Gaming with an 8 year old

One of my biggest hurdles is finding people to play with. Life is busy and the types of games that I really love have an intimidating learning curve. So when my 8 year old daughter told me that she wanted to play a wargame with me, I could hardly contain myself. She and I have been playing games for a while now. The first game that she bought with her own money was Tsuro and she played that for quite a while before losing interest. She likes Clank! and we have some other smaller quicker games that we like to play together as well.

On the day that she told me she wanted to play a wargame with me, I was playing Advanced Squad Leader solitaire. I thought to myself, “Why not? Lets give this a shot.” and I got out the starter kit. How many times can we retake Vierville? She was quite the trooper. She followed along and nodded attentively and really enjoyed spending the time with me. Unfortunately, she did not understand what she was doing at all.

This was probably a mistake.

She never said it to me, but she told my wife the next day that she had no idea what was going on and did not want to play ASL again. She did not want to disappoint me. I talked to her and told her that she never had to play a game with me that she didn’t want to play, and that we would try something else.

We decided to try out Commands & Colors: Ancients. It is much simpler than ASL and even more importantly, plays much more quickly. She picked up on the card play and movement and was able to actually play the game. When we finished the battle, I told her that this was an actual battle that really happened in history and we talked about it for a few minutes. That was when it clicked for her. She understood the connection between the game and real life, and it meant something. That is the reason that I love historical gaming.

We still play together quite a bit, but it is mostly Imperial Assault or X Wing Miniatures. She is the world’s biggest Ahsoka fan, and she puts her favorite Togruta on the table any chance she gets. Combining Star Wars and wargames – what a concept! I can’t wait for Legion to come out next month.

She plays rebels. I play Scum.