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"gettting my 9 year old into tabletop gaming- need advice plz" Topic

30 Posts

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chrach730 Jun 2014 6:42 a.m. PST

I'd like to get my 9 year old started on some collectible gaming (as the gateway drug to bigger and better tabletop gaming one day- mwahaha).

I'm going to introduce him to x-wing but I'd also like a ground-based combat game for us to play. He loves sci-fi and fantasy but he doesn't seem very interested in monsterpocalypse or in the superhero games.

I was wondering what else is available? I see some mechwarrior clix stuff that might be fun but I am unfamiliar with the "clix" system. Thanks.

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP30 Jun 2014 6:56 a.m. PST

It seems like the Star Wars miniature game would be a natural. It's OOP, but there are vast numbers of them available on EBay. The rules are available as a PDF here: PDF link

JezEger30 Jun 2014 7:19 a.m. PST

My boy is also nine and loves zombiecide. The best part is that you are playing as a team against the game. Nothing worse than losing to your dad, or knowing your dad threw the game so you could win. You might also want to look at the d&d boardgames for the same reasons. Cool minis, easy rules, Los of fun. Wrath of ashardalon is our current fave.

Personal logo Tommy20 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jun 2014 7:27 a.m. PST

My 9yo loves Memoir 44 and Battle Cry. Neither is collectible, but that's a plus for me.

Greywing30 Jun 2014 7:32 a.m. PST

I started my kid on HeroScape when he was about 8, and he's crazy about it. I give it my highest recommendation.

It has a high "toy factor" because of the terrain, so that's a big plus for getting a kid interested. It's also a surprisingly good game in its own right, which is a big plus for *me*. (I find Pokemon, for instance, to be basically interminable.)

It's out of print (but readily available on eBay), so it's collectible in that sense -- but not the "blind buy" sense.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP30 Jun 2014 7:33 a.m. PST

There is (was?) a great game from Milton Bradley called "Lionhear"

ordinarybass30 Jun 2014 7:33 a.m. PST

Honestly, I'd skip collectible gaming except maybe as a way to get cheap second hand prepainted miniatures. There are some excellent rulesets out there that will provide you with an experience that is cheaper than collectible gaming but not necessarily more complex.

For a fantasy game, Song of Blades and Heroes is an excellent choice that is easy to learn, but will also allow him to use whatever fantasy figures catch his interest. It is also a game that can grow with him as it has many neat expansions.

For mecha, buying second hand Mechwarrior clix and rebasing them is a cheap way to get into that kind of gaming. We've don that and had alot of success with the game "Mech Attack". Stratiforward and fairly simple rules, but lots of room for him to create his own mecha if he chooses.

We've run both of the games above it at conventions with kids and adults and it's and they are both very easy to teach/learn, but lots of fun and can even be tactically satisfying.

Bohdan Khmelnytskij30 Jun 2014 7:42 a.m. PST

My 7 year old daughter got really into Wings of War and started collecting the pre-painted WW1 German aircraft. I took her with me to the local GW store and the local manager started to play a very basic game with her. We go back about every other week and she now has a small skeleton army army she has painted herself. Each time we play at home or at the store we add more complex rules

corporalpat30 Jun 2014 7:51 a.m. PST

Board games like "Risk" or the old TSR game "Dungeon!" which is back in print, would be right about his age group. These and other miniature related games are great gateway…I mean introductory games.

Or, make up some simple games and scenarios using figures he already has. When my son was about 5 or 6, he devised a simple game himself. We would each get a pile of his action figures (GI Joe, Star Wars etc…) and pick a champion. Then we would each roll a d6 with the high roll winning the fight and the loser's figure. This was repeated until one or the other of us had no figures left! Funnily enough, this simple die rolling mechanic features in some of the melee rules I design today!

Also, check out some of the 1/72, and larger scale plastic figures on the market today. My Airfix figures were constant companions in my youth.

Or for historical paper miniatures you can print out yourself go to:

They also have simple rules designed for kids in their Scenarios section that are perfect for beginners.

He is old enough he could play Song of Blades and Heroes. Their basic game is fantasy, but they have rules for other periods as well, including Sci-Fi. If you are not familiar with them, here you go…

They have a simple game mechanic which is fairly easy to learn, have fast play, and small figure requirements.
Good luck and good gaming!

john lacour30 Jun 2014 7:51 a.m. PST

try blood bowl. awsome, violent, sports game.

nochules30 Jun 2014 8:08 a.m. PST

Kids can handle a lot if you just throw them into a game. I started with WRG Ancients when I was 7. :-)

I bought my kids some Heroclix, but they passed right over them in favor of full on wargaming. But YMMV.

Legion 430 Jun 2014 8:19 a.m. PST

Don't forget to get children involved in physical activity outdoors and at the gym … they/we all need to exercise our bodies as well as our minds … This came to mind when CNN recently reported the Pentagon noted 2/3 of US youth that would be draft age would not pass the physical requirements … I like gaming, modeling, surfing the net, etc. … but I always try to make it to the gym daily … Just my 2 cents … wink

John the OFM30 Jun 2014 8:24 a.m. PST

Why not ask the kid himself, instead of grumpy old farts like us?

RInhoff30 Jun 2014 8:36 a.m. PST

Cheap plastic army men that you both paint together, glued to small cardboard squares and played on the floor with wooden block buildings. Home brewed rules with no more than six or seven items, a six sided die, a plastic ruler and you are good to go. The main ingredient is that both of you play. The rest will evolve if he has fun with his dad.

RazorMind30 Jun 2014 8:37 a.m. PST

I got my son started many years ago on the Mechwarrior Clix. Simple enough, no painting, and boys just love giant mechs!

Chocolate Fezian30 Jun 2014 8:50 a.m. PST

I agree with The OFM, what if he doesn't want to play miniatures games?
My son now 15 has never shown any interest in MY hobby and I haver never forced him to paly

Mardaddy30 Jun 2014 9:10 a.m. PST

Second the Star Wars game as first-intro.

1. It is a familiar universe everyone loves (no learning curve there.)
2. The rules are free and fairly simple to grasp.
3. Allows for recovery from bad decisions (one bad tactical error will not cost the whole game.)
4. The figures are widely available and inexpensive.
5. The figures are pre-painted (so no frustration trying to, "paint it right," until he gets that creative itch on his own.)
6. Allows for expansion of rule details to scale with the capabilities of the player.

chrach730 Jun 2014 9:33 a.m. PST

Where can the star wars rules be found?

I also think he would enjoy the collectible aspect and the money would not be a serious issue (at least when compared what I blow on miniatures).

Mardaddy30 Jun 2014 9:49 a.m. PST

See the second post.

Stealth100030 Jun 2014 12:14 p.m. PST

Zombies. Kids love zombies.

chrach730 Jun 2014 1:00 p.m. PST

Thanks for the advice everyone. One more question- are there any of these games that are still supported with ongoing releases? It might be fun to get him unopened new stuff as rewards, presents etc.

goragrad30 Jun 2014 2:52 p.m. PST

My 6 year old nephew and his 9 and 12 year old sisters are quite keen on DBA. A TMPer threw some skellis in with a lot of historicals that I got from him and they are HOTT to trot with those as well.

I even had the girls' 9 year old playmate in on a multi-commander BBDBA battle.

Depending on what you have available I'd suggest 'throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks…'

sillypoint30 Jun 2014 4:04 p.m. PST

Don't forget to lose now and then ;)

darebear30 Jun 2014 8:08 p.m. PST

I have 3 boys. Never expect them to follow in your shoes. Mine have zero interest in miniature gaming and I have tens of thousands of miniatures in display cases in my home (fantasy, modern, sci fi, ect). They simply have no interest in little men.

JezEger30 Jun 2014 10:46 p.m. PST

Zombiecide has just started a new Kickstarter. Their releases are called seasons, currently season 3. One and two are available through retail stores. Boxes are chock full of minis, high quality production. Again, can't stress enough the value of co op play as against competitive play with a kid. Take a look on YouTube for gameplay examples. Lots of online support for extra scenarios.

Weasel30 Jun 2014 11:01 p.m. PST

My 6 year old was an easy fit for some super casual Warhammer 40K (2nd ed of course), since he's watched me play Space Marine on the PS3.

He's been showing an interest in WW2 and loves tank shows, so I imagine that'll be very soon too.

billclo01 Jul 2014 3:59 a.m. PST

I started my 5-year old on X-Wing, and he's now into Star Wars Risk. He's 6 now, and is handling it fairly well.

Inner Sanctum01 Jul 2014 4:08 a.m. PST

Why not start with getting her to make you some terrain, particularly plants? What kid doesnt enjoy making a mess?

I'm sure she'd get a kick out of you using them, then you have a good "in" for phase 2.

my blog has a few articles on scenery making, I must add one on plants soon. I hope this helps. link

Tgunner01 Jul 2014 4:34 a.m. PST

I third Star Wars. If he likes the Clone Wars TV show then you have a real treat for him. The miniatures game released the first couple of seasons of the show so you can get the characters he really likes plus the releases were pretty complete when it comes to vehicles too. Better still you can move from the rather basic WOC rules to any skirmish rules you play. I had a hoot using mine with Lord of the Rings and Bolt Action.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP01 Jul 2014 10:04 p.m. PST

I second Junior General, if there is any interest in historicals then that site has most eras. Simple and fun I have used them to play with my boys and some Scout friends.

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