Sure, I’ll expound a bit, but thanks for all these suggestions! I’ll need to YouTube some reviews for some of these, but I’ve already dropped Santorini in my Amazon cart, seems like slam dunk for playing with the kids.
When I mean tactical, I suppose I’m relating to movement and positioning and using abilities that compliment, compound, and ideally, involve attrition and sacrifice. I feel like a lot of the games my wife has picked up involve clever permutations of weighing the odds and accruing points by managing timing and risk, but they don’t have that managing of units and applying them dynamic that I like. Even something like King of Tokyo, which we do all like, which has fun character cutouts and a ‘map’, is about health points and abilities and timing and risk, not positioning and overlapping and reinforcement etc.
Xwing, sure, that would be ok if it wasn’t Star Wars and laser fighting, but literally transplant it into a hot air balloon game where you’re tossing sandbags into your opponents baskets to make you go up and them down to win would be great!
In a way, I’m thinking of Chess, on a modular 3D terrain map, and rather than simple annihilation, objectives for your pieces to achieve, with a cutesy skin over the top of it. Myth TFL Territories, with bunnies rather than zombies. A lot of tactical games I know of are made to make you buy endless expansions and minis, can be sprawling, and are mature in theme…(Batteltech, Xwing, warhammer etc.) all things I don’t want.
I don’t really think dungeon crawlers or exploration games do it, I think my daughter would enjoy the narrative for a while but to entice the wife to play with us it needs to be tight, have obvious win conditions, not a winding grind through rooms, as too often it’s just a slog to see if you’re character lives or dies early. We do like Labyrinth, though!
I’ll look into a lot of these suggestions. My Little Scythe is intriguing, thematically spot on, not sure if it ticks all my boxes but in the end, any good game will do!