Frosch Perspektive
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Hi all,

i already searched the forums but i am not a native English speaker, so i probably missed the right keywords.

I want to teach teenagers the idea of strategy (i.e. to reach a certain goal) in general. I would like to use a boardgame to support this learning process because i think in a boardgame you will get a response to your choosen strategy almost immediately.

Does anybody know a game, that focuses of developing strategies and testing, is not too abstract (like chess would be...) and for ages around 12 and above?
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dsco bee
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A co-op game like Pandemic might work well, as it would allow the players to discuss strategy during play, whereas that couldn't really happen in a competitive game so much.
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Bill Eldard
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dscoBee82 wrote:
A co-op game like Pandemic might work well, as it would allow the players to discuss strategy during play, whereas that couldn't really happen in a competitive game so much.

That's a great suggestion. I would extend it further to Pandemic: Rising Tide with the variable winning conditions. Those variable conditions should generate some good team discussion on priorites each time it's played.
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Robert Henley
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+1 cooperative games for letting one discuss strategy in-game; otherwise, much of the value of the game for teaching strategy comes from reflection afterwards. (Such after-action discussion is nicely described in this excerpt from How Children Succeed: https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2012/09/05/exclusive-exce....)

But I think the game(s) you want depends a bit on exactly what you mean by "the idea of strategy." If you only want students to learn to work toward a certain goal, then games like Ticket to Ride, in which players secretly pick routes and then build railroad tracks to complete them, would do fine. If, on the other hand, you want to make students distinguish between short-term and long-term goals, or discern strategy from tactics, then you may want a deeper game.

Even so, you are faced with an abundance of riches: short-term vs. long-term thinking appears in games as diverse as the semi-abstract,
engine-building game Splendor, the civilization-building game 7 Wonders, and the science-fiction war game Nexus Ops.

In general, war games and historical simulations are obvious choices, depending on the context of your class, but I'll let those more experienced in them weigh in on which ones would work better for you.

But even in games, strategic thinking takes time to emerge. You will have to allow enough plays of a game for the strategic choices to emerge for players. And you may want to use multiple games, so players are exposed to a variety of strategic trade-offs.

Good luck and have fun!
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Justin Mason
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Almost any and every game that has a win condition has Strategy applied to it. You can take even risk, monopoly, checkers, any video game that i know of to a certain point that will directly have you be developing strategies if not to win to make the game easier for yourself.

Minecraft if don't wanna walk up all the way to surface to drop off your diamonds just build place a storage box and put him there which is a strategy to save time.

Strategy is not just a singular thing, but a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. Meaning it's all the little actions combined into whatever goal you have.

The Strategy to not get yelled at your parents for not doing your homework could be I don't know.... to do your homework. lol

I would say tell give your students examples of strategy you have experienced and enjoyed in games, and strategies that you use in your life and why. Than assign them a task of when they are home over the weekend find strategies they may use in the games, and things they do.

Most little boys are going to be playing a video game, maybe they beat the boss or have a story of beating a game in a certain way. As for little girls maybe they have a method of which they apply there makeup to make it convenient to them in some way.

I would say you can also use card games to show synergies and how to make successful decks more likely to win compared to others.

If your goal is to give kids the drive to play strategy games however Io think that is silly, because kids are gonna do what they want and enjoy. You ain't gonna make them better at a strategy or any game unless they have the drive to do it themselves, or it kinda defeats the purpose of playing a game which is having fun.
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April W
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Other co-op games to consider: Forbidden Island or Forbidden Desert. These are good introductory level games and have clear objectives, which players will work together to accomplish.

If you want something competitive then +1 for Ticket to Ride.
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L B
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Santorini although it's 2 player only and abstract, it doesn't feel like an abstract and has a simple, understandable goal and is language independent. Plus, it's quick and incredibly easy to teach. My 13 y.o. asked to play about 4 more games immediately after his first game.


Ticket to Ride would be another good option imo. If you get the Asia expansion, you can have a larger group or teams. Again, it's easy to teach and the goals are clear but there is planning required to achieve them.

Dr. Eureka might be good. Players start with 3 tubes that each have 2 colored balls in them. They have to arrange the balls to match a card with a diagram a certain number of balls and colors in each tube, but they have to do by combining balls into tubes without touching the balls. So, they have to think ahead and try to develop a plan for how they will combine and separate the balls.


I have another suggestion that isn't for strategy, but if you wanted to teach induction and scientific method. Zendo is fantastic for teaching kids how to work on a theory and test for it. The new version is out and is a little different (pyramids, wedges, and blocks instead of 3 sizes of pyramids), but here is a great guide on how to teach it:

https://nickbentley.games/2011/11/02/zendo-as-a-tool-for-tea...
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Keith Reeves
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As the father of four sons, I have taught them to enjoy strategy games. My 16 year old son is actually ranked in the top 1% (250) in Hearthstone, without spending a single penny. We enjoy and play together BattleLore, Risk, Axis & Allies, MTG, and more. Ages ranging from 23 to 10.

The easy way to learn strategy is card games such as a two player starter deck for Magic the Gathering. Learning how to play cards in combination is a great way to develop strategic thinking. My son learned how to build and play multi-color decks at the age of 8.

Other options are online version of CCG such as Hearthstone or Elder Scrolls Legends. Dominion is a more advanced example of how to draw and play cards to achieve a strategic objective.

But lets go even simpler. Risk 2210 and Stratego work at forming a foundation of learning strategy.

Objectives for teaching strategy include:

Anticipating your opponents moves
Planning 3-5 moves ahead
Exploiting mistakes and weaknesses
Taking necessary risk, dont always play it safe
Using successful combinations of sequential actions
Understanding winning objectives - Play to WIN!


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Frosch Perspektive
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dscoBee82 wrote:
A co-op game like Pandemic might work well, as it would allow the players to discuss strategy during play, whereas that couldn't really happen in a competitive game so much.


Co-op games and the aspect of discussing during game is a very nice idea! It would allow us to even do some testing of strategic alternatives "on the fly".

Thanks a lot!
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Terence Aries
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dscoBee82 wrote:
A co-op game like Pandemic might work well, as it would allow the players to discuss strategy during play, whereas that couldn't really happen in a competitive game so much.


And once the basics of cooperative strategy have been mastered, add a hidden traitor as in Dead of Winter.

Or a hidden movement game perhaps? Hunt for Dracula, that sort of thing.
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rhenley wrote:

But I think the game(s) you want depends a bit on exactly what you mean by "the idea of strategy." If you only want students to learn to work toward a certain goal, then games like Ticket to Ride, in which players secretly pick routes and then build railroad tracks to complete them, would do fine. If, on the other hand, you want to make students distinguish between short-term and long-term goals, or discern strategy from tactics, then you may want a deeper game.


You are absolutly right. While reading the respnoses (many thanks to all of you!) i feel that i have to define "teaching strategy in general" for myself. I am about to specify that for me by more exactly.

Thank you!
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mrmasonmadness wrote:

If your goal is to give kids the drive to play strategy games however Io think that is silly, because kids are gonna do what they want and enjoy. You ain't gonna make them better at a strategy or any game unless they have the drive to do it themselves, or it kinda defeats the purpose of playing a game which is having fun.


My goal is to use (stretgy?) boardgames to learn and reflect about strategies. I would not expect them to play more strategy games but to see that you can transfer principles from gameplay to real life.
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Elankat wrote:
Santorini

Ticket to Ride

Dr. Eureka

I have another suggestion that isn't for strategy, but if you wanted to teach induction and scientific method. Zendo is fantastic for teaching kids how to work on a theory and test for it. The new version is out and is a little different (pyramids, wedges, and blocks instead of 3 sizes of pyramids), but here is a great guide on how to teach it:

https://nickbentley.games/2011/11/02/zendo-as-a-tool-for-tea...


Wow, very nice suggestions i even didn't know they exist! I wonder if i will be able to get them here in Germany, i'll definetly have a look for them. I'll try to make some Zendo-like game with some peices of Lego or so. Thank you!
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L B
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buzz8 wrote:
Elankat wrote:
Santorini

Ticket to Ride

Dr. Eureka

I have another suggestion that isn't for strategy, but if you wanted to teach induction and scientific method. Zendo is fantastic for teaching kids how to work on a theory and test for it. The new version is out and is a little different (pyramids, wedges, and blocks instead of 3 sizes of pyramids), but here is a great guide on how to teach it:

https://nickbentley.games/2011/11/02/zendo-as-a-tool-for-tea...


Wow, very nice suggestions i even didn't know they exist! I wonder if i will be able to get them here in Germany, i'll definetly have a look for them. I'll try to make some Zendo-like game with some peices of Lego or so. Thank you!


You are welcome. I tried to suggest language independent games with bright and compelling components that are easy to teach and have clear goals. Although my 13 y.o. has not played Dr. Eureka, he loves the other three games that I suggested. He's not as much of a fan of Pandemic or Forbidden Island because other players taking over in games he's played.

Zendo rules should be available online, since the game was out of print for a while. You can also look for Looney Pyramids/Icehouse pieces if you can't find the game. The new version was just released about a month ago. The forums should also have suggestions for making your own version.
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Temujinjr wrote:


The easy way to learn strategy is card games such as a two player starter deck for Magic the Gathering. Learning how to play cards in combination is a great way to develop strategic thinking. My son learned how to build and play multi-color decks at the age of 8.

[...]

Objectives for teaching strategy include:

Anticipating your opponents moves
Planning 3-5 moves ahead
Exploiting mistakes and weaknesses
Taking necessary risk, dont always play it safe
Using successful combinations of sequential actions
Understanding winning objectives - Play to WIN!




What also is an intersting aspect in using card games is, that it's cheaper compared to boardgames (in general - sure not for MTG or most LCGs).

Thank you for your list of objectives!
 
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buzz8 wrote:
I wonder if i will be able to get them here in Germany, i'll definetly have a look for them.


I just wanted to add that Dr. Eureka is an inexpensive game. However, if it isn't available, I would think that it would be easy to create your own version by getting some plastic test tubes and large beads in 3 different colors. Then, you would just need to create and print out some cards.
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I now got both a copy of Santorini and Zendo. Especially Zendo is a really great game, i love it! I even love to teach Zendo. You see how people instantly get involved in figuring out the secret rule. Thanks again for the recommendation.

EDIT: typos
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