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Thanatopsis

Recommended Age of IA

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I didn't see discussed anywhere else:

 

Descent 2.0 has a recommended age of 14+

Imperial Assault has a recommended age of 10+

 

That's the difference between a middle school student and a high school student being able to play this game. Now I know those recommendations don't mean anything on a per-game basis; I am sure there are plenty of 11 and 12 year olds playing Descent. The key is the relative difference between the two games.

 

To put this in perspective, most of FFG's complicated hobby games are 14+ (Twilight Imperium, etc). The games I found that were 10+ were Citadels and Talisman.

 

So, I see some good and bad things coming out of this:

1) IA cannot be Descent with Star Wars packaging. The game must have changed in order for the age range to have dropped.

2) FFG knows it's audience. Kids love Star Wars and parents are going to enjoy playing this game with their kids before they become too-cool to play board games with their parents.

3) The complexity drops so the game (probably?) becomes more fluid and simpler?

4) The age range could be based on thematic content. (Parents may not want their 10 year old playing Chaos on the Old World). But I can't imagine that simulated blaster fire and grenades exploding being any worse than swords, arrows, and magic

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If I remember, there is some regulation in the age ranged that companies can put on games.  It has something to do with the content (complexity and difficulty), and also the size of pieces (chocking hazard etc).

https://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/113962/adg.pdf

Board game stuff starts aroung p141.

 

Putting 14+ on a box allows you to avoid everything...it's basically unregulated.  They likely figured Descent wouldn't have mass appeal in the under 14 crowd (and if it did, they'd likely get it themselves or had parents that owned the game), so they stuck 14+ on the box and called it good.  That is why most Indi games are labled 14+ no matter the content.  No need to worry about regulation that way.  I've even seen kickstarted games obviously designed for young children with the 14+ because they don't want to waste time/money/effort getting approval for a different rating.

 

Since star wars appeals to a wider age range of younger kids, going through the process to get OK'd for a younger age range on the box is a marketting move.  10+ opens up the idea of getting this as a gift to a young star wars fan.  Especially good move with the upcoming movies and the new cartoon show.  A parent unfamiliar with board games might think the 14+ is like a movie rating and avoid a game like that for their 12 year old. 

 

It's likely that if they submitted descent for proper age ratings, it to would come back with a 10+ rating.
 

Edited by kmanweiss

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That was an interesting read (about regulations). I'm completely naive to this topic, but I would have suggested it as a marketing move. Plus, does Descent use blood in any of the artwork? I know Runewars and BattleLore 2E (which are also Terrinoth games like Descent) use blood-shaped tokens for damage. I doubt Star Wars will, so that could be a factor in the rating as well.

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I haven't played Descent, but from all the artwork I've seen, it's not all that graphic.  The idea of fighting demons, ghouls, etc might rate it a bit higher, but both include killing/death.

 

Let me give you some other examples.

 

Heroquest and Darkworld are both in the same genre of Descent (fantasy adventure rpg) - both for 10+

WoW the boardgame obviously a similar style game - 12+ (likely didn't bother to get it rated)

Zombicide is another game like these but I would dare say way more graphic in content/art and it's 13+ (again most likely to avoid rating)

 

If you check Boardgamegeek's user suggested age you'll see it's 10 with a few rating below that.  I'd guess the complexity and depth of the two games will likely be interchangeable, it was just a matter of not trying to market Descent to younger children where IA is obviously going to be marketed as such.

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I plan on giving this a try with my 4 year old son.  I figure with his mother as a team-mate and myself running the game as the Imperials, we'll be able to get it to work just fine, even if he doesn't have a firm grasp of the rules.

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