Adrienne Smith
United States
Portola Valley
California
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We are going to Italy for 3 weeks this summer and I wanted to have some fun and teach my kids about ancient Rome at the same time. I am considering a number of games and I wanted to get some feedback or better suggestions. I have a kids aged, 14, 12 and 7. We play Settlers of Catan, Risk, Monopoly (all of which my 7 year old can play), Boggle and Wits and Wagers. I am looking for short games and long games but games that the 12 and 14 year old at least can play. I'd like to get a variety so that I don't end up with all the same kind and I'd like to get something with as much historical/geographical slant as possible.

My Favorites so far:

10 Days in Europe vs. Ticket to Ride Europe - which is a better game? which would teach geography better?

Struggle for Rome - Catan Histories
Ave Caesar (chariot racing game)
Roma - card game - short games 30 mins 2 player, looks like fun $23
Sword of Rome - card game, Risk like?
Caesar XL - 2 person game
Romans - trivia board game, conquer the empire - $18 FunAgain.com

Not so sure about:

Republic of Rome - new version out in summer 2009, very complicated 4-6 hours for experts
Ostia (city building/economic $20)- The Harbor of Rome
Colosseum - 60 min game, set up events at the Colosseum
Municipium - deals with elements of a city/village
Tribune
Palatinus - founding of Rome
The End of the Triumvirate
Arena Maximus - chariot racing game
Aqua Romano

Thanks!!
 
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Gertrude McFuzz

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Ticket to Ride Europe is not great for teaching geography. Only city names are present, not countries, and the cities' names are not all the English versions.

I'm not familiar with most of the games you are asking about, but Roma is a fun card game which my 6 year old (with strong reading skills) can play. The theme of the game isn't incredibly strong, but the cards themselves reference specific Roman jobs, characters, buildings, etc., so I think it is a good bet.

Also, I'm sure you will hear others recommend this as well, but The Downfall of Pompeii is a fun game for up to 4 which reenacts the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. My husband is a Latin teacher and I believe he told me the map of Pompeii used in the game is accurate. All your children could play and enjoy this game. It is not terribly complex, but it is really fun.
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myles
United States
Mustang
Oklahoma
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If you're wanting to play with kids, I'd say Struggle for Rome and Colosseum might be pushing it. I say that, thoroughly enjoying both, with Colosseum being my favorite of the two. Struggle for Rome takes longer, as well. Your teens would have no problem with either.

If you know the rules very well, I wouldn't put them past younger kid, though. The heart of colosseum is auction and choosing what to build. It doesn't have any violence or player conflict, if that is what you are concerned about.

If you're not concerned about conflict, Conquest of the Empire has RISK level conflict, but more interesting play. It comes with rules for two completely different games, and can be had pretty cheap from Eaglesgames website and other online vendors. It takes a while to finish a game, however.
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David K
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Colorado Springs
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Italia is more about overall Italian history than just Rome, but still a nice history lesson. It's a longer game, and I'd say more difficult than Axis and Allies, but less difficult than your average wargame. All the names of Ancient provinces are listed in N. Africa, Italy and surrounding islands, so there's plenty of geography.
 
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Ralph T
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Signal Hill
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Get Circus Maximus, a low complexity chariot racing game. Watch Ben Hur beforehand.

 
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Laurence Parsons
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Ave Caesar is a great game. I'm not sure you'd learn much about Rome, but it's a great game!
Colosseum is fine too.
Ticket to Ride: Europe is our current favourite game. Not so hot on geographical accuracy (but better than Trans Europa). Unlike a previous poster, I feel that having the city names in the native language/spelling rather than English, is a plus point. (and I'm a Brit).

You don't say where in Italy you're visiting. Are you touring, or are you staying in Rome? There are plenty of other Italy-themed games if you should be travelling around (The Princes of Florence, Venedig to name but two).

Enjoy your holiday!
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Steve Duff
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freduk wrote:
Unlike a previous poster, I feel that having the city names in the native language/spelling rather than English, is a plus point. (and I'm a Brit).


I was going to say the same thing, you're far more likely to see a sign for Venezia than you are for Venice.
 
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Gertrude McFuzz

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I have an almost seven year old who finds the city names in TTR Europe difficult to read (could be the font, but also the variance from english phonetic rules). I was just thinking that learning the standard english spellings first might be easier for the younger child in the family.
 
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Adrienne Smith
United States
Portola Valley
California
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We will be staying in Tuscany for 1 week, 4 days in Rome and a week undecided as of yet - perhaps Venice and Lake Country. I put up another post with Renaissance themed games as I thought it would be better not to get the recommendations confused but I am interested in anything about Italy. I am going a little crazy getting Italian themed books, movies and games to prepare for our trip! Thanks!!
 
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Jeff Forbes

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Ten Days In Europe would be ok for very basic geography. The gameplay is very simple, you just connect countries together to make an "itenerary" - countries next to each other can be placed next to each other, cars let you drive further, and a plane hops you from country to country of the same color as the plane. First person to connect 10 wins. It is more skill based than some here may lead you to believe, but luck is a big factor too.

As far as geography goes, you'll have a nice political map, the capital cities are on the tiles, and the populations of the countries are listed too, so it's not in depth at all, but there is something to learn while playing.

another thing to be said is that for a cheap game, they are well put together. You get nice card holders with "day 1, day 2, day 3" etc on them, and the countries are actually cardboard tiles, so they should e quite durable.

It won't be something you're likely to play 300 times, but you could get a couple dozen enjoyable games out of it.
 
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Flawed Hero
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Rochester
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Roma
Sylla (though I've never played it, it appears to be rich in Roman theme)
Conquest of the Empire
Downfall of Pompeii
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Manolis Rovithis
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Try this (free pnp board game)http://www.pnpboardgames.com/PlaxRoman.html
(note: big - 16Mb board file)
 
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Mark Slater
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Newport
Newport, South Wales
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Jim K wrote:
Roma
Sylla (though I've never played it, it appears to be rich in Roman theme)

I too havnt played it yet (but will do this week) but my friend who owns it bought it same day, after one play.
 
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