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Thebes» Forums » Variants

Subject: KinderThebes- A variant for the 5-6 year old set rss

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Jon G
United States
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In playing a half-dozen games of Thebes with my 6yo son and his friends, I've noticed that while they can play (and he can actually teach) the game correctly, they lack the attention span for a full game; one game year is about right. They almost never complete exhibitions, and rarely take congress cards.

So, a kids variant is pretty straightforward: shorten the game, remove exhibit & congress cards (also because these are too random/not valuable enough respectively in a short game).

The KinderThebes Variant:

1. Play normally for one game year, except...
2. Remove exhibit and congress cards
3. Players get three starting book cards each. For each player, draw a one-book, two-book, and three-book card as starting knowledge. Try to give each player three different colors (or at least no more than 4 knowledge in one color), and make the three-book cards different colors for each player. The shuffle the full deck and start normally.
4. At game end, either skip the "most knowledge" bonus points, or award 2pts per color, 1 pt if tied.

Test Run with 3,5,6,8 year olds:
- The 5 & 6 yo loved it, and did just fine. My son wants to play this way in the future.
- The 3 yo had a great time, but needed his options spelled out each turn. But he made his own decisions, asking advice about half the time.
- The 8 yo (who is autistic) had a good time but was loudly cheering for sand every time another kid drew tiles.
- Three kids did three digs, one did two 12-week digs. While that's not nearly enough for luck to balance out, it did create plenty of tension in whether to dig first or gain more knowledge, manipulate turn order, and require planning a couple steps ahead.
- Final scores were 19,21,25,27. So it was competitive, and the lowest scorer did play least skillfully (in fairness it was his first game, but his 3yo brother beat him shake). The two best players (the 6 & 8yo) scored highest.
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Alexandre Santos
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Having 7 and 3 yo boys, I definitely want to test your variant. It's always a plus to find a game playable by such a different age range, and Thebes is a favorite of mine and my wife
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