A board game is a tabletop 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. [Dice] Dice (singular die or dice; from Old French ; from Latin datum "something which is given or played"; plural dice or occasionally dices) 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.
  • 3. [Draughts] Draughts (UK /ˈdrɑːfts/) 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.
  • 4. [Monopoly (game)] Monopoly is a board game that originated in the United States in 1903 as a way to demonstrate that an economy which rewards wealth creation is better than one in which monopolists work under few constraints and to promote the economic theories of Henry George and in particular his ideas about taxation and women’s rights.
  • 5. [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.
  • 6. [BoardGameGeek] BoardGameGeek is a website that was founded in January 2000 by Scott Alden and Derk Solko as a resource for board gaming hobbyists. The database holds reviews, articles, session reports, images, videos, and files for over 77,000 different games and expansions, and over 21,000 game designers. BoardGameGeek includes German-style board games, wargames, card games and
  • 7. [Go (game)]

    Go (traditional Chinese: 圍棋; simplified Chinese: 围棋; pinyin: wéiqí; Japanese: 囲碁; rōmaji: igo; Korean: 바둑; romaja: baduk; literally: "encircling game") 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. The earliest written reference to the game is generally recognized as the historical annal Zuo Zhuan (c. 4th century BC).
  • 8. [Risk (game)] Risk is a strategy board game produced by Parker Brothers (now a division of Hasbro). Winning Moves also makes a classic 1959 version. 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
  • 9. [Catan] Catan, or The Settlers of Catan in older editions, 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
  • 10. [Eurogame] A Eurogame, also called German-style board game, German 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 themes, and usually keep all the players in the game until it ends.
  • 11. [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.
  • 12. [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.
  • 13. [Cluedo] Cluedo (/ˈkld/), 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 American game and toy company Hasbro. The object of the game is to determine who murdered the game's victim ("Dr. Black" in the UK version
  • 14. [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
  • 15. [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.
  • 16. [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
  • 17. [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
  • 18. [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
  • 19. [Ludo (board game)] Ludo /ˈld/, /ˈlj-/ (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.
  • 20. [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.
  • 21. [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,
  • 22. [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
  • 23. [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
  • 24. [Backgammon] Backgammon is one of the oldest board games known. It is a two player game where 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.
  • 25. [Stratego] Stratego /strəˈtɡ/ is a strategy board game for two players on a board of 10×10 squares. Each player controls 40 pieces representing individual soldier ranks 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.
  • 26. [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.
  • 27. [Carcassonne (board game)] Carcassonne is a tile-based German-style board game for two to five players, designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede and published in 2000 by Hans im Glück in German and by Rio Grande Games (until 2012) and Z-Man Games (currently) in English. It received the Spiel des Jahres and the Deutscher Spiele Preis awards in 2001. It is
  • 28. [Cross and circle game] Cross and circle is a board game design used for race games played throughout the world.
  • 29. [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 is sometimes 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.
  • 30. [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.
  • 31. [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
  • 32. [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.
  • 33. [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.
  • 34. [Game] A game is structured form of play, 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
  • 35. [Ticket to Ride (board game)] Ticket to Ride is a railway-themed German-style board game designed by Alan R. Moon, Illustrated by Julien Delval and Cyrille Daujean, 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).
  • 36. [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.
  • 37. [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 15x15 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.
  • 38. [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 comes from the Akan. No one game exists with the name mancala; the name is a classification or type of game.
  • 39. [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. It was financed through the crowd funding service Kickstarter.
  • 40. [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
  • 41. [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. The Game of Life was America's first popular parlor game. The game simulates a person's travels through his or her life, from college to retirement, with jobs, marriage, and possible children along the way. Two to six players can participate in one game. Variations of the game accommodate eight to ten players.
  • 42. [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.
  • 43. [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".
  • 44. [Shogi] Shogi (将棋, shōgi) (/ˈʃɡ/, 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).
  • 45. [Trivial Pursuit] Trivial Pursuit is a board game in which winning is determined by a player's ability to answer general knowledge and popular culture questions. The game was created in December 1979 in Montreal, Quebec, by Canadian Chris Haney, a photo editor for Montreal's The Gazette, and Scott Abbott, a sports editor for The Canadian Press. After
  • 46. [Patolli] Patolli (Nahuatl: [paˈtoːlːi]) or patole (Spanish: [paˈtole]) is one of the oldest games in America. It was a game of strategy and luck, and very much a game of commoners and nobles alike. It was reported by the conquistadors that Montezuma often enjoyed watching his nobles play the game at court.
  • 47. [Acquire] Acquire is a board game designed by Sid Sackson. The game was originally published in 1962 by 3M as a part of their bookshelf games series. In most versions, the theme of the game is investing in hotel chains. In the 1990s Hasbro edition, the hotel chains were replaced by generic corporations, though the actual gameplay was unchanged. The game is currently published by Hasbro under the Avalon Hill brand, and the companies are once again hotel chains.
  • 48. [Paper-and-pencil game] Paper-and-pencil games are games that can be played solely with paper and pencil (or other writing implement), usually without erasing.
    In some board games, including some abstract strategy games like Gomoku, a piece once played will not be moved on the board or removed from the board. Such games can be played either as board games or as paper-and-pencil games, while many other paper-and-pencil games cannot be played without writing utensils.
  • 49. [Game mechanics] Game mechanics are constructs of rules or methods designed for interaction with the game state, thus providing gameplay. All games use mechanics; however, theories and styles differ as to their ultimate importance to the game. In general, the process and study of game design, or ludology, are efforts to come up with game mechanics that allow for people playing a game to have an engaging, but not necessarily fun, experience.
  • 50. [Snakes and Ladders] Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian board game regarded today as a worldwide classic. It is played between two or more players on a gameboard having numbered, gridded squares. A number of "ladders" and "snakes" are pictured on the board, each connecting two specific board squares. The object of the game is to navigate
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