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Lessons I try to teach my kids via boardgaming
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Sports are often cited for their wonderful character building qualities (e.g., leadership), as well as contributions to one’s physical well-being. I contend that “mental exercise” is just as important as physical exercise, and that boardgaming is one way to give the neurons a workout.

In addition, as we have begun to play games slightly more advanced than the very basic children’s fare with our kids, I have found that there are a lot of other life-relevant lessons to be taught via boardgaming. Below is a list of boardgaming (and life) values and principles that I hope that I am able to convey to my kids when we play.
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1. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1522]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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You can’t know everything before the box is open: Until you take the time to read the instructions, or ask someone who has, you won’t know how to play. No one is born with all the smarts that they’re going to have. Learning new things takes time and work. Having natural aptitude is great, but in the long term, it’s not a substitute for putting in the time and effort to learn new things. And if you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask.
 
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2. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:178]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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You can’t judge the game by its cover: Not every flashy box contains a game of merit. And sometimes great games come in packages that may be easily overlooked.
 
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3. Board Game: Complete Tiddledy Winks [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Finish what you start: Not everything game you start will be “the greatest experience ever”; however, once you commit to a game involving other people, you owe it to them to see it through to completion (or at least until your graceful elimination).

Edit: You should never force kids to finish a game. The intent is to have them recognize (at some level) that you can't always just walk away, particularly if the other players may not be able to finish without you, just because you'd rather go watch TV because you're not winning.
 
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4. Board Game: Ultimate Stratego [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:4973]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Think strategically: When you start a new game, try to visualize how you are going to play (and win). Similarly, with any project, think ahead as to how you are going to be successful in meeting your goals.
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5. Board Game: Tactics II [Average Rating:5.29 Overall Rank:10661]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Think tactically: Be flexible enough to take advantage of valuable opportunities when they present themselves.
 
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6. Board Game: The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Game [Average Rating:3.12 Overall Rank:10948]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Be prepared: Always be thinking about your next move so you can be ready for your turn.
 
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7. Board Game: Heads Up [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Keep your head in the game: Don’t be discouraged if your original strategy doesn’t go well. Many games (and life events) take a long time to sort out. If you keep thinking and working, you MAY get a great chance to get back into contention. If you put yourself in a self-induced tail-spin, your chance of ever getting a shot at the lead is nil.
 
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8. Board Game: Starfleet Wars: Observer's Directory & Identification Manual [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Be sensitive to what everyone else is doing: Paying attention to what other players are trying to accomplish and/or what they need to acquire can be vital to your game strategy. In a game, you’ll likely want to prevent them from achieving their goals. In life, you can use the same powers of observation to identify where to help people reach their goals.
 
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9. Board Game: Victory [Average Rating:5.47 Unranked]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Win graciously: Be humble in victory, because you won’t always be the one on the top of the podium. Thank your fellow players for taking the time to play and being worthy opponents.
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10. Board Game: Loser [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Lose graciously: Give credit to the victor. People like to get some “props” every now and again for a job well done. And by all means, ABSOLUTELY NO WHINING during the game – no one likes to hear folks complain.

[Sub-lesson: After a loss, pick yourself up and get ready for the next challenge – You'll likely lose more than you win. If you're playing with folks of roughly equal ability, you'll lose ~50% of your head-to-head contests and an even higher percentage when more players are involved. Being able to learn from the loss (see Lession #11) and be ready for your next challenge is what is most important.]
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11. Board Game: Play & Learn the Childcraft Quiz Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Learn from each of your games: Win or lose, treat every game (and life experience) as a learning opportunity. Everything you learn will help you deal with challenges yet to come.
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12. Board Game: Cheater [Average Rating:4.08 Overall Rank:10867]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Never cheat / don’t play with cheaters: No glory or sense of accomplishment is truly gained by playing outside the rules. In the same spirit, nothing is to be gained by associating with folks who don’t play fair either – they are never worth the aggravation.

[Sub-lesson: Never frivolously accuse anyone of cheating – falsely attacking someone’s integrity is a huge insult and is often regarded as “fightin’ words”.]
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13. Board Game: Neue Spiele im alten Rom [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:3091]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Try something new: Not every new game will fit your notion of “games that I tend to like” or “games that I’m good at”, but you should be willing to try new games (unless it’s Russian Roulette).
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14. Board Game: Ice Cream Scoops of Fun [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Tim Mossman
United States
Gaithersburg
Maryland
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Have fun
 
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15. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:67]
Jim Ruddy
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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Take care of your things they will last you a long time, and when you are done with them, pass them on to someone else who will enjoy them.
 
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16. Board Game: Right Turn, Left Turn [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:8982]
david funch
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Always sit to the left of the new player.
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17. Board Game: Careers [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:4254]
Alexander B.
United States
Austin
Texas
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Choose a job that you enjoy, and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

-Confucius
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18. Board Game: Play the Game [Average Rating:5.64 Unranked]
Alexander B.
United States
Austin
Texas
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“We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”

-Satchel Paige
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19. Board Game: Evolution [Average Rating:4.93 Unranked]
Glen Oberhauser
United States
Golden
Colorado
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Be Willing to Adapt
When your initial strategy is failing, be able to adapt to the new situation and find another way to victory.

This is a tough one for my son. He loves Ticket to Ride, but he makes his destinations obvious, and if they get cut off, he has trouble finding alternate routes.
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20. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:109] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
United States
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Do the best with what life hands you.

My kids would need a particular piece to finish one of their cites and would sigh every time they pulled a tile and it wasn't the piece they were waiting for, finally got it into them that they need to do the best with whatever they got each turn and not worry about getting that perfect fit.
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21. Board Game: Speedy Eddy [Average Rating:5.92 Unranked]
Christine Doiron
United States
Juneau
Alaska
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Looks Aren't Everything

I opened up this box and I thought we were going to love this game. Absolutely beautiful board and components. Unfortunately, it just isn't a very good game.
 
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