Paul
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I've read many of the war card game lists. I've just purchased Battle Line (hasn't come yet)---but I have not been able to discern which ones could be understandable by kids about 10 plus years of age.

My son is particularly enamored with the Dogfight series now on the History Channel, but Wings of War seems a bit complicated. Same with Lightning: Midway. Am I correct? My son and his friends play Ticket to Ride, Heroscape, Carcassonne, Memoir 44, and Nexus Ops with little problem--if that helps with issues of accessibility.

I ask b/c some games seem to have complicated rules. Also, many of the grognards seem to rate game weight lower than normal people (not a criticism) just an observation.

Thanks!!

 
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Evan Stegman
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Wings of War is a complicated as you want it to be.

When I play with kids, I simplify things.

No altitude rules.

All planes can take 10 hits (or whatever. More hits = longer rounds) and shoot B guns (mostly because that's the only damage deck I have).

Ignore the rear gunners (they dominate).

Ignore all special damage except jammed guns (you can add the others later in when they want added challenge).

Use Sight's rules for manueuvering: instead of putting 3 maneuver cards out at a time, you only ever have two: you next/current move and the one after that.

Make a maneuver, add a card, make a maneuver, add a card. And so on.

Allow hits when ruler hits card, not just plane.

Two on two dogfights have the most action but, if you only have Watch Your Back! (Famous Aces is out of print), it is tough getting good two player 2 planes vs 2 planes with those maneuver decks.

What I do for kids (and non-gamer adults) is take both the left and right 90 degree turns out of the F deck and put them in the E deck. I then add the G deck the E deck and the H deck to the F deck. Give one set of combined decks to each player (each of the two player ends up with one big maneuver deck with both fast and slow maneuvers).

Let players use any maneuver card from their combined decks for either plane.

You lose quite a bit of the simulation aspect but most kids don't care. What they want is ACTION and by making all planes as maneuverable as possible, there is a lot of action.

If you want to spend more, you can do what I ended up doing: buy TWO of the Top Fighter boosters as well (The L and M decks are far more maneuverable). I marked each of the L and M decks with a different color dot sticker.

Now most of the dogfights are either L & L vs M & M or, more frequently, L & M vs. L & M.

If your kid is into Dogfights, this sounds perfect because that's what this is: dogfights on the tabletop.

You can always add rules back in as they want more of a challenge.
 
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Paul
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Great response--you should really post that as a separate listing as a variant for kids in the Wings of War section (unless I already missed it).

Any similar suggestions for Lighting: Midway? or D-Day? Or any others?

Should I wait til Famous Aces comes back out? I'm very confused on which to order and what makes it "playable" or most complete--even after reading the various comments--perhaps because I don't really understand damage cards, etc.
 
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Evan Stegman
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Merkles Boner wrote:
Great response--you should really post that as a separate listing as a variant for kids in the Wings of War section (unless I already missed it)
...


I am planning to but need to get it written.

I actually have a bunch of stuff I will be posting (chart comparing the maneuver decks; these variant rules, some player aids) but it will probably have to wait until after Xmas when I take the inevitable Best Buy gift certificates and get a scanner.

Merkles Boner wrote:
...
Any similar suggestions for Lighting: Midway? or D-Day? Or any others?
...


Nope, I am not a war gamer. I bought Wings of War on a whim.

Merkles Boner wrote:
...
Should I wait til Famous Aces comes back out? I'm very confused on which to order and what makes it "playable" or most complete--even after reading the various comments--perhaps because I don't really understand damage cards, etc.


My recommendation is Watch Your Back! and mix the maneuver decks as described above or WYB!(to get the boards, rulers and damage deck) plus two copies of Top Fighters (mark the maneuver decks so you don't mix them up). Either way is pretty playable.

I looked at the Famous Aces decks and they are limited maneuverablity too (only two decks with 90 degree turns and those are only to the right).

Merkles Boner wrote:
...
I don't really understand damage cards, etc.


The damage decks are cards that you draw when a plane shoots another plane.

They all have a number on them that indicate how many hits the plane takes.

They might or might not have a symbol indicating other damage (smoke, fire, rudder, etc.).

I believe the A deck in Famous Ace has fewer zeros and more higher numbers and the B deck that comes with Watch Your Back! has more low numbers and fewer highs.

I have toyed with the idea of ignoring what is written on the card altogether and just count each card as one hit but haven't tested it.




I have only had Wings of War: Watch Your Back! for one month but it has hit the table quite a few times with these rules as a fast, light, action-packed filler at the beginning or end of the night - even when there are no kids around.
 
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Richard Irving
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Quote:
My son is particularly enamored with the Dogfight series now on the History Channel, but Wings of War seems a bit complicated.


Wings of War is really simple and intuitive game--I wouldn't think 10-year olds would any real problem playing it:

Each player has a plane card and a matching deck of about 20 manuever cards. Each round, players choose 3 maneuvers for the their plane.

Everyone takes their first maneuver and places it in front of their plane and then moves the plane to the end of the arrow shown on the maneuver card.

Then each player checks to see if they can shoot at an enemy plane by using a measuring stick. Damage is determined by drawing 1 or 2 damage cards. The value of the cards are kept secret, but if enough damage is taken, the plane is shot down.

Repeat for manuever cards 2 and 3 and then select 3 new cards. (Unless you are shot down, of course.)

The advanced game adds critical hits (like guns jamming, smoke, fire, control cables cut, etc.), Special rules for tailing and drawing a bede on your opponent) are not that difficult and can be added later. It is also a game that is more fun the more players there are.

Quote:

Same with Lightning: Midway. Am I correct?


Lightning Midway isn't a dogfight game. Players assign various fighter & bomber squadrons, flak, etc. to attack or defend battleships/Midway Island.

The rules aren't complicated as wargames go, but conceptually it is far more opaque (less intuitve) than Wings of War.
 
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Evan Stegman
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rri1 wrote:

Wings of War is really simple and intuitive game--I wouldn't think 10-year olds would any real problem playing it:

...


The problem isn't the rules so much (although I prefer Sight's maneuver rules) but the limited manuerability of most of the planes.

With the default decks, too often it turns into this pattern:

Make a firing pass at each other
Turn around
Make a firing pass at each other
Turn around
Repeat ad naseum

Either that or the F deck dominates as it has both 90 degree turns and extreme weaves that the other decks don't have.

By making all the planes as maneuverable as possible, it turns from firing pass after firing pass into a twisting, turning action-packed battle.

Regardless of whether they can grasp the official rules or not, that is what I have found kids are looking for.
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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You might check out the Down in Flames: WWI games (the WWI version is available at http://wargamedownloads.com). This is a fun and VERY intuitive card game which puts the players in a dogfight.

I'll also second the comments of some others in other threads...you know your kids, but don't downgrade kids' intelligence in general. I was playing Third Reich at twelve.
 
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Phillip Heaton
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Another option would be the Ace of Aces series of book games. Ace of Aces - Flying Machines, Ace of Aces - Handy Rotary Series and Ace of Aces - Powerhouse Series are all good games, quick to play and easy to learn. While they are out of print, they are easy to find on ebay or the BGG marketplace.
 
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Todd Pytel
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As Richard said, there's nothing particularly complicated about the rules for Lightning:Midway (though the rules as printed suck - see the online FAQ), and it's a great little game. I'm pretty sure that an enthuasistic 10-year old would be able to pick it up with some initial parental guidance.

But also as Richard stated, L:M is not the most obvious game conceptually. The two sides have different strengths and should be played differently if you're "playing the game correctly." Similarly, good play requires basic card counting and some awareness of tempo. That being said, kids generally don't get as hung up as adults do about "playing well" as adults do - they usually just want to have some fun. I could see 10-year olds having fun with L:M just tossing off some attacks and playing out the cards.

I would guess that if your son comfortably plays the Euros you mentioned, that he would have fun with L:M, even if he misses some of the tactical nuances along the way.
 
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Paul
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OK--

1) Have to try to figure out which Wings of War to order and how many

2) Possibly Lightning: Midway

3) Look at Ace of Aces--any in particular


Any other suggestions on war card games from grognards with kids or played with kids?


Also--I agree with the comments about not underestimating kids--that said, there are some guidelines that can be helpful before making an investment in games---hence, asking for advice.
 
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Aaron Silverman
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Down In Flames is a good choice. The campaign rules might be a bit much at first, but kids playing the Euros you mentioned shouldn't have any trouble with the dogfighting rules.

Blue vs. Gray is a fun card game of the American Civil War, although the original rules are very tough to get through (once you understand them, the game isn't very hard). I hear the GMT update is much clearer.

Battle Cry of Freedom is another one on the ACW. I haven't played it, but I've watched it played and heard good things about it. Also not too hard but the rules can be a little tough to figure out at first.

I hear good things about Victory & Honor, which is also ACW-themed, but it's more of a trick-taking game than an actual wargame. Then again, Battleline is more of a Poker variant than a wargame, so V&H might interest you.

Unless you were talking about Battlelines, which is a card game of the WWII East Front and is definitely a wargame.
 
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Paul
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1) What about the Dixie card games? Are those possible? Especially if my son is studying Civil War?

2) What about Modern Naval Battles --- now Cold War Naval Battles? I'm looking at that one now (downloadable on the internet for free!)

3) Great suggestions, everyone. Thank-you very much.

I am investigating nearly all of them!!
 
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John Brady
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Dan Verssen's Modern Naval Battles is another very easy card game to pick up...and you can get the entire series free on the web, although it might cost you a fortune to print it out in color lol.

I don't have the link handy, and a quick google didn't get me anything, but I might have the link on my home computer.

I have the storebought version of Modern Naval Battles 1, and actually just dusted it off a couple of weeks ago with a buddy. I should think a 10 year old could grok the rules w/o too much trouble.

Obviously, this is not a dog fight game, but it might make for a nice change of pace, and the price is right.
 
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John Richert
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Wings of War Famous Aces is the best one to get. I have played it with all the rules with my 10 year old and 8 year old nephew and they play well.

Regarding the manuver decks, this is something that real pilots at the time had to cope with. They had to fight knowing the limits of their plane. With kids, I would make sure they are aware of what each plane is capable of so they don't get upset when someone can turn 90 deg. to the right with one card, while someone else does a lazy right turn that takes 3-4 cards to complete.

But, from a tactical/strategic standpoint it is a great game. Each plane has a strength and weakness. One can take a lot of damage and flies fast, but handles like a pregnant elephant. Another is slow but nimble. Another, the Sopwith Camel, is a jack of all trades and is the best of the bunch. Finally, the Albaross is the worst of the lot, but it can take a fair amount of damage. However, each plane can take down the other through superior play.
 
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James Stubbs
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If they like the Dogfight series on TV and you think that Wings of War will be a bit too complicated for them, you might want to take a look at Biplane Barmy and Blazing Jets from Fat Jonny Games. They're cheap PDFs - you can get Biplane for $7 and Jets for $8. Jets uses the same rules as biplane but covers more modern air battles.

They're not as polished as something you could buy off the shelf but they'd be a cheap way of seeing if they'd like the same and the rules are definitely easier than Wings of War.

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=1775&

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=2764&




 
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Paul
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I should note--I'm not tied to the dog-fighting angle...so any wider suggestions would be great.

...though I did just purchase an Ace of Aces online for 20 bucks--so we'll test that.

I'm also thinking of waiting to see if the miniatures for Wings of War is any good--but not sure...
 
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Gary Krockover
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I play Lightning: Midway with my 7 & 8 year old sons and they enjoy it greatly. The game is simple (and do follow the suggestion to grab the FAQ as the printed rules are vague and don't cover all the questions that you'll have). Once I figured it out (15 minutes with the FAQ) I was playing with the boys within 20 minutes.
 
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Paul
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UPDATE:

Battle Line and Lightning: Midway have been hits---esp Lighting:Midway...the theme is what my son loves. In fact, I love it as well.

Ace of Aces has also been a great hit in this category (though not a card game)

Still considering Wing of War with the miniatures--but that's a ways out now.
 
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Ryan Kruse
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Where did you find Ace of Aces for $20??? I have been looking for that for sometime.

Thanks,

rdk
 
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john m
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nice avatar
 
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Herman Restrepo
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Ok, not a card game but it fits the theme: Dawn Patrol. Fairly easy to find, easy to grasp, and a bunch of fun - especially with creating pilots. A bonus is the ability to play online with the Dawn Patrol group on Vassal (Thursday nights).

Just a thought

-herm
 
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Frank Cunliffe
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I suggest Battlegroup from Lost Battalion Games. It is the best of the Naval War / Modern Naval Battles / Enemy in Sight / Damn the Torpedoes series. Their Kaiser's Pirates is also good.

If you can find Battleship: The Card Game, it's pretty good too. (It is nothing like the "G6 - he sunk my battleship" boardgame.)

Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Lightning: War on Terror.

Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. (OK, it has a board. But I think your boys will like it.)

I'd stay away from Dixie (too dry) and I never cared for the Down in Flames series.

There's a free print and play game Richthofen that would be good if the rules were comprehensible.

Glad you got Ace of Aces.

And since almost a year has passed since you first started this thread, your boys are now 11+. Pretty soon you can get them playing Twilight Struggle or the out-of-print We the People.
 
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Jan van der Laan
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Merkles Boner wrote:
1) What about the Dixie card games? Are those possible? Especially if my son is studying Civil War?


I most surely can recommend "Dixie". "Dixie" is simple, straightforward and fast playing. I've played it several times and enjoyed it. Imho a ten year old shouldn't have many problems to understand the rules and to play the game. Despite its simplicity Dixie is tense and can be played within the hour (and maybe less). The illustrations are good as is the quality of the cards. The "Eagles" card game (Battle of Waterloo) plays the same but offers the opportunity to play a campaign (battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo) in a succession.

"Wings of War" is great too.
 
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Frank Cunliffe
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Jan van der Laan wrote:
Merkles Boner wrote:
1) What about the Dixie card games? Are those possible? Especially if my son is studying Civil War?


I most surely can recommend "Dixie". "Dixie" is simple, straightforward and fast playing. I've played it several times and enjoyed it. Imho a ten year old shouldn't have many problems to understand the rules and to play the game. Despite its simplicity Dixie is tense and can be played within the hour (and maybe less). The illustrations are good as is the quality of the cards. The "Eagles" card game (Battle of Waterloo) plays the same but offers the opportunity to play a campaign (battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo) in a succession.

"Wings of War" is great too.


I can't believe we posted my "Dixie is bad" and your "Dixie is good" remarks at exactly the same time!
 
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Jan van der Laan
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heroicfrank wrote:
I can't believe we posted my "Dixie is bad" and your "Dixie is good" remarks at exactly the same time!


Internet has shrunk the world and even time has become more and more relative. You (living in the U.S.A.) and I (living in the Netherlands) reacting on the same question at exactly the same moment in time. And the Internet making it visible. Wow......!

And our opinions about "Dixie" are quite opposite. Cool! cool


Edit: typo.
 
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