That's MRS. McFoxFace to you!
It's often the first card games that kids learn. The rules are so simple that kids can play this without any adult supervision, initiation, intervention, rule/strategy explanation etc. That reason alone is enough to make this game worth teaching your kids.
The object is to win the whole deck of cards.
A deck of cards is dealt out to two players. Players simultaneously flip the top card up and whoever has the highest value card, takes both cards and places them in a discard pile next to them. When they run out of cards, their discard pile is shuffled and they take that as their new deck. If there is a tie, the players take the top three cards and lay them face down in the middle. When laying the three cards out for a tie breaker, players yell, “I DECLARE WAR!” One word for each card, flipping the last card on the word “WAR”. The highest valued card wins all the cards in the middle.
Is it a game? Well, if your definition of game includes having some strategy and decision, then the answer is no.
Does it have value? I say yes. For one thing, when my kids were very little, this was one game that they could get out and play without any help whatsoever from me. - No set up, no rule disputes, no urge to explain strategy from me.
I played this game many times for long hours on rainy days with my brothers. Here’s what I learned:
-Early on I learned the values of all the cards. (face cards and aces can be confusing for kids.)
-I learned to count cards.
-I learned that I was doomed to lose when my brother got all the kings.
-I learned about luck and odds.
-I learned that winning when you have nothing to do with the victory is rather hollow.
-I learned that it was okay to quit a game before the end when no one is having fun.
-I learned that there is such a thing as a good game and a bad game.
I remember vividly when I outgrew this game and moved on.
War, like Tic-Tac-Toe, is a game that will endure (and continue to be derided) for it’s simplicity (and banality).
“So long as there are men, there will be war.” Albert Einstein
Very nice review. Seriously. Games like this, Candyland, and others get completly bashed but do teach youngsters very valauble gaming skills, as you note above.