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Subject: Is Santorini any good against 6 years old kids? rss

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Johannes Wentu
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I feel I need to write this for all those fathers who do not know if Santorini is OK for their too young kid.

My son hates to lose a game of anything. He used to cry, now he just put on a sad offended face and goes away. This is why we often play co-operative games: if he loses, he isn't losing against ME.

Imagine my surprise today, our second Santorini day. We played 5 times in a row and I won the first four time in a row. He won the last one and he was radiant with joy! But the fact is that HE was the one asking for a fifth match, after 4 losses! That is completely unheard of and unimaginable.

Here's how we played in these days:
First game, no gods, just to get the feeling of the game.
Then one game when he had one God and I had none. I won again.
The next two games he got TWO gods and I had none. He won once and he was very happy.
Today we played 5 games: he had always two Gods and I had one.

From this short experience, i would say an adult vs a 6 years old is balanced if the kid keeps 2 Gods and the adult none.
In any case, it is still a lot of fun. As an adult, playing against a double god is really interesting and it keeps the game alive even against a 6 y.o. The combinations of two Gods are really amazing and oh-so-powerful!

So if you are a father thinking "should I buy it to play it with my too young son?" my answer is definitely yes!

Santorini is one of a handful of games I rated 9.5, out of 1100+ that I know. This post explains one of the reasons why!
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Ron Z
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This is very encouraging. I have a six year old grandson who, like your son, is at the age where he hates to lose. So, this might be a game to try with him. Thanks for sharing!
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Steve G
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My six year old daughter had enjoyed it as well. If she gets frustrated losing a few in a row I give her Pan, with that one she is legitimately competitive without any handicaps!
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Ian Lim
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Me too are having a blast against my 8-year daughter.
All random! No handicaps! I do play my best to win all the time!

Our Latest Plays:
Nov 09 - 4 games (3-1 record)
Nov 10 - 16 games! (12-4 Record)

 
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TPoG
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I agree - Santorini is a blast to play with kids age 6 and up. The childish chibi theme of the Roxley version of the game definitely helps getting the attention of the younger players.
 
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kos blaat
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adults should not play with 6yo then.
kids should play with kids.
 
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Ian Lim
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kosterix wrote:
adults should not play with 6yo then.
kids should play with kids.

but kids dont play these games alone, they prefer game on their smart phones, android and tablets.
 
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Paul Saxberg
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kosterix wrote:
adults should not play with 6yo then.
kids should play with kids.


I think there's a number of people who are going to disagree with you about this. We hear a lot from people who like to play this with their children... we love hearing experiences like the OP's
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Chris Laudermilk
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I'll be another that disagrees with that. As the OP explained so well, Santorini is flexible enough to handicap the players so the kids have a fighting chance against their parents. This means a lot to them. A) They get to play the games with mom and/or dad, and B) they have a chance at beating them.

I need to get this one out again and I'll try the handicapping.
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TPoG
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claudermilk wrote:
I'll be another that disagrees with that. As the OP explained so well, Santorini is flexible enough to handicap the players so the kids have a fighting chance against their parents. This means a lot to them. A) They get to play the games with mom and/or dad, and B) they have a chance at beating them.

I need to get this one out again and I'll try the handicapping.


Agree. However, we usually play the kids without handicap. Thus, I win most of my games. However, we take turns and the kids then play each other or other adults - with great success. A kid who is used to play (and often loose to) an experienced gamer is able to beat a novice or unexperienced adult nongamer (with great satisfaction). Santorini has general appeal and thus easily pulls in people - including adults that usually would not sit down and play an abstract.

Anyhow, we try to train :"When playing a game the goal is to win. However, it is the goal that is important, not the winning." It is not a problem the kid is loosing as long as it is not all the time. But it takes a number of players available (i.e. more kids) or a mix of games (some luck based) to avoid somebody always loosing. Also, it depends on personality: I have lost an uncountable number of chess games against my father over the years but I never lost the joy in playing the game.
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Paul Saxberg
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I love this answer, and Gord himself would be adamant that he would not "go easy" on someone playing this game. (This is amusing though, because he constantly has me take back my bad moves to see what would have happened laugh )

I do think sometimes kids at different ages and levels, or perhaps with specific challenges, aren't ready for that... but then, as you say, it's the goal that's important, not the victory... that can be something that can be worked towards.
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Johannes Wentu
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I guess every kid is different.
If I played at the best of my (scarce) possibilities against him from the first match, I would probably scary him away for a looong time.
I want him to play with commitment and no distractions and I want him to be able to follow the rules and, of course, I want him to abhor cheating.

I found that it's much more difficult to play with no handicap and try to play "not so well". I love to show my son "look, this is a good move because....". If I won every time it would be too frustrating for him, I am sure of that. I myself, if I have NO CHANCE of winning, I don't have much fun. I prefer to increase the difficulty slightly every time I play.

Handicaps allow me to taylor the experience every time and make each game worth it for both of us.

But this is just my particular situation and I am sure in other circumstances the approach can be different.
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Timo Louisse
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I think Santorini is a great game for young and old. Adding the one time powers of the Hero cards from the Golden Fleece expansion will give you even more ways to customize your "strengths" and his. With this expansion the game will last even longer in your collection, adding more variety and ways to customize your experience.
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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Wentu wrote:
I guess every kid is different.
If I played at the best of my (scarce) possibilities against him from the first match, I would probably scary him away for a looong time.
I want him to play with commitment and no distractions and I want him to be able to follow the rules and, of course, I want him to abhor cheating.

I found that it's much more difficult to play with no handicap and try to play "not so well". I love to show my son "look, this is a good move because....". If I won every time it would be too frustrating for him, I am sure of that. I myself, if I have NO CHANCE of winning, I don't have much fun. I prefer to increase the difficulty slightly every time I play.

Handicaps allow me to taylor the experience every time and make each game worth it for both of us.

But this is just my particular situation and I am sure in other circumstances the approach can be different.

Yes indeed. Every kid is different and you have to adjust for each one. My 7 year old has limited tolerance for losing--he will get frustrated easily. If he's doing well--and especially winning--he's all about playing.

On the other hand, my 5 year old is shaping up to be quite the gamer. She will handle losing pretty well, and still want to play. Her current favorite is TtR: First Journey, and holds her own (i.e., dad loses as much as wins now, and provide little to no suggestion). Santorini is on the menu, but she is grasping the rule slowly.
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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timolouisse wrote:
I think Santorini is a great game for young and old. Adding the one time powers of the Hero cards from the Golden Fleece expansion will give you even more ways to customize your "strengths" and his. With this expansion the game will last even longer in your collection, adding more variety and ways to customize your experience.


Despite what is implied in the rules, hero powers are about as powerful as god powers if they are used wisely. Some of them might be good for a second power; Odysseus would provide a way to prevent an impending loss, for example. Any Golden Fleece power without setup text could be treated as a weak hero power for a multi-power handicap. A single use of Artemis could prevent a loss or win the game. (You could even put coins on a card if the power can be used more than once.)
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