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Subject: Need recommendation for games for an older father and son rss

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Joshua S.
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Warr Acres
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So a quick back story.
My mother passed away a few years ago and my father is now living with me. I have been trying to find things we could do together and some of my favorite things we did together as a child where playing board games, something else he use to enjoy as well. I use to be a fairly diehard gamer but do to a lack of people to play with and other things I have been out of the loop for a good 8 years or so. So a few weeks ago I started looking for games I thought we would both enjoy and discovered this site. I have been researching and reading reviews and I do have a few Ideas but I figured it was time to get some other people’s opinions on what they would recommend given what I am looking for in a game for us so I signed up and made this thread to ask for people’s opinions

So what I’m looking for is a game that works best, or at least better than most, with 2 players, after all many games you can play with 2 players but doesn’t mean you want to, it will almost always be just him and me so a game designed for just 2 players would be ideal but not necessary. Time played is not much of an issue as even something that would take 4-5 hours would be fine. I personally am thinking more along the lines of a war game such as BattleLore, he use to enjoy watching me and my friends play GW games back in the mid 90’s, but I am open to ANY suggestions. Now my father is 60 years old but don’t worry about him not liking things he seems to have gotten more and more geeky as he has gotten older so even something like a dungeon crawl would be fine. Thank you to everyone in advance
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Christopher DeFrisco
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Joshua,

First... welcome!
Second... bravo!

Third....
It sounds like you're not going to have much trouble getting your Dad into gaming, but you might want to try something relatively fun and easy right out of the gate. The first game that came to mind was Memoir '44. It's very similar to BattleLore, just slightly easier, and it's something your Dad would be very familiar with (subject-wise). If you've worn Memoir '44 thin after a while, there are many expansions to the game.

But, the more time you spend reading reviews and perusing this site, the list of games you'll consider will keep growing.
Good luck. And keep us posted on what you finally end up with, but more importantly, what your Dad thought of the game!

Cheers!
Chris
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Liam
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Twilight Struggle, Commands & Colors: Ancients, Memoir '44 or BattleLore
all spring to mind.

Twilight Struggle would be my recommendation as I find it deeper and more satisfying... this said it may be something to build towards.

How competitive do you want to get with your Dad?

Good Luck!

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Kevin B. Smith
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I've never played Memoir '44, but just from what I have read here on the site, it's also the first thing that popped into my head.

If I were in your shoes, I would definitely involve him in the research to whatever degree he has interest. If nothing else, maybe boil it down to a couple candidates and run them by him. You might pick a few completely different types of games to see if he has specific interests that you are not aware of (and maybe he isn't yet either).

Also, my inclination would be to err on the side of lightness rather than heaviness, to get started. A game that is fun for a while, and then becomes "too easy" or "too light" is more likely to inspire long-term gaming, I think, than an overly-heavy initial experience.

There are some good geeklists here of two-player games. I lake the bgg-fu to easily point you to them, so hopefully someone else will provide the links.

Good luck, and have fun!!
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Lowell Drake
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From a father's perspective: I'm 61 and just got back from spending 2 weeks with my oldest son and family. We played games all but one day, and we had a BLAST. Now, truth be told, my son is an avid gamer because he was raied that way - I've loved games (especially war games) since I was 15. So here are the games my son and I love:

Top of the list, Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! Kursk 1943 (we played it several times) It takes about 15 mins to explain and is great fun.

Agricola, but you really need at least three players.

Thundrstone, but it's also better with more players.

We played Twilight Struggle, but I NEVER win that game, so I don't rate it as high as others.

We didn't have it with us in Texas, but Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage is a great game. Also, Railways of the World is great, especially if you love the old steam era.

Well, of course the list could go on and on, but I'll refer you again to Storms of Steel. I don't think you can go wrong there.
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Mike E.
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Re: Need recommendatioan for games for an older father and son
Maybe start off with a game that isn't too rules-intensive. As has been suggested Conflict of Heroes might be fun due to its programmed instruction where you can add rules after you've mastered the basic play. Or Hold the Line! might be a good choice--lots of wargame "basics" in this game without it being overwhelming. Good luck with this!
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Joshua S.
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cdefrisco wrote:
keep us posted on what you finally end up with, but more importantly, what your Dad thought of the game!


Oh I will it seems rude not to, and thanks for the kind words.

monkeyhandz wrote:

How competitive do you want to get with your Dad?


Fairly competitive he use to play Axis and Alies and Supreamacy with me and my friends back in High School so I know he can be competitive but still have fun playing.


peakhope wrote:

If I were in your shoes, I would definitely involve him in the research to whatever degree he has interest.

Also, my inclination would be to err on the side of lightness rather than heaviness, to get started. A game that is fun for a while, and then becomes "too easy" or "too light" is more likely to inspire long-term gaming, I think, than an overly-heavy initial experience.


I have already asked him about a few games and what types of things he would like to play. He is fairly open as long as it's fun.

As far as erring on the side of lightness I thought about that too until he reminded me that he enjoyed Axis and Alies a lot and would like something like that or even meatier.

Thank you everyone for the fast replies much appreciated. This is a good start as Twilight Struggle was something I was not so sure about same with Memoir '44.

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J. Atkinson
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Tide of Iron is heavier than Memoir '44. Meatier? I can't say, other Tide of Iron players will have to chime in their two cents.
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Seth Brown
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Yet another nod for Memoir '44 as a likely good place to start. As others have said, if he ends up wanting something even heavier, it's easy to upgrade later, but starting with something overly complex might be a mistake.

Besides, M44 is simple to understand, has familiar themes, a good mix of luck and strategy, and isn't nearly as pricey as BattleLore. It'd be my pick.
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Henrik Lantz
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Another vote for Memoir'44. It is, as several have mentioned, a great way to start. I would pick that one before Conflict of Heroes. Storms of Steel, but would consider that one good as a second game.

Memoir'44 is just an extremely solid and fun game. The scenarios play quick too, and you can usually play a scenario twice with the both of you switching sides for the second game, in under 90 mins.

Good luck, and have fun!
 
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Guido Gloor
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Skobrin wrote:

These two also get my vote

Since you said that even an dungeon crawl isn't out of bounds, you can try Claustrophobia. It's fast-playing and pretty neat.

For fast and satisfying games, the following might be a good fit:

The Battle for Hill 218 (tactical card battle, with flanking and all)

Hive (abstract strategy)

Neuroshima Hex! (tactical hex battle, relatively abstract but with great art and mechanics)
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Mitch Willis
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Card Games
==========
Court of the Medici
Battle Line
The Battle for Hill 218
Triumvirate
Haggis

War Games
=========
Memoir '44
Manoeuvre
Twilight Struggle
Washington's War
Duel in the Dark

Board Games
===========
Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game
Thebes
Thurn and Taxis
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
Hansa
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Geoff Hall
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Just throwing out a quick 'second!' for Neuroshima Hex! If you can pick it up at a sensible price (unlikely but you never know) then Space Hulk (third edition) would probably be ideal too.
 
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Scott Arnone
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Thirding Battle Line.
 
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myles
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Sounds like he's open to conflict (awesome!), so you ought to consider.

Space Hulk (third edition): Considering he showed an interest in your past GW playing, this might be a hit. This one's one of my all time favs, so I'm probably biased, but it's been very worth the money.

Others made the great recommendation of Mem44. It's the first thing I thought of. In the same series, consider also Commands & Colors: Ancients. The Command and Colors systems seems best suited toward close combat. You've already mentioned BattleLore. I think it's in a state of limbo since transferring companies. I"m not sure it's future is certain. Others might know better. If Civil War would be a good hook for your Dad (it would be for my 65 year old dad) look to the new version of Battle Cry coming this fall. The new vesion is supposed to tweak the rules and add additional scenarios.

Conflict of Heroes (either version) would also be good next steps.

If you want to try some of the Euro style games, you might look at Stone Age. Unlike most Euros, it actually plays well with two, but can play up to 4 just as well.

Carcassonne also plays well with two and it has many available expansions and different versions.
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers is my personal favorite of the series. Plays as though it has an expansion included, and the field scoring is much easier. Also the rivers (same as roads in Carcassonne) and Forests with their nuggets (same as cities in Carc) are more valuable, making them a bit more balanced than fields in base carcassonne.
The Ark of the Covenant is based on Carcassonne, but the Ark of the Covenant, field scoring, prophets, and simpler temples all make this a more interesting version. I.E. the whole game isnt' just about the fields.
There is also a New World: A Carcassonne Game version, that adds some additional flavor rules and Carcassonne: The Castle is ONLY for 2 players. It plays a little different than the others, due to the placement rules and the confines of the castle wall.

I'd just pick one Carcassonne version for starters.. They're all value priced, and play excellently with two.



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Joshua S.
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions and please don't stop will probably be another week or two before I make up my mind. The recommendation have helped a lot so far.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I'm 60 years old myself, and I play games with all four of my children whenever I get a chance. Most recently, I've been playing Defenders of the Realm non-stop with my younger son since it arrived a few weeks back. Another one that I know he will love is Claustrophobia, a superb two player game with beautiful painted figures.

The game of choice with my older son is War of the Ring (First Edition). Another one suited for him is Neuroshima Hex!. My older daughter loves Mr. Jack and Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. My younger daughter prefers games with more players, and goes for In the Year of the Dragon or Yspahan.

I love playing with all of them, and am happy with any of those games. If it were strictly my own choice, and I could play anything I want, Napoleon's Triumph would be top of the list.

The key is to figure out what works best for both of you. Good luck!
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Wink
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Mike31 wrote:
Maybe start off with a game that isn't too rules-intensive. As has been suggested Conflict of Heroes might be fun due to its programmed instruction where you can add rules after you've mastered the basic play. Or Hold the Line! might be a good choice--lots of wargame "basics" in this game without it being overwhelming. Good luck with this!

A second for Hold the Line.
If he's a history buff you can't go wrong here. The different scenarios keep the game fresh and can lead to plenty of great discussions and maybe even some road trips. I believe the new release of Battle Cry is coming out soon as well. Another game that would be easy to learn with lots of good history lessons.
 
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Joshua S.
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Thanks everyone for the recommendations I have settled on Memoir '44 or Commands & Colors: Ancients Depending on what the game store I go to has, He seemed to like the plastic figures of Memoir over the wood blocks of Ancients though, I will let everyone know what I ended up with and what he thought thank you everyone once again.
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Brian Franzman
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If he's digging the miniatures, and has some free time due to being retired or semi-retired (my assumption due to his age), maybe going back to the GW miniatures games wouldn't be a bad thing? If he likes crafting, painting, or working with his hands, it could be a nice hobby for him.

And if that's the case, you might consider picking up Mordheim: City of the Damned; the rules are now free on the GW website. Various terrain pieces can be built or purchased on Ebay for not very much. Each player has a 'warband' of 10-15 figures, so assembly and painting aren't too time consuming, and it wouldn't take much money to have a variety of "teams" on hand. Most miniatures aren't too difficult to track down yet, though the game is long out of print. (Oh, how I wish a new edition would be released!)
 
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Joshua S.
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Oh I have Mordheim: City of the Damned on my gaming table as we speak as it was the last GW game I ever bought as I enjoyed the setting it't not the best, it has flaws but they are easy to over look, but once you set up the visual it's hard not to be in a bit of awe.

Just not into a lot of GW games though I do figure at some point I will get Space Hulk I do like the Warhammer games fluff just not the games to much. though I do have Dust Tactics on my watch list for the very reasons you pointed out.
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Kendahl Johnson
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I've only played Memoir 44 once and wasn't enthralled. Good luck with it...maybe I need to give it another chance.

Battle Line is probably my favorite two-player card game.

Mr Jack and its sequel are perhaps my favorite two-player games.

de Mayo is an really great two player game.

 
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Michael Stachiw
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Hive great abstract
Mr. Jack in New York great deduction 2 player
Crokinole great dexterity for 2 or more
 
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Joshua S.
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Battle Line while it looks good doesn't seem like something we would both enjoy. Summoner Wars seems more along the type game we would both enjoy more than Battle Line.
 
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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You mentioned dungeon crawling, so Dungeon Twister may be one to look into.

These have nothing to do with war games, but work well with two players. Check them out and see what you think: Race for the Galaxy, Arcana, Uruk: Wiege der Zivilisation.

Also, the Kosmos two-player series may be worth checking out too. I own Dracula and enjoy it. I haven't picked up Lost Cities yet but I really want too. I have fallen in love with this game, as has my wife.

Good luck on your quest!

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