Board Game Themes – Abstract Strategy
Abstract strategy games are a genre of board games that are typically characterized by simple rules, limited luck, and a focus on strategic decision-making. Unlike many other types of board games, abstract strategy games typically do not have a theme or narrative, but instead rely on players to focus on strategic gameplay.
Abstract strategy games have been popular for centuries, with games like Chess and Go dating back hundreds of years. These games are often played competitively, with players testing their skills against others in tournaments and championships.
In recent years, abstract strategy games have seen a resurgence in popularity, with modern classics like Hive, Santorini, and Azul gaining a strong following among board game enthusiasts. These games often incorporate new mechanics and innovative gameplay, while still maintaining the core elements of strategic decision-making and limited luck.
One of the key advantages of abstract strategy games is that they are often easy to learn but difficult to master. This makes them accessible to a wide range of players, while still offering a high level of depth and complexity for experienced players.
Overall, abstract strategy games are a popular genre of board games that offer a challenging and rewarding gameplay experience for players of all skill levels. Whether played competitively or for casual fun, these games provide a unique and engaging way to exercise strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
10 Abstract Strategy Board Games To Try
Here are ten popular abstract strategy board games and a brief description of each:
- Chess: One of the most classic and well-known strategy games, Chess is played on an 8×8 board with two players. Each player has 16 pieces that they use to try to checkmate the other player’s king.
- Go: A strategy game that originated in China, Go is played on a board with a grid of 19×19 lines. Players take turns placing black or white stones on the intersections of the lines, trying to surround and capture their opponent’s stones.
- Othello: Also known as Reversi, this two-player game is played on an 8×8 board with black and white discs. Players take turns placing discs on the board, trying to flip their opponent’s discs to their own color.
- Quoridor: A two-player game where players take turns moving their pawn and placing wooden walls to block their opponent’s path. The objective is to be the first player to reach the opposite side of the board.
- Hive: A two-player game where players take turns placing and moving hexagonal tiles with different types of bugs on them. The objective is to surround the opponent’s queen bee with your own pieces.
- Gobblet: A two-player game where players take turns moving pieces that can “gobble” smaller pieces on the board. The objective is to get four of your pieces in a row or to block your opponent from doing so.
- Santorini: A two-player game where players take turns moving their workers and building structures on a board. The objective is to be the first player to build a three-story building.
- Tak: A two-player game where players take turns placing and moving stones on a board. The objective is to create a road connecting opposite sides of the board or to capture all of your opponent’s pieces.
- Onitama: A two-player game where players move pieces on a board to try to capture the opponent’s master piece or move their own master piece to the opponent’s starting position. Players each have two cards that dictate the possible movements for their pieces.
- Azul: A game where players take turns drafting and placing colored tiles on their personal board. The objective is to complete rows and columns with no repeated colors.
Overall, these abstract strategy games require strategic thinking and planning ahead to win. They offer a wide range of mechanics and gameplay styles, from traditional board games like Chess and Go to newer, more modern games like Santorini and Azul.
Here are some of the best competitive, cooperative, and solo abstract strategy board games:
Competitive Abstract Strategy Games:
Go: This is a classic strategy game that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago. It is played on a grid board with black and white stones, and the objective is to capture your opponent’s stones and control more territory on the board.
Santorini: This is a strategy game where players compete to build a tower and be the first to reach the third level. Players take turns moving their workers and building structures, trying to outmaneuver and block their opponents.
Hive: This is a two-player strategy game where players take turns placing and moving bug pieces on a hexagonal board. The objective is to surround your opponent’s queen bee while protecting your own.
Cooperative Abstract Strategy Games:
Hanabi: This is a cooperative card game where players work together to create a fireworks display. Players take turns giving each other clues about the cards in their hands, trying to play them in the correct order before time runs out.
Codenames Duet: This is a cooperative word game where players work together to identify all their team’s agents by giving one-word clues that relate to multiple cards on the board. The game is played in a race against the clock and is won by correctly identifying all the agents before time runs out.
The Mind: This is a cooperative game where players work together to play cards in ascending order, but without communicating with each other. Players must rely on their intuition and sense of timing to successfully play all the cards in the deck.
Solo Abstract Strategy Games:
Onirim: This is a solo card game where players try to escape from a labyrinth by collecting sets of cards in the correct order. The game is played with a deck of cards and requires players to make strategic decisions based on the cards they draw.
Patchwork: This is a solo game where players try to create a patchwork quilt by strategically placing different-shaped pieces on a board. The game is played with a set of tiles and requires players to make efficient use of space and resources.
Azul: This is a solo tile-laying game where players try to create the most beautiful mosaic by strategically placing tiles on a board. The game is played with a set of colorful tiles and requires players to plan ahead and make strategic decisions about how to place their tiles.
Overall, these abstract strategy games offer a wide range of mechanics and gameplay styles, from traditional board games like Go and Chess to newer card and tile-laying games like Hanabi and Azul.