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I often try and find things that are entertaining for kids that aren’t terribly mind-numbing.  Outdoor activities are all well and good, but sometimes weather or daylight just doesn’t permit something like that.  I will cook and bake a lot with the kids, but…you only need so much food.  I will craft with the kids too, but sometimes that requires more prep time than I can allot in a given week.  So recently, I’ve been looking more into board games.

I’ve always liked board games.  They have more of a social quality to them as opposed to video and computer games.  Yes, you have the MMOs, but…you’ve heard the kind of social interaction that goes on in an MMO right?  Yeaaah…

My brother was home for a few weeks recently and he also has been looking into board games, both because he likes them and because he’s looking for ones he can play with the kids he takes care of.  This was perfect because we were able to audit and test play a bunch of games together.  I’ll probably present my thoughts on them in no particular order in the coming weeks.  Assuming that there is no other pressing ridiculous to cover in a post, that is.

First up, Axis and Allies 1941.

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I liked this game a lot.  But…it’s probably not one I’d play with the kids.  Firstly, because the bulk of the kids I spend time with are jr. high and high school girls.  Most of them are not very nerdy and do not have a lot of interest in involved games, war history, or even board games themselves.  Secondly, the boys I do take care of are young, the oldest being maybe 5th grade.  They do not have the attention span (or maturity) for an involved game.  Even if I were around the high school boys more often as my brother is, I still probably wouldn’t suggest this game because it is involved, a couple of hours at least.  But I do like the game a lot.

There are multiple versions of Axis and Allies and the 1941 version is probably the most accessible of all of them.  It has a stripped down board and game mechanics.  It’s similar to the other, fuller versions, but it’s much less intimidating to a new player.  Which I was.

My brother had already played the 1941 edition several times with his friends and also the full version several times.  I’ve skimmed the rules for the other versions.  If I’m going to learn or teach how to play Axis and Allies, I’m definitely choosing the 1941 version.

If you’d like to read an actual review of the game, here’s one from boardgamegeeks.

Incidentally, my brother and I played a game in about four hours (with setup and an awful lot of questions from me) with my brother playing as the Allies and me playing as the Axis powers.  I wiped out USSR with Germany in about three turns (with the help of some monumentally bad rolls from my brother).  And then I used Japan and completely annihilated the US.  I then proceeded to make Germany dominate the air and Japan dominate the sea and the UK had no chance.  Bwahahahaha.

This is particularly amusing to me because my favorite strategy in war games is just to inundate the enemy with troops (hence my proclivity in playing as China or Russia in a lot of war/sim/civ games).  It’s a terrible actual strategy and I should never be a general.  But I didn’t actually use that “strategy” here.  And I won so hard.  😁

Also, Horse ended up eating a section of the box and a large section of the rule book.  I guess he was feeling left out?  At any rate, it was salvageable, my brother wasn’t too upset (as it is his game), and he’s decided it’s the perfect excuse to buy the 1942 version.

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