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Subject: Need a family game. rss

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Mark Aasted
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I'm a wargamer by nature but I'm finding that my family is growing to like Euro style games. What I'd like is a game which is co-operative in play so that the whole family can work together instead of every member for themselves. Is there such a game out there?

Euros that we have played as a family:

Carcassonne
Ticket to Ride
Hey Thats My Fish
Metro
Zooloretto
Apples to Apples (is this a Euro?)

There are a few others that we haven't played as a family but the kids liked.

BTW, the kids ages are 12(boy) and 9(girl).

Thanks for any suggestions.
 
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Tim M-L
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Lord of the Rings is a very good cooperative game. If your kids like the subject matter that would work well.

Vanished Planet is good too, it is Sci-fi.

Red November is a pretty new cooperative game, it involves gnomes drinking booze, in case that would be a problem for you.

Pandemic is also an option, but I don't know much about it.

I'm sure there are more.

There are also lots of games where one player plays against the others, who team up.
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Nick Fisk
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I would say Pandemic is probably your best bet.

The new print run should be available pretty soon.


N.
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Diane H
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I second the Lord Of the Rings suggestion. Over the summer, my two girls (8 and 12) and I really got into that game. Played it several times late into the night, finally defeating Sauron. And they never saw the movies, but still enjoyed it. Good rule book too. We have Pandemic, but it didn't really make a big hit.
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Mark Aasted
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I'm going to give The Lord of The Rings a look. Not sure if the theme will work but who knows.

I've played Pandamic a few times at a Con but it didn't go over very well with me.

Thanks for the help everyone!

 
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Ching-Fan Chou
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I'll recommand UNO series and Diamant.
 
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Nigel Heather
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Quote:
I'll recommand UNO series and Diamant.


Good games but not co-operative.

Cheers,

Nigel
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Ching-Fan Chou
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nheather wrote:
Quote:
I'll recommand UNO series and Diamant.


Good games but not co-operative.

Cheers,

Nigel


oh~ I neglected "co-operative" !

well...I recommand LotR too.
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Mark Aasted
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Quote:
oh~ I neglected "co-operative" !

well...I recommand LotR too.


We do play UNO but my kids get so competitive that I'm looking for a game that will allow us to work for a common goal. This way I hope to build some cooperation between them, I hope.

All ideas are welcome so thanks!
 
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Donald Walsh
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Scotland Yard

One person plays "Mr. X". The rest of the players are chasing him/her.
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JessA
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Break the Safe would be perfect for you. Unfortunately it's no longer in print, but you can find it on ebay fairly inexpensively.

I'd second Scotland Yard. A parent can be the bad guy with the kids working together to catch him.
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Bryan Maxwell
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Shadows over Camelot is a fun co-op game. Each game, one player may be a traitor who is secretly working against the others. It's the game's defining feature, but could be easily removed if so inclined.
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Железный комиссар
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I've got two recommendations. In my experience, both work with children 8+.

Thebes

Thebes is one of those games that seems to win everyone over - except perhaps the most hardcore strategy gamers. Parents love it, girlfriends love it, kids love it. It's got attractive components, simple rules that allow for clever choices, mechanics that capture the theme to an extraordinary degree, and enough luck that players can stumble onto a score boost and botch a carefully planned one. Even the luck, though, may be managed as risk. About the only thing going against Thebes is that it takes an hour and a half - maybe an hour once everyone knows the game.

Jamaica

Jamaica is a lighter, shorter game (30 minutes). In some ways it's a traditional race around the board "roll and move" game - but with a handful of "Euro" rules that infuse some thought into a brisk playing time. You've got pirates that can battle each other and cargo holds stocking gunpowder, gold, and food for the crew. You can stop off for buried treasure or take short cuts to get ahead. Some of the best production quality in the industry. This isn't one I usually choose unless there are kids present, but with a 9-year old it's perfect.
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Mitch Willis
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You might want to take a look at the new co-op game, Red November...it's inexpensive, plays up to 8, and sounds like a lot of fun. Each player is a gnome on a doomed submarine, trying to hold off various crises until they can be rescued...
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Mark Aasted
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Some great ideas here everyone, thanks! Red November sounds like a lot of fun but I don't think my wife will let me introduce a game with drinking in it to the kids.

Shadows over Camelot seems like a good game with decent theme, that one might do the trick.

Again, thanks for all the help!
 
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Sue Hemberger

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One bit of warning re cooperative games and competitive children.

In a competitive game, when someone else screws up, a competitive child may just smile and watch. In a cooperative game, the competitive child may scold, micro-manage, try to dictate subsequent moves. Because now someone else's screw up costs rather than benefits the competitive child.

Doesn't always happen, but I've seen it happen with enough different kids (many younger than yours) that I'm now skeptical of cooperative games as a solution to/respite from competitiveness.
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suPUR DUEper
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I think of cooperation and competition as two ends of a continuum. At one end, you work together for a goal (Lord of the Rings, Pandemic) and the other where you can actively screw your neighbor (wargames, Ameritrash, Citadels, etc.). There is a middle ground out there where you are in competition with another player but the amouint of damage you can do to each other is somewhat limited (e.g. Zooloretto).

Most of the good folks above posted the cooperative games. Here are a few games that have a (relatively) low screwage factor:

Cleopatra and the Society of Architects
San Juan
Dogville
Dominion (depending on the decks in play)
Thebes
Galaxy Trucker (yeah, I know you are in competition for pieces but at the (my) family level it doesn't feel cutthroat)
Roborally (most of the screwage comes from randomness not intent....)
 
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JessA
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smithhemb wrote:
One bit of warning re cooperative games and competitive children.

In a competitive game, when someone else screws up, a competitive child may just smile and watch. In a cooperative game, the competitive child may scold, micro-manage, try to dictate subsequent moves. Because now someone else's screw up costs rather than benefits the competitive child.

Doesn't always happen, but I've seen it happen with enough different kids (many younger than yours) that I'm now skeptical of cooperative games as a solution to/respite from competitiveness.


It's true that a cooperative game won't automatically mean harmony at the table.

If you have highly competitive kids you may need to do some 'coaching' to get them to work together as a team. Especially if sibling rivalry is involved. It can take a couple games, but the pay-off is worth the effort.

Teamwork skills are important to practice, since they'll carry through life whether your kids do team sports or work with others on a class project.
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Sue Hemberger

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I think that both Terra and Cutthroat Caverns are games where there is an individual winner but only if there is sufficient cooperation to prevent everyone from collectively losing.

I never know what I think go such games pedagogically -- e.g. is the takeaway "your altruism facilitates someone else's greed"? -- but they are interesting as games and the group dynamics are fun to watch (though not always to participate in!)
 
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Sue Hemberger

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Jatoha wrote:
If you have highly competitive kids you may need to do some 'coaching' to get them to work together as a team. Especially if sibling rivalry is involved. It can take a couple games, but the pay-off is worth the effort.


I like Jess's approach -- while cooperative games don't inherently solve or avoid problems associated with competitiveness, they may give you a context for actively working on or through such issues.
 
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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is another co-op game with a traitor element (a la Shadows over Camelot). There may be more than one traitor in the game. It's getting pretty good reviews from the Cult of the New set (of which I admit membership). I haven't played it yet, but it looks really interesting to me.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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One more thought, prompted by Apples to Apples.

We have a number of partnership games where working together well is the key to victory. You could play kids vs. adults.

Telepaths
Communicate
Visionary
Backseat Drawing
are all sort of partyish -- drawing/building/guessing what the other person will say. I think Visionary is the best of that bunch.

Dancing Dragons and Inkognito are more gamerly. Dancing Dragons was fun in a silly way; our first experience with Inkognito was dire, but that was group-related. Shadow Hunters, which I haven't played yet, looks like it might be quite good, but probably not with 4 players.

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Sam Corbin
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Family Pastimes has a series of cooperative family games. Space Future was my introduction to the series, which I was highly impressed with (typical gamer prejudice against cooperative play). The two others I've played were good as well.

SRC
 
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Sue Hemberger

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Are any of the Family Pastimes games good for big kids? OP's are 9 and 12; mine's 11. All seem to play "adult" Euros.
 
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JessA
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smithhemb wrote:
Are any of the Family Pastimes games good for big kids? OP's are 9 and 12; mine's 11. All seem to play "adult" Euros.


I have a few Family Pasttime games and my kids have completely outgrown them (youngest is 9)

Caves & Claws is supposedly made for an older audience, but I didn't find it to be anymore challenging or interesting than their other ones.

So, I'm going to say 'no'. They might be fun to try, but I couldn't recommend buying them for older kids.
 
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