View Full Version : Strategy Board Games

01-05-2008, 12:53 AM
After growing out of Clue and Candyland, I played games like Risk, Axis and Allies, Stratego, and Conquest of the Empire up to my teen years (all long lost to the ravages of damp basements and uncareful children). We had a resurgence with my in-laws over Christmas playing 2 different versions of Risk (both in Portuguese - aka War). I like video games, but I still much prefer the social setting of playing a game face to face.

I've been looking around for some other intersting games to play, and not shell out a fortune to get my hands on. Anybody out there play anything? I've poked around online and found a few places to buy, and a couple of titles, but the better ones all seem to be out of print or imports.

When I get home, I'm going to start a game night with some friends - it used to be poker while that was still in fashion, but I'm not a gambler as much anymore either.

01-05-2008, 01:02 AM
Never played it, but always thought Go sounds interesting.

I went off board games decades ago, after my experiences working on a mate's dairy farm. We grew quite a bit of stuff other than hay on the farm and tended to indulge a bit, and every lunchtime had a shot at a game of chess. But absolutely guaranteed, after both of us sitting there for an hour waiting, one would say "Well, you gonna move?". The other, "Huh, I thought it was your turn!" And then a big debate on who had made the last move, and we'd give up. I don't think we ever completed a game.

01-05-2008, 01:06 AM
"Well, you gonna move?". The other, "Huh, I thought it was your turn!"

You, too, huh? At least I'm not alone.

I like Trivia Pursuit and Masterpiece but they aren't really strategy games - they're just "think" games.

Sheryl Nantus
01-05-2008, 01:07 AM
I just got seriously into GO after years of dabbling in it - while I love the newer games out on the market I'm just tired of games that have rule changes almost monthly!

Here's a pair of excellent websites to get you started - tutorials and you can actually play for free online! Be careful, though... it's a darned addictive game for something thousands of years old!



01-05-2008, 01:08 AM
You, too, huh? At least I'm not alone. I pulled that a few times last night - stone sober.

I like Trivia Pursuit and Masterpiece but they aren't really strategy games - they're just "think" games.I've been banned from Trivial Pursuit for over a decade.

01-05-2008, 01:10 AM
One of the appealing aspects of the Nintendo Wii is that it seems to be a combination of both. It's a really great group video game system - but it's fairly expensive.

Just go down to a Toys R' Us. They have a whole board game section. Peruse at your leisure and see what clicks.

Personally, I haven't played a board game in ages but I agree they're fun with the right company.

01-05-2008, 01:10 AM
I pulled that a few times last night - stone sober.

I've been banned from Trivial Pursuit for over a decade.

Don't ya hate sore losers? Is it our fault they didn't pay attention in school?

01-05-2008, 01:14 AM
Coincidentally, our very own JST5150 was pimping a board game he created earlier today here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1933695&postcount=1). He said he still has some available for sale.

01-05-2008, 01:21 AM
Go to boardgamegeek.com - they have a ton of complex strategy games. Most of them require at least three people, but if you can find two friends who are willing to learn a game or two you're set. My favorite so far is Carcasonne. My husband and his best friend are really into these games and they usually get one for birthday and/or Christmas, so I've played a lot of them. Check out the site and let me know if you want any further recommendations.

Captain Scarf
01-05-2008, 03:18 AM
I've recently acquired 'Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars' Its a PC game but if you like LAN strategy gaming it'll suit you down to the ground. You not only have to consider battlefield encounters but also resources. A famine can decimate your army.

As a board game I'd recommend 'Othello' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversi

Sheryl Nantus
01-05-2008, 03:50 AM
actually, if anyone's in the area in June/July...


my hubby and I have been attending this convention for years and it's a great place to try out/buy/play until you drop literally hundreds of board games. Lots of RPG as well along with all the LARPing you can handle and plenty of other games to boot. It's a great few days and you'll just lose your wallet in the dealers' room.


dolores haze
01-05-2008, 04:06 AM
Ever try backgammon? It's a two person game of skill, strategy, luck, and cheating. Beware: it is very seriously addictive. The boards don't cost much, though there are antique boards worth millions. I play people from all over the world online, though I don't venture into the tournaments.

01-05-2008, 05:12 AM
Here is another fun game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlers_of_Catan).

01-05-2008, 05:36 AM
I've been a cribbage player forever. (going to an annual tournament/party next week)
I like Scrabble-but rarely will my kids play me.
Sequence is a lot of fun with the right bunch.
Balderdash-another word game, not really strategy, just silly fun.
A long, long time ago my brother received a strategy game called Feudal, it came in a case that looked like a book and each side had little armies who had to take over their opponent's territory. It was a lot of fun.
Worse Case Scenario is a fun survivor-type game that also teaches what to do in real survivor situations.

01-05-2008, 09:03 AM
Chess has always been the ultimate strategy game. It's really got everything going for it.

01-05-2008, 09:31 AM
I've been a cribbage player forever.

Cribbage is such a great game. I think it suffers because people think it's complicated with all the 15-2, nobs, etc.

I encourage everyone to try cribbage. It is seriously addicting. I carried a cribbage board in my limited luggage to ships and rigs for decades.

I have always enjoyed Risk. I can't recall losing a game. I must have, but it's a very, very rare occurrence. My wife hates to play it because she has never beat me at it. Of course, she kills me at chess regularly.

01-05-2008, 07:16 PM
Try Sequence. You can play with as little as two or as many as twelve.

And I hope you're already playing Scrabble! It may not seem like much of a stratagy game, but it is if you're playing against me.

Who outgrows Clue???

01-05-2008, 07:24 PM
DIPLOMACY was a great board game and geography teaching tool. I also taught an independent study course using Strategy and Tactics games before computers (the new BC?). I recall a story that Princeton banned DIPLOMACY in the dorms (ca. 1970s) because fistfights occurred as a result of "betrayals".


01-05-2008, 07:38 PM
One of the biggest losses when Mr. Maryn's parents' house burned down was the loss of literally hundreds of board games. We've reacquired many of them, and added newer ones.

I'm not fond of board games (my greatest moment, which I'll never live down, involved the line: "Game? I'm not having any f---ing fun!"), so my role is cookie baker and kibitzer while Mr. Maryn, both our kids, and occasionally his brother, play to the death.

Here are several we've played in the last year:

Airport, in which the player buys airlines and builds routes which make enough money for him to drive other airlines out of business.

Acquire, in which the player buys and operates hotel chains from dives to luxury resorts, again trying to drive others out of business.

Feudal, a chess-like game of war

Mr. President, in which the players do whatever it takes to get their candidates elected. If you ignore the art, it's astonishingly relevant 40 years after purchase.

Scotland Yard, a recent purchase in which a criminal is running around London, pursued by the other players in their roles as police with limited funds and manpower.

The Amazing Labyrinth, a fairytale-based game of interest because the board changes with every move while the players attempt to acquire fairytale detritus.

Sequence is very quick to learn, devilishly hard to master unless your partner can read minds.

We've also found that Clue is very different when all the players are adults perfectly willing to deceive one another in gaming bloodlust.

Maryn, who kills only at Scrabble

Edit: Oh, Diplomacy, right! We have that, too.

01-05-2008, 08:06 PM
My mom bought our family PIT this Christmas. I've never heard of it, but she says she and her brothers used to play it for hours on end.
Perhaps I'll open the box in the upcoming days to check it out for myself.

Good luck with your game hunting!

(hehe- that was funny!)

01-05-2008, 09:33 PM
We played Risk New Year's Eve (and Day). The new version (son received as Xmas gift) comes in a box that looks like a book and the playing pieces are wooded blocks, NOT the fancy plastic triangular pieces of old. Anyway, Son Won. (I fought the good fight but he caught onto acquiring armies via cards). Anyway, another excellent strategy game that I haven't seen mentioned yet is PENTE.
We also really enjoy an oldie game from the 80's "221 B Baker Street" where players attempt to solve mysteries a al Sherlock Holmes.

01-06-2008, 06:29 AM
I'm a card and dice game nut.
SkipBo is fun, in an Uno kind of way, but better.
I always liked Mille Bournes too, Yahtzee and another dice game we just called Dice (not Liar's Dice), another card game called Casino, which does use some strategy.
There's a real fun card game for groups, Canasta, but I've only played a few times. Fun to play progressively-rotating partners and opponents around the room.
Dang- I miss playing games, time to find a game circle.

01-06-2008, 08:43 AM
How about Twister? That can get you really face to face with people.

01-06-2008, 08:46 AM
Try it naked. It's a whole new game.

01-06-2008, 09:35 AM
Back in High School I was all about Battletech. Its a tactical 'mech game that the Mechwarrior video games were based on. I was never very good at it. Damn LOS rules.

For playing in a group a great game is Mafia. Say you have 10 people. 1 is the game master. The GM has everyone close their eyes and then the MG picks 2 or 3 by taping them on the shoulder. They are then the mafia with the goal to kill all the other people. The GM tells everyone to open their eyes and they tell a story. Blah blah blah, the GM says that everyone goes to sleep (the people close their eyes) but in the night the mafia wake up. The mafia people point to someone they want to kill and the GM tells everyone to wake up and tells them who has died. The surivors (and the hidden mafia) argue who is the mafia and everyone votes on who to kill. The elected can try to defend themselves but its hard. Then they are killed and annouce if they are mafia or not. The GM tells everyone to go to sleep again and the game continues on until all the mafia are dead or only a mafia and a villager are left.

01-06-2008, 10:16 AM
For playing in a group a great game is Mafia. ...
Now that's an interactive game.

01-06-2008, 02:34 PM
I had to come back here and post on this thread because... well, tonight my husband's two best friends came over for a massive game playing evening. Usually I'm the fourth they need to make the games interesting, the good-tempered girl who plays cheerfully and is surprised if she manages to come in second-to-last. (I'm no dimwit, but let's just say these guys all got 1600's on their SATs way back when.)

Anyway, TONIGHT - we played Bang, Fusion Frenzy 2, and Caylus.

AND I KICKED BUTT. I won all three games. The last one I beat one guy by ONE POINT.


01-06-2008, 03:56 PM
Back in the hazy '70s a bunch of us bored teen malcontents found ourselves playing Risk, but it felt kinda limited. I drew up a starmap with clusters of planets with space rifts between them that had to be navigated by ships, and there were a couple of black holes at either end of the board, so you could pop into one and emerge from the other instantaneously. A sheet of transparent perspex made an ideal board cover. We used the plastic counters from Risk and some other game, the triangles were spaceships and the cylinders were ground forces that had to be ferried from cluster to cluster. Combat used the Risk dice but had additional modifiers. Ships could attack other ships in space (of course). Many holiday afternoons were spent amassing gigantic battle fleets that nuked entire clusters, only to be nuked themselves when they were at their weakest after combat. Fisticuffs almost broke out on several occasions when alliances and friendships suddenly collapsed. Backstabbing became a refined art. We lost two dice when an enraged player who gambled his entire fleet on one roll threw them out the window. Ah, those were the days. Computer games are too damn cerebral.


01-07-2008, 04:14 AM
Here's a cool one. I used to be one of the top players. I don't have time to play those games anymore nowadays. It's a tactical turn base. A little like chess but more exciting.


01-07-2008, 04:53 AM

I miss the Avalon Hill games.

My favs:

Panzer Blitz
Squad Leader
Titan (really, the best fantasy war game, ever--computer, rp, or board)

Sheryl Nantus
01-07-2008, 05:38 AM

I miss the Avalon Hill games.

My favs:

Panzer Blitz
Squad Leader
Titan (really, the best fantasy war game, ever--computer, rp, or board)

Avalon Hill's still around - bought out by Wizards of the Coast, but still there...



01-07-2008, 06:53 PM
Now that's an interactive game.

Its fun, last time we played (and my first time) I was the first mafia to survive. It was just my gf, another girl, and me left. I was sitting next to her and had been pretending to be tried from drinking the whole round.

The other girl said, "I think its Dan! [me]"

I shrugged and said whatever and yawned. And my gf truely thought it was the other girl. We voted her her and she died and I won!

We then ran off and played capture the flag through people's yards until 3 in the morning.

01-07-2008, 09:02 PM
I just played a game called Heroscape (http://http://www.hasbro.com/games/kid-games/heroscape/) the other day and was suprisingly cool. Sort of Risk meets chess meets Dungeons and Dragons.

01-08-2008, 05:01 AM
I just played a game called Heroscape (http://http://www.hasbro.com/games/kid-games/heroscape/) the other day and was suprisingly cool. Sort of Risk meets chess meets Dungeons and Dragons.
My son has that. It's a little complicated for him, unless I help him. But he loves it. It's an excellent game. The only downsides are 1) that it takes a while to set up and 2) it can get expensive; the basic set is okay, but if a kid likes it, he/she is gonna want more playing pieces.

01-08-2008, 05:13 AM
Should I even admit that my husband and I not only have 2 starter sets, but ALL the heroscape expansions and figures? We're pathetic...

01-08-2008, 05:14 AM
Should I even admit that my husband and I not only have 2 starter sets, but ALL the heroscape expansions and figures? We're pathetic...
Change your user title...

:ROFL:Joke! Joke!

Shady Lane
01-08-2008, 05:15 AM
There's this German game called Ticket to Ride that is undeniably the best fun in the entire world. Seriously. Check it out.

01-08-2008, 05:17 AM
Change your user title...

That's not even funny. We play Ticket to Ride, too. :)

ETA: There, I have changed it. Heh heh. It's true!