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Subject: Game Collection in School Library (6th-12th): Does This Look Good? rss

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Christine J
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Hi All! I'm a newbie here (1st post!). I've decided to start a board/card game area in my small school library (6th - 12th grade). I want things that everyone has played before (like Life) as well as some more complicated or lesser known games. I am aiming at keeping costs down to $800 since I know there will be accessories to buy to make this collection work (like game mats to prevent lots to noise on the wooden library tables).

We have a few specific requirements:

1) Playing Time: 45 minutes or less preferred. We have an hour lunch once a week so it could be 60 minutes if push comes to shove.

2) No depictions of scantily clad people or alcohol

3) If possible, quiet games are best. I know I have some loud ones picked out. I thought I could make those check out only. Currently, we have students that make up tests in the library and our space isn't big enough to create noise/no noise sections

My current list is 55+ games at $1,311.00 (pricing it out on various game sites, Amazon, Target, etc) so I need to narrow it down by $500. I started with 100 so it's an improvement.

Thanks for your thoughts!

My List

7 Wonder: Duel ($27)
13 Days: Cuban Missile Crisis ($25)
Apples to Apples ($15) not quiet--maybe check out only
Azul ($40)
Balderdash ($10)
Bananagrams ($14)
Battleship ($15)
Biblios ($20)
CandyLand ($6) b/c teens like retro stuff sometimes
Carcassonne ($28)
Castles of Burgandy ($28)
Catan ($37)
Celestia ($24)
Clue ($8) --> PURCHASED
Code Names: Disney ($20)
Diplomacy ($25)
Dixit ($30)
Dominion ($33)
Dominoes ($13) on the fence about this one
Ex Libris ($43)
Flash Point ($33)
Forbidden Desert ($23)
Forbidden Island ($14)
Galaxy Trucker ($43) Student requested
Go Nuts for Donuts ($11)
Happy Salmon ($15)
Jenga ($6) --> PURCHASED
King of Tokyo OR King of New York ($30-40) Student requested Tokyo
Life ($13) --> PURCHASED
Love Letter ($9)
Mancala ($10) Not quiet but awesome
Memoir '44 ($44) we have a lot of students interested in WWII
Monopoly: Token Mania ($18)
Notre Dame ($25)
Othello ($17) Student requested
Pandemic ($32)
Photosynthesis ($32)
Pit ($5-15) not quiet--check out only?
Resistance: Avalon ($15)
Rubik's Cubes ($18 for a set)
Saboteur ($13.50)
Samurai ($40)
Santorini ($29)
Schrodinger's Cats ($15)
Scrabble ($14)
Sheriff of Nottingham ($25)
Small World ($40) this has a picture of a scantily clad lady though
Splendor ($32)
Sushi Go: Party ($20)
Table Topics ($25)
Ticket to Ride ($40)
Timeline/Cardline: Want to pick 2, not sure which ($14-20 a piece)
Tsuro ($23) or Tsuro of the Seas
Uno: Emoji ($6)
Uno: Giant Uno ($20)
Villagers ($30)
Virulence ($20)

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Donna Bateman
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I have a copy of Ticket to Ride that has been on my trade list for ages. Have just decided to put it in the church rummage sale in August, but it's yours for free if you want it. Complete, excellent condition. That would save you $40. Message me with your address if you want it.

Donna
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Diplomacy in an hour? No chance.

Happy Salmon is in the not quiet category.
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Scott Gillispie
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There's a lot of value in inexpensive card games.

Fluxx. Maybe the new academic based versions - Chemistry Fluxx or Math Fluxx.

I brought Innovation on a Scout campout (getting the boys to play a card game in the evening seems to help settle them down). Lot of interest there from them.

Robo Rally?

Telestrations is a good choice - either the 6 player or the big 12 player one. I suggest picking up some extra dry erase markers cheap.

 
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Curt Carpenter
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How many kids (playing at the same time) are you talking about here? Seems like a really bad idea to buy so many games all at once.
 
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Christine J
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Hi Curt,

These would be games that students could pull out and play if they wish at lunch or after school while they are waiting for parents to pick them up or sports/drama practice to start.

I agree that this is too many games to start with. I was hoping y'all could give advice on which games to hold off on.

Thanks!
 
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Christine J
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Thanks, Scott for the suggestions. I'll take a look at the card games.

Obidiah, yes, Diplomacy certainly can't be played in an hour. I suppose I just really fell in love with the theme. I'll go ahead and take that one off the list and put Happy Salmon in the loud category.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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From your list, I'd be happy with this as a start:

7 Wonder: Duel ($27)
Azul ($40)
Biblios ($20)
Carcassonne ($28)
Castles of Burgandy ($28)
Catan ($37)
Celestia ($24)
Dixit ($30)
Dominion ($33)
Love Letter ($9)
Samurai ($40)
Santorini ($29)
Splendor ($32)
Ticket to Ride ($40)

A lot of your games I excluded due to having a hard time playing a quiet environment. Some still include dice with frequent rolling (e.g. Catan), so you'd need some soft surface to roll dice on or it will be incredibly annoying.
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Christine J
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Thank you, Curt! That is very helpful. I was thinking of purchasing some game mats to help reduce the noise level for dice rolling. Would that do the trick? I noticed you can get some cheap ones online.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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AbbaLoveU wrote:
I was thinking of purchasing some game mats to help reduce the noise level for dice rolling. Would that do the trick? I noticed you can get some cheap ones online.

I don't know. Being quiet has never been a priority for my gaming. Try it and see what happens.
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Matt Price
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I think starting small might be better, too - since if it works out, you can perhaps get feedback from the kids for suggestions? I like Curt's list too, though would add in Memoir 44. It's good!

See if you can't find rubbery, "mouse pad" material mats for dice rolling, or dice trays with soft/flocked bottoms. Those mouse pad mats can get a bit expensive, so even if you used felt as a tablecloth, like a casino table of sorts, that would cut down on a lot of noise.

I think I'd steer clear of classic games (eg, Life, Candyland, Battleship) initially, since there are so many great new options to choose from.

And welcome to the Geek!
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Christine J
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Thanks, Matt! I really appreciate the suggestions on both Memoir '44 & the mouse pad stuff.

Thanks all for helping me narrow down my list. I'm feeling much better and less overwhelmed by this project.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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mattprice wrote:
I like Curt's list too, though would add in Memoir 44. It's good!

I agree, but removed it because I don't think it realistically fits the time constraint. Maybe veterans (pun intended) can play in that time, but it will be many incomplete sessions before kids get to that point, if ever.
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South of You
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As someone who has a board game group at school, make sure you have Dixit as one of the first. Its so easy to play and has a high rate of success with my students (better than Apples to Apples).

Also, the clear favorite for the past school year was Secret Hitler. I find that social games are far more likely to get played than strategy games. I personally love Memoir '44, but Secret Hitler gets EVERYONE playing (as would some other games that rely on players interacting WITH EACH OTHER as opposed to interacting with the game, even when that interaction impacts other players).

So consider Secret Hitler. Then look through your list and MAYBE prioritize those games that enhance the player/player aspects of gaming.

e.g. Sheriff of Nottingham (another hit with my students), Codenames, Dixit, and Catan.

Really, if you had those five games (remember, buy for them and their tastes, not yours or ours) you would have a good start and those games could build interest. From there you could expand your available mechanics and themes.
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Curt Carpenter
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tar heel wrote:
So consider Secret Hitler.

I don't think that would do well in the specified library environment where players need to play quietly.

I would also question the requirement that a game not contain depictions of scantily clad people or alcohol, but it's ok to have a laugh being Hitler.
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Mr Suitcase
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AbbaLoveU wrote:

Obidiah, yes, Diplomacy certainly can't be played in an hour. I suppose I just really fell in love with the theme. I'll go ahead and take that one off the list and put Happy Salmon in the loud category.


Diplomacy is a very long game, indeed, but some teachers have used it within their classrooms for something fun with a WW1'ish theme (over several weeks).
 
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Curt Carpenter
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mrsuitcase wrote:
AbbaLoveU wrote:

Obidiah, yes, Diplomacy certainly can't be played in an hour. I suppose I just really fell in love with the theme. I'll go ahead and take that one off the list and put Happy Salmon in the loud category.


Diplomacy is a very long game, indeed, but some teachers have used it within their classrooms for something fun with a WW1'ish theme (over several weeks).

If you want something like Diplomacy that can be played in closer to an hour, and in a quiet environment without a lot of talking, check out Battle for Rokugan. It does lose the historical angle, however, so if that was a key selling point it may not work.
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Cole Feeser
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I agree with what's been said thus far. Couple of my own thoughts though. I would consider regular Codenames over Codenames: Disney. The Disney version requires some knowledge of most Disney films which students may not have while the regular version only requires some knowledge of the English language which most students should have.

If you like the idea of Secret Hitler but not necessarily the theme then I'd give consideration to The Resistance or Resistance: Avalon. Also for some more social deduction/interaction I'd consider Coup + Reformation expansion and either Spyfall or The Chameleon (Target exclusive as far as I know).

Also, something to keep in mind, with games like The Resistance, Coup, or Love Letter you might want to consider sleeving the cards. In a game like Ticket to Ride, Dominion or Splendor it isn't much of a big deal but in the other games I mentioned it is very critical that you can't identify the cards and if any of them would get bent then they'd become identifiable. Also if you're playing over lunch then messy hands could be a factor as well. Just something to keep in mind.

Curt had a good shortlist though. Basically, I'd stick to a nice mix of social deduction / larger player count games and then 2 player games as well.
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Chris Begg
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I have heard that Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert are similar, jut that Desert has a little bit more to it. That could save you $14 or $23, depending on which way you went. Just a thought . . .

Smaller, inexpensive games are a good idea. A few ideas include:

Coloretto
Beyond Baker Street
Eight-Minute Empire
Diamant
For Sale
Guillotine

And one where talking is basically outlawed:

Magic Maze

Good luck!
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John Burt
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You have no worker placement games. I'd suggest one of these:
Stone Age
Lords of Waterdeep

If you have only base Dominion, it might get boring fast. I'd suggest additional expansions:
Dominion: Seaside
Dominion: Prosperity

It might be nice to have a tableau building game, such as:
San Juan
Race for the Galaxy
Imperial Settlers
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Cody
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curtc wrote:
mrsuitcase wrote:
AbbaLoveU wrote:

Obidiah, yes, Diplomacy certainly can't be played in an hour. I suppose I just really fell in love with the theme. I'll go ahead and take that one off the list and put Happy Salmon in the loud category.


Diplomacy is a very long game, indeed, but some teachers have used it within their classrooms for something fun with a WW1'ish theme (over several weeks).

If you want something like Diplomacy that can be played in closer to an hour, and in a quiet environment without a lot of talking, check out Battle for Rokugan. It does lose the historical angle, however, so if that was a key selling point it may not work.


Have you actually played a game of this in close to an hour? I've been curious about it
 
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J .M
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You need an RPG, I would probably go with Something from the Cypher System. It's easy to learn,run and play. No Thank You, Evil! Is a slightly simplified version of the game that's currently being repented on Kickstarter right now(They even have a discount level for schools). Though it's setting is targeted towards the bottom edge of your age range or lower. BUT this system can be used to play in any setting you can come up with and I've played it with adults even in the included setting and it works fine.

You could also get the generic The Cypher System Rulebook with the full Cypher system rule set and info on running games in a verity of settings. It lacks pre-made adventures though. The kids might enjoy the companion companion the the genric book that introduces a Teen super hero adventure setting called Unmasked.

Personally though I really like the weird future sci-fi setting of the oldest cypher system game,Numenera. It even has a book of great book of easy to run pre-made adventures,Weird Discoveries: Ten Instant Adventures for Numenera.

I'm not sure if any of the content in the settings books might not be appropriate for a school setting. I know the isn't really any thing I would let a teenager read. A quick skim though the books I mention and I didn't see any thing especially scantly clad. There is a small bit of blood depicted in a battle scene or two but nothing that would seem obscene to me and I'm pretty conservative about those kinds of things.

But No Thank you evil would be okay for sure and probably the basic Cypher system book as well.



Another thing I would suggest is Pyramid Arcade( you can gett it from the publishers site here(You'll Also want to pick up two of the rainbow booster packs). This is really a game system which you can use to play hundreds of games, and unlike every other one of these"Play infinite games!" packs this one has at least 100 games already made for it that are actually worth playing.

Rules for 22 games are included in the box But I've got a folder of PDFs I could send you for the other 80ish game I think look good enough to try playing.
And whats more is there is something really creatively inspiring about these pieces, The reason there are so many good games made for this system is that after you play and you see all the thing you can do with them you want to go out and make one you self.

I assert that buying an RPG and Loony Pyramids will not only provide the kids with entertainment but will also enrich their minds, making them essential for a school library.




And for some other simpler suggestion for games I would add:
Kingdom Builder(One of my favorite games but it can be A divisive game because many feel it's to simple and restrictive and plays itself but nothing could be further from the truth.)
Dr. Eureka (Looks like it's just a kids game but it not.)
Coloretto( Can also use the cards to play Penguin Party
For Sale
Kitty Paw
Red7(It's a little like Uno But you actually need to use you brain)
Race for the Galaxy
6 nimmt! ( You can also use the cards to play,The Game ,The Mind and more)
Queendomino(Preferably with Kingdomino also, as they can be mixed together for a more grand game.)





Now I will proved some comments on some of your list:

Apples to Apples ($15) not quiet--maybe check out only Skip this,Dixit is better.

CandyLand ($6) If you want something brainless get Trouble,at least it has a Pop-0-Matic

Castles of Burgandy ($28) Probably too long.
Catan ($37)Too long,also kind of old and dusty at this point.

Code Names: Disney ($20) I'd go with Pictures.


Flash Point ($33)
Forbidden Desert ($23)
Forbidden Island ($14)
Pandemic ($32)
If I had to just pick one of these I'd go with Flash point with the Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Tragic Events,It adds a deck of card with events similar to Pandemic that helps up the replay value.


King of Tokyo OR King of New York ($30-40) Student requested Tokyo
(Which ever one you get make sure to pick up the Power Up! Expansion for it.)


Photosynthesis ($32)( I've not played but I hear it really only plays well with three players, I'd put the money towards something else)

Splendor ($32) (I like splendor but you might also want to consider Century: Spice Road,I've not played it from what I know about it's much like splendor with just a bit more complexity and variety in each game. Many people say the like it better.)


Ticket to Ride ($40)( I'd get the Europe version,I feel like it's more balanced.)

Timeline/Cardline: Want to pick 2, not sure which ($14-20 a piece)( Get Timeline Challenge and Timeline: Diversity that way you get two ways to play and bunch of cards that cover a variety of subjects)

Tsuro ($23) or Tsuro of the Seas ( you can pretty much play regular Tsuro rules with the in Seas so you might as well get that one.)


Hmm... Not sure I helped much with narrowing DOWN your options but hopefully I said something helpful...whistle
 
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Curt Carpenter
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AHShole wrote:
curtc wrote:
If you want something like Diplomacy that can be played in closer to an hour, and in a quiet environment without a lot of talking, check out Battle for Rokugan. It does lose the historical angle, however, so if that was a key selling point it may not work.

Have you actually played a game of this in close to an hour? I've been curious about it

I've only played it a couple times. No, not within an hour, but much closer to it than Diplomacy.
 
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Christine J
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Sorry to be MIA! Yes, definitely planning on adding in Dixit.

I loved playing Secret Hitler but, respectfully, feel uncomfortable adding that to our school library at this time.

Sheriff of Nottingham made my long list. I'm going to try to start smallish based on all of your suggestions and, hopefully, can add in a few more in the Spring semester (S of N being high on the list).

Cole, thanks for the thoughts on Code Names. A teacher thought the Disney one would be more fun but I'm open to either! I will certainly keep card sleeves in mind, budget permitting.

Chris, John & J.M., thanks for the suggestions & thoughts. I'll certainly keep those in mind. Splendor is an all time fav game of a teacher who is helping me build the collection. Thought I would see how it went and (if well) picking up Century: Spice Road in the Spring semester.

Question for the Group:

Lord of Waterdeep made my long list but I thought it was the sort of game that was likely to have scantily clad women pictures on cards. I know sometimes fantasy games can have that. Does anyone know if that is true for L of W? I was planning on investigating further at my local game shop.
 
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Cody
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AbbaLoveU wrote:

Lord of Waterdeep made my long list but I thought it was the sort of game that was likely to have scantily clad women pictures on cards. I know sometimes fantasy games can have that. Does anyone know if that is true for L of W? I was planning on investigating further at my local game shop.


No, the women are not "scantily clad" in the sense of chainmail bikinis but they do have visible arms and probably legs.
 
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