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Subject: Risk with my 7-Year-Old rss

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Derek Anderson
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Ennis
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There is nothing better than playing board games with my 4 sons!
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I have been playing more and more games with my 7 year old lately, he is finally getting old enough to really grasp games better than he has in the past. We've been playing a lot of games this past week (my wife has been out of town all week, so we've been playing a game each night).

Anyhow, Risk is a big part of my gaming collection and was my first 'wargame' when I was younger, I was a little older than he was when I first got into gaming, but I though that it would be nice to open him up to the world of Risk (He has been really interested in my Lord of the Rings Risk games).

I decided to really streamline the game for our first session. We used an older Castle Risk map since I thought it wouldn't look as intimidating to him, and we each took 40 troops (we only used one type for our first game as to not throw in so much information for him all at once). We used the plastic miniatures from the Anniversary edition game because he thought they looked coolest and I thought it would be easier for him to visualize the game using 'army men' instead of plastic stars or wooden blocks, etc.

Essentially we just had a clash of two armies (him being red, me being blue) using the normal movement and attack rules, but not having to worry about anything else. I thought this would be a good way to get him familiar with movement and understanding how the attack and defense dice worked and grasping the concept of combat.

The game went really well, and he picked up everything quick. I set a
10 turn limit so it had a set amount of time. By about turn 6 or 7 I was leading quite a bit, and I could tell he was getting a little frustrated, so I helped him out for a few turns, better explaining some strategy to him and why he should make a certain move and why he shouldn't make a different one, etc.

I could tell by turn 10 things were clicking in his head, and I won in the end, but it was a close game because I helped him out towards the end.

He asked if we could play another round, but it was already well past his bedtime and too late to get another going, but I told him we could tomorrow and he was thrilled. I was very happy that I could see him getting hooked on Risk.

If anyone is in a similar situation, with a 6-8 year old, I would suggest streamlining the first game a bit, removing some of the rules to first get the basics of the game down rather than trying to jump into the game full force from the start. I think he would have been overwhelmed if I did that. I am confident that with 2 or 3 more games, slowly adding rules as we go and expanding the game, he will have a full understanding of Risk and how to play very shortly!

D.

(Some photos will be posted soon)
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Michael Wohlwend
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I also like playing games with my nearly six year old daughter and showing her more of my games the older she gets.

I just don't want to introduce her to war and killing people now. Maybe with a seven year old this is not a problem anymore (school, tv, friends...), of course this also depends how you explain the game

regards,
Michael



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Derek Anderson
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Ennis
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There is nothing better than playing board games with my 4 sons!
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Very good point! He understands that it is pretend though and watches movies like Star Wars where there are people being shot and killed, but not in an overly scary way with an extreme amount of blood and violence, you know?

I don't think we used the word "kill" or "dead" when we played, I know we were saying "take over the territory" when we would remove people, etc.

Violence is a part of everyday life on television, I guess it all depends on how you present it and that they understand the difference.

He plays HeroClix too, and when someone 'dies' in HeroClix it is a "KO" (Knock Out). So there are ways around it.

D.
 
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Dex Quest
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great story. I've only got 6 yrs, 11 months to wait

I reckon lots of new gamers would benefit from your excellent rule trimming like this - just to get the groove of a game...
 
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Derek Anderson
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Ennis
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There is nothing better than playing board games with my 4 sons!
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Two funny stories about kids and this type of thing...

My 7 year old was outside playing army and he had a stick he was using as a gun (they are not allowed to play with toy guns, but I don't mind them using their imaginations). He was shooting the imaginary gun and said "head shot!". Come to find out that he heard it from his older brother (age 16) who was playing Call of Duty on the PS3.

Then my 4 year old was outside playing army, and he was running around and pretending he was being shot at, I heard him yell "Flash grenade!" and I looked outside to see my 4 year old stumbling around with his eyes closed, pretending he was blinded (yes, another result of watching his older brother play Call of Duty).

D.
 
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Derek Anderson
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Ennis
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There is nothing better than playing board games with my 4 sons!
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willsargent wrote:
great story. I've only got 6 yrs, 11 months to wait

I reckon lots of new gamers would benefit from your excellent rule trimming like this - just to get the groove of a game...


Will,

I think it was a huge help for someone of his age because it turned a game that would seem very intimidating to him into something he was able to easily grasp and start playing, plus it taught him the basic rules on movement and combat as well as give him a chance to try and understand the strategy and why to do certain things, while not worrying about a ton of rules he can't remember.

This is also how I got him to learn HeroScape, just started off with a flat board (no hills or anything) and all we did was movement and shooting, then from there began to add other rules such as height and water and special abilities.

It almost seems like there is a need for someone to take some popular games and streamline the rules down for younger ages to get into the game at an 'entry level', then add in more rules as you go, each game learning one or two new things.

D.
 
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Michael Wohlwend
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there is really a need for such rule trimming. It even helps to just show your kids the material and their open mind adds the rest: in an instant they invent rules for a game with those bits...
impressive
 
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