Ted Alper
United States
Palo Alto
California
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Running a game night for about 70 high school students [more 9th and 10th graders than 11th and 12th, but some of each grade -- and not all math/sciency, though some are] -- the camp has a motley collection of games [it does include one copy of settlers, and ticket to ride, and apples-to-apples but then a lot of less useful games [twister? monopoly? a bunch of go sets, which is a fine game, but not suitable for game night]. I can probably get them to spend $150-200 on some new games, and probably want to get 2-3 copies of each game and run at most 3 different games as it would be too hard to teach more than that. Want games that
(A) can accomodate at least 5 players, and 6,7,8 would be better
(B) Not too hard to learn, non-threatening to non-gamers
(C) have a social component, but maybe also a strategic component, or a puzzle-race. Nothing against Apples to Apples, but they can play that on their own time -- though I could see doing something like Dixit or even Once Upon a Time for those turned off by more conventional analysis.
(D) not too expensive, so can get multiple copies.

My first thoughts were Got It! (of course), Citadels & Pit, but I'd really like to work a Knizia game into this. Money is a nice 5-player bidding game, but would they go for it? Of course, it would be *so* cool to get them to play Diplomacy, but that would almost certainly not fly. I have to make my decisions pretty soon, but all thoughts welcome anytime, as I might have to do it again next year.

Update: someone off BGG just suggested 7 Wonders
 
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Scott Hill
United Kingdom
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
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Probably not one for this year, but I'd consider getting a copy of Zombicide, for the co-operative nature of it.

Any other co-op, or non-comp, games would be a good bet too.
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Ted Alper
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Ah, good idea! Maybe Pandemic or Forbidden Island...but those both only allow 4 players [I know you can get 5 with the pandemic expansion...] I like Red November, but it's probably not thematically appropriate
 
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Cliff Roberts
United States
Lakeland
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Easy co-op: Castle Panic

Fun larger group: Nanuk

Fun up to 21 (in teams of 3): Wits & Wagers

and... The Resistance.
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Ted Alper
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The Resistance is an interesting choice -- I know that some campers played mafia in previous years [not a published version, just the well-known party game], and while I can see the virtue of this variant, I may choose to try to expose them to other types of games. Nanuk sounds intriguing and has made my short list.

Wits and Wagers has a good reputation, but I'm not sure I want quiz-style party games.

You've also reminded me -- I'm not sure why -- of Democrazy, which I own but have never had the opportunity to play before -- maybe now's my chance!
 
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Troy Winfrey
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Atlanta
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Last Night on Earth. Seats up to 6, they will LOVE it.
 
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Victoria Osborne
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Grants Pass
Oregon
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werewolf is my first thought. kids love it.
 
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David
Switzerland
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The Resistance (5-10) - Great social deduction game. Less players than Mafia or Werewolves but not player elimination.
Bohnanza (3-7) - Classic trading game. A bit similar in that aspect to Settlers but can take more players and focuses more on trading.
Category 5 / 6 nimmt! (2-10)
The Great Dalmuti (4−8) - Variant of the classic Daihinmin shedding/climbing game.
The Castle of the Devil (3-10) - Another social deduction game but with a more balanced starting point than Resistance.
Liar's Dice (2-6) - Classic bluffing game.
Pickomino (2-7) - Slightly silly push your Luck game.

Also some co-op game would certainly be nice. Lots of good suggestions already posted. I'll add Hanabi to the list for a co-op with a neat twist.
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Nicola Gambetti
Italy
Bolzano
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With the exception of Dalmuti, I would have suggested the same games as Kempeth's.

Moreover, you could consider No Thanks!, The City, King Me! and Geistesblitz as well.
 
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Ted Alper
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UPDATE -- had to place an order for games [only some of these will be the focus of game night, but they want to have a collection of games in stock and I may teach them to students during the 1 or 2 afternoon "free time" periods I'll be there.




Free: Knizia Decathalon.

Games they couldn't order [either out of print or couldn't get delivered in time], but I'll share my copies: Got It! and Democrazy

The Resistance

Nanuk
Once upon a time [it's an ok game, and I could imagine students playing it who are put off by the others]
Pit
Citadels

Money
Intrigue [this is risky, perhaps -- I love this game, but will it sow discord at camp?]

Cooperative games:
Hanabi
Pandemic

plus they have copies of Settlers/Guillotine/Ticket to Ride/Apples to Apples already

I really appreciate everyone's suggestions -- they were helpful, I am going to try a few of them, and hope to check out some of the other games over the next year.

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Dave Slaven
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Sioux City
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tmalper wrote:
and run at most 3 different games as it would be too hard to teach more than that.

Don't teach them. I teach at a small college, and my experience is that incoming freshmen are not very good at reading things that are complex. I think that learning to play a game by reading the game rules would be good practice for that. If you can't read Teuber, you'll never get through Emerson.
 
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Ted Alper
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slaven41 wrote:
tmalper wrote:
and run at most 3 different games as it would be too hard to teach more than that.

Don't teach them. I teach at a small college, and my experience is that incoming freshmen are not very good at reading things that are complex. I think that learning to play a game by reading the game rules would be good practice for that. If you can't read Teuber, you'll never get through Emerson.


I appreciate what you're saying, and I think being able to read rules does seem like a basic life skill [so long as they're reasonably well-written, though reading poorly-written rules is also a good skill to develop]. I also think it might be fun to try to run some sort of class based on the concept of reading game rules [or even trying to write game rules].

Still, in this case, I do think having someone who knows the game [whether teacher or student] teach the others made the most sense.
After all, these are high school freshman, not college freshman away at summer camp and the goal of the event was for them to have a good time at game night and socialize with each other and a few of the instructors. And we only had a bit over 2 hours from set-up to clean-up.

We just did it last night, and even though not all the games I had them order arrived on time, a good time was had by all ( I brought games from my own collection to share as did a few other teachers) -- well, I don't know for sure that everyone had a good time, but I certainly did and the students I observed seemed to be enjoying themselves. I played mostly Got It & Intrigue, but my set of Ricochet Robots , Once Upon a Time, and Pit were played by others to great effect. I know there were some other games being played [including Dixit].

However, the one game that didn't go over well was Pandemic --to my surprise -- and I think it was because the group of kids who tried it didn't have anyone to teach it to them and got bogged down in reading rules while everyone else around them was having fun. I was too engaged in playing with the group I was with [and helping slightly the neighboring group] and didn't learn of this until later. 5 minutes of an overview would have improved their experience immensely.
 
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