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Subject: 2 player vs. a 5 year old rss

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Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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As I said in a variant thread here (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/203931), I'd been playing Railroad Tycoon with Ella since she was just past 4. We really didn't play at all, mostly just play with the pieces, but shortly after turning 5 she announced that she wanted to play "a more advanced version" so I made up the variant and tried it out. Remember, this is by the variant rules in the other thread, not by the "real" rules.

I started by giving us each 10 poker chips and taking the first turn, connecting up two cities in the Southeast, showing her how I paid two chips per track segment, and explaining about how I score points (and get money) for moving the cubes in my next turn. Then I pointed out all the cubes in the Northeast, so she started by connecting New York to Philadelphia.

In the next round I moved a cube, dropped my train down to 1 point, and she did the same. In the next round I needed to buy more track, using up all but $2 of my initial money, but she was able to move another cube, taking the lead. Now it was time to get paid, and I showed how we look up our income on the score track.

Things went along pretty well from there. When I first got the game she had had trouble working out routes to move cubes, but in the past 6 months she had gotten a lot better, so it was no problem in this game. She really seemed to like paying for the track, and scoring points for the cubes. She also really liked getting more poker chips after each 3rd round. Sometime around turn 3 I made a 2-link delivery, showing her how it gave me two points at once (and incidentally bringing me up to be tied with her). She got it, and started making more links herself.

Around this time she ran out of easy delivery options, and got a bit frustrated. I pointed out that if she connected to Wheeling there were a couple of cubes there that would make really nice long deliveries, so she connected up. Delivering these gave her a bunch of points, getting her really interested in finding the longest possible routes to deliver by. Things were going well!

We put the board on the floor, but even so there were parts of the board that she couldn't reach from the sides! It was hilarious to watch her crawl halfway onto the board to put down her track tiles and trains.

Shortly after she connected Wheeling, we started to empty out enough cities to end the game (I decided on using 8 empty cities and the game end). We'd been playing for quite a while, probably around 40 miunutes, but she didn't want the game to end! So I added a few more empty cities markers, and we kept playing.

Once those cities were emptied, she *STILL* wanted to play, so we finally decided to play until somebody hit income level 100. As the game went on she seemed to get better at looking for places to connect that would give her good long deliveries. I had started out going pretty easy on her (starting in the SE instead of the NE, for example), but by the end of the game she was doing just fine and I could play my hardest and still I didn't have time to catch up! I was really impressed because even though the game ended up taking well over an hour, she didn't get bored and she really got excited whenever she could connect up to a new area. By the end she made two last big deliveries, one from Rock Island and one from Des Moines, all the way to the East Coast, giving her a big lead! Lots of fun!

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Phoenix Butthole Hands
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Mercer Island
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wow. im gonna take a page out of your book when i have kids. way to go! man, such an awesome thing to do with your children.
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Bernhard von Gunten
Switzerland
Täuffelen
Bern
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Only +- 430 days to go until playing RT with my daughter! Yay!

Greetings from Switzerland, and thanks for the Post ;-)
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