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Subject: Three player game with the kids rss

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Brad Miller
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So last Friday night, I had a chance to play my first game of Starcraft at a game store. It was a five player learning game, in which one player left after turn two. It was fun, but as I wrote my rating and comments, I mentioned that I wasn't sure I would buy it. But sitting around on Saturday thinking about it, I decided that yes in fact I would, and went out and bought it. My two eldest kids and I dove in to a three player game after getting it punched and sorted.

My eldest (14) drew Jim Raynor, my next (10) got the other Terran faction, and I got the Queen of Blades. We drew our planets and began laying out the galaxy. I was the start player, didn't like one of my planets much, so put it down first, saving my base for planet two. As the building continued, it became apparent we were going to have a very strange galaxy. Four planets were in a line, with each of the end planets having one planet coming off perpendicular. What was even more odd was that the only planets that had Z-navigation routes were the two "spur" planets and one of the end of the line planets. Raynor's Terrans were on that end, My Zergs on the opposite end's spur planet, and the other Terran faction on the second planet in from my end. Hmm.

So after a turn or two, we each basically had all of the areas on our two planets, though I had made some excursions to the far spur, (including a sweet force mining of the 3 mineral area on it right before Raynor's dudes came in to take it from me). I concentrated on getting an upgrade to allow Queen builds and a gold order. My daughter went with two gold orders, one +1 build, and was heading down the Science Vessel upgrade route. My son in the middle was going for the Siege Tanks.

As we were working through turn 4, it became apparent that stage III was coming soon, and we were all eyeing our special victory conditions. My sone already had his locked up, my daughter needed a couple more mineral/gas areas, and I was a long way from getting to a third conquest point spot. As the turn ends the zerg strike, and a combination of Hydralisks, Zerglings, and some help from a Defiler's Plague and the Queen's Swarming Brood take out one of the Terran's areas, making his special victory look more difficult.

Turn 5 arrives and everything goes nuts. I try to take one of Raynor's two CP spots with a complicated set of orders, and Raynor drops orders on my home planet and my son's Terran's pile there orders on the planet with the captured area, as well as heading to my other planet with a Cp base...

When the dust settled, I was pretty well toasted everywhere, my daughter's Terran's failed to get to my base because she had forgotten to build a transport, and my som wiped me off of his planet, as well as taking over my other planet. Had my daughter not forgotten to build a transport, she likely would have been able to capture the area she needed, (as I hadn't built properly to prevent her from taking both Mineral/Gas areas, (remember only one area attacked per mobilize order)), and she would have had twice as many Conquest Points as my son. But he held all areas of two planets, achieving his special victory condition for the win!

Took about 4 hours in total, (broken up over two nights), though once they go thte hang of it, it moved right along, and subsequent games would be faster. There were fewer mistakes made with bad order placement and the like, (though they were more costly), than in the game I played with the adults the night before. We all are looking forward to playing again.

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Chris Leder
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Plainfield
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Amazingly, my 9-year-old has taken a huge fancy to this game and wants to play it every chance we get. We have setup down to a science, and our two-player sessions usually only last about an hour.

And I am big enough to admit that he wins almost as many games as I do...
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Brad Miller
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Not that amazing. My now 7 year old, who was six at the time, played Twilight Imperium with us over the summer. Now she didn't have nearly enough attention span for it, nor did she play well, but I think she had fun. Hope we'll be able to get her into Starcraft soon as well...
 
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