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Okay, so my boy is six and a half and is starting to read well and do math. I'm trying to find a game, be it CCG or mini, that me him, and some of my gamer buddies could play together. It would let him feel like he's playing. Some people have suggested magic, and I think he could learn it if he wanted, but to be honest I'm so sick of M:tg that I couldn't handle playing it with him. I don't want yu-gi-oh or some other made for TV japanimerican card game either. I looked at maple story by wizards but don't see it now and heard it was dead anyway. Kingdom hearts also caught my eye by FFG.

I had thought about the WoW miniature game, but didn't know the age. I didn't want to get him a dead game though in case he wanted to go to tournaments sometimes or something. I look forward to hearing all your suggestions. Thanks.
 

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Wall o' text approaching!

When I was a little kid (5 or so I'd guess) my father got me into a few games, such as Warhammer and Dungeons and Dragons. Then again, I also got to use a scalpel for modelling and play DOOM (My parents were very happy to let me have access to things intended to older ages, but *always* did so under a watchful eye and careful supervision), so my recommendations may be worth taking with a pinch of salt.

In Warhammer the orcs and goblins were lighthearted and characterful enough for me to enjoy, whilst making army lists helped with my maths. My dad took the rules of the game slow on me, we started out with a couple of units doing the basics: moving, shooting, melee. Heroes, magic and the like all came later on for a gentler learning curve.

Plus he got to show me how to paint and what glue to use on what models. (all under careful supervision, naturally!) Though I guess Warhammer is a bit darker in tone now than it was 15 years ago...


If you're looking for something else, here's a couple of suggestions:
(Some may require parental discretion, 6 1/2 may be a little young depending on how you think he'd handle it)

As was mentioned, Monsterpocalypse is an option. PP seems to be able to do little wrong when it comes to making games. I would warn though, the games minis seem to be blind packed, so you won't know what factions mini's come in the booster packs - much like the random cards you get in magic's boosters. (I've never played it, just passing on some info)

AT43 comes pre assembled and pre-painted much like Monsterpocalypse. Not sure about the games longevity, but I thought it may be worth mentioning. It has a race of gorillas. That's cool. And the starter set comes with trimmed down rules, a little terrain and 2 factions.

Settlers of Catan is pretty simple to pick up and play. And friendly for all ages I'd say. May take a little learning though. There's even a version of the game for younger players "Kids of Catan".


Doubt this one will fly too well, but...
What about something like dungeons and dragons? With a GM around, he wouldn't need to focus too much on advanced maths or the like. But roleplaying, a little imagination, character interaction and team skills can all be utilised here. Plus rolling up a character is kinda fun. I loved being able to roleplay with my dad when I was a kid. Being a level 3 elf mage and having to run away from a Remorhaz (Read: Giant deadly frost worm monster) whilst it attacked a town certainly was memorable! As long as the scenario starts off simple and you're gentle to begin with, that could be fun for everyone involved.

And finally, I'm hesitant to recommend this one due to his age, but...
Zombies!!!* by Twilight Creations is pretty graphic, but I don't think I've ever had as much fun with a small group of other players. With a little creativity it can be set to accommodate larger parties. It supports 2-6 players and is cheapish at about £18 too.
There are a ton of expansions, so more bits can be added to taste.

*Zombies!!! is spelt with the 3 exclamation marks.
 

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First let me start by saying that I'm not against this idea at all, and that if I had to suggest a game I'd actually suggest starting with a Mordheim band or Battlefleet Gothic if you want a collectible game, or Flames of War (pretty simple, well supported, more approachable "they look like army men"). I think the best course of action if you want to get him into gaming would be to introduce him to Chess, Risk, or maybe Axis and Allies. The Card Game 'munchkin' can also be lots of light hearted fun, although he might not get all the jokes because they reference films that he hasn't seen yet.
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However, I'd also like to play devil's advocate here-

Sure, it's great to get a kid into a hobby at a young age. When I was 6, my dad and I were building model airplanes and cars and tanks and boats and legos at an exponential rate. I was also a Boyscout, and played Soccer and Baseball. I didn't get into wargaming until I was 9, and my family (dad especially) was pretty disappointed. I slowly stopped picking up new sports and eventually left Scouting, although I did become heavily involved in music. Sometimes though, I think I'd have been 'better off' if I'd stuck with a sport all throughout my life, or stayed in Boyscouts, or atleast didn't play wargames.

I think you have to ask yourself what you motivation is for getting him into gaming. Is it because he seems interested in your models, seems engaged by watching you play, and is already into things like knights and the Lord of the Rings or sci-fi shows? Or are you doing this so that you can bond without dropping your own hobby, or have a new gaming buddy?
If it's the latter, don't even think about getting him into gaming. If it's the first, you might still want to consider passing up on this opportunity.

6year olds are pretty impressionable fellows, and they'll try just about anything. However, they also have the attention span of a goldfish and the reasoning capacity of a small primate. If he tries gaming, you may find that he gets bored halfway through a game- which is fine, it just means you have to stop playing- or that he gets easily frustrated when you make him take his favorite trukk off the table or tell him that his dragon DIDN'T just blow fire on your whole army and kill it.
If he does stick with the game, are you sure that's what you want? I don't know many 6yo kids that play warhammer, or hang out with a bunch of their dad's friends on a regular basis. I do know a bunch of 6yo kids who play Japanimation TCGs, watch Disney Channel, and think girls have cooties. Why not get him into a sport or club or activity, or atleast a hobby where he'll be able to hang out with kids his own age? I grew up around a battalion of marines, and my dad's command staff were all like uncles to me: it left a mark, and made it difficult to fit in as seamlessly with other kids my own age- trust me.
Think about growing up with the game. If you get him into soccer, he might grow up to be a star athlete in highschool, be popular, have girlfriends, and get scholarships to college. If he grows up as a gamer, well... look at the threads about people catching flak for their hobby or all the difficulties he might end up facing later in life.

If I were in your shoes, I'd ask him what he wants for christmas. If he says Pokemon cards, buy him a starter pack of pokemon cards, and deal with the fact that he'll probably grow out of the hobby by the time he hits highschool. At least you won't be buying him a huge army of minis and burdening your wallet. Besides, he might find that he likes TCGs and get into Wargaming anyways. More importantly, even if you don't want to suck it up and play with him, he'll have other kids his age who will. Same thing goes for getting him into sports or a youth group or something- you can atleast support him, maybe even coach or be an assistant or troop-leader or something. A sport or group will give him structure, social skills, and a support group of friends. If you still want to play some kind of game with him, get a boxed game like Risk or teach him to play Chess. They're far more accepted games, and don't have the creepy background fluff or negative images attached, they're cheap, and they are easy to play/pause/end whenever he wants.

Just because your son doesn't play wargames doesn't mean that you can't bond with him. I'm sure that you have some hobbies like fishing or painting or something you could show him, or that you could find a fun hobby to start together. Having kids sometimes means you have to stop doing some of the things that you love, and replace them with spending time with your son. If you want to get him into gaming, and think he'd be interested in it, go ahead- I'll even say you're lucky. Otherwise, I would try to keep it as simple as possible and let him make all the decisions (reasonably).
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Again, I'm not implying that you're a bad parent, because I honestly don't know you- and I'm not even married yet (no kids of my own). I'm just telling you that at times, I wish someone in my family had put their foot down and said "no wargaming," and guided me into being the school track star or tennis champ instead. At least then maybe I wouldn't have quite so many college loans.
 

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I do know a bunch of 6yo kids who play Japanimation TCGs, watch Disney Channel, and think girls have cooties.
Heh, sounds like a lot of wargamers :p.

Anyway, Chess is good. Since I was always useless at sports (and tbh, I don't think he was a whole lot better), Chess was, for the most part, how me and my dad 'bonded' if you will. And to be honest, I suspect it would have helped my cognitive development when it came to things like strategy and probably patience, while we're at it :p. Then again, I initiated contact in that area, after seeing him playing it on the computer and taking an interest.

As Nemmy said, Monsterpocalypse would be good. I've bore witness to a game being played before, and it came pre-painted with a nifty-looking board and everything. It looks like the gaming experience without the bother of modelling if that kind of thing's not up your alley (and to be honest, I wouldn't expect your kid to be into that area by stereotype).

Otherwise, how about Blood Bowl? It's fairly fast-paced and should be interesting at least for a while for your son. He might get a bit frustrated at some of the dice though, as they do have a habit of playing up quite spectacularly.

Final suggestion would actually be towards Space Hulk. It's very simple, has some awesomely amazing-looking figures and you can play a game in less than an hour if you keep it fairly small-scale. That said, it might be a bit dark and graphic for him.

That said though, I'm inclined to agree with Sarathai. Wargaming may not be the best hobby to introduce a 6yo kid to. If he shows interest, there are plenty of simple, fast-paced games that should catch his interest but I wouldn't press it to hard on him.
 

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I would second Space Hulk. It's a relatively simple game to learn (if my girlfriend can learn it, so can your son), but encourages planning, strategy, maths and calculating probabilities. Not to mention playing as crazy four-armed aliens or giant space suit soldiers can be pretty fun. Space Hulk also requires just one purchase, but is flexible and extendible. You can play larger and larger games as time goes and even write up house rules, because the rules system is pretty basic.

I didn't get into the Wargaming hobby until I was around 12-13. By that time I had already gotten into D&D and computer RPG's. Personally, I think 6 is a little young for wargames. Ease him into it bit by bit - you might find that he doesn't have the interest for it, in which case something a little more approachable might be best.

I have some great memories of making models (tanks, planes) with my dad when I was young. I think that's a great option, but actual wargames might be a little complex.
 

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my son is 5.
ive tried at43 with him, but its more like me playing vs myself and him just rolling dice for his side.
ive tried monsterpocalypse with him, but i think the dice management is a bit much. and even if that wasnt such a stretch, all the abilities in the game are just too much for him. all the units, monsters, and buildings all have different abilities. its alot to learn. you could try a dumbed down simplified version, but i wouldnt bother.

one game we both love though is heroscape.
especially the marvel addition with the superheros in it.
he loves building the terrain however he wants and none of the abilities are overly complicated. the game is extremely simple and its very fun.
everyone ive ever known that tried heroscape liked it and its what eventually led me to buy it.
even the 40k regulars i play with dig it.

take it from someone in your same situation, heroscape is the way to go.
 

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LO's Resident Time Lord
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Overall, I would not necessarily recommend wargaming at this age, either. For an adult, it's a lot of time, work, and financial investment. To a child that age, it might be a bit overwhelming. I'd see if he can handle complex board games like chess first. If he takes a liking to it, then by all means, go for it!

However, I would echo what others have said: Not too many 6-year-olds out there playing 40k, so if he goes for a pick-up game he's going to be surrounded by people who are older than he is (probably much older), and he may have a hard time playing with others at first. I think 10 is a much better age to get into something like this.

There's also the age-appropriate content issue. If you do get him into these games, do what any good parent would do: read up on it THOROUGHLY before bringing him in. Most stores have "house copies" of all the major materials you can thumb through without having to buy it first. Some of this content is NOT something I'd want a 6-year-old exposed to on a regular basis, especially at the local gaming club, where you have less control of which armies you'll be seeing on the table. Chaos armies, for example, have a LOT of blood and guts, dead bodies, and even some sexually suggestive themes. 40k in general has a very dark, depressing tone to it, the "grim darkness of the far future," loaded with nightmarish monsters, humans who all seem to have scars and massive disfigurement, and other scary stuff. Might be a bad influence.

If you're worried about money, large-scale games like 40k, warhammer fantasy, War of the Ring, etc. could be a cash sink. Try Warmachine or Hordes from Privateer Press. The model count is MUCH smaller, and therefore much easier on your wallet. I haven't played either, but from what I've read, it's a little less "adult" stuff. The Cryx and Scorne are the scariest, but if you avoid those factions, there's nothing particularly horrible to frighten or warp a 6-year-old mind.

Having said all that, it ultimately depends on what promotes a lasting interest in your son. I just got into the hobby a few years ago. As a kid, I didn't have the patience for model building, but I wasn't good at sports, either, so I think a wargaming hobby might have been better for me, as it would have gotten me out of the house, and maybe promoted more social interaction. Then again, if your son is good at sports, or has lots of other social, active options, that's different.

In the end, it's up to you and, to a lesser extent, him. Good luck!
 

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The Future
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I have to agree with the others on the age thing - when I worked in the shop I would always try and encourge people to bring their kids back when they were 8, if not 9 or 10 - I've only met one child younger than that who 'got' wargaming, and frankly he was a lot brighter at 7 than many of the 12-13yr olds in the shop (sadly even that wasn't enough as he was intelligent but not mature enough to handle playing with older kids). Sure, start him off on the painting and modelling side if you like, but if you try and get him playing the games now before he's ready then you'll only ruin it for him.

What do his friends do? If any of them play CCGs (which I doubt at that age, they may collect but I find it hard to believe they actually play the games) then get him playing the same. Games like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh may not appeal to you - but surely that isn't the point? They're brightly coloured, simple to learn but hard to master. PERFECT for kids. Your own personal predjudices against them notwithstanding, the fact they are so successful speaks volumes. And having played Pokemon when it first came out (@age 20!) and Yu-Gi-Oh two years later I can tell you they're sufficiently complex enough to allow proper adult strategy while still being child friendly (in fact I have to say Pokemon knocks M:TG into a cocked hat in terms of amount of fun I've had playing it. My old psychic deck was EVIL!)

Right now it's easier for you to get involved in his hobbies than vice versa. I think if I were in your position with a 6yr old son who wanted to join in with my gaming group I'd be uber-pleased but would ultimately have to say "in a couple of years". IMO 'starting to read well and do math' isn't enough for our hobby.
 

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Pokemon has inherent theft and teasing issues, though. A lot of kids will make fun of kids who play it, so it really depends how popular it is in the area. But the more popular it is the more likely someone is to steal your kid's cards.
 

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Pokemon has inherent theft and teasing issues, though. A lot of kids will make fun of kids who play it, so it really depends how popular it is in the area. But the more popular it is the more likely someone is to steal your kid's cards.
I never had any of those issues as a kid, and I really doubt some little kid is going to make fun of another little kid for liking Pokemon...

"Oh yeah, well you like Hannah Montana!"



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Then you happened to be in a Pokemon friendly area. Were it not for the fact that I was bigger than everyone I would have probably been beaten up, and I knew a few people who were.
 

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As long as he gets out of Pokemon by about 4th grade it is all good. I am ashamed to say as a kid I was one of those kids making fun of the 4th graders still playing...and now I play Warhammer. Circle of life and all that, huh?
 

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repeating myself just so you dont miss it


heroscape

:p

if hes a fan of superheros then especially get the marvel edition and thank me later ;)
 

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just don't put your kid into wargaming. Have him get into sports. Pokemon is perfectly acceptable at that age too. But if he gets older and thinks wargaming is cool let him try it. But it's not for his age group anyway. 12 i think
 
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