256 – Room to Grow: Action Selection Games – The Family Gamers Podcast

Mammoth field with 3 blue mammoths and 1 green.

Simple fact this week: 256 = 2^8th power.

Sponsor message: Andrew is wrong about Welcome To… And if you want to talk more about games Andrew is wrong about, or about your finances go to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers to set up a time to chat.

What We’ve Been Playing

Captain Sonar in play
Playing Captain Sonar

Snail Sprint (HABA – our review)
Ex Libris (Renegade Games)
Merchants of Magick (Rock Manor Games – review coming soon)
Cinco Linko (Big Potato Games – our review)
The River (Days of Wonder)
Groundhog Day: The Game (Funko Games)
Inspector Mouse: The Great Escape (HABA)

Captain Sonar
Camp Pinetop (Talon Strikes Games – our review)
Super Truffle Pigs (Games by Bicycle)
Capital Lux 2: Generations
Mr. Jack (Hurrican – also on Board Game Arena)
Marvel Champions – Andrew prefers this over Marvel United.
On the Rocks (25th Century Games)

SNAP Review – Enchanted Plumes

Andrew dresses like a peacock to attract Anitra… It doesn’t work.

Watch the video or read the transcript for our review of Enchanted Plumes.

Welcome new community members

Join our community and come say hi!

Room to Grow: Action Selection

Our goal with Room to Grow is to help you bring your kids through a series of games that grow in complexity.

Sometimes you want to help your kids grow into the games that you really want to play.

What is action selection? Board Game Geek calls this family of games “Action Point” which has a slightly different connotation. You have a menu of actions available to you every turn and you’re allowed to do a certain number of those every turn. The actions you’re taking are sufficiently different that you need to do some combination of them.


“My First” Action Selection: Honga

The action selection here is simple, but there’s a slight add to complexity with placing action “disks”. You’re distributing your available action choices between 2-3 options. But you also are risking loss if you do not devote an action to pet Honga the saber-tooth tiger.

Read Nick’s review of Honga.

A Step Up: Takenoko

You have your own board, where you can select (usually 2) actions on your turn. Your actions will affect the main board, by causing bamboo to grow or moving the gardener or the panda. But no one else will affect what actions you can take.

There are restrictions of course (normally you can’t take the same action twice), and the restrictions drive the tension in the game. Can you “trick” other players into doing some of the actions for you?

Acheiving intermediate goals can help kids and less-experienced players to feel a sense of accomplishment, even if they don’t win.

Action Selection with a Little Bit More: Above and Below

Above and Below is a beautiful game with an interesting narrative. At its heart, this is an “action point” game, because you commit some number of “villagers” to do each task. You commit more people to activities in the “below” to increase your chances of success – but that leaves you with fewer to build your village “above”.

What’s your favorite Action Selection game?

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