A good board can never let you and the people around you get bored. A board game is generally a one-time expense that caters to a wider age bracket where kids and adults both can enjoy. Whether you are playing with your friends or family, you can spend hours having fun.
Strategy Board Games, especially, are a great way of having fun while using your brain. They help you in exercising your mind, figuring out various tactics, and sharpening your decision-making skills. They are referred to as “strategy board games” as the board game requires all the players to use brain cells to outscore the rest of the players. These games not just give your brain a work-out, they bring out the competitive side of you while helping younger minds to think like a strategist.
There are different strategy board games out in the market so sometimes it becomes hard to find the ones that are worth your time and money. Here are the top 8 strategy board games that you can enjoy playing:
Catan, which is also referred to as the Settlers of Catan, is a multi-award-winning German-style board game. It can be played among 3 to 4 players who are older than 10 years of age.
Sixty minutes of trading, tactical skills and trying your luck, the strategy board game Catan is relatively simple to understand but absolute fun to play. In this multi-player modular hex board game, the players are the settlers of the remote but rich isle of Catan where each settler tries to build and develop assets while trading and acquiring resources. The settlers also need to beware of robbers as they plan to steal their resources. The players gain points when their settlements grow, as these players gain one point for each settlement they own, and two for a city. The first player to reach the set number of victory points, which is usually 10, wins the game.
Some players find it off-putting that this game relies a lot on luck. So, if you are one of those players who want to rely solely on the brain and not luck at all, you may find it irritating when you are losing. For the rest of the board game lovers who want a great strategic game to pass their time, Catan is highly recommended.
Pandemic is an interesting strategic board game where either all the players win or they all lose. In this game, 2 to 4 players work together to prove that teamwork and coordination can fight the biggest problem the world is facing – the outbreak of life-threatening diseases.
Each member is a specialist in his/ her field and is in the middle of a medical emergency. This is the only team capable of stopping the four diseases which are spreading like wildfire. As a player, you must work with your colleagues to find a cure and save humanity.
The 4 diseases are represented by “disease cubes” where every disease has a different color representation. The number of disease cubes determines how serious it is spread. Each player must play to his strength and coordinate with other players to eradicate the epidemic. Curing a disease is good, but eradicating it is even better – and that’s what the game is about – working together to help save the world. Pandemic is a 60 minutes’ game of strategy, tactics, and fun.
One thing about Pandemic is that it can be quite a challenging game if every player decides to do their own thing. There could be times when your team loses, or you end up having a draw. If your playmates (or yourself) are sore losers, you may want to pass this game.
7 Wonders is a fast-paced and competitive card game that can be played by 2 to 7 players, and generally takes 30 to 45 minutes to finish. There is no board involved in this game and you can play it on a table or any flat surface. In this strategic game, you use cards to build your civilization. The civilizations are interconnected and share knowledge, goods, trade, and war. You will construct your wonder and use its unique abilities to become the greatest civilization of the ancient world.
The game is quite simple and straight forward. You have 3 decks of cards, each representing a different age of civilization. Each player takes one card that he/ she wants to play with from the set of the first civilization. The card is then put face down and the rest of the pile is placed next to your neighbor. Every player then puts their selected cards simultaneously at the front – the card you choose will help in creating your civilization. You will then move on to the cards that were passed to you by your neighbors, will pick one card again and this will continue until the pile of cards finishes up. All the players will then move on to the pile of cards belonging to the second age of civilization and repeat the process. The same steps are carried out for the third age.
When all the cards are finished in the pile, it means that the cards that lie in front of you represent the unique civilization that you built through the ages. This game is won by the civilization with the maximum points at the end of the game.
If you make poor decisions in the first age, you could end up struggling throughout the game. It is a little hard to keep track of the scores during the game and sometimes you could be surprised who the winner turns out to be, which could be off-putting to some of the players. But if you want to explore a great board game, this is a must-have.
Photosynthesis is a refreshing board game for the brain where you must make a lot of strategic decisions. It is a simple game and you will not have any trouble learning how to play it. The game revolves around tree placement and the role of the sun. The issue comes when some players begin to grow trees all over the place and start blocking out the sun. After that, this cute tree game could end up initiating fights between players!
Since Photosynthesis board game is easy to learn and play, it can be played by kids as young as 8 years of age. For a younger audience, this game is not just fun, it teaches them a lot of scientific concepts like chlorophyll, cells, and photosynthesis, etc. The game has zero violence which means when your kids are playing the game, they are not visualizing killing the enemy or using destructive weapons – they will only be thinking about the cute little trees. But (yes there is always a but), this does not mean there is no conflict in the game. It is indeed loaded with conflicts. So, if you are playing it with children who are not good at facing and resolving conflicts, it can either be an enormous learning experience for them where they leave the board learning about conflict resolution and strategies, or they will end up disliking this board game for good!
Photosynthesis has been received well by the critics and has won many awards. Unlike many other board games, Photosynthesis board game does not involve any kind of plastic in its components and is made up of recycled material, hence, respecting the process of photosynthesis. It is beautifully designed and visually appealing (who does not like trees!). The game is ideal for 3 to 4 players, although 2 players can also enjoy it.
Ticket to Ride
The Ticket to Ride is a railway-themed strategy board game that won numerous awards. Here the players need to build train routes across the USA and connect cities to score points.
The game starts with players given four train cards each along with three Destination Ticket cards where every destination card shows two cities on a USA and Southern Canadian map. These two cities are the endpoints that the players secretly attempt to connect. Every player must keep at least two destination cards and put the unwanted tickets at the bottom of the stack. Every player also selects a group of 45 colored train pieces along with a matching scoring marker. The players need to follow some rules to claim a route on the board. The game continues until one player has only two or less of the colored train pieces left, at which point, tickets are revealed, and bonus points or penalties are added.
Ticket to Ride is an interesting board game that does not seem to have any downside. Some people may believe that it depends more on luck, but then, that’s the whole strategy: you make the best use of things when luck gives you good cards and when it doesn’t, you make a better strategy.
Whether you are new to the world of board games or are a pro at strategic games, this 2 to 5 players’ game is for anyone who is 8 years or older. With an average game time ranging between 30 to 60 minutes, the Ticket to Ride game is fun to play and easy to fall in love with.
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
A strategy board game based on the best-selling novels of George R. R. Martin and the HBO series on the same concept, the Game of Thrones board game is guaranteed to keep its players glued for 3 hours.
The 3 to 6 players take control of the armies of one of the major houses and try to conquer as much territory as possible. The goal of the Game of Thrones is to conquer seven castles or to be the owner of the greatest number of castles after ten turns. Each player gets secret orders that pivot the game. Each player manipulates the opponents to receive aid from other players and maneuvers a selection of knights, footmen, and ships via their secret orders.
If you are a fan of the Game of Thrones series, you may instantly fall in love with this game. The detailed map of Westeros shows how carefully and accurately this game has been designed. However, if you often think why people are crazy about the Game of Throne series, you may want to give this game a pass. It is ideal for players who are 14 years and older and is guaranteed to keep you glued to the board.
A nail-biting board game that focuses on resource management, Dinosaur Island will remind you of Jurassic Park. And guess what, without mentioning the movie series, this board game is pretty much like the actual movie. The players of this game will make their amusement park island, filling it with dinosaurs and rides, and making sure people enjoy their visit to the part without being eaten by the dinosaurs.
The game is divided into four phases. You need to construct your dinosaurs by filling your cold storage with different DNA strands. You may also need to hire security for your dinosaurs. You will be creating your theme park with dinosaurs, restaurants, and other park attractions. Dinosaur Island also has a public market from where you will buy modules for your lab, park attractions, as well as hiring specialists. The player who fills up his/ her park and scores the maximum points becomes the winner.
The Dinosaur Island board game comes in a big box filled with lots of game supplies. It is beautifully designed and caters to players who are 8 or ideally 10 years old or more. Since it has many components, you may need a big flat surface to play on. Dinosaur Island board game is definitely worth your time and money.
The Small World board game is a fast-paced game that is simple but focuses on complex strategies and tactics. The game is about taking control of fantasy monsters to conquer the world. The player who does the best and scores the maximum points wins.
The game starts with each player choosing a certain race. Each race will give you a certain number of tokens which you will use to take over the areas. It has different maps for different players to ensure that the Small World does not get small enough for multiple players. The game is easy to learn but the strategies used in this game are by no means simple. You need to strategize not just what areas you are going to take over but anticipate the moves of other players and decide when it is worth giving up points. It is a “small world” but has tons of choices for the players to make – making this game super interesting no matter how many times you play it.
A great thing about this game is that the points are hidden throughout the game so if there is a sore loser amongst the players, the chances of him/ her running everyone’s game in the middle is zero. When the last round finishes, every player flips over his/ her points and the player with the most points wins the game.
One of the downsides of this game could be that certain players will enjoy this game more and some players may feel being bullied. But it is a tactical game and whoever plays it best wins. The Small World board game can be enjoyed by 2 to 5 players and it takes 45 to 60 minutes to play this game. The game can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, and the recommended player age is 8 years or older.
Whether you want to play a good board game with your family or a group of friends, the strategic board games mentioned above can keep you glued to the board. They are great to spend your time on and can be given as a gift. Who does not like playing a good board game?