Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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My nephew (age 9) is an extremely intelligent child with an unhealthy focus on computer games. To guide him in the direction of the board game hobby (my unhealthy obsession) I sent him a box of army men, tanks, giant spiders, and dice with a suggestion to create a board game for us to play. His concept was "Spiders vs. Zombies" and since my bright and talented niece (age 13) is the artist in the family she created the box cover.





My nephew decided to use the board from a classic Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH game as the setting for "Spiders vs. Zombies" with an army of undead soldiers attempting to control the ancient secrets of the Egyptian tomb. The backstory was a little weak, so my nephew might have a career waiting for him at Fantasy Flight Games.





My niece is a sweet, delicate blossom and quite a young lady. My nephew is all boy and he has a competetive streak that frequently leads to episodes of illegal rule manipulation when we play board games. The rules he developed for this prototype heavily favored his force, the undead army of zombies. His tokens rolled a big handful of dice and moved with lightning speed, like FedEx drivers at 10:29 AM on a weekday. My tokens moved at a glacial pace, like the economic "recovery" of 2012.

The battle rules were formulated with a similar framework. His tank had every advantage against my giant spider, but when Uncle Pete squeaked by with a win my nephew declared that all zombie units had multiple lives, just like the characters in his beloved video games. I called "BS" on that.





The rules were convoluted and incomplete... "Spiders vs. Zombies" reminded my of the folio series produced by Decision Games (I). Although I was defending the Egyptian tomb my nephew announced that the sphinx tokens were actually under his control. These were released by an event card (I liked that rule. Clever boy!) and quickly detroyed both of my giant spiders.

The designer graciously allowed me to pick one undead soldier from his immense pile of figures to conduct a desperate last-stand defense of my treasure chamber. I selected a bazooka guy.

My intrepid hero was immobilzed during the next movement phase by an unfavorable snake dice... the undead forces controlled by my nephew were not required to use this special rule!





His sphinx token rolled a bucket of dice and charged forward like a Congressman rushing to get in front of a cable news network TV camera. The final outcome of our battle was never really in doubt, since my nephew carefully arranged his battle dice to score an unlikely near-perfect Yahtzee result.

I lost the game.

The kid has a great imagination. With a little guidance from Uncle Pete and a few lessons in fair play my nephew might become a board game Geek.
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Chris Strabala
United States
Hiawatha
Iowa
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I didn't know that the undead knew how to operate tanks & other highly specialized weaponry... whistle

In all seriousness, it's great to see the kids trying to design a game!

Thanks Pete for sharing!
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Brett Christensen
United States
Fargo
North Dakota
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Hilarious! thumbsup
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Jarratt Davis
Australia
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That was fantastic! And hilarious!

I have a nephew (9) and a niece (5) who are similarly gripped by the evil computer game bug (yeah well ok, so am I to a point). This has inspired me, so I better do something about it before procrastination sets in and kills it off.
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Troy Nies
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Keizer
Oregon
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Great stuff and way to inspire the next generation of BGGers!
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Sim Guy
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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pete belli wrote:
I lost the game.
It sounds like the end was never in doubt. The scenario seems a bit unbalanced.whistle
You might note that in your playtest report.

pete belli wrote:
The kid has a great imagination. With a little guidance from Uncle Pete and a few lessons in fair play my nephew might become a board game Geek.

Too late!laugh
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Michael Erb
United States
Parkersburg
West Virginia
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Your nephew's pro-zombie, anti-spider agenda has been evident for quite some time now. I think I will pass on this game in favor of one from a more politically balanced company.
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