A board game is a game that involves counters or pieces moved or placed on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules. Games can be based on pure strategy, chance (e.g. rolling dice), or a mixture of the two, and usually have a goal that a player aims to achieve. Early board games represented a battle between two armies, and most modern board games are still based on defeating opposing players in terms of counters, winning position, or accrual of points (often expressed as in-game currency).

There are many varieties of board games. Their representation of real-life situations can range from having no inherent theme (e.g. checkers), to having a specific theme and narrative (e.g. Cluedo). Rules can range from the very simple (e.g. Tic-tac-toe), to those describing a game universe in great detail (e.g. Dungeons & Dragons) – although most of the latter are role-playing games where the board is secondary to the game, serving to help visualize the game

The time required to learn to play or master a game varies greatly from game to game. Learning time does not necessarily correlate with the number or complexity of rules; some games having profound strategies (e.g. chess or Go) possess relatively simple rulesets.

  • 1. [Abstract strategy game] An abstract strategy game is a strategy game that minimizes luck and does not rely on a theme. Almost all abstract strategy games will conform to the strictest definition of: a gameboard, card, or tile game in which there is no hidden information, no non-deterministic elements (such as shuffled cards or dice rolls), and (usually) two players or teams taking a finite number of alternating turns.
  • 2. [Card game] A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games (such as poker). A small number of card games played with traditional decks have formally standardized rules, but most are folk games whose rules vary by region, culture, and person.
  • 3. [Wargaming] A wargame (also war game) is a strategy game that deals with military operations of various types, real or fictional. Wargaming is the hobby dedicated to the play of such games, which can also be called conflict simulations, or consims for short. When used professionally by the military to study warfare, "war game" may refer
  • 4. [Avalon Hill] Avalon Hill is a game company that specializes in wargames and strategic board games. Its logo contains its initials "AH", and the company is often referred to by this abbreviation. It has also published the occasional miniature wargaming rules, role-playing game, and had a popular line of sports simulations. It is now a division of the game company Wizards of the Coast, which is itself a subsidiary of Hasbro.
  • 5. [Dice] Dice (singular die or dice; from Old French ; from Latin datum "something which is given or played") are small throwable objects with multiple resting positions, used for generating random numbers. Dice are suitable as gambling devices for games like craps, and are also used in non-gambling tabletop games.
  • 6. [Draughts] Draughts (/ˈdrɑːfts/, British English) or checkers (American English) is a group of strategy board games for two players which involve diagonal moves of uniform game pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over opponent pieces. Draughts developed from alquerque. The name derives from the verb to draw or to move.
  • 7. [Monopoly (game)] Monopoly is an American-originated board game originally published by Parker Brothers. Subtitled "The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game", the game is named after the economic concept of monopoly—the domination of a market by a single entity. It is produced by the United States game and toy company Hasbro. Players move around the gameboard buying or trading
  • 8. [Alquerque] Alquerque (also known as Qirkat) is a strategy board game that is thought to have originated in the Middle East. It is considered to be the parent of draughts (US and South Africa: checkers) and Fanorona.
  • 9. [BoardGameGeek] BoardGameGeek is a website that was founded in January 2000 by Scott Alden and Derk Solko as a resource for the board gaming hobby. The database holds reviews, articles, and session reports for over 74,000 different games, expansions, and designers. BoardGameGeek includes German-style board games, wargames, card games and other tabletop games. Even public-domain card
  • 10. [Go (game)] Go (simplified Chinese: 围棋; traditional Chinese: 圍棋; pinyin: wéiqí, Japanese: 囲碁 igo, literal meaning: "encircling game", Korean: 바둑 baduk) is a board game involving two players that originated in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago. It was considered one of the four essential arts of a cultured Chinese scholar in antiquity. Its earliest written reference dates back to the Confucian Analects.
  • 11. [Risk (game)] Risk is a strategy board game produced by Parker Brothers (now a division of Hasbro). It was invented by French film director Albert Lamorisse and originally released in 1957 as La Conquête du Monde ("The Conquest of the World") in France. It was later bought by Parker Brothers and released in 1959 with some modifications to the rules as Risk: The Continental Game, then as Risk: The Game of Global Domination.
  • 12. [The Settlers of Catan] The Settlers of Catan is a multiplayer board game designed by Klaus Teuber and first published in 1995 in Germany by Franckh-Kosmos Verlag (Kosmos) as Die Siedler von Catan. Players assume the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players are rewarded points as their settlements grow;
  • 13. [German-style board game] A German-style board game, also referred to as a German game, Euro game, or Euro-style game, is any of a class of tabletop games that generally have simple rules, short to medium playing times, indirect player interaction, and abstract physical components. Such games emphasize strategy, downplay luck and conflict, lean towards economic rather than military
  • 14. [Pachisi] Pachisi (Hindi: पचीसी) is a cross and circle board game that originated in ancient India which has been described as the "national game of India". It is played on a board shaped like a symmetrical cross. A player's pieces move around the board based upon a throw of six or seven cowrie shells, with the number of shells resting with aperture upwards indicating the number of spaces to move.
  • 15. [Cluedo] Cluedo /ˈkluːdoʊ/, or Clue in North America, is a murder mystery game for three to six players, devised by Anthony E. Pratt from Birmingham, England and currently published by the United States game and toy company Hasbro. The object of the game is to determine who murdered the game's victim ("Dr. Black" in the UK
  • 16. [Chess variant] A chess variant (or unorthodox chess) is a game related to, derived from or inspired by chess. The difference from chess might include one or more of the following:
  • 17. [Strategy game] A strategy game or strategic game is a game (e.g. video or board game) in which the players' uncoerced, and often autonomous decision-making skills have a high significance in determining the outcome. Almost all strategy games require internal decision tree style thinking, and typically very high situational awareness.
  • 18. [Tabletop game] Tabletop game is a general term used to refer to board games, card games, dice games, miniatures wargames, tile-based games and other games that are normally played on a table or other flat surface. The term is used to distinguish these types of games from sports and video games, which today enjoy more popularity than most tabletop games.
  • 19. [Fox games] Fox games are a category of board games for two players, where one player is the fox and tries to eat the geese/sheep, and the opposing player directs the geese/sheep and attempts to trap the fox, or reach a destination on the board. In another variant, Fox and Hounds, the fox merely tries to evade
  • 20. [Diplomacy (game)] Diplomacy is a strategic board game created by Allan B. Calhamer in 1954 and released commercially in 1959. Its main distinctions from most board wargames are its negotiation phases (players spend much of their time forming and betraying alliances with other players and forming beneficial strategies) and the absence of dice and other game elements
  • 21. [Scrabble] Scrabble is a word game in which two to four players score points by placing tiles, each bearing a single letter, onto a gameboard which is divided into a 15×15 grid of squares. The tiles must form words which, in crossword fashion, flow left to right in rows or downwards in columns. The words must
  • 22. [Xiangqi] Xiangqi (Chinese: 象棋, p Xiàngqí), also called Chinese chess, is a strategy board game for two players. It is one of the most popular board games in China, and is in the same family as Western (or international) chess, chaturanga, shogi, Indian chess and janggi. Besides China and areas with significant ethnic Chinese communities, xiangqi (cờ tướng) is also a popular pastime in Vietnam.
  • 23. [18XX] 18XX is the generic term for a series of board games that, with a few exceptions, recreate the building of railroad corporations during the 19th century; individual games within the series use particular years in the 19th century as their title (usually the date of the start of railway development in the area of the
  • 24. [Ludo (board game)] Ludo /ˈluːdoʊ/, /ˈljuː-/ (from Latin ludo, "I play") is a board game for two to four players, in which the players race their four tokens from start to finish according to die rolls. Like other cross and circle games, Ludo is derived from the Indian game Pachisi, but simpler. The game and its variants are popular in many countries and under various names.
  • 25. [Axis & Allies] Axis & Allies is a popular series of World War II strategy board games, with nearly two million copies printed. Originally designed by Larry Harris and published by Nova Game Designs in 1981, the game was republished by the Milton Bradley Company in 1984 as part of the Gamemaster Series of board games. This edition
  • 26. [Race game] Race game is a large category of board games, in which the object is to be the first to move all one's pieces to the end of a track. This is both the earliest type of board game known, with implements and representations dating back to at least the 3rd millennium BC in Egypt, Iraq,
  • 27. [Backgammon] Backgammon is one of the oldest board games for two players. The playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice, and a player wins by removing all of his pieces from the board before his opponent. Backgammon is a member of the tables family, one of the oldest classes of board games in the world.
  • 28. [Stratego] Stratego /strəˈtiːɡoʊ/ is a strategy board game for two players on a 10×10 square board. Each player controls 40 pieces representing individual officers and soldiers in an army. The objective of the game is to find and capture the opponent's Flag, or to capture so many enemy pieces that the opponent cannot make any further moves. Players cannot see the ranks of one another's pieces, so disinformation and discovery are important facets to gameplay.
  • 29. [Counter (board wargames)] Boardgame counters are usually small cardboard squares moved around on the map of a wargame to represent armies, military units or individual military personnel. The first modern mass-market wargame, based on cardboard counters and hex-board maps, was Tactics, invented by Charles S. Roberts in 1952. Traditional wargames typically have hundreds of counters (The Russian Campaign,
  • 30. [Connection game] A connection game is a type of abstract strategy game in which players attempt to complete a specific type of connection with their pieces. This could involve forming a path between two or more goals, completing a closed loop, or connecting all of one's pieces so they are adjacent to each other. Connection games typically
  • 31. [Nine Men's Morris] Nine Men's Morris is a strategy board game for two players that emerged from the Roman Empire. The game is also known as Nine Man Morris, Mill, Mills, The Mill Game, Merels, Merrills, Merelles, Marelles, Morelles and Ninepenny Marl in English. The game has also been called Cowboy Checkers and was once printed on the back of checkerboards. Nine Men's Morris is a solved game in which either player can force the game into a draw.
  • 32. [Going Cardboard] Going Cardboard: A Board Game Documentary is a 2012 documentary about the American adoption of German-style board games, and includes coverage of the 2009 board game event Spiel in Essen, Germany, as well as interviews with many prominent game designers. The film was written, directed and produced by Lorien Green, who was introduced to board gaming by her husband, and the film was financed through the crowd funding service Kickstarter.
  • 33. [Game] A game is structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more often an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements. However, the distinction is not clear-cut, and many games are also considered to
  • 34. [Hexagonal chess] The term hexagonal chess designates a group of chess variants played on boards composed of hexagons. The best known is Gliński's variant, played on a symmetric 91-cell hexagonal board.
  • 35. [TwixT] TwixT is a two-player strategy board game invented by Alex Randolph. It belongs to the connection family of games, along with Hex, Havannah, Y, PÜNCT and *Star. TwixT was short-listed for the first Spiel des Jahres in 1979, and was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design's Hall of Fame, along with Randolph, in 2011.
  • 36. [Sorry! (game)] Sorry! is a board game that is based on the ancient Cross and Circle game Pachisi. Players try to travel around the board with their pieces faster than any other player. Originally manufactured by BCM (British Card Manufacturers) in England and now by Hasbro, Sorry! is marketed for two to four players, ages six through adult. The game title comes from the many ways in which a player can negate the progress of another, while issuing an apologetic "Sorry!"
  • 37. [Shogi] Shogi (将棋, shōgi) (/ˈʃoʊɡiː/, Japanese: [ɕo̞ːɡi] or [ɕo̞ːŋi]), also known as Japanese chess or the Generals' Game, is a two-player strategy board game in the same family as Western (international) chess, chaturanga, makruk, shatranj and xiangqi, and is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan. Shōgi means general's (shō 将) board game (gi 棋).
  • 38. [Gomoku] Gomoku is an abstract strategy board game. Also called Gobang or Five in a Row, it is traditionally played with Go pieces (black and white stones) on a go board with 19x19 intersections; however, because once placed, pieces are not moved or removed from the board; gomoku may also be played as a paper and pencil game. This game is known in several countries under different names.
  • 39. [Tafl games] Tafl games are a family of ancient Germanic and Celtic strategy board games played on a checkered or latticed gameboard with two armies of uneven numbers, representing variants of an early Scandinavian board game called tafl or hnefatafl in contemporary literature.
  • 40. [The Game of Life] The Game of Life, also known simply as LIFE, is a board game originally created in 1860 by Milton Bradley, as The Checkered Game of Life (and later produced by the Milton Bradley Company of Springfield, Massachusetts). The Game of Life was America's first popular parlor game. The game simulates a person's travels through his
  • 41. [Havannah] Havannah is an abstract strategy board game invented by Christian Freeling. It is best played on a base-10 hexagonal board, ten hexes (cells) to a side. Havannah belongs to the family of games commonly called connection games; its relatives include Hex and TwixT.
  • 42. [Role-playing game] A role-playing game (RPG and sometimes roleplaying game) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting or through a process of structured decision-making or character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.
  • 43. [Mancala] Mancala is a family of board games played around the world, sometimes called "sowing" games, or "count-and-capture" games, which describes the gameplay. The word mancala:منقلة comes from the Arabic word naqala:نقلة meaning literally "to move". No one game exists with the name mancala; the name is a classification or type of game. This word is used in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, but is not consistently applied to any one game.
  • 44. [Cross and circle game] Cross and circle is a board game design used for race games played throughout the world.
  • 45. [Hex (board game)] Hex is a strategy board game played on a hexagonal grid, theoretically of any size and several possible shapes, but traditionally as an 11×11 rhombus. Other popular dimensions are 13×13 and 19×19 as a result of the game's relationship to the older game of Go. According to the book A Beautiful Mind, John Nash (one of the game's inventors) advocated 14×14 as the optimal size.
  • 46. [Ticket to Ride (board game)] Ticket to Ride is a railway-themed German-style board game designed by Alan R. Moon and published in 2004 by Days of Wonder. The game is also known as Zug um Zug (German), Les Aventuriers du Rail (French), Aventureros al Tren (Spanish), Wsiąść do pociągu (Polish), and Menolippu (Finnish).
  • 47. [GIPF project] The GIPF Project is an award-winning series of six abstract strategy games by designer Kris Burm. The series is named after the first game, GIPF, and the idea behind the project is that the reward for winning each of the other games in the series is to allow the winner to introduce new pieces with
  • 48. [Chaturanga] Chaturanga (Sanskrit: चतुरङ्ग; caturaṅga), catur, is an ancient Indian strategy game which is the common ancestor of the board games chess, shogi, makruk, xiangqi and janggi.
  • 49. [Reversi] Reversi is a strategy board game for two players, played on an 8×8 uncheckered board. There are sixty-four identical game pieces called disks (often spelled "discs"), which are light on one side and dark on the other. Players take turns placing disks on the board with their assigned color facing up. During a play, any
  • 50. [Senet] Senet (or Senat) is a board game from predynastic and ancient Egypt. The oldest hieroglyph representing a Senet game dates to around 3100 BC. The full name of the game in Egyptian was zn.t n.t ḥˁb meaning the "game of passing".
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