michael whitis
United States
Burlington
Kentucky
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Been perusing BGG heavily for the past couple of weeks. I've decided this year for Christmas that I'm going to get my kids some games that we can, hopefully, play as a family. I'm an old roleplayer, and haven't played anything higher on the games list than Axis and Allies, so am looking for something that will get me into board gaming as well. M

My goal is to get 1 board and 1 card/light game each. As well as 1 or 2 others as either "family" gifts or for "me" that are a little more advanced.

Kids are:

9 1/2 yr old Gamer son. Interested in dragons, knights, etc. Plays Runescape, Heroscape (last xmas), etc. Wants to drag out my old D&D books soon. No problems getting him interested.

8 yr old indifferent gamer son. Loves soldiers. Likes pirates. Very detail oriented. Very "sensitive". Can take or leave games now, but is very intrigued by the Axis and Allies box sitting in the closet.

7 yr old "girl game" daughter. Loves dress up, imagination, girl stuff. Will play "Pretty Pretty Princess" or other games perceived to be
"cute", but not overly interested in anything else too "boyish".

Current thoughts:

9yo - Dragonland / Munchkin or Bang!
8yo - Memoir '44 / Poison or Loot
(Thought about a coop for him (Break the safe?), but Memoir seems an almost perfect fit, albeit only 2 player).
7yo - Giro Galoppo, Ghost (Midnight) Party, or Hey, that's my fish / Pick Picknic
(She has been my hardest thus far. Probably leaning toward Ghost Party, but really hate to exclude That's my fish from the list).

Me/Family: Ark of the Covenant / Diamant

Any thoughts about the list appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike
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Les Haskell
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Re: Evaluate my Christmas choices for my 9, 8, and 7 yr olds
When I was reading the descriptions of your kid's interests I had an idea for the 9 year old boy. If he's got his eye on your D&D books you might consider getting him a Basic Game. It's got:

* 16 fully painted miniatures (4 heroes and 12 monsters)
* 4 double-sided map tiles
* 4 character sheets
* 7 dice
* Quick Start Rules
* First Adventure Book
* Advanced Rulebook

All for about $25.

For the 8 year old I think Memoir '44 might be just the thing. It is easy enough to learn and fun to play.

For the girl: I don't know. My daughter always hated "girly" stuff.
 
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Hunter Shelburne
United States
San Marcos
Texas
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Re: Evaluate my Christmas choices for my 9, 8, and 7 yr olds
Hmmm, the 9 year old is probably the easiest one to kep interested. The 8 year old will probably be the toughest here. Memoir is an interesting choice, has he taken to anything that the 9 year old plays? Also, not sure, but maybe try and sneak Queens Necklace into your daughters stuff

Sorry for referring to your kids as numbers, but you know, nature of the post.
 
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Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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For your 9 year old, take a look at Emerald (boardgame) and Blue Moon (2 player card game) as well. Dragonland is a good game (and has pretty jewels which might interest your daughter in it!), but it seems less dragon-y to me than the other two.

For your daughter's card game, Sleeping Queens, Odin's Ravens (2 player only), or Guillotine might be a good pick. All have been hits with my daughters' girlfriends. The advantage of Guillotine would be that the boys would probably like it as well. For the boardgame, you might look at a beautiful abstract for her (e.g. Ubongo, Gemblo) or a wordgame or party game or a dexterity game (e.g. Who What Where Jr., 25 Words or Less, Coyote, Tier auf Tier). In my experience, such games are girly-girl friendly but don't turn off the boys. I'm thinking that would be a plus in your household.

Your choices for your middle son sound perfect.

Good luck!
 
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David G.
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Moorpark
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Re: Evaluate my Christmas choices for my 9, 8, and 7 yr olds
Wow, too bad you live so far away, your kids line up pretty much exactly to my kids in age and temperament.

My kids are:

10 1/2 yr old Gamer son. Favorite games are HeroScape, Bang! and Munchkin, but he'll play the deeper stuff. Maybe it's time to bring your son into heftier games? Elfenland could be a good choice. A little fantasy theme there to bring him along, but it's practically an abstract. Oddly enough, my middle boy will play this (more on him later). Or, how about San Juan? Good two-player, and just a hop-n-a-skip from Puerto Rico. No fantasy theme, but a nice gateway I'd say. Bang! is a good choice, but you need at least 5 to really get it going, although it works with three. Dungeon Twister is another good choice. Note that I can't stand Munchkin, and pretty much have given up on playing it with them. But, all the kids like it.

Damn-near-9-year-old boy: Disinterested in games, the sensitive kid. Very much into imaginative play. Any game over 45 minutes and he's cross-eyed. He'll play HeroScape and Munchkin whenever he's asked. Bang! on occasion. Like I said, for some reason he liked Elfenland, and will play it every few months or so. He and his sister really go in for the party games. They love Apples to Apples Junior and Smarty Party! Expansion Set Junior, even though most of the questions are far too old for them. He'll play Diamant with a bit of enthusiasm. He thinks he likes Monsters Menace America, but he always gets bored of it 30 minute in. When I got Loopin' Louie in he and his sister just about flipped out from excitement when playing it. Their enthusiasm has certainly wained on LL, but they'll still play it just about whenever anyone asks for it. If you want that XMas-high of seeing your kids love a game, find this on EBay. Maybe I should try Mem '44 with him, but I can't imagine him getting into it. It's too strategic for him. We have Loot, I dunno, it just doesn't go over well. The play is a bit different and confusing.

7-year-old girl: Daddy's little girl. Dress-up and gentle play for this one. All the social games go over well (Apples to Apples, Smartyparty, etc.). She and her eldest brother like Winner's Circle. Rat-a-Tat Cat works well, and I enjoy playing it. When she and her brother were younger they'd cry over Midnight Party, they got too sad when the ghost captured them. But, Enchanted Forest goes over well with her, and even her brothers will jump in. I think the abstract strategy of Hey That's My Fish would show itself pretty quickly, and she wouldn't enjoy it.

The Family: My wife (not a gamer) will play Ark of the Covenant with my 10yo and me. Perhaps I could get the other kids into it, perhaps not. Diamant (Incan Gold) is certainly a hit, easy to teach, and fun. Easy to bring others into also. Have you considered TransAmerica? A great game to have on hand, and even though I haven't played it with my girl I'd bet she could do it. Pit is a big hit. Lots of yelling and fun.

Other ideas: Does baseball have any special connection in your family? I've taken my boys to a few MLB games, so it's a special event for us. Due to this, Harry's Grand Slam Baseball Game was a big hit. Short and easy, it really feels like baseball (we even sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch). Getting them all to enjoy a game is a tough thing, and since Break the Safe is cooperative it eliminates competition. They all enjoy it. Worth a play every other month or so. Labyrinth is a good one they'll play, and easy to scale. We don't play a lot of Circus Flohcati, but it may work for you.

You might find my geeklist helpful.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/17403
 
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Don Carmichael
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What about sword & skull for the younger son? My eight year old brother loves it. Playing time is nice and short though and the rules are very simple. The only downside is it doesn't have all the pretty pieces like momoir 44. You might consider a&a miniatures It is a collectible game, but you can get 40 or so pieces and the starting map set for 30 bucks if you know where to look. Looks like a pretty fun game for anyone interested in light wargaming, but I've never played it.
 
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michael whitis
United States
Burlington
Kentucky
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Re: Evaluate my Christmas choices for my 9, 8, and 7 yr olds
Just wanted to go ahead and post my final choices here, in case anyone was curious.

Things didn't go exactly as planned. For one thing, I couldn't make up my mind, and stop at one board and one card game each... So, I decided to go for 2 board games, and one card game each... I convinced myself that one game could be a more "typical" or roll and move type game. While the second should be something more atypical (abstract, european etc.).

The second thing that threw a wrench into things was that I wanted to keep myself to games that could be played by all 4 of us (or at least the 3 kids) at once. I kept mostly to this, I think, with one notable exception. But, it did prevent memoir from making the final cut.

The third, and most unexpected, driving factor was discovering that my 8 yo son, whom I had assumed was gaming-indifferent, turns out to have a taste for games that fall into the "atypical" category. He saw me playing Ingenious and TransSib one evening, and wanted to join in. He took right to it, and has played by himself every night since. I was totally excited about that. thumbsup

So, the "final cut" is:

9 YO: Dragonology, Amazing Labyrinth, and Bang!
8 YO: Break The Safe (Thanks again, Prophx..), Transamerica, and Harry's Grand Slam
7 YO: Enchanted Forest, Pick Picknic, and Sleeping Queens

Me: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Ark of the Covenant

While I'm generally pleased with the selections, I was a bit disappointed that Emerald and Diamant weren't readily available in the US. But, hey, Inca Gold will be out eventually, and I need another order for memoir anyway...

BTW, Dave, your Geeklist was very helpful because of the similarities in our kids. It IS too bad we're so far away..

Thanks to everyone for your input.

Mike

 
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