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Subject: Strategy Family Game Selection rss

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Manos Zach
Greece
Heraklion
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Hi.

We are 4 member family (parents and 8 & 12 years old kids). We play games like Dixit, Ticket to Ride, Codenames, Carcassonne, Kingdomino etc and we want to buy a strategy game.

It should be appropriate for the age of the kids and last max 60-90 mins. It also shouldn't be a card game, as we like to have a board to play.

I m thinking about 7 Wonders, Stone Age, The Castles of Burgundy and Catan. Do you have an opinion about the above games or something else to suggest?

Thank you.
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James C
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I'm not familiar with Stone Age, but all of the other three are very good.

7 Wonders is fast and fun, but could be called a card game.

I'd suggest trying Catan. If you like it there are great expansions to choose from if you want a little more.

It's very interactive however and can get cut throat.

Castles of burgundy has a somewhat similar feel (to me at least) but with less interaction and no real conflict whatsoever.
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Michael
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7 Wonders and Stone Age are enjoyable. The Castles of Burgundy is as well, although the strategy is just a little more complex. Catan is OK, although we eventually lost interest in it. That being said, we have some friends who enjoy it with the Catan: Seafarers expansion.
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Curt Carpenter
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Stone Age and Burgundy are good choices. Burgundy seems a little complex for the 8 year old, at least relative to what you've listed. I find Catan to be a bit boring. Other recommendations that have good gameplay without too steep of a learning curve:
Domaine
Rheinländer
Hansa Teutonica
Samurai
Through the Desert
Edo
Il Vecchio
Fealty
Barony
Concordia
Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure (or Clank In Space, depending on theme preference)
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Oliver Dienz
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7 Wonders does not really have a board and usually plays in less than 60 min. Burgundy is a bit too advanced considering the complexity of the games you mentioned and the age of the youngest. It also looks a bit drab and not all that inviting. Stone Age and Catan are two good options. Some other games to consider:

Pandemic: Great, thematic cooperative game. As long as everyone makes sure to not "take over" the game you should all have fun with it.

Takenoko: Appealing artwork, easy decisions with some longterm strategy, Play time of about 60 min with 4.

Broom Service: That is a bit more advanced than the other two but after a few turns the game play should be clear. Looks gorgeous, exciting and suspenseful play, plenty of decisions to be made. Can feel a bit cutthroat so you have to see how well your kids do with that.
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Manos Zach
Greece
Heraklion
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I have seen Takenoko in videos and i like it, its indeed a good option too. Pandemic is cooperative and i don't know if we are going to like it, or if its ok with kids, because i guess parents will "take over" most of the time.
So i think i ll have to choose between Stone Age, Catan and Takenoko. Which one is your pick?
Thank you.
 
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Steve Greasby
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Olathe
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Castles of Mad King Ludwig It went over very well with my wife and then 8-yo.

A worker placement would also be a good choice. Charterstone might be a good pick since it builds in complexity and you have a 4 player gaming group to play it with. Stone Age is probably a good choice, though I have not played that with my family. We have played Viticulture and to my surprise, my now 9-yo did enjoy it a lot.
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Justin R
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First thing that came to mind was Small World. There are a bunch of expansions, some standalone I think, but I don't think it's a mistake to start with the original.
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Michael
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manolaren wrote:
So i think i'll have to choose between Stone Age, Catan and Takenoko. Which one is your pick?
Thank you.


We have not played Takenoko. Between Stone Age and Catan, we would choose Stone Age.
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Louise McCully
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Metal Rat wrote:
manolaren wrote:
So i think i'll have to choose between Stone Age, Catan and Takenoko. Which one is your pick?
Thank you.


We have not played Takenoko. Between Stone Age and Catan, we would choose Stone Age.


Takenoko both for game play and awesome pieces. Something satisfying about those bamboo pieces.
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Curt Carpenter
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manolaren wrote:
So i think i ll have to choose between Stone Age, Catan and Takenoko.

Why?

manolaren wrote:
Which one is your pick?

Of those, Stone Age. By a wide margin.
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If I were to guess, I would say your kids will probably like Takenoko more (it is cute) and you will probably like Stone Age more (a little more “grown up” with a little more depth and strategy). However, both are really excellent games adults and kids can both enjoy.
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Manos Zach
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JJRR_Esq wrote:
First thing that came to mind was Small World. There are a bunch of expansions, some standalone I think, but I don't think it's a mistake to start with the original.


Tbh I wasn't aware about Small World at all. I looked it in some videos and looks very very nice. Btw which version do you prefer, original or Underground?

I also checked Clank and got impressed!

Now i m in between Stone Age, Clank, Small World and Takenoko with this order...

Thank you!
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Dmitry Leskov
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Of the games you listed (7 Wonders, Stone Age, The Castles of Burgundy and Catan), I only own the second one, but played all four. I also have a copy of Small World.

I think Castles of Burgundy may be a bit too dull-looking and too complicated for the 8yo. S/he will grow, though.

The first rounds of Catan are way too slow and boring and too much luck-dependent. To fix that, we (1) played it with an app that simulates event cards and (2) house ruled welfare distribution into the game. It works like this: if you did't get any resource from a roll, except if due to the Robber, take a token. On your turn, trade tokens for resources at the rate of V:1, where V is the number of your victory points currently visible to other players.

7 Wonders I did not like. Using cards to denote the availability of resources is clever, but I prefer fiddling with physical objects.

And that brings me over to Stone Age, which would be my recommendation unless you want area control and direct conflict that Small World would gladly provide.

Other alternatives ("save for later" maybe):

I saw 7-8yo enjoying a game that would be easy to transition to from Carcassonne, called Isle of Skye. I do not particularly like it myself, but YMMV.

I also own a couple of more obscure kid-friendly titles, namely Mangrovia and Tobago. The former is a mixture of mechanics that plays surprisingly quick, and the latter is a rather unique treasure-hunting game that has gorgeous components.

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Manos Zach
Greece
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Thank you for your suggestions.

While I m still between Stone Age, Clank, Small World and Takenoko i m leaning towards Stone Age because of its lower price (in my country costs almost half price than Clank or Small World).

Anyway this will be a test for the family to strategy games category. If this goes well i guess i can proceed to more complex and expensive games.

But still searching...
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Max Maximus
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My family like to play Imhotep, i think you could classify it as a strategy game that has take that elements.

And i think 8 years old may be a bit too young for Pandemic.
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Manos Zach
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I don't know if we can play a cooperative game in general, because i m afraid we (parents) will "take over" the game, so Pandemic etc is out of the picture for now.

As for Imhotep i dont know anything about it. I ll check it later.

Btw another game i checked is Lords of Waterdeep which looks very close to what i m looking for.
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Chris Puram
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+1 for Stone age with the one caveat being that you need to be real clear about how much end game scoring can swing things and on the importance of set collection scoring. I've found newbies tend to focus on the huts because they are simple to understand and can get a bit bummed when they find their comfy lead has been wildly overtaken by people collecting sets for big points at the end.
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Stanton Peay

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Played all of these and I would recommend Stone Age. There is enough depth that they everyone should enjoy it.

Small World is more cutthroat and I wouldn't recommend it if you have younger kids who don't like to lose badly. It seems someone always gets hosed in it. If that's your eight year old, it could cause problems.

One basic strategy game I like to introduce to kids is "Hey, That's My Fish." It's a simple game to learn but there is some surprising strategy involved and I think it's a good strategy introduction game. It only takes about 20 minutes to play though.


Lords of Waterdeep is fine too if you're kids like the fantasy theme.
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Manos Zach
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blackmox wrote:
Played all of these and I would recommend Stone Age. There is enough depth that they everyone should enjoy it.

Small World is more cutthroat and I wouldn't recommend it if you have younger kids who don't like to lose badly. It seems someone always gets hosed in it. If that's your eight year old, it could cause problems.

One basic strategy game I like to introduce to kids is "Hey, That's My Fish." It's a simple game to learn but there is some surprising strategy involved and I think it's a good strategy introduction game. It only takes about 20 minutes to play though.


Lords of Waterdeep is fine too if you're kids like the fantasy theme.


So for my needs between the Stone Age, Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure, Small World, Takenoko and Lords of Waterdeep you think Stone Age is the most appropriate?

Btw one plus i find for Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure and secondly for Small World is the less time needed to complete a game comparing to Stone Age. Many times, in family situations where free time is not that much, this may be more important than some other aspects of the games.
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Curt Carpenter
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manolaren wrote:
Btw one plus i find for Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure and secondly for Small World is the less time needed to complete a game comparing to Stone Age.

I don’t think so. Small World takes longest among those three in my experience. And Stone Age doesn’t take any longer than Clank.
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Manos Zach
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curtc wrote:
manolaren wrote:
Btw one plus i find for Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure and secondly for Small World is the less time needed to complete a game comparing to Stone Age.

I don’t think so. Small World takes longest among those three in my experience. And Stone Age doesn’t take any longer than Clank.


So, from the above 5 games you suggest Stone Age, right?
 
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Virginia M.P.
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Fwiw, I think Stone Age takes a pretty long time to play. I love both Stone Age and Lords of Waterdeep but would go with Clank if I were you. It's also a great family game but it's shorter and also lots of fun.
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Curt Carpenter
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manolaren wrote:
So, from the above 5 games you suggest Stone Age, right?

That and Clank. Kids may find Clank more "fun". Although Stone is probably more replayable. And if cost is a concern, go with the more affordable game.
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Virginia M.P.
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Btw another family-friendly worker placement game worth considering is El Gaucho, which in my experience takes less time than Stone Age. It does have a little bit of take-that but the kids I know like it.
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