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Subject: Finally Understanding “German Family” Games rss

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Wade Broadhead
United States
Pueblo
Colorado
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I’ve been gaming for a couple years now and always thrown the term ‘German family games’ term around lightly. Despite having a wonderful wife who often plays with me and my friends during impromptu game nights; I’ve never really involved my entire family. My 51/2 year old son is pretty hyperactive and does not generally perform well during board games. He has played a few children’s games with me from time to time but only for the shortest duration and never seems eager to play again. Watching me design games he’s actually made up some role and move Egyptian games but tends to lose interests rapidly. After a game of Carcassonne with my son this Saturday I now fully understand the term “family game”.

My son is now attending a great public magnet IB kindergarten and I’ve noticed a huge difference in his attitude, but it was with low expectations that my wife and I allowed him to join us in a game of Carcassonne Saturday afternoon. He’s played around with the pieces before but never seems interested in actually playing. Oh, did I mention that we purchased the cardboard “brick-blocks” (best toy value ever!) for him and he’s quite adept at building elaborate train, pyramid, and roman systems, so I should not have been surprised.

This was the first game of Carcassone where my son sat still, played by all the rules, worked as a team member and even kept score. It was a really amazing moment to have my hyper little boy sitting still (mostly) and making complex moves. On a number of occasions we began to argue against a move only to see it’s value a second later. As he kept score he learned to count and the relative values between players positions. I was realizing what amazing teaching tool this game was.

To our chagrin he outplayed us with just a little bit of help. He made sly moves, and even helped my wife and me on a few occasions. My wife caught herself before she argued against it, and smiled with his generosity and kindness. Most of his moves were taken to further is own position as the score reflected We even played with a modified Dragon and Princess variant where the dragon could move 3 spaces and eat other meeples. He enjoyed this at first but then concentrated more on the game solidly beating me and barely beating my wife. The way five year old gets into the game and theme was just precious to watch, and reminded me how we sometimes underestimate small children.

I’d have to say that was the most enjoyable board game I’ve played in a long time watching my little son figure out strategy and concentrate on a board game like that. It gives me hope that I will get a lot of use out of my collection as my three boys mature. For a kid who doesn’t take to sports spending a quiet fall Saturday playing Carcassonne with your son is probably one of the most enjoyable moments for myself and my wife.
I now fully understand the power of a fully operational German Family game!
Now which spatial game should introduce next???
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Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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So, some "building" and scoring with some nice optics ... how about

The Climbers

(Mosquito on the ladder not included in the game)

or, easier to get,

Blokus

Image by Justin Robben (Kalidor)

Fun "building", easy rules, surprising childrens` moves included with both of them.

You can also build yourself a quick copy of the 3 SPOT game

It is a short game with a real twist - as easy as on the other hand, complicated. And with a nice set (you can build together with your son), very entertaining.

Oh, and of course ...
Gulo Gulo

Image by Jeremy Yoder (JYoder)
No comment ...
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Wade Broadhead
United States
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Leave it to my eloquent and talented Geek friend to come to the rescue. Great titles suggested: I even want that first German one!

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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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Great story, I am very very excited for you, that is a very exciting thing, oh yea, new play testers to boot, Life is Good I tell you.

Thanks for sharing


 
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