I'm a believer that games should be simple and with rules that are easy for anyone to understand. Checkers, chess, backgammon and Scrabble are examples of games that most people at any age could play without having to memorize 100 rules, literally. The other rule of thumb I have for games is that one should be able to play a round in less that an hour. So when Sam got Axis and Allies, I just cringed because I knew it was one of those super-complicated strategy games with dozens of rules and could take days to play. Over the holiday break, Sam studied all the rules and for the past 3 days we've been "practice playing" just so we get the hang of it. We've played a total of four hours (just a continuation of a single game) and movement on the board is slow but I'm beginning to appreciate the strategy behind domination in Axis and Allies. Unfortunately, the kids go back to school tomorrow and we'll probably pick up the game later in the week.
Speaking of board games, I don't understand why my family takes such pleasure in beating yours truly. Christmas eve Scrabble game with my mom, cousin and aunt was my 2nd time ever playing that game and lost by only 8 points in spite of me cooking the ham and entertaining while playing the letter tiles. I swear it felt like the best Christmas present my mom ever got. Then there's my younger kid who always celebrates like a world champion after beating me at Tangoes or backgammon. I might as well paint a bulls-eye on my forehead, right?