Games Played with my folks while visiting Tucson
Brian Thompson
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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My wife and I just had our second child back in June. We live in Tucson, AZ. My parents, my sister, and my Grandmother came out to visit with us and see the new baby.

Having so many people over at the house was a perfect opportunity to play some boardgames that have been collecting dust on my shelves.

Now my parents are in their 50's, and the rest of my family isn't really into boardgaming, so they are extremely intimidated by games like Caylus and Power Grid. Those are pretty much out of the question.
So my challenge was to find lighter games in my collection that they would be able to learn somewhat quickly and enjoy. Well, these are the games that we played over a 7 day period, and how they were recieved.
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1. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:369]
Brian Thompson
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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The first game we played was a warm-up. I had actually introduced them to Bohnanza already last Summer a year ago, so they were already very familiar with this game and how it is played. My family really enjoys this game and we played it four times during their visit. This was our most played game.
My family gives it four stars.
 
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2. Board Game: Manila [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:614]
Brian Thompson
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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The next game we played was another game that I had played with them about a year ago. Manila looks like a worker placement game but it is really a betting game. Players pay to place their little guys on the board hoping to win a certain payout should certain boats carrying goods arrive safely at harbor or not. Players can also invest in stocks for certain goods hoping that they will arrive safely more often and therefore increasing the value of the stock.
My family really likes this game alot as well. It is a quick game that is easy to grasp and is a blast to play.

We give it four stars.
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3. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:442]
Brian Thompson
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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I thought we could give this somewhat simple yet interesting auction game a try. I'm a big fan of Reiner Knizia and the subtle psychological elements that are present in his games. His games (if understood and played properly) are very much like playing poker. If you don't like this game, it may be because you are not "getting it".

My parents and my sister did enjoy the game somewhat but they were unable to fully grasp the poker-like psychological elements to the game. They enjoyed it but not to the same degree that I enjoy this game. They liked the fact that the rules are relatively simple and easy to explain so that we can get started playing the game rather quickly.

They give this game three stars.
 
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4. Board Game: Beowulf: The Legend [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1837]
Brian Thompson
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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I wanted to introduce them to another great Knizia game, Beowulf.
Their initial reaction to this game as I opened the box and revealed the board and pieces was: "Whoa! This looks really complicated."

I was fighting a bit of an uphill battle with this one. Due to their initial apprehension, it was a little difficult to teach them this game. They kept making things harder than they had to be in their own heads. It actually is a very simple game and light game.

After we got about one-third of the way through with the game they caught on and then started to enjoy it a whole lot. My sister won the game and she really loved it. They decided in the end that it was indeed a fun game that they would be willing to play again.

They gave it four stars.
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5. Board Game: The Pillars of the Earth [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:231]
Brian Thompson
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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After a successful game of Beowulf, I got a little ambitious and thought that maybe they would like Pillars of the Earth.

My Grandmother had just started reading the book so I thought that would motivate her, my mom and sister to want to learn and play this game.

One of the good things about this game is that you can start playing it as you teach it. It is one of the few games that can be taught that way. Teach the card drafting phase and then play, then teach the worker placement phase and then play.

Ultimately, Pillars of the Earth turned out to be a little more complicated than my mom or my sister like. So it wasn't really that big of a hit but everyone did comment on how beautiful the board was.

They gave this game two stars.
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6. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:574]
Brian Thompson
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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I decided to take a step back and play an old favorite among my family.
Category 5 (or 6 Nimmt!) is a great family game. It is simple and alot of fun. I always enjoy playing this light card game.

They give this game four stars.
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7. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:672]
Brian Thompson
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Finally we played an easy and fun game of, "Hey! That's My Fish!"

This is a very easy game to teach. People can start playing it almost immediately. The game seems very simple on the surface, but soon one starts to realize the deviousness of the design.

As you move your penguin, you pick up the tiles that make up the board. The number of fish on the tiles will be your score at the end of the game. As tiles are removed from the table the play area gets smaller and smaller and one realizes that the real goal of the game is to cut off your opponents and leave them on small isolated areas while you clean up the tiles left on larger portions of the remaining board.

My family really really liked this game. They gave it four stars.
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8. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:179]
Brian Thompson
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Last of all, I showed my Mom and Dad how to play a Knizia classic, "Battle Line". I then gave them their own copy of the game so they could take it home and enjoy it.

They seemed a little luke warm about the game at first. My parents are extremely competitive with one another so they really started to get into the game by the end. It was a tight game. I hope that they will play it more when they get home and enjoy it.

I absolutely _love_ Battle Line. It is my all-time favorite two-player game. If my house were on fire and I could only save one of my two-player games, it would be Battle Line.

I, personally, give it four stars.
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