New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in October and November 2014
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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And here is the promised New to Your Kids mega double edition.

Looking back over the last two months, which are the best games you've newly introduced to your kid(s), and why? Please pick an entry even if it's the same as someone else's because it's more fun that way. Or are there some which have enjoyed a new lease of life and have suddenly become popular again?

It would probably be helpful if you say what ages the children you played with are, and how much they enjoyed it as well as how much you enjoyed it.

Please, add you own entries - one per child might make sense if they are of different ages and abilities. And if you play with kids that aren't yours - nieces, nephews or friends' kids, include those!

Just like the idea of this series of monthly lists, I've also nicked the idea of an announcement thread from Grimwold (Thanks Andy!). If you'd like to be alerted to the existence of the new list when it appears, subscribe to this subscription thread..
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1. Board Game: BattleLore [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:342]
Board Game: BattleLore
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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I bought this quite a few years ago, and played it with Daniel a few times, but it wasn't really his sort of thing. However, I knew that Matthew (13) had his eye on it, so took the opportunity to get it onto the table when the rest of the family were away doing fun things. Suffice to say that he was very enthusiastic, and we've played again since.

It's a nice looking game, with lots of minis and some strategy/skill because of the use of command cards. I found the combat system slightly confusing (being old, I get easily confused), but Matthew rapidly got the hang of how many dice to roll and what the target colours were. As we play the different scenarios new concepts and details are introduced, which makes a gentle learning curve.

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2. Board Game: Ave Caesar [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1332]
Board Game: Ave Caesar
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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The school games club continues apace, so far I've had a couple of groups of 6 10-11 year olds for a few weeks each.

New games introduced have included Pit, Ave Caesar, Apples to Apples Junior, Diamant, Kleine Fische and TransAmerica.

All have gone down well, with Kleine Fische being a particular favourite. Sadly I had to tell the eager players that it was no longer in print so they probably wouldn't be able to buy it.
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3. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:269]
Board Game: Love Letter
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Matthew decided to teach this to a couple of his local friends, along with Apples to Apples. They really enjoyed both, even though they have no family history of playing boardgames at all. I think it's a major triumph to ween them away from their X-Box even for an hour or so!
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4. Board Game: Kayanak [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:4414]
Board Game: Kayanak
Alan Gates
United Kingdom
County Armagh
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This is a great game for the kids. The only problem is stopping them punching too many holes. I've caught our kids (4 and 5 year old boys) putting in pieces of paper and punching all the holes without fishing!

Both kids love this one and it's quickly becoming a favourite.
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5. Board Game: Kamisado [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1364]
Board Game: Kamisado
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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The biggest new-to-my-daughter (9 years old) game for October was Kamisado. She picked this up very quickly, and seemed to have an edge over me from our very first games. She wins most of our single-round matches, and most of our "regular" (3-point) matches. I have an advantage in "long" (7-point) matches, where she seems to lack my stamina. A regular match is generally about 30 minutes, while a long match tends toward an hour in length.

Board Game: Kamisado


Our November prize was Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. In this case, I clearly had the upper hand for our first few plays, but her learning curve proceeded to blow me out of the water, so that by our sixth play she was beating me decisively.

Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation

This game is surprisingly great: elegant, fast-playing, and quite deep for the short time needed to play. The character abilities are very thematic, too.
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6. Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2313] [Average Rating:6.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My 6 year old son received this from the tooth fairy after losing his first tooth. We've played it just the two of us and with the whole family (my wife and two daughters, 9 and 11). This is one of those storytelling exercises; it isn't really a game. We've had loads of fun playing and there is no winner or loser... just a good story when you're done. The kids all really like it and the fact that it moves so fast.
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7. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:959]
Board Game: Machi Koro
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I've played this game with all three of my kids (6, 9, 11) and we've had a good time with it. In my opinion, it's not a very good game. The hype for Machi Koro far surpasses its quality as a game. However, it is an excellent way to learn about probability, especially probability of rolling certain numbers with 1 versus 2 dice. My kids have definitely learned a lot about that from the few times we have played. They like the game and I've seen them take it out and teach it and play it with other family members (e.g. aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc.).
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8. Board Game: Caveman Curling [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:4405]
Board Game: Caveman Curling
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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This was a freebie from BGG.con. It's a decent, quick dexterity game that I'm going to keep. I've played it with my 6 and 9 year old kids and they both enjoyed it. Neither one of them was enamored and neither one of them really knew what curling was in the first place, but they enjoyed flicking the discs. "It's kinda like PitchCar or Crokinole" is what they said. They also said they prefer PitchCar and Crokinole. I agree, but this one works with 2 players and might be even a bit more fun if you are a curling fan.
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9. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:466]
Board Game: Camel Up
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I played this two-player with my 6 year old son. No doubt that this is not really intended to be played with 2 players and I wouldn't choose to play it that way again. The stacking of the racing camels and the options to place your oasis or mirage and make "bets" on legs and the whole race are all neat ideas. In practice, I found myself trying to see how I could project probabilities for certain things to happen based on the information available to me. While there is some opportunity to do that, it still feels too random for me. I understand that it won the Spiel des Jahres and is supposed to be simple (and maybe random), but I expected a bit more opportunity for tactical play. Maybe I'd see it better with more players and playing the game with older kids, but this round didn't convince me. My son thought it was fun enough, but he wasn't super excited about it either. Maybe I'll try it one more time with at least 4 players and see how it goes.
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10. Board Game: Cartoona [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:14469]
Board Game: Cartoona
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I played this with all 3 of my kids (ages 6, 9, 11) and we were not impressed. This is not really a game. It is more of a highly random, draw tiles and cards and mess up others kind of exercise. We very much did not enjoy it and I will actively avoid it. My kids were drawn in by the silly and fun art which IS silly and fun. Unfortunately, the "game" is bad.
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11. Board Game: Coconuts [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:904] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Board Game: Coconuts
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I played this with my 6 and 9 year old kids. I describe it as a cute, dexterity game of launching little rubber coconuts toward cups in an effort to collect and stack 6 cups in a pyramid shape or end up with the most coconuts in your own cups. For a silly, dexterity game, this seems pretty good. My kids both loved it. They really liked how the coconuts bounced everywhere... sometimes into and out of a cup and sometimes out of and then into a cup. There are a few things to consider as you take your turn, but mostly it's just launching little coconuts across the table.
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12. Board Game: The No Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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We threw a halloween party (25 people) that included adults and children (ages 3-15). We tried out the No Game as described by Sid Sackson in his book A Gamut of Games. It was an absolute blast and the adults AND kids all had loads of fun. We were impressed with some of the tactics used by kids, even young ones, to get someone to say "no." Everybody started with a plastic, spider ring and when you were caught saying "no" you had to give all of them to the person who caught you. Lots of conversation and laughs and all-around good times. Most of the kids at the party really got into it, though a few of them chose not to participate (3 year old and one or two who seemed intimidated by the idea) which was fine. Give this a try if you're having a big party. And, if you want the kids and adults to mingle together then include everybody!
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13. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:329]
Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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Only three to add for this edition.
In October, my wife, son and I tried out Flash Point. I quite enjoyed it. The co-ops always seem to go over in our house tho. Working together seems to be good. I'm looking forward to trying it again. I hope soon!

Board Game: Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men

November... I got Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men for my birthday. My son and I played it once. We both enjoyed it and hope to get it to the table again soon. I think we would have played again, but football was calling to us.

Board Game: Clue DVD Game

On my birthday, my daughter suggested we try out Clue DVD Game. It was a thrift store purchase that's been sitting on the shelf for a long time. I quite enjoyed it, even tho I had no clue to the answer when my daughter won. I must be getting old!
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14. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:112] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Board Game: Star Realms
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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This Mega-edition of New to your kids coincides with the Spiel fair in Essen, which I attended with the whole family and even a guest kid. We spent two days there, so plenty of games to report on. I already did that in the "new-to-you" geeklist, but this time I will try to give my kids' point of view.

Star Realms takes the #1 spot. My oldest son (just turned 11) loves this little deck-builder. Since the cards available for buying are drawn from a deck and only five are available at one time, it's always a bit different and you can't rely on fixed strategies.
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15. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:164] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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My son (11) has been playing Legendary for about a year (though we haven't played it in about that long). I have all but the Guardians of the Galaxy expansion, which some friends brought over a couple weeks ago. This time around, my daughter (9) joined us. I was surprised, and pleased that she picked it up quickly (though she was near the back of scoring at the end). The next day, the kids and I played and she KILLED US (and rubbed it in by smoking villains instead of getting the last Mastermind card on her turns). We have since played about 5 more games and she continues to dominate it. She gets great combos and plays them out very well.

I love this game, so its great that both my children enjoy this.
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16. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:817]
Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish!
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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My second entry has nothing to do with Spiel, we bought this last year when it was on sale but only played it for the first time last week.
It's easy to explain and has no luck - just unpredictable opponents. Both kids liked it and even played pretty well at times although they tended to focus too much on short-term gains. We played three games in a row because it's so short.
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17. Board Game: Medieval Academy [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:973]
Board Game: Medieval Academy
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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In my third and final entry I will put together all the games we played in Essen and not since. In chronological order, I think.

Medieval Academy was the first game we tried in Essen, and (apart from Star Realms) probably the one they liked best. It's a card-drafting game, and with the cards you draft you compete in several mini-majority games. Cute theme, cute artwork, good family game.
Our guest (a classmate of my oldest son) did buy this, and I think my son has played it again with her.

In Desperados of Dice Town you are totally at the mercy of the dice. I hated it, the kids were milder but still not enthusiastic.

Robin is a trading game with a Robin Hood theme that feels out of place. It seemed rather dull, none of us were impressed.

Dark Tales is play a card, score some points, also with a theme that feels disconnected. Again we were not impressed.

Doodle City is a dice-drafting game. My oldest son (11) really disliked it (caveat: he was tired after a long day at Spiel and he had some horrible luck), the youngest (8) quite liked it.

Las Vegas was the first game of day two. I already knew it, but for the kids it was new. They really liked it. We bought this as a gift for a friend.

Orongo is a decent family game, but didn't stand out from the crowd. The children had the same kind of reaction - it's ok, take it or leave it.

Scheffeln has two ways to play. We played the reaction variant, where you have to predict the result of a series of card plays (the cards are all open, but the movements resulting from it are complex). You need to do a little analysis and use a lot of gut feeling, but this was somehow very hard for the kids. Especially the younger one was really frustrated by this.

We feared Five Tribes might be a little too complex for an 8-year old, so he teamed up with me. We did make the decisions together though - he understood what was going on, but I still think he couldn't play very well on his own. We all liked it, but not enough to drop 50 euros on it.

Dungeon Bazar was the last game of our two-day trip to Essen. It was complex and fiddly, and many of the decisions in the end turned out to be meaningless. Well, it didn't help that we were tired, but nobody enjoyed this game.

If you got this far, thanks for reading!

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18. Board Game: Quadefy [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:14903]
Board Game: Quadefy
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My son (6 years) and I played a quick game of this where we each added a block until one of us was not able to add one and stay within the 4x4x4 cube. It was a nice little spatial exercise and nothing more. He had fun explaining to me how it worked and then beating me at the game and I enjoyed that too. We also had fun trying to work together to make a perfect cube, which we were not able to do in just a couple of minutes. Not a lot here, but the components are very nice and it's a fun, little puzzle.
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19. Board Game: The Enchanted Tower [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:2461]
Board Game: The Enchanted Tower
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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2020 unique titles | 2020 total plays
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I played "The Magic Tower" with my 6 and 9 year old children. The components for this game are quite nice with magnets and keys and towers. However, the game leaves a lot to be desired. It is highly random. It could be fun for the youngest gamers, but my kids did not have too much fun with this. They enjoyed the components and playing around with them after the game was over, but they felt the "game" part was pretty dull and I agree.
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20. Board Game: Ghost Blitz [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1064] [Average Rating:6.71 Unranked]
Board Game: Ghost Blitz
This is the most recent game we've played, but in true parenting fashion I have to go change a nappy. I'll be back later to edit this item to completion.
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21. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:329]
Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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My son Sherwin (19) has joined Shawn (11) and me in the coop binge, starting with this game in October. The 3 of us has managed to defeat the game twice on recruit mode, so maybe it's time to ramp up the scale the next time!

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22. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:253]
Board Game: Ghost Stories
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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I just got this in a math trade, and got Sherwin curious enough for him to request this on the last day of November, with Shawn joining us. It was the first play for all of us, so I made some rules mistakes, but it did not matter since we still would have lost via 3 haunting tiles. I really like the added tension in the game due to the dice, and this game really gives you the feeling of fighting the game since you are doing just that when exorcising the ghosts! Great game (and a beautiful one as well!)!

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23. Board Game: Forbidden Desert [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:361]
Board Game: Forbidden Desert
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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This was the second game of the coop gaming streak for Sherwin. I've mentioned how difficult it was and how me and Shawn had not defeated it yet, so he joined us in November. We lost in just about 3 rounds in the first game due to Sherwin dying of water loss, but the second game had us work as a team and we finally defeated the game! Again, it may be time to ramp up the game since we won on recruit mode!

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24. Board Game: Pony Express [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:3521]
Board Game: Pony Express
Colls
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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Microbadge: I completed the 2018 challenge to play 52 games in 52 weeksMicrobadge: Raising GamersMicrobadge: I get my butt kicked playing games with my kid(s)Microbadge: Fencing fanMicrobadge: Thrift Lord
I took advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. to try a few new games and revisit some others with my daughters, 7 and 10. Pony Express was new to all of us. I was surprised at how easily the girls took to rolling the dice, re-rolling for their desired outcome, and then announcing that they'd gotten that outcome, whether they had or not. We all went to prison (the punishment for getting caught bluffing or mistakenly accusing another player of bluffing) a couple times! We had a fantastic time.

Edited to add that I'm not surprised that they were trying to lie and doing so fairly successfully (usually their attempts at deception involve treats though). Frankly, I'm rather surprised that they rolled so well. The 10-year-old rolled a straight without re-rolling; can anyone blame me of accusing her of bluffing?
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25. Board Game: Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1570]
Board Game: Labyrinth
Colls
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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Microbadge: I completed the 2018 challenge to play 52 games in 52 weeksMicrobadge: Raising GamersMicrobadge: I get my butt kicked playing games with my kid(s)Microbadge: Fencing fanMicrobadge: Thrift Lord
New lease of life for both girls (7 and 10); we hadn't played this a single time previously this year and must have played this five times over the weekend. Edited to note that while I'm competitive, one of them usually wins.
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