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Subject: Building a games library for school, need suggestions. rss

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Martin Manning
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At the end of the term, the school where I teach runs a week long event (effectively a camp week) where students get to choose from a range of activities. I'm running a "Gathering of Gamers" event which will include video and board games. The school has given me money to spend on board games for the event, and the intention is that once the week is over, the games will go to the school library.

I'm looking for suggestions for games that meet some or all of the following criteria:

-Easy to learn, even with little or no gaming experience. Rules must be able to be explained in under 5 minutes.

-Theme that would be appealing to 13-16 year old kids, mostly boys (e.g. sci-fi, fantasy, pirates, cars).

-Reasonably short playing time (30 minutes is perfect, but longer is okay).

-Doesn't need to be educational in the slightest. The purpose of the event is to socialise.

-Ideally, not too many bits to pack away, or bits that are easily replaced.

-Playable in small groups (2-6 players).

-No player elimination, few or no opportunities to gang up on players).

-If a player gets up and leaves mid-game, it won't ruin the game for everyone else.

If there's a game that you think would be perfect but that meets none of the criteria, feel free to post it, but please explain why I should consider it.

So far, my tentative shopping list includes:
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride: Europe
Pirate's Cove
Munchkin - I haven't played this, but it seems like a good fit.
Nexus Ops
Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) - Long play time, but then winning isn't really the point.
DVONN
YINSH
ZÈRTZ
Hey, That's My Fish!
Powerboats
StreetSoccer
Rallyman


If any of the above are a bad idea, please let me know why.

Lastly, if you've ever run an event like this and have tips (particularly with regards to how to deal with being the only rules explainer) I'd love to hear from you.
 
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Nathan Larsen
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If you are looking for something where people can't gang up on someone, I would probably advised against Munchkin. Thats really the whole point of the game... or at least it seems to be in my group.

Pirates Cove is a fun time. Not super deep, and easy to teach. It's kind of hard to gang up on people in that one as it's sometimes tricky to put yourself in the right place for combat.

Maybe a coop game would be good as well? Pandemic can be taught quickly, and having the kids work together would be good for everyone.
 
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Phil Troiano
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You could try Kung fu fighting from Slugfest games. Pirates plunder, Noble Knights games has it. Lost cites card game. Settlers of Catan
 
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White Giant
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Hey, our school runs and activities week during the last week of school and I have run board games as an activity.
I usually bring in games from home, but do not usually bring in games that are expensive or have pieces that might easily be lost.
Anyway, let me give you some suggestions:
Ticket to Ride would be great
San Juan
Dixit

Depending of if you want it to be a real gamers group or an activity for anyone, you could try the following (low skill, rely on a degree of luck, but fun to play in a group)
Cludo
Game of Life
Uno
Sequence
Card games

When I have run the activity I usually just let them pick the groups and games. I then go over and help explain the rules to the more difficult games.
 
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Lucas Tosi
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+1 for Dixit

Carcassonne might be a good option also.
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James Valadez
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Bohnanza seems to fit all your criteria pretty well.
 
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Sean Turner
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There are several other Co-ops. Forbidden Island, Castle Panic (with expansion), and Flash Point.

I know it is costly, but my friends and I always liked dexterity games. Pitch Car, or Subutteo.
 
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J. M. Lopez-Cepero "CP"
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+2 for Dixit and Settlers of Catan.

Give 7 Wonders some thought. The rules would probably take more than 5 minutes to explain, but other than that it seems to fit all of your criteria, including being able to finish a game in a comparatively short time with up to 7 players.

If you want a faster TTR, take a look at Trans Europa or TransAmerica - much of the same 'feeling', quite fast gameplay, plays up to 6 in a reasonable time and they're quite cheap. Get the expansion if you can.
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Byron Rocher
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i've recommended Dominion and 7 Wonders a few times for this very purpose to others, i just dont think you can go wrong.
 
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J. M. Lopez-Cepero "CP"
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Seasons is another nice possibility. Plays up to 4, rules are easy to pick up, offers an 'introductory' variant in which most of the more complex rules and effects are omitted, and is generally well received among more casual gamers.
 
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Martin (Hairy) Hatfield
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Unnamed Object Is short, easy to learn, you all get to be Indiana Jones, has relatively few pieces (gems and cards), and ganging up is difficult.
 
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Sam Peavy
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I like quite a few of the suggestions I've seen so far. How about Abandon Ship for another? Fun, quick and only the cheese to worry about losing.

Heimlich & Co., aka "Top Secret Spys" is a great little game that plays pretty fast. More on the fun side would be any of the Fluxx series (Star Fluxx and Pirate Fluxx would probably be a lot of fun for them). A brand new one with minimal components is Saint Malo - only erasable boards, markers and dice to worry about.

Finally, Mundus Novus is an under appreciated card game that is quite good and has a nautical theme.

Best of luck with your project.
 
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John F.
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How about Sentinels of the Multiverse ? It's cooperative and the superhero theme would appeal to kids.
 
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