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No. of Recommendations: 8
I really have no explanation or excuse. There are just a few games that - no matter how hard I try, I just can't win against my kids. Y'know, when the little tykes were younger, we could use a variety of tactics to keep the younguns 'in the game'. I'm not talking about deliberately throwing the game (that's just no good), but it's not too hard to 'help'. Usually, this would amount to pointing out moves, making suggestions, the like. Many times we would set a handicap on the second and subsequent times through the game.

Those were the days. Having passed through tyke-dom, these 2 (10 y/o, 16 y/o) have become gaming terrors. Don't get the wrong idea - they've learned good sportsmanship, and are generally very patient and good-natured regardless of the game. It's just that they pick up on stuff so d**n quick! And now... well, now there are a few games in which the record has become rather lopsided:

5. Blokus - my 16 y/o loves this game. If you've never seen it, it's played on a grid with various-sized pieces that are from 1 to 5 'blocks' that can only be placed where their corners touch. Simple in concept, nasty in execution. Trying to block each other is the primary theme.

He's just gotten really good at this game. He always seems to be able to slip in a few more pieces, never seems to get stuck with a big one in his hand, and often completely places all his pieces. Varmint!

4. We the People - several years ago, I nabbed a dusty copy of this card-driven Revolutionary War classic from a game shop in San Diego while on vacation. I'd been looking for some time - out of print, y'know. My 10 y/o and I have played this one many times, and he just has my number. There have been a few games where he's snuffed me out on turn 3. Que humiliating. I can't get too upset though, considering that he gets a dollop of history each time we play. (I *will* conquer him someday...)

3. Ticket to Ride - okay, now we're getting into the real washouts. My 16 y/o just has the mojo when it comes to this game. I don't know how he does it, but he *always* seems to be able to finish his long route, nab several others along the way and throw in a couple of gratuitous 4- and 5- baggers just for style points. I dunno. We actually went out of our way once to make sure he didn't win, but if the playing field is level, he's awfully hard to top.

2. Poker. It think the less said here, the better. It's a good thing we never play for money. The pride deficit is bad enough as is.

1. Thurn and Taxis. I think the German postal-fu is strong with my little one. It's like he is reading our minds. There have been so many times that I'm just within reach of a tile (just one more turn), and he will grab it ahead of me. The last time we played, the wife was determined that she was going to best him... to no avail, badly beaten again. I was looking through the game-closet with him the other day to pick out some games and I grabbed TnT. He got that look of total boredom on his face (those of you with 10 y/o's, discuss), and just said 'do you really want to play that one?' I didn't know whether to laugh or challenge him to an arm-wrestle.

High honorable mention - Twilight Struggle. I've played this with my 10 y/o now about, dunno, 12 times. He usually takes the Russian, for some reason. I lost this to my diminutive Bolshevik the first 7 times we played this, but the worm has turned now, and I am on a *roll*. Let Freedom Ring!

So, fellow gaming Fools - are there games that your kids can't seem to lose when they play you? Let it all out; I'm here to console.

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