Step Away From That Video Game.
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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How many of you have sons in the 5-12 year old range? Are they spending an enormous amount of time sitting in front of an electronic box playing video games? Let's get some board games to pull them away from the screen.

Criteria:
1. Theme (A cool boy-oriented theme.)
**This will be the first thing to interest them

2. Bits (Probably should have some interesting bits.)
**Remember these guys are used to visuals.

3. Playable (Relatively simple rules, not too complex.)
**Most video games don't take much thought.
**We'll work these guys into the deeper stuff.

4. Available (Still in print, or easily had on ebay.)
**Dads are on budgets.
**We also want to have money left for our games.

5. NOT Collectible (ie. Magic, Heroclix, etc.)
**see criteria 4

I'll start this list with 10 games, in no particular order, from my collection that have worked for me and my sons. I know there are more out there. For example, what's the best of the pirate genre for these guys?

Help a dad out.
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1. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:269] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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My boys love this. Awesome minis. Build your own board. This was the first game that came to mind when putting together this list.
 
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2. Board Game: Star Wars: Epic Duels [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:891]
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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Star Wars! Can't go wrong with that theme for these guys. Pick who you want to be and battle away. Han and Chewy square off against Darth Maul and Battle Droids. Multiple battle boards. More minis.
 
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3. Board Game: Transformers Armada: Battle for Cybertron [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:6423]
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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Essentially the same game as "Epic Duels" with a different theme. The neat thing is they are interchangeable. Take your favorite Transformers and battle Darth Vader.
 
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4. Board Game: Batman: Gotham City Mystery [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:12216]
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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Batman! Another "hard to miss" theme. More minis. Nice team play to defeat the villain. Dad plays the villain, sons play the heroes. Who wins?
 
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5. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:752]
 
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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Nice cards. Theme-monsters battling. A little more complex with the betting mechanic. Not for the younger boys due to the necessity of reading the different cards.
 
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6. Board Game: NASCAR Champions [Average Rating:5.40 Overall Rank:13116]
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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Again, good theme. Race around the track. Cards enable you to spin out other cars. Interesting twist of sponsoring a competitor.
 
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7. Board Game: Battleball [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:2197]
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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Are you ready for some football! Battling to score touchdowns. Cool minis. Big board.
 
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8. Board Game: Mission Command Air [Average Rating:5.63 Overall Rank:10737]
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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Fighter jets dogfighting. The ability to "loop" off the board is a nice touch.
 
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9. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:205]
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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Bugs! Even though the game is essentially abstract strategy every piece has a bug on it. Boys love bugs. No board necessary. This one is a little harder to find. I did find it at boardsandbits.com.
 
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10. Board Game: Battle Masters [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2706]
Jeffrey Van Ness
United States
Dunellen
NJ
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Ok, this one is not that available. It can be found on ebay, but usually at a price. I'm breaking my own rule because my oldest son really likes this one. Huge board. (So big it can actually can be a problem at times.) Tons of minis. Orcs, knights, cannon, cool.
 
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11. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:879]
Danny Webb
United States
Whitesburg
Kentucky
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The CCG feel without the first "C" and it's a gem to boot.
 
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12. Board Game: StreetSoccer [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1686]
E Voyles
United States
Tahlequah
Oklahoma
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Boys love sports and this here is a good 'un. It's a fast pace simulation that requires strong strategy. I like the big wooden players and the sturdy 2-tone green board. Now I admit it's not too fancy in the looks department, but to my eyes Streetsoccer is beauty.
 
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13. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Charles Reese
United States
Grapevine
Texas
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Certainly meets all the criteria, and has been a lot of fun with my 10 year old. Might not work well much younger than that though, so doesn't fully cover the 5-12 range.
 
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14. Board Game: PitchCar Mini [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1013]
Bryant Garrigus
United States
Belmont
Massachusetts
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Good theme(car racing) requires good hand eye coordination, which videogamers have/like, and it looks pretty neat, too.

The price is a bit much($50, i think?) though.
 
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15. Board Game: X-Bugs [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:3493]
John Squires
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Bug battles and pieces that you can flick for a reasonable price. Enough tactics to make it competetive for the older kids (ie parents). Wish I had some youngsters to play this with.
 
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16. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
Paul Burkhard
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
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A good crokinole board should get lots of play with young men, I would think.
 
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