What distinguishes a strategy board game from a regular board game? After all, every game must have some element of strategy, right? If there was no motivation on the part of the player, games would be pretty boring.
Strategy games are a type of board game in which players are rewarded for their foresight rather than their luck (and successfully pulling off that plan). Players in our future list of best strategy board games will be rewarded for having a defined aim from the start and working toward that goal.
We’re going to look at Strategy board games with a capital “S” today. All of these games reward or punish players based on their and their opponents’ actions, so get ready to think, plot, backstab, and, most importantly, strategize.
The best strategic board games for adults and children may be found here.
For years, scientists and science fiction fans have been enthralled by the prospect of colonizing Mars. To say the least, breaking free from our gravitational pull and opening up the galaxy and universe to humans is mind-boggling.
Players in Terraforming Mars take the first steps toward transforming a planet into a livable sanctuary for humanity. Regrettably, opposing corporations will be the first people to set foot on Mars. The ultimate goal is to terraform Mars into a larger, better green and blue planet, but first the megacorporations must terraform it.
Players must manage and create their own Martian economy, conduct research, and, of course, be the corporation in charge of terraforming Mars and preparing the path for human colonization.
Is there anything more difficult than the politics of the Cold War?
After World War II, Twilight Struggle puts players in the shoes of the world’s two most powerful nations. It’s one of the most politically tumultuous moments in human history, and the board game does an excellent job of capturing the chaos.
Unlike other war-themed board games, reaching the point of total war means the game is ended.
The idea is to use influence rather than troops to rule the world. It’s a highly strategic game that’s truly competitive in many aspects. Twilight Struggle has won countless honors, and it’s difficult to beat if you’re searching for a fantastic strategic experience.
When most people think about Vikings, they conjure up images of raiders, marauders, and those ridiculously inaccurate horned helms. Vikings didn’t have horned helms, believe it or not.
A Feast for Odin portrays the Vikings and Norse in a more realistic light. Raiders, indeed, but also explorers, farmers, and wonderful seafarers, the ancient peoples were.
A Feast for Odin allows players to delve into many elements of Viking life. To become the most successful leader, players will need to not only raid and explore new areas, but also cultivate and build an economic engine.
Steampunk mechs from after World War I? Please add me to the list!
Scythe blew up the board game world with its unique premise and fantastic components. Although it’s natural to want to get your first mech up and running right away, Scythe isn’t necessary a war game.
It’s a fairly complicated engine-building board game. There are numerous avenues to triumph, and battle is simply one of them.
You’re losing if you’re not strategizing in Terra Mystica.
Terra Mystica is a fantasy-themed area control game in which you can choose from 14 distinct races, each with their own set of abilities. That’s a lot of gameplay in a small package.
Despite the fact that Terra Mystica is an area control game, the game has remarkably little player interaction. Each player race has a chosen biome that they can colonize, and the goal is to terraform the land to match your race, as the name says.
The trick is to strike a balance between terraforming simpler sites and terraforming areas that keep your opponents off the map. Although there is no actual battle in the game, that doesn’t mean that the excellent sections can’t be entirely blocked off.
It’s time for a glass of wine!
Viticulture is, of course, best enjoyed after a bottle of wine has been opened for the meal.
Viticulture allows users to handle every facet of owning their own winery… without doing any of the labor. Fortunately for the players, the guests and visitors of the nascent vineyards are also prepared to roll up their sleeves and labor on the vineyard.
Viticulture is a worker placement strategy game with four seasons to play. Players plan and prepare for the following season by planting, hiring staff, constructing infrastructure, and, of course, harvesting and manufacturing wine.
Poor planning, much like in a real winery, will lead to complete disaster, so don’t play with too many glasses.
Economic planning is a major strategic undertaking in any city, and Orléans is no exception. Orléans transports players to the Middle Ages, where they must gather knights, monks, craftsmen, and more in order to control the most lucrative region in medieval Orléans, France.
Although players should plan their entire approach from the start, there is always a monkey wrench thrown in. Throughout the game, players draw resources from their bag to utilize during their turns, which adds a degree of chance to the mix. If you really need some knights but happen to draw a monk tile, your plans will be thrown out the window and you’ll have to adapt your strategy.
Orléans is a classic strategy game that appears simple at first, but once played, reveals layers of sophistication.
Let’s go to the Burgundy region of medieval France, where players assume control of their own princedoms.
Castles of Burgundy allows players to form their own kingdoms by drafting tiles and constructing enhancements. It is totally up to the players how they accomplish this, but each tile put and each upgrade constructed throughout the game provides a distinct bonus.
Players compete for the best pieces of land for their princedoms in Castles of Burgundy, which includes both strategy and a little of cutthroat gaming.
Root is not only one of the most beautiful board games we’ve seen in a long time, but it also hits asymmetrical strategy hard.
Root’s universe is wide and contested. Each player is in charge of one of four factions, each with its own set of objectives. Do you fight for imperialism, glory, freedom, or just your own personal gain?
Each of the four factions has its own set of goals, which adds to the game’s replayability and variety of methods. The fundamental purpose of the game is to seize control of the forest, although players can achieve this in one of two ways: by accumulating 30 victory points or by playing a dominance card with pre-determined goals.
Every game in Root changes the strategy, and just when players believe they’ve figured it out, another faction with a whole different play style appears.
The Most Dangerous Game sets players against each other in Star Wars: Imperial Assault! Rather of playing against the board, one player controls the Empire, while the other players control a small group of exceptional Rebels.
Imperial Assault includes a variety of scenarios that will appeal to any Star Wars fan. Imperial Assault is one of the most memorable strategy games I’ve ever played thanks to the combination of thematic gameplay and RPG aspects.
There are enough scenarios in the base set to make your head spin, and there are plenty of expansions to discover in a galaxy far, far away.
When you think of strategy games, one name comes to mind: Uwe Rosenburg.
Uwe Rosenburg created some of the most iconic strategic board games, and chances are you have at least one of his games on your shelf if you started collecting.
Caverna is Agricola’s spiritual successor, and he builds on Agricola’s mechanics. Players in Caverna are in charge of a family of dwarves who are trying to make a livelihood in their cave, lovely cave.
Players, like in Agricola, have a range of options for improving their homesteads, including mining, agriculture, and farming. However, there is never enough time to put up the optimal configuration, resulting in multiple pathways to victory in this highly strategic board game.
The granddaddy of big-box space opera tactics is Twilight Imperium.
Before games like Gloomhaven and Kingdom Death started consuming up 90% of the world’s cardboard supply, Twilight Imperium was the big box on the scene.
Grand strategy is at the heart of Twilight Imperium. It takes place after the ancient galactic empire falls apart, and it depicts the struggle to fill the power vacuum that has resulted. Although there is some fighting in Twilight Imperium, such as the maneuvering of ships and troops, the political and economic acts are just as essential, if not more so.
It’s a fantastic strategy and tale that covers the entire universe, but finding players to sit down for the 4+ hours it takes to complete a game is the only challenge.
CMON Games’ Rising Sun boasts fantastic miniatures and a lovely board, but the gameplay is one of the most intriguing to come out of CMON in a long time.
Rising Sun is set in feudal Japan, straddling the line between myth and truth. Rising Sun, like Blood Rage, draws on mythological components of the culture to create a stunning game. It’s not just about samurai fighting alongside mythological gods. Rising Sun has various paths to success, and having an entire field of men sacrifice themselves for honor may be more advantageous than winning a battle.
With all of the numerous victory conditions within the game, Rising Sun is an all-around stunning game that can keep even the most seasoned strategists occupied for quite some time.
I’m amazed a board game centered on a dinosaur theme park hasn’t been created sooner. It appears like it would have been a tremendous smash in the 1990s.
Dinosaur Island allows players to create their own dinosaur theme park, with complete control over every part of the business.
Players could establish a charming little herbivore petting zoo, but it would be overshadowed by the nearby T-Rex and Velociraptor display. However, they most likely had to cut corners elsewhere in order to afford those large beasts. Isn’t zip ties all you need to keep the raptors in?
In Dinosaur Island, players control all aspect of the park, from staffing to DNA splicing to tourist management to the all-important matter of security.
Building a monolithic structure for the evolution of human civilization screams strategy.
7 Wonders is a card drafting game that condenses human civilisation into only a few decks of cards. Isn’t it cool?
Players strive to develop the most impressive society by increasing their technological level over three technological epochs.
As the game progresses, each player will have the opportunity to draw cards from a shared deck. As the ages pass, options will become increasingly limited, with only the dregs remaining at the end.
Game of Thrones fervor may have died with the show’s dreadful eighth season, but some of us are still waiting for George R. R. Martin’s last novels. Until then, there’s A Game of Thrones: The Board Game to keep us occupied.
Game of Thrones is based on an older game called Diplomacy, which may seem familiar to those of you hardcore gamers.
The Game of Thrones board game contains all of the elements that fans of the series have come to expect from the series. Large-scale battles are possible, but the game best when you concentrate on political maneuvering and holding your breath to see if your precarious relationships bear fruit.
Players can form as many alliances and backdoor agreements as they like, but if someone leaves their flank vulnerable to attack, it may be more advantageous to dissolve the alliance and shatter both sides.
The Game of Thrones board gaming’s political intrigue, along with concealed commands, creates a gripping tabletop drama and a highly strategic game night in Westeros.
I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time playing Stone Age. We went through a phase where we played it numerous times every weekend.
Stone Age has a surprising variety of varied strategies and alternatives for a simple worker placement game. Every game I play, it seems like there’s a different way to win.
If you’re feeling swarmy, concentrate on increasing the size of your tribe as rapidly as possible. If swarming isn’t working, try concentrating on technology, trade, construction, or simply being stealthy and blocking other employees. These are all viable options.
Stone Age is a superb strategy game that also serves as a great introduction to worker placement games.
Carcassonne has a lot of strategy packed into a basic tile-laying game. If you want to win, you can’t just dump meeples anywhere you like.
“Well, why don’t I go for the higher scoring spots?” I thought the first time I played Carcassonne, and dropped a bunch of meeples on farmlands and cities. As you can expect, I was absolutely defeated.
Carcassonne is a basic game that can also be competitive and strategic, which is all the more impressive given that the entire game can fit into a little bag for on-the-go gaming.
There’s a reason why classics become classics. Catan defined and helped to build the modern board gaming landscape, whether you like it or not.
It combines all of Monopoly’s family-disrupting principles with modern-day gaming that appeals to such a broad audience.
Catan has been furrowing brows and stirring discussions over the worth of sheep for over 25 years, starting in 1995. Although dice games include a certain amount of luck, Catan’s placement mechanisms and use of cards provide a distinct strategy to the game that helps to offset the randomness.
Photosynthesis, a game about the growth of trees, necessitates a lot of thought.
Photosynthesis is the conversion of sunlight into energy that plants can use, and the game’s principles are based on this real-world science.
The greater the amount of sunshine a tree receives, the more nutrients it may absorb through photosynthesis. As a result, the goal of the game is to compete for possession of the finest sites so that your trees receive the most sunlight.
Board game nature, like real-world nature, can be a jerk. Trees can be planted in strategic locations to obscure sunlight at specific times of day. The game’s sun marker revolves around the board, and players must find the best spots to absorb the most light or grow larger and block the most light from their opponents.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed our roundup of the finest strategy board games, and that you’ve found some new favorites for your next game night.
Didn’t see your favorite strategy game on this list? Leave a comment and let us know what happened.
Have fun gaming!