New to your kids - New Lease of Life - Gaming with your kids in Feb/March2016
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Firstly, apologies for not posting a list last month - February is so short that I didn't get around to it in time - and didn't in fact have any entries of my own! So, here is a double-value list or your enjoyment. Please add lots as I still haven't got very many. Either I'm running out of games or I'm running out of kids.

Looking back over the last couple of 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. If you'd like to be alerted to the existence of the new list when it appears, subscribe to this subscription thread

And if you'd like somewhere to comment on games new to you rather tha your kids, here's the place to go: New to you March 2016 => Best new boardgame
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1. Board Game: Infernal Contraption [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:5748]
Board Game: Infernal Contraption
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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The jury is still slightly on the fence with this one. Acquired rather cheaply at the infamous Manchester Games Auction I thought the kids might enjoy it. By the time we'd worked out what was going on they were (14 and 10 years old) getting a little bored of it. Still, we should probably try again.
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2. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:4227] [Average Rating:5.91 Unranked]
Board Game: Munchkin
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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The school games club has been going well, with recent sessions focussing mostly on replaying some of the games they'd already learned - Incan Gold being a clear favourite.

One of the boys had asked if he could bring along a game he's got, Munchkin, so I could explain it to him (I had warned him, correctly, that I doubted anyone else in the group would want to actually play it). So, at last week's session he brought it along and I went through it with him. As he has never played D&D or any similar RPG, and as his parents had apparently declined to read the rules themselves ("too long" - at about 3 pages of A4 equivalent), I do not hold out any great hopes that he will be able to play it at home, nor enjoy it much if he does. Still, we should see. I would agree that the style of the rulebook doesn't suit someone trying to learn it from scratch without any background; quite why he got the game - a Christmas present I expect - is a mystery.
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3. Board Game: Sultaniya [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:3219]
Board Game: Sultaniya
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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A game that was never on my radar until it came up in a math trade. It's not bad and actually quite simple to approach and my 7 year old son and I tried it out. He liked it a lot with the building up of your palace. I think it's a decent game too. Not bad.
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4. Board Game: MacGregor [Average Rating:4.96 Overall Rank:19138]
Board Game: MacGregor
Eric Buzzell
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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The grandsons ask for this one every time and with gusto! They call it ghost tag and relish the card "programming" puzzle. The nice components and artwork really add to the joy. At 5 & 7, they are playing by the rules and learning to lawyer a bit. Fun to witness this evolve.
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5. Board Game: Bisikle [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:3678]
Board Game: Bisikle
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Acquired in a trade and my son and I played it right away. It's a fun game, but seems to require more dexterity than something like PitchCar. I'm not sure if we'll keep it around. Both of us were intrigued by how it works and the ability to curve the ball with the proper flick and such, but we weren't too excited to play any more once it was over.
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6. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:266]
Board Game: Takenoko
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My son (7) has definitely been showing more and more interest in games that aren't necessarily marketed as "kids" games. Takenoko is one I introduced to him in February. He did very well with it and liked the beautiful display of the game and the game play. This one works well with kids.
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7. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:665] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Ricochet Robots
Brad N
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Madison
Wisconsin
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Anyone who has played this "game" knows that it is really just a puzzle-solving exercise where you can race to see who can do it quickest. I'm not much of a fun, but it was fun to watch my son think through the puzzles and come up with good solutions and out-do my solutions on many occasions. He didn't love it, but had a good time with it.
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8. Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1410]
Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I played this with my 3 kids and my niece (ages 12, 12, 10, 7). The original Tsuro is a super-simple and quick-playing tile-laying game. Tsuro of the Seas is the same thing with a bunch of random monster additions and movement put in there. Yuck! Nobody liked it and none of us will ever play this again.
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9. Board Game: Archaeology: The New Expedition [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:942]
Board Game: Archaeology: The New Expedition
Al Grant

Madison
Wisconsin
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My kids (8 and 6) really enjoyed this one. They picked up the mechanics very easily and enjoyed the theme. We did try one 5 player game that went a bit too long for them and they started to lose interest. I would recommend keeping the player count to 3-4 for younger kids.
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10. Board Game: Frank's Zoo [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1496]
Board Game: Frank's Zoo
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My brother, my 3 kids and my niece played one round of this together. During the round, my brother and I were very unimpressed and some of the kids weren't impressed either. They liked the animals get other animals idea and the artwork, but it was hard to see the strategy. When the round was over, and we actually had all the scoring straight, it looked like it could be more fun than it was. It's trick-taking and I'm not sure I ever get too excited about that, but having the scoring understood before the round is certainly key... as it is with just about every game.
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11. Board Game: Treasure Hunter [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1418]
Board Game: Treasure Hunter
Al Grant

Madison
Wisconsin
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My kids (8 and 6) love card drafting games. This one was a big hit for them. As an adult, it seemed a bit repetitive to me but the boys picked it up fast and had a great time. Fun art too.
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12. Board Game: Yahtzee [Average Rating:5.38 Overall Rank:19380]
Board Game: Yahtzee
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We took this game on holiday, as usual, and my son (8) saw us playing it and looked interested, so the next day we showed him how to play, and then played again the next day with my daughter (10) too. They seemed to enjoy it, and very quickly picked up the different combinations they could roll. My youngest, 6, wasn't willing to try playing though.
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13. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:481]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
Chris McDermott
United Kingdom
Belfast
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My boys both love playing Carcassonne so we decided to try our first play of this variant. It's pretty similar but the rules for rivers and hunters are bit more complicated. Also I found the images weren't as easy to make out as the regular game. They liked it well enough, I think, though not as much as the original.
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14. Board Game: Cube Quest [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1585]
Board Game: Cube Quest
Chris McDermott
United Kingdom
Belfast
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I got this for Christmas and hadn't opened it yet. I wasn't sure what to expect but flicking cubes wasn't high on the list. Fun game and the boys loved it. I think they'd like to flick all the games.

Nice mats too for the player board. Also one that's very easy to pick up.
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15. Board Game: Say Anything [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1051]
Board Game: Say Anything
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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My daughter (10) had a friend (11) over for the day, and we played some games with her. After starting her off with Telestrations, which is always a hit, she started looking around the shelves asking what some of the games were, and this one took her fancy, so we pulled it out to play. All the kids played, even my 6 year old joining in, and I was surprised how well it worked with that age-group, although they did have less options off the card than an adult would, often there only being one suitable option for a child. They requested it again today too, so it obviously appealed to them.

We then played Knowing Me Knowing You, which is similar in style, but they preferred Say Anything of the two.
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16. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:15]
Board Game: Terra Mystica
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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I would have said 8 was too young to play this game, but for mother's day the children said they'd like to play my favourite game with me, and this was the one they had in mind. My 8 year old son has been begging to play it for ages, as he's seen us play it so often and loves the look of the board and bits, but I had always said he was too young, thinking he wouldn't cope. After a bit of help with starting regions to make sure they got off to a good start, they were off and playing, and I was surprised how independently they were able to play. My youngest played with my husband, but my 8 and 10 year olds both played pretty much independently with just a few hints here and there, and sometimes asking for advice, or with us pointing out new rules to them as we came up (naturally with this agegroup we taught them by playing, not by explaining very rule to them from the start). I didn't play as cutthroat as I would with adults, but it was still very enjoyable, and although I did win, both the children had very respectable scores.
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17. 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
Arlyn Janssen
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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I was able to get a very good deal on this in a local auction in February. We've since logged 11 plays and I've now spent more on an expansion for it (Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Dark City) than I did for the base game.

My son (7) really likes deckbuilding games and Star Realms has been one of his favorites, but I don't really care for the genre and I especially dislike Star Realms. The Legendary system is interesting, then, because the offer is setup quite like Star Realms with variable faction inputs (based on initial setup). Cooperatively this just works for me, though, which was surprising. And managing the hero offer in order to optimize both of our decks makes for an interesting puzzle. A lot of variety, a lot of "superhero flavor" (I wouldn't call it thematic in terms of mechanical tie-ins, but the flavor is there allowing you to drive the narrative at your discretion), and fairly quick to play. Setup and tear down are a little bothersome and can affect our choice of what to play (although we still haven't played Star Realms since we've had Legendary), but I've gotten used to it.
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18. Board Game: Clash of the Gladiators [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:5493]
Board Game: Clash of the Gladiators
Arlyn Janssen
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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I brought my son (7) to his first game day and a friend of mine introduced us to this one. Drafting the abilities at the beginning was the most interesting part to me as dice-rolling combat without mitigation can be rather boring, but my son really liked all parts of it. It's been a month and he still talks about it and how he would "build" his gladiators differently. The choice between battling your opponents and going after the sometimes-easier-beasts is at least somewhat interesting as is falling on your sword in order to potentially score more points later as one of those said beasts. A tricky little twist and an interesting way to skirt player elimination. Knizia's masterpiece? Certainly not! Enjoyable game? I would say "yes" and my son would say "absolutely"!

That same friend sold me the game just last night, so now I have one of my son's birthday presents taken care of (shh!).
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19. Board Game: Knuckling Knights [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:15705]
Board Game: Knuckling Knights
James Miscavish
United States
St. Joseph
Missouri
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Knuckling Knights by Haba games.

I let my son choose this from a FLGS.

This is less a game and more an activity. There are very few strategic choices to make, but moreso than many other children's games.

Luckily, the game is VERY short and quite fun. If you can play up the theme of knights 'tumbling,' it's fun to watch the pseudo-dice tower dump all the pawns out into the field.

Good for lower-elementary, though. Older kids would probably get bored pretty quickly.
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20. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:136] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Board Game: Memoir '44
Arlyn Janssen
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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I've been waiting to play this one with my son (7) and I really expected both of us would like it. He's been reading a book about WWII and telling me all kinds of things he's learned from his reading. Somehow, though, it really fell flat. He struggled with unfavorable card draws (everything was happening on his left while all his cards were for center and right directives), which allowed me to seriously weaken him before he made a move on my bridge. He actually still overtook me, but that was due to some oddly improbably dice rolls. It really just felt like the game was playing us. We need to play again soon while the rules are still fresh in order to give the game a fair shake, but it's hard to get his enthusiasm back up to take another run at it. It's a goal for April, though, and we're both committed to trying again.
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21. Board Game: Mutant Meeples [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:3000]
Board Game: Mutant Meeples
David McCartney
United States
Delaware
Ohio
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Microbadge: I am a computer hackerMicrobadge: Favor of the Pharaoh fanMicrobadge: I play with green!Microbadge: I play on Apple Game Center with an iPhone/iPadMicrobadge: Star Wars: Imperial Assault fan
Was concerned Ricochet Robots might be too much for my 8yo, so brought this home from the CABS library instead. He *loved* it and now wants to check out RR.

If it wasn't for some of the shoddier component quality, I'd probably buy this in a heartbeat.

First game, I won. Second? He easily beat me. Spatial relations is a weakness of mine, so great for trying to work on that area.
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22. Board Game: Lords of Vegas [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:402]
Board Game: Lords of Vegas
David McCartney
United States
Delaware
Ohio
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Microbadge: I am a computer hackerMicrobadge: Favor of the Pharaoh fanMicrobadge: I play with green!Microbadge: I play on Apple Game Center with an iPhone/iPadMicrobadge: Star Wars: Imperial Assault fan
Used Acquire as an intro to LoV, then got my 8yo hooked on this. In our first 2p game, he trounced me. I didn't play aggressive, but he definitely enjoyed it.
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23. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:217]
Board Game: Battle Line
David McCartney
United States
Delaware
Ohio
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Microbadge: I am a computer hackerMicrobadge: Favor of the Pharaoh fanMicrobadge: I play with green!Microbadge: I play on Apple Game Center with an iPhone/iPadMicrobadge: Star Wars: Imperial Assault fan
Another borrowed from the CABS library. Took a few games for him to get it, but to ease the learning curve I first taught it to my wife, then to my son with my wife as his partner, then he played by himself. Need to snag a copy at some point.
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24. Board Game: Code 777 [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1690]
Board Game: Code 777
David McCartney
United States
Delaware
Ohio
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My wife and I loved this, and while my son enjoyed it, it might be too much for him yet because of the tracking aspect. Over time I think we'll get him into it more, but will likely not check it out again for a bit.
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25. Board Game: Sheriff of Nottingham [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:351]
Board Game: Sheriff of Nottingham
David McCartney
United States
Delaware
Ohio
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Microbadge: I am a computer hackerMicrobadge: Favor of the Pharaoh fanMicrobadge: I play with green!Microbadge: I play on Apple Game Center with an iPhone/iPadMicrobadge: Star Wars: Imperial Assault fan
My son *loves* Coup, but after a while we get burned out on it with just 3p. So, snagged a copy of Sheriff of Nottingham as part of a trade. It isn't my favorite, but he loves it (especially with the app), and it scales well if my parents want to join us.
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