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Subject: Another Try - John vs Daughter! rss

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John Fiala
United States
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Well, my daughter enjoyed playing the first time so much that she wanted to play again, so last Sunday night we broke out the set. Rose chose the character of "Pearl Heart", mostly because she's very pretty. (My daughter is 6, if you missed my previous play report.) This was a good choice, because getting to look at a loot token before picking one means you can make it a lot less likely that you'll get a 1-card token, unless of course there's only 1-card tokens left. I chose 'El Cola' because his ability (No weapons, but if you have at least 2 $$, you can re-roll two dice during fights), and also because not needing to find a weapon seemed like a good ability.

We set up and played the game normally, except I didn't have us rolling for Dealer to save time. Instead, we just alternated turns, starting with my daughter. My daughter started off very strong, partially because the first car only got two Law cards, the first producing a Deputy, and the second moving one lawbot from each car forward one car... which meant she was on a car with 3 loot tokens and no lawbots, leading to quickly getting some points on the board. She happily shot at me as I attempted to steal something, and sent me back to the Caboose!

As a side note, this time around I tried to teach my daughter more about hand ranks and how they work. She's slowly picking up on it - for instance, She's recognizing how good full house and four of a kind is, both of which she rolled while we were playing, the lucky girl. Remember folks, it's never to early to teach your kids about Poker - do you want them learning from their friends?

And things continued in this way. I did eventually pick up the 2$$ to activate my ability, but then I had to toss a couple of useful looking weapons I picked up, and my daughter continued either avoiding or easily out-rolling a few deputies, continuing to pick up massive amounts of loot, mostly in the form of 2$$ and 1$$ cards. By the time we got to some cards with serious resistance (3 deputies, a sheriff, and a Marshall in one, a couple of deputies and a Marshall in the other) she got a High Noon card to give her an extra die when rolling, and then won a weapon which granted that extra die from then on! I was beating a few rolls, but it was quickly apparent that having two re-rolls wasn't nearly as good as having a 6th die to roll, a lesson I had learned back with the Doomtown CCG. And along with her early lead in points, my daughter lucked out with a number of high noon cards that depleated the deck, which meant that I had fewer turns to catch up!

By the time we reached the end of the deck, I had 7$$ and my daughter had 19$$, which she gleefully counted for my benefit. Given as it was about time to put my daughter to bed, I conceded (and taught her the word), giving her a popsicle for a reward and putting the game away.

So, here's what I've learned:
1) The game is nicely simple enough to teach a young girl, especially one who is as intellegent as my daughter is. There's three actions each turn, and they break down nicely into move / fight / search.
2) The game is also heavily random. This is good for the 6 year old - no real choice in combat other than throwing the dice and then maybe choosing one to re-roll.
3) The game is also mildly educational. She can count her winnings, and is starting to learn the various poker hands, and is getting a practical education in how often they come up, at least for poker dice.

Given as I had originally backed the Kickstarter as a game that could be fun to play with my daughter, I'm not too upset at it being this simple. It's possible that future expansions may make the game deeper, but for now it at least beats the heck out of Unicorn Glitterluck.
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