's like the birds in the Pixar short."
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12. Board Game: Lost in Time [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:11641]
Jason St.Just
Belgium
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I would like to suggest my own concept 'Lost in Time'.

As a designer, the challenge with this game was to create a game that walked the fine line between fun and educational. Because usually games have more of the one or the other. I believe I have found this fine balance in the game.

The Basic version of the game is for 9+ and it teaches the youngsters about history, the BC and AD, the different periods (Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Pike and Shot and Modern Time) and the famous events and influential people (Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Lenin).
The players must build their own timeline and try to get as close as possible to the year 2031.
What's the catch?
Each gameround the players must place cards on their timeline according to the direction of play. This can be either the PAST or the FUTURE. Problem is, you are not allowed to place cards in between other cards on your timeline.

So if you have the event Fall of Constantinople 1453 and Founding of the United States 1776 on your timeline, you can't add the card Luther's 95 Theses 1517 to your timeline.

Once the 8th card has been played the game ends. The player who is closest to 2031 wins the Basic version of Lost in Time.

The game will be released this month. It will be sold in the regular toy stores but also in museums and schools.

Kind regards,
Jason St.Just




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13. Board Game: Attack on Titan: Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:2891] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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My son loves the anime and manga for Attack on Titan. This was a no brainer when it came out last year. However, I was concerned that as a Cerberys Engine game, that it would feature limp, unthematic play. Happily, it is very thematic. Indeed, it's a very tight cooperative game. Players are constantly pushed to make decisions about attacking titans or sacrificing protective walls in order to strengthen in other areas. The decisions are the kind of things that are present in the franchise itself, and for a card game, there is a substantial spatial element. Expect to lose ... or win by the skin of your teeth.

This is one we lost. Early in the game we decided to sacrifice a wall. That limits the number of cards that can be purchased at any time. Finally, we were hit with three titans at the same wall at once. Despite the loss, it feels like we were in the story. Mr. E loves this.



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14. Board Game: Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:624] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Another game that may not be appropriate for kids? I hope I don't break this geeklist.

This game was nowhere on our radar, but we happened upon it at Barnes and Noble on a clearance table for $15. I'd played none of the Legendary games, and from reviews and live plays, I felt that they would be too busy for what they were. Mr. E (11), ever clued into popular culture, thought the idea of the game was neat, so we bought it.

Sorting the cards is not as onerous as many claim, but not by much. The rules are messy at best. The game needs a glossary as many keywords are only tepidly explained.

We played through the first scenario, which was the first movie from the human side. As a deckbuilder it is not too difficult to grasp. Cards have commerce and combat abilities as well as special text abilities and icon abilities. Player can purchase cards (characters) to put into their deck or threats in order to remove them from the game, preferably before they do damage. Threats move across the board, often unrevealed, getting closer, until they can attack. Cards that come out can alter objectives or threats to the players.

I'm not sure how thematic the game is. The artwork, perhaps taken from the comic books, is elaborate. A small amount of blood is in some graphics, but in general I would not call it gory. The tension in the game really comes from the need to defeat threats and complete objectives. The deck of threats is constructed in such a way that you need to keep improving your deck in order to keep up. The ability of the threats to do damage increases as the game goes on.

Mr. E loves this. He's never seen the movies, and this may be the only exposure he'll have to them. I'm not sure a whole lot of narrative came across--perhaps it will in future plays. However, the tension came through: watching the unknown threats move across the board until they can attack you, hoping that you can get the cards to reveal them and defeat them, fearing they will have some ability that will set you back. The mechanism that has threat moving is really neat. The characters? Not so interesting.
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15. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:188]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Ah, a gem from my first gamer life, the time before Mr. E was born and we might meet with friends at the local coffee shop or just play by ourselves. I wish I kept records of our gameplays from back then.

This really only comes out now when the three of us--Mr. E (age 11), Mrs.K (aging slowly) and me (carbon dating has not yet come back)--want to play together. Ours is the earlier Rio Grande/Hans in Glueck edition, where the bakelite rice paddies look like licorice. It sets up easily, looks good, and plays fast. Mrs. K narrowly beat Mr. E after I was eliminated. Mr. E really enjoys this whenever we play. The way area control works is rather ingenious, and it can lead to very clever moves. I have a soft spot for Samurai, for sure.
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16. Board Game: Rocky Road à la Mode [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:2703]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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Played 2 games with my 11-year-old last night. She's uncannily good at these kinds of games - she won the first game 9 to 6. I was a good 3 turns away from getting any more points.

I managed to win the second game though, 9 to 8. She was 1 turn away from getting 4 more points!

Great little game, this.

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17. Board Game: Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:624] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Nathanael Robinson
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Today we played the other game in the box, the one in which the predators compet, e to hunt the humans, taking them as trophies (aka earning points). As a somewhat frugal man, appreciate that Upper Deck made two different experiences. Indeed, the only cards in common between the modes are the starting cards. All the other decks are different, although they roughly play the same.

Mr. E (11) loved this mode,perhaps more than the first. The intensity of the human cooperative mode wasn't there (although increasing the difficulty might restore it), but the the threats can increase in their abilities as Gear cards are added to them, making how threats are attacked, as well as the order in which they are attacked, more puzzley.

In the end, what made the difference was the Duel: a card ability that allows the player to use combat to attack other players rather than the threats. It looked as if Mr. E was getting ahead, so I decided to attack him. Up to this point he played politely, but after I attacked him, he retaliated. Oh, boy, I was walloped. All of them were "Dishonor Strikes," strikes which take away victory points. In the end, Mr. E won by 8 points.
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18. Board Game: Monopoly: The Mega Edition [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:6966]
Andreas
Germany
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We had a very good friend over here last night with her two daughters, 8 and 15 years old. I suck at this game.
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19. Board Game: DOG Royal [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:5233]
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And we also played this one! Which was a lot of fun. I suck at it. Guess who didn't manage to bring home his pieces? whistle
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20. Board Game: Downforce [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:426]
Ken L.
Canada
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I tried out the Beginner's Game rules of Downforce with my 6-year-old and she loved it. We both had fun, actually, and have played it a couple of more times since.

I was impressed by the decisions she made to advance her cars. She won the first game by a substantial margin (without me purposefully making sub-optimal decisions, which I don't do for her anymore.) We also both liked the fact that female drivers were included in the game.
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21. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:76] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
Marty "on a short summer break" Malone
United States
Mansfield
Texas
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Played a family favorite with Tyler and Kyle over the weekend. I proclaimed that I would retire from playing... I beat Tyler and I never beat Tyler and said I was going to leave with a victory in hand. 60 to 58 to 34. It is always a fun game and I feel like I picked a good combo that just barely outpaced Tyler's engine. Kyle plays like the dog on UP. Squirrel. If there is something new to buy he buys it. Even had a chapel and wouldn't trash anything because he wanted to buy more cards...
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22. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:243]
Arlyn Janssen
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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I taught my son (9) Love Letter a couple of weeks ago. It was a lot of fun to watch the light bulb go on for him in about the third hand. He looked at the cards played and excitedly shouted "I know what Uncle John has!" as he played his guard. We've played it a few times since and he just loves it.

It features prominently in his top-30, which I recently compiled into a GeekList for those interested: My Son's Top-30 (as of his 9th Birthday)
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23. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:86] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Rafał Olek
Poland
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First game with my 9 yo. He loved the gameplay but felt dissapointed when it turned out I won 169 to 116. He went for the huts which give points straight away and didn't see my strategy with cv cards for end game bonus. Wonder if he will be able to forsee this next time we play.

Our first true euro, so I'm starting to teach him real stuff
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24. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:220] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
They call me Mister...
Ireland
Donegal
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After a quiet August and an even quieter September boardgames-wise we finally managed to sit down one evening before bed where we substituted storytime for Dixit time.

Dixit is relaxed and laid back enough (and the kids are about old enough now) for tiredness not to make things edgy if points aren't going your way.

I never have a problem playing this game with the kids - I love to see how creative/observant/devious they can be.

In this game, with the parents falling behind early on my wife decided to cheat show the kids a perfectly valid strategy. With the pictured selection of cards above she gave the clue as "Three eyed" knowing the kids wouldn't have a clue. Anyone else enjoy that particular television programme? Which card would you have chosen? Use a spoiler below if you fancy a guess.

Anyway, yet again I forgot to get a picture at the time but luckily my daughter popped back and was more than happy to pose.

B(8) enjoys the game but dislikes it when everyone guesses his card. He'll get there though.
D(10) loves the game, she loves being creative and making logical mysteries. She can be too obscure and no-one picks her card but she's beginning to see the balance.
Wife loves the game art and simplicity.
Before starting a game, I sometimes wish it lasted a bit longer but in actuality the game length is perfect everytime.
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25. Board Game: Sorry! Sliders [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1658]
Philip O'Brien
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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Last played 4.5 years ago. Memo to self - check my games each year. Upon opening I found the following:

3D Labyrinth - various cards, game was discarded years ago
Dragonheart - various cards, have since acquired a new copy
Cranium Balloon Lagoon - various board pieces, game discarded years ago
Tal der Abenteuer: Die Schutzsuche im Himalaya - various cards, game since discarded
Formula D: advanced rulebook and blue dice, have since acquired another copy

Reminds me I need to check the ducted heating vents and see if I can find any game pieces there.

Anyway, it proved very popular with both the 6yo and 9yo. 10 minutes of playing with dad, and then another half hours play by themselves making their own rules.
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