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Subject: After Risk, with Specifications rss

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KB
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As I've posted before, we have a monthly games night at our house for my two kids and their friends.

OK, for my son and his friends. My daughter plays - and usually manages to talk people into at least one of her favourite games - but her friends don't usually show up. Girls! (Yeah, I'm one too but my son is convinced - despite GIVING BIRTH to him - that between the action movies, sci-fi fantasy literature and game playing I'm mainly a guy anyway).

ANYWAY...

We had a new addition this past weekend. I was hoping he'd come - he is extrememly shy, doesn't have a lot of friends yet (partly shyness, partly constant moving due to his father's job), and I think he needs a place to fit in. I knew from his dad - both our boys played football this year - that he really likes Risk, but no one in his family will play with him. Too long, too boring (silly family!). I drove him home after the night was done - along with three others - and as he was the last one to be dropped off, there was some time without the other kids. He hadn't said a word before, but on his own he said he really enjoyed the evening, is he allowed to come every month - yes, of course - and do we ever play Risk?

I said that we could have a Sunday afternoon/evening of Risk with just some of the boys, so they'd have time to get in a whole game. What I'd really like to do is introduce him to something new. Something that would be the next step after Risk. (On a side note: he also plays Warhammer, and this weekend my son introduced him to Heroscape, which he loved). The problem is, I don't really know what to suggest. I played Risk as a teenager, but I really don't know what a step up to something newer/better would be. So what do I try, with the following specifications:

Risk-like
Not super difficult - he is not stupid, but he is behind a couple of years at school, and I don't want something so hard that he feels left behind in the games too.

Not super long, i.e. 5+ hours

Good with four or more. I think if he had to get six together just to play it it would be discouraging.

Not too expensive, as I'll be buying it for our games night.

So come on Risk-experienced guys, help out a lady in need!
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Might try A&A or Attack!...that's my usual suggestion for "next step from risk". But I'm also mightily intrigued by Viktory II. Haven't played it yet, but it's looking like it might fit in that slot.

If he plays Warhammer, maybe see if you can dig up Battletech? That's a HUGE amount of simple, fast fun.
 
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FullContactGEEK
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It's too bad Memoir44 and BattleLore are only 2 player. It sounds like he'd love both.

I have never played it, but it is said that Nexus Ops is a good way to introduce Risk players to something different.
 
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Andy K.
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Well, the first thing I'd do is set aside a day to play Risk with him. Risk is a long way from my favorite game, but it's one I'd play happily given the correct circumstances. Having told him that you'd play Risk seems like a pretty good reason; if he is as shy as you mention, it's possible he could feel slighted or mistreated if you back out on your promise. (But you'd know much better than I the attitude and sensitivity of him.) Think of Risk as the bait on your hook. After playing, you might mention that this, this, and this are games similar to Risk that he might like.

I like Axis and Allies a lot, or at least I did 15 years ago when I played it regularly. But it is a moderate step up in complexity from Risk.

I like Nexus Ops. It is similar to A&A and Risk in that players use direct conflict and dice rolling to take territory. But it is a shorter and more interesting game. Nexus Ops can be played by a max of 4, however.

Good luck with it!
 
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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    If he likes killing nasties Descent or WoW Boardgame would be good choices. Not strategic like Risk, but in a similar genre. The big drawback with Risk is player elimination which could leave someone sidelined for an hour or more. Descent and WoW both keep everyone in the mix until the end.

    Risk 2210 is a logical step up, or Risk Lord of the Rings.

    And if he's a not-yet-self-aware grog you could consider going to the Avalon Hill archives. I'd recommend something simpler like Panzer Blitz to start. Lays the foundations for the hobby and doesn't have anywhere near the complexity of its descendants.

             Sag.
 
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KB
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lsamadi wrote:
It's too bad Memoir44 and BattleLore are only 2 player. It sounds like he'd love both.

I have never played it, but it is said that Nexus Ops is a good way to introduce Risk players to something different.


I think a two player would be ok. I know my son would play with him, and if it is good maybe others will try it too.
 
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T. Rosen
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This thread from a little while back had a lot of great recommendations of war-themed games for children: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/127034

In particular, I think Nexus Ops is a very good choice if you're looking for something that is reminscent of Risk but much better (i.e., more euro with victory points and a defined ending condition). You're also in luck because Nexus Ops has been on super sale everywhere it seems lately, and I think www.toysrus.com still has it for only $19.99 and free shipping.

If you do get Nexus Ops, and you play with 4-players, I recommend using the 2 vs. 2 team variant because I think it's much more fair and fun, and you don't have to worry then about one kid getting picked on or ganged up on since he'll have a teammate to help out, so it'll be more balanced.
 
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Brad Miller
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Nexus Ops
 
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Jim Spoto
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I agree with many of the other suggestions

* Nexus Ops
* Risk 2210
* Attack!

Are all good choices for conflict games that are slightly more complicated (but IMO better) than vanilla Risk, and tend to play pretty quickly (1-3 hours).

More conservative choices could be: Risk Clone Wars, or Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Both can be played the traditional way, but are best as designed in their variant form... and they're both pretty good.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Maybe I'm going a little "too far" with this one, but another one to maybe look at down the road is "War of the Ring". Despite the unclarity of the rules, once you've played it once or twice, it really is pretty simple to play. It's built mostly for 2 players, but scales up to 4 players (team play) fairly well also.

It has a "risk-like" feel, yet seems to be far more "epic" in nature, without being overly complicated.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Have you considered the Risk variants like Clone Wars?
 
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KB
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You guys, you're the best! I think I'll start with Nexus Ops, but there is a lot of good things to think about here. The geek never fails!
 
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Phillip Heaton
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I have to second Viktory II. It is a fun little game. The teritories mean something as the terrain determines what type of unit a city will produce if built there. There are four different types of units, each of which functions differently, and combined arms is encouraged. There is both water and land movement (one of the four unit types is a ship). It plays well with 2-6 players (and an add-on pack is being readied to increase it to eight), but it can be purchased in a cheaper 2-4 player version if you don't think you'll have more than four players, or if you want to start with less money invested and then expand later.
 
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Stephen Sekela
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Well, I don't have anything too original to add, but I enjoy posting responses anyway...

So, I'll reinforce the previous recommendations:

1 - First play normal Risk. That's what he asked about, so that's how you can hook him in to the bigger and better stuff.

2 - Find out what "genre" he likes the most, and buy one of the Risk variants (LotR, Star Wars, Godstorm, or 2210). These games are so much different (and better) than original Risk, but it's the next logical step up.

3 - Nexus Ops or Heroes, Incorporated

3 - Axis and Allies or Conquest of the Empire (depending on which theme you guys might be more into).

4 - Once you've confirmed he's interested and capable of hanling more challenging and longer games, try Fury of Dracula, War of the Ring, or even (depending on the ages of the boys) Twilight Imperium 3.

Good Luck!
 
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