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Subject: non-violent, non-magic? rss

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dee b.
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My husband said he'd like to steer clear of magical/bloodthirsty games, so here I sit again reading through your posts, and trying to figure out which games to buy for our sons.

Heroscape, the boys packed up and gave to the Thrift Store themselves after one week, (ages 10 and 13); they said it was a silly toy. I thought they'd love it! Oh well. That's the one game that my husband said was magical and gruesome and needed to hit the curb anyway.

Catan,
hey that's my fish,
why did the chicken,
ticket to ride,
topitop snow,
monopoly the dog,
and bohnanza,
are all perfect.
I just ordered "for sale" on ebay. Looks pretty safe by his standards.

"Roborally" and "awful green things" arrived recently and I've not yet sat down and checked them. Are they all about casting spells and ripping out throats?

What are some games you've really had fun with that aren't magical and aren't gorey?

Also, is it possible to remove the off color cards from the game entitled "big aisle, small cart" and still have any cards left? Lol. Thanks for your help!

 
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Paul DeStefano
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Awful Green Things is probably about as gory as HeroScape, as it deals with killing opponents.
 
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Graham Smallwood
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Awful Green Things is about either devouring crew members of a space ship, or using grenades to blow aliens in to small pieces. Might not go over well.

How about Exploration games? Lost Valley and Elasund are about traveling the countryside to either find gold or build a Nordic city, respectively. And pretty much every game thought of as "Euro" could be themed as either Building or Trading. I like Exploration the best, myself.
 
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T. Rosen
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Here are some great games that I don't think your children will think are just a "silly to" and there's no way your husband could think are magical/gorey.

1) Tigris & Euphrates
2) Java
3) San Marco
4) El Grande
5) Louis XIV
6) Caylus
7) Ra
8) Torres
9) Goa
10) Amun-Re

They're all a bit more complicated than Bohnanza and Hey That's My Fish, but if you enjoy Settlers and Ticket to Ride, and are looking for a bit of a step up, then these ten should work nicely. They're certainly not silly toys and definitely don't involve magic or gruesome gore.
 
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J
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what are your kids other hobbies? maybe we can suggest some stuff they may like due to theme.
 
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David McLeod
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Well since the boys didn't care for Heroscape (I never thought 10 and 13 year old would simply think it a silly toy) maybe they would like a game like RA or Mykerinos.

Both games are fairly easy to learn and hard to master.

If you want to introduce them to the history of world war II maybe Memoir 44' would be good. I personally would not consider this game gorey although the subject matter may be deemed inappropriate based on what your looking for.

No thanks! is a simple a fun game! Pickonimo or Incan Gold (AKA Diamant)

I notice you don't have Carcasonne. There is a bit of conflict in the game but still tons of fun!

Blokus/Blokus Trigon are great abstracts, easy to learn but challenging.

Perhaps a deduction game like Scotland Yard.

My brother has great success with Shadows over Camelot although I would say this is defintely a game where the more the merrier!

I could go on but hopefully this helps.





 
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Philip Thomas
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Other people are making good suggestions here. I'd like to tallk about Roborally. Basically its a race between Robots. The Robots shoot at each other and push each other, sometimes destroying a particular robot. So it has violence, but its strictly machine on machine...
 
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dee b.
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All of this helps me so much. I had no idea what titles to investigate.

Their hobbies are building wooden buildings and decks with their dad, legos, (which they, oddly enough, have never thought of as a toy), designing buildings on their Super Home Suite pc-program, reading non-fiction, and playing games with their friends. Not sure if any of that helps to know which kinds they'd like. They're pretty typical boys. Building and creating are their focus.

I liked the idea of shadows over camelot. Do you have to cast spells or hack up anybody?
 
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Leo Zappa
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gee, what's wrong with violence and magic?

especially plastic violence and cardboard magic?

Anyway, how about:
- Blokus
- Pizza Box Football
- Rummikub

These should be sufficiently placid and non-magical, yet engaging games. Good luck finding what you're looking for.
 
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Richard Young
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Here's some I really like:

Around the World in 80 Days
Based on the book. Has some interesting ideas such as the first to the finish line isn't necessarily the winner (someone else may finish in less 'days'). Plays fairly quickly. On each turn you choose a card and an action.

Apples to Apples
Good if you like 'party' games, you can find it in Target too.

Diamant
The players are venturing into a series of caves. Each turn you have to decide whether to continue into the cave in the hope of finding more gems or play safe and exit with what you have. Plays very quickly.

Dream Factory
Just became available in English for the first time. You are trying to complete movies which require combinations of director/star and other things. The players bid on groups of 2 or 3 cards to try to get what they need.

Pirate's Cove
This should appeal to your boys. Some people dislike the randomness (dice) but it's fun and a good theme.

If you really like Ticket To Ride you could consider one of the other versions. We enjoy Ticket to Ride: Europe a lot but haven't played Ticket to Ride: Märklin yet. You could pick up the Ticket To Ride expansion Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 to add variety to your game.

There's also TransAmerica which is very quick & simple.
 
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Justin Redd
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I'd like to point out that in RoboRally the players take the role of supercomputers who have built the little robots that race and shoot. That is, the robots are not meant to represent the players, but rather machines built by the players. So, technically, there is no "I shoot you moment" in the game, even though the robots do hit one another with lasers.

I belive all the main games in the Carcassonne series have no magic and no killing. Carcassonne is set in a medevial country side and while it has soldiers, the don't fight one another as much as patrol the cities. Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers is about stone age people competing for food. The Ark of the Covenant is Carcassonne set in the desert of ancient Israel/Judea. All of these are fun games.
 
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Uffe
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seekingtreasures wrote:
Heroscape, the boys packed up and gave to the Thrift Store themselves after one week, (ages 10 and 13); they said it was a silly toy. I thought they'd love it!

It might be that they're not mature enough to enjoy such an immature game. They will probably regret their decision in a couple of years.

Justin wrote:
I belive all the main games in the Carcassonne series have no magic and no killing.

But beware of the Carcassonne expansion "The Princess & the Dragon". It includes a fairy and a magical portal.
 
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David McLeod
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seekingtreasures wrote:
Building and creating are their focus.

I liked the idea of shadows over camelot. Do you have to cast spells or hack up anybody?


The game (Shadows...) is completely co-operative unless you play with the Traitor (which you HAVE to get into eventually cause it really takes the game to a new level) There is no hacking or slashing at all in this game in the typical sense. Since there is so much info on the site I won't go into the details of how the game plays out but the great thing is it plays up to seven so if you have visitors you'll be able to include them in what I think is a GREAT gaming experience.

As for the building your boys like to do... Maybe a deterity game like Hamsterrolle, Villa Paletti or Bamboleo...

For a little more depth I'm also throwing Blue Moon Cities in... Ok, I'll stop now.
 
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Justin Redd
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Oh, and if you're curious about Carcassonne, a great way to get some more info is to watch Scott's video explanation/review of Carcassonne: The Discovery at: http://www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=51

Scott's videos are great. He spends most of each video explaining how a game is played. At the end he talks about what he likes about a game and what he thinks others may like.
 
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J. Green
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Lost Valley is an excellent exploration game, but one of the resources is whiskey in keeping with the prospector theme, so if you've got a problem with magic and violence you may also have a problem with alcohol and that's something to consider. Goldland may be a better choice if that's the case, otherwise go with Lost Valley.
http://boardgamegeek.com/game/3139
Candamir is a Catan game with exploration and development that some people like. It has no magic and is more about building up a settlement by exploring and claiming resources, although you have to defend yourself against bears sometimes I think.

http://boardgamegeek.com/game/12004
 
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Ken Just
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A fun building game my kids like is Pueblo.
 
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Rick Holzgrafe
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You don't say why your husband is opposed to magical themes, but in case he has religious objections, I'll point out that Amun-Re involves "sacrificing gold to Amun-Re", an ancient Egyptian god.

In Shadows Over Camelot you do not cast spells, and your knights are mostly engaged in upright and even holy (in Christian terms) pursuits such as seeking the Grail. However there is a chance that one player is a hidden traitor secretly working against the others; the magicians Merlin and Morgan le Fay are represented in card form; and there are "battles" against the Picts, the Saxons, a dragon, and the Black Knight. All battles take the form of trying to collect and play certain card sets before the enemy does, and a win for the good guys is presented simply as completion of a quest rather than the death of the opponent. It's all pretty abstract, but I don't know how much your husband objects to the very concept of violent conflict as opposed to particular graphic depictions.

Even Settlers of Catan has a robber, soldier cards, and a "largest army" reward, although no actual battles of any kind take place.
 
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J
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seekingtreasures wrote:
They're pretty typical boys. Building and creating are their focus.


I think they would like any of the following games. I tried to pick games that were all pretty different for variety:

Rumis
Hacienda
Thurn and Taxis
Torres
Settlers of Catan Card Game (two only)
Hive (two only)
Fjords (two only)
Railroad Tycoon*
Zendo*

The last two may be hard to get.

Quote:
I liked the idea of shadows over camelot. Do you have to cast spells or hack up anybody?


no, not directly, but the theme is about knights and wizards.

 
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Neil Sorenson
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What the heck constitutes violence in a board game anyway? I was just curious if Chess falls into the category of violent games due to the nature of the pieces being captured/killed.

Or is a game only violent if there are weapons involved or if the game uses little plastic figures of people that get knocked over to indicate massive internal bleeding?

I can appreciate a parent wanting to put some distance between their kids and overt violence but I'm genuinely baffled on how one would make the call at what point a game should/could be labeled as "violent".

Are board games about sports like hockey and football in the "violent" category? Or does it mostly apply to deliberate mayhem and death? What about something like Primordial Soup where the "violence" is mostly an element where protozoan creatures expire from lack of food (with the occasional bit of cannibalism)? What about cartoon-level violence where nobody stays hurt for long? What about Clue where the violence has already occurred and the players are simply trying to solve the mystery? What about games like Bohnanza where the violence is implied by the other players such as "if we have to play Bohnanza tonight, I'm going to kill you and everyone else at the table."?

Sorry to ramble... but it's a slightly interesting subject.
 
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dee b.
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Yeah, catan doesn't bother him. He and I have different lines in regards to games. I know a person would either go nuts or be bored to death if they became a stickler for all things peaceable in games, but this one is his call. I'm just here to ferret out titles to pursue. lol.

Alcohol would be a no, so I'm looking at goldland instead of lost valley. I read a bit about gods in the Ra description, as well as Amun Re.

In shadows, are the wizards depicted as "bad guys"?
 
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dee b.
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kakupacal wrote:
What the heck constitutes violence in a board game anyway? I was just curious if Chess falls into the category of violent games due to the nature of the pieces being captured/killed.

Or is a game only violent if there are weapons involved or if the game uses little plastic figures of people that get knocked over to indicate massive internal bleeding?

I can appreciate a parent wanting to put some distance between their kids and overt violence but I'm genuinely baffled on how one would make the call at what point a game should/could be labeled as "violent".

Are board games about sports like hockey and football in the "violent" category? Or does it mostly apply to deliberate mayhem and death? What about something like Primordial Soup where the "violence" is mostly an element where protozoan creatures expire from lack of food (with the occasional bit of cannibalism)? What about cartoon-level violence where nobody stays hurt for long? What about Clue where the violence has already occurred and the players are simply trying to solve the mystery? What about games like Bohnanza where the violence is implied by the other players such as "if we have to play Bohnanza tonight, I'm going to kill you and everyone else at the table."?

Sorry to ramble... but it's a slightly interesting subject.



I guess this decision would be up to the individual parent and the reasoning behind the conclusions would be just as individual. I, for one, have the utmost respect for parents who give a flying flip what their kids consume, even if our choices aren't ultimately uniform.
 
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J
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seekingtreasures wrote:
In shadows, are the wizards depicted as "bad guys"?


Merlin is a good guy, Morgan le Fey is a bad girl. But they are just cards:



No spell casting as such, just playing cards that have good/bad effects.

What is your husbands stance on movies such as Snow White?
 
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dee b.
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jmilum wrote:
seekingtreasures wrote:
In shadows, are the wizards depicted as "bad guys"?


What is your husbands stance on movies such as Snow White?


That's easy. He would NOT be a fan of Snow White. :o)
 
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Jared Heath
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seekingtreasures wrote:
Yeah, catan doesn't bother him. He and I have different lines in regards to games. I know a person would either go nuts or be bored to death if they became a stickler for all things peaceable in games, but this one is his call. I'm just here to ferret out titles to pursue. lol.

Alcohol would be a no, so I'm looking at goldland instead of lost valley. I read a bit about gods in the Ra description, as well as Amun Re.

In shadows, are the wizards depicted as "bad guys"?


dee:

The "gods" in Ra are not really bad. I've played Ra with some pretty hard-core deep south Baptists and they weren't phased by them. The sacrifice in Ammun-Re however...a different story. It's more how it is approached than anything else.

You could teach Ra in such a way that the "god" tiles aren't acting as gods and are just hieroglyphic specials or some such.

As far as shadows, there are some questionable cards in the evil side draw deck that your husband would probably have issues with based on the things you have said he hasn't liked in other games.

I'd highly suggest That's Life. I consider it to be the best family game I've ever played. My in-laws, my wife, and lots of serious gamers really like it. It's a dice rolling game with quite a bit of strategy, and it has no theme, it is just roll and move. It does have a certain level of "screw with your opponent" but that isn't anything you have suggested you shy away from, and it isn't as bad as the theif in Catan, which I've seen people get into shouting matches over before.

Other very good ones that meet your criteria are:

- TransAmerica/TransEuropa (simple connectin game)
- 10 Days in the USA/Asia/Africa (outstanding Rack-o with geography lessions basically built-in)
- Acquire (you'd have to get one of the old 3M/Avalon Hill ones off E-bay for $5-$20, but the older versions are actually better)
- Mississippi Queen (great race game)
- Modern Art (if you can tolerate the artwork, it is the best bidding game ever made IMHO)
 
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Carcassonne does seem like the best choice. It's got that exploring / creating thing going on, and there's no magic or violence.
 
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