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What are strategy board games?

Strategy (or strategic) games are board games in which you as the player are challenged to use your strategic insight to win the game. The definition of strategy according to the Oxford Dictionary is: “A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim“, and this is exactly what you normally try to achieve in these types of games. You carefully plan your turns ahead of time to achieve succes in the later rounds. Classic forms of this type of games are, for example, Checkers and Risks. However, many new types of strategy games have been added in the last 20 to 30 years, resulting in all new subcategories.

The history of Strategic Board Games

Strategic board games have been around for ages, and there even has been found evidence of people playing these games in ancient Rome, Greece and India. Of coarse these games are very different from the games we play now, but it shows that this categorie has stood the test of time. Mancala might be the oldest know strategy game, originating back more then 5000 years. Chess is one of the other very old games, dating back to the 6th century CE when people where playing this game in India. With the rise of board games during the last 20-30 years, strategy games also gained a lot of popularity, spawning all kinds of new subcategories.

Who will enjoy playing Strategy Games?

Strategy games are meant for players who like to win through strategy and good planning rather than through luck. Although in the newer subcategories (such as Eurogames, also known as a Designer games or German games) luck started to play a more important role. There are many different types of strategy games, some having almost no theme, such as abstract strategy games, some are very heavily theme based, like Wargames. These games can be enjoyed by players of all ages as well, as there are games of all difficulties ranging from easy to very hard.

Which types of Strategy Board Games exist?

The classic form of strategic games is often referred to as abstract strategy games. You can think of the aforementioned games such as Checkers, Risk and Go. You also have a more classic form, the so-called ‘Wargame’. In a Wargame you perform military actions that are often accompanied by complex rules and a very long playtime. Also, you have the now very popular Eurogames. These games have a combination of strategy and luck and normally have simpler rules. This type of subcategory of strategy board games is also often set against ‘American board games’ where luck plays an even greater role. Lastly we have team strategy games which are becoming more poplar in the last few years ranging from co-op card games to complex board games in which you can play 2 versus 2 or 1 versus 3 for example.

Top 10 Strategy Board Games

  1. Twilight Struggle
  2. Terra Mystica
  3. Mage Knight Board Game
  4. Brass
  5. Paths of Glory
  6. Power Grid
  7. Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)
  8. War of the Ring
  9. Concordia
  10. El Grande