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For centuries, board games have been a popular pastime, and with tabletop gaming becoming even more popular in recent years, so many different types of game boards can be overwhelming for new players. Each type of board game has its own unique mechanics and gameplay, from abstract games to empire games to worker placement games and even more. As a beginner, it can be difficult to know where to start! In this article, we’ll explore the various types of board games, their definitions, and examples to help you discover your next favorite game. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting out, come with us on a journey to explore the exciting world of the all the different types of board games.
Overview of Various Types of Board Games
The world of board games has evolved significantly from the traditional games we all grew up playing. Nowadays, there are numerous variations of board games, each with their own distinct rules and concepts. From games that test your strategic abilities to games that promote collaboration, there is a board game that caters to everyone’s interests. This list is definitely not exhaustive in the least, and it will probably never be. There will undoubtedly be more board game genres introduced in the future. Regardless, whether you’re a seasoned board game aficionado or a beginner, there is always something novel to explore and appreciate, and we hope you enjoy our list below:
Board games that are abstract in nature prioritize strategy and gameplay mechanics over themes or narratives. These games are often considered the purest form of board gaming since they eliminate any unnecessary elements and focus solely on the game’s mechanics.
The simplicity of abstract board games is one of their defining characteristics. These games typically have few rules and are easy to learn, yet can be incredibly challenging to master. Additionally, they are highly replayable since the absence of a narrative or theme allows for a different approach to each game.
Examples of popular abstract board games include Chess, Go, and Checkers, which have been played for centuries and continue to be enjoyed today, demonstrating the enduring appeal of this type of game.
Abstract board games possess a unique quality in that they can be played in a variety of settings. They can be played casually with friends or family, or in a more competitive environment with experienced players. Furthermore, they are ideal for solo play since many abstract games contain puzzle-like elements that can be enjoyed alone.
Deceptive board games are a type of game that necessitates players to mislead and trick their opponents to emerge victorious. These games are all about cunning and manipulation, and they can be quite enjoyable for players who relish mind games and strategic thinking.
One well-known example of a deceptive board game is Sheriff of Nottingham, where players take turns being the sheriff and scrutinizing the goods that other players are attempting to smuggle into the city. Players can choose to be truthful and declare all of their goods, or they can attempt to sneak contraband past the sheriff by lying and deceiving their way through the inspection.
Another popular example of a deceptive board game is Coup, where players assume the roles of influential politicians in a dystopian society and strive to eliminate their opponents by utilizing their special abilities and bluffing their way through challenges.
Deceptive board games are best played with a group of friends who are comfortable with each other and enjoy playful teasing and mind games. These games are not for the faint of heart, as they require a lot of mental dexterity and quick thinking.
Legacy/Campaign Board Games provide a distinctive type of board game that offers players a more engaging and extended gaming experience. These games are intended to be played over several sessions, with each session building on the previous one. The objective of these games is to create a story that evolves over time, with the players’ choices and actions shaping the outcome of the game.
Some well-known examples of Legacy/Campaign Board Games include Pandemic Legacy, Gloomhaven, and Risk Legacy. These games are recognized for their intricate storylines and complex gameplay mechanics, which require players to think strategically and collaborate to achieve their objectives.
One of the unique features of Legacy/Campaign Board Games is that they frequently come with a set of rules and components that change over time. For instance, in Pandemic Legacy, players must deal with new diseases and mutations that arise as the game advances. In Gloomhaven, players unlock new characters and abilities as they complete missions and explore the game world.
Legacy/Campaign Games are best suited for players who are seeking a more immersive and long-term gaming experience. These games necessitate a significant time commitment and are not appropriate for casual players who are looking for a quick game to play.
Option #4. Civilization/Territory Building Games
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Territory Building Games are a well-liked type of board game that enables players to construct and oversee their own civilizations or territories. These games usually involve managing resources, strategic planning, and expanding conquered or captured terrain.
One instance of this type is the game “Settlers of Catan,” which has amassed a huge following since its debut. In this game, players compete to construct settlements and cities on an island while exchanging resources with each other. Another well-known example is “Risk,” which has been around since forever and involves players taking over territories and fighting each other for control of the world.
What sets Civilization/Territory Building Games apart is their emphasis on long-term strategy and resource management. Players must meticulously plan their moves and manage their resources to expand their territory and gain an edge over their opponents. These games are ideal for players who enjoy thinking ahead and developing intricate strategies.
Civilization/Territory Building Games are also perfect for players who enjoy immersive gameplay and world-building. These games frequently have intricately detailed settings and storylines that allow players to fully immerse themselves in the game world. They are ideal for players who enjoy creating their own stories and exploring new worlds.
Board games designed for children are created to be simple and enjoyable, with themes that are colorful and captivating to young players. Candy Land is a classic example of this type of game, which has been a favorite among children for many years. In this game, players move their game pieces along a path filled with candy-themed obstacles. Other popular examples of children’s games include Chutes and Ladders, Hi Ho Cherry-O, and Don’t Break the Ice.
Children’s games are unique in that they often focus on teaching basic skills, such as counting, recognizing colors, and taking turns. These games are also great for helping children develop social skills, as they learn to interact with others and follow rules in a fun and engaging way.
Children’s games are best suited for younger players, typically between the ages of 3 and 8. These games are perfect for family game nights, playdates, or as a fun activity to keep children entertained on a rainy day. They are also great for helping children develop basic skills and social skills, making them a valuable addition to any family’s game collection.
Option #6. Cooperative (Co-op) Board Games
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Cooperative board games are a type of game where players work together to achieve a shared objective, instead of competing against each other. In these games, players must work together and collaborate in order to overcome challenges and obstacles. This type of game is ideal for players who enjoy working together and want to feel the excitement of winning as a team.
Some well-known examples of cooperative board games include Pandemic, Forbidden Island, and Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. These games are created to be played with a group of friends or family members, and they offer a distinct and thrilling gaming experience.
One of the unique features of cooperative board games is that they frequently require players to communicate and collaborate in order to succeed. This can be an excellent way to develop teamwork abilities and enhance communication among players. Additionally, cooperative board games can be an excellent way to introduce new players to the world of board gaming, as they provide a more relaxed and supportive environment than competitive games.
Board games that involve building decks of cards have become increasingly popular in recent years. These games start with a basic set of cards and players gradually add more cards to their deck as the game progresses. The ultimate goal is to create a powerful deck that will help players win the game.
Dominion is one of the most well-known examples of this type of game. Players start with a small deck of cards and add more cards as they play. Each card has a unique ability that can either help players gain points or hinder their opponents.
One of the best things about deck building games is that they are highly customizable. Players can choose which cards to add to their deck, allowing them to create a strategy that suits their individual preferences. This means that each game can be different depending on which cards are available, making it highly replayable.
Deck building games are perfect for players who enjoy strategic thinking and planning. Since players have control over which cards they add to their deck, they must carefully consider which cards will be most useful in achieving their goals. This type of game is also great for players who enjoy a gradual buildup of power, as they can see their deck grow stronger over the course of the game.
Board games that require players to use logic and reasoning are known as Deduction Board Games. These games are ideal for those who enjoy a mental challenge and love to solve puzzles, mysteries and problems.
Clue is a well-known example of a deduction board game, where players must use clues to determine the murderer, weapon, and location of a crime. Hanabi is another example, where players work together to create a fireworks display by giving each other clues about their cards.
What makes deduction board games unique is the emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving. Players must use deductive reasoning to eliminate possibilities and narrow down the correct answer. These games are perfect for those who enjoy a mental challenge and want to improve their critical thinking skills.
Deduction board games are best played with a group of people who enjoy a challenge and are willing to work together to solve a mystery. They are perfect for game nights or gatherings with friends and family. These games are also great for those who want to exercise their minds and improve their critical thinking skills.
Board games that require physical skill and coordination are known as Dexterity Board Games. These games often involve balancing, stacking, or flicking objects to achieve a goal. The main objective of these games is to test the player’s physical abilities and dexterity, making them a fun and engaging option for players of all ages.
Jenga is a popular example of a dexterity board game. In this game, players take turns removing wooden blocks from a tower and placing them on top, without causing the tower to collapse. Another example is Crokinole, a game that involves flicking wooden discs across a board and trying to land them in specific areas.
What makes dexterity board games unique is their focus on physical skill. These games are perfect for parties or family gatherings, as they can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. They also provide a fun and exciting challenge for players who are looking for something different from traditional board games.
Option #10. Dice Games
Board games that rely on chance and luck are often played with dice. These games involve rolling the dice to determine the outcome. While the rules and objectives of these games can differ, they all use dice as the main game mechanic.
Some examples of dice games include Yahtzee, Farkle, and Liar’s Dice. These games are simple to learn and can be played with a few players, making them ideal for casual game nights or family gatherings.
The unpredictability of dice games is what makes them unique. Since the outcome of each roll is determined by chance, players must be ready to adjust their strategy and make the most of their hand. This can lead to exciting and unpredictable gameplay as players try to outmaneuver each other.
Dice games are also great for players who want a quick and easy game that can be played in a short amount of time. Because the rules are often straightforward and the gameplay is fast-paced, dice games can be a great way to pass the time and have fun with friends or family. Overall, they are an enjoyable and thrilling type of board game that can be played by anyone, regardless of age or skill level.
Board games that involve drafting are a particular type of game where players select cards or pieces from a shared pool and use them to create their own personal collection. These games require a lot of forward-thinking, as players must carefully consider which pieces to choose and how they will fit into their overall game plan.
7 Wonders is a popular example of a drafting board game that challenges players to construct their own ancient civilization by drafting cards that represent various buildings, wonders, and resources. Another example is Sushi Go!, a fast-paced game where players draft sushi dishes to create the best meal possible.
What makes drafting board games unique is their focus on careful planning and resource management. Players must be strategic in their choices, as they only have a limited number of picks to work with. This type of game is perfect for those who enjoy thinking ahead and making calculated decisions.
Even More Gameboard Types To Try
Still haven’t had enough? With so many different types of games available, there’s always something new to try. Here are even more game types to try:
🚂 – Engine-Builder Games: In these games, players build an “engine ” of cards or pieces that work together to generate resources or points. One example of an engine-builder game is Fleet.
🎲 – Roll-and-Move Games: These classic games involve rolling dice and moving a game piece around a board. One example of a roll-and-move game is Monopoly.
📝 – Roll-and-Write Games: Similar to roll-and-move games, but instead of moving a game piece, players write down their moves on a sheet of paper. One example of a roll-and-write game is Qwixx.
🗝️ – Dungeon-Crawler: In these games, players explore a dungeon or other dangerous location, fighting monsters and collecting treasure. One example of a dungeon-crawler game is Gloomhaven.
🌍 – Eurogame: These games are known for their strategic depth and lack of luck-based elements. One example of a Eurogame is Settlers of Catan.
🎲 – Push-Your-Luck: In these games, players take risks and try to push their luck to get ahead. One example of a push-your-luck game is Can’t Stop.
📖 – Storytelling: These games involve players creating a story together, often with the help of cards or other game elements. One example of a storytelling game is Once Upon a Time.
🧑🏭 – Worker-Placement: In these games, players place workers on a board to perform actions and gain resources. One example of a worker-placement game is Agricola.
Understanding the different types of board games is crucial for any enthusiast. From abstract games to worker placement games, each type has its own unique mechanics and gameplay. It’s important to explore different genres and types of board games to broaden your horizons and find what you enjoy the most. Don’t be afraid to try something new and step out of your comfort zone. In conclusion, understanding game types can enhance your gaming experience and open up a world of possibilities. So go ahead and explore the vast and exciting world of board games!
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