Non-collectible games for Yu-Gi-Oh players?
Mark Hudson
United States
Los Angeles
California
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There are some smart kids playing Yu-Gi-Oh across the street, and I'd like some recommendations for alternative games I could play with them. I'm about thrice their age, so a bit unsure about trying to introduce Settlers or Carcassonne, plus those are a bit too fiddly for playing sitting cross-legged on the front porch here in sunny downtown Los Angeles.

Basically I am looking for something I can introduce them to which will:
a) expand their horizons a bit
b) be simple enough that I can play with them
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1. Board Game: Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:6261]
Mark Hudson
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Starting the list with the titular game. If they like this, what kind of euro-game might they also like?
 
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2. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:877]
Tim Franklin
United Kingdom
Braintree
Essex
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It's got cards, and some similar mechanisms to CCGs, and even deck-building, but without the money pit. A great game in its own right, and could be a good way to show that "the games you play" are not something completely divorced from "the games they play".
 
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3. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
Tim Franklin
United Kingdom
Braintree
Essex
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More cards, so you're not making too much of a leap by introducing a board and a million tiny pieces. Still has some familiar traits - choices about what to keep and what to discard, play cheap things quickly or try and build up the power to play expensive (but cool) things, cards with special abilities but adds some more Euro-style things like resources, production, roles, building a position that's better than the other person's to win on VPs, rather than direct confrontation.
 
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4. Board Game: Navia Dratp [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:1977]
Gord Mackenzie
Canada
Windsor
Ontario
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Navia Dratp could fit the bill.

It is collectible (from Bandai the same company that markets Yu-Gi-Oh), but there are a limited number of figures, and can be picked up fairly cheaply on e-bay.

The game is a Chess / Shogi variant played with anime-themed miniatures, each of which has unique movement patterns and powers.

As a chess variant, it is only two player, but it definitely will expand their horizons and might interest them in more complex games.
 
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5. Board Game: Scarab Lords [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:3051] [Average Rating:6.05 Unranked]
Robert Washington
United States
Unspecified
New York
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This is very similar to Knizia's BLUE MOON decks, but a little cheaper and perhaps simpler in gameplay - basically a simplified CCG with a limited pool of cards broken up into into 2-player card sets. Fully compatible with MINOTAUR LORDS (see below).
 
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6. Board Game: Minotaur Lords [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:4427] [Average Rating:5.97 Unranked]
Robert Washington
United States
Unspecified
New York
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MINOTAUR LORDS is a fully compatible sequel to SCARAB LORDS - a simplified CCG with a small card pool from the creator of BLUE MOON. MSRP $19.99 USD each.
 
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7. Board Game: Caribbean [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2535]
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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I'm not sure how old the kids are, but they might like this. It has no cards, true, but it's pretty easy to grasp the mechanics and can be played simply at first. Once they've had a game under their belts, throw in a sneaky move, and they'll be introduced to the idea that a game can be played on different levels.
 
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8. Board Game: Heroes Incorporated [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:6065]
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
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"Today is the yesterday you won't be able to remember tomorrow" -Pinkwater
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They're probably the ideal age for this game. It's a bit tame for all adult play, but I've enjoyed it most when playing with 9-12 year olds. They get into the roles quite a bit.
 
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9. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
Jason Henke
United States
Maple Grove
Minnesota
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This is a good one. Easy to teach too. I think they'll take to it once they get rolling.
 
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10. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Tom Madden
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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I asked my 9-year-old daughter, who is a long-time Yu-Gi-Oh afficianado -- she has about a billion cards and trounces me effortlessly every time we play... Her first recommendation was Heroscape. It has cards, characters, special abilities, but it also gets you onto a board -- and a way cool one at that! Her second recommendation is Blue Moon (noted above). She loves that game too and has several expansion decks.
 
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