There is a lot of search for strategic games online. But I notice that it doesn’t always mean the same thing. In Saudi Arabia casino or كازينو السعودية for example, you can find strategy games that challenge your intelligence, skills and focus like blackjack, roulette, or poker. However, strategy board games are something else. You can play it at home alone or with your family. You can also find it so entertaining that you have to stream it on Twitch or YouTube.
In this blog I give you my definition of strategic board games. Of course, we also give you 5 examples of these kinds of games. We make a distinction between the easier and more difficult strategy games.
What Are Strategic Games?
Strategy games are games in which the skills of decision making, maneuvering and deception play a very important role in determining the result. In these games, players target victory with a predefined plan of action. This action plan is your strategy. Usually (but not always) strategy games contain at least 3 of the following properties:
- You can choose from several actions per turn.
- You can score points in several ways.
- You and your opponents can deceive each other’s.
- The factor of luck plays a minor role in determining the result.
What Are Strategic Games Also Called?
In my opinion, the following terms are synonyms for strategic board games:
- Tactical games
- Expert Games
- Difficult games
Easy Strategy Games
As far as I’m concerned, the following board games fall under the heading of ‘easy’ strategy games. However, they are relatively easy and don’t take that long.
Strategy game #1: Carcassonne
In the year 2000, 999Games released the board game Carcassonne. The countless expansions indirectly show the popularity of the game. And yes, it is also one of my favourites.
During Carcassonne, you take turns placing a tile on the table. It must match a tile that is already on the table. In addition, you may place a meeple on the newly laid tile. You place the meeple on a street, city, monastery or meadow. For example, do you finish the highway or city? Then you get points for that. The player with the most points wins the game.
Carcassonne is a strategy game. But how strategically you play it depends on your fellow players. Do you play with children aged 12? Then you probably moderate your Carcassonne tactics and play less aggressively. Do you play with friends, though? Then it may just be that you do everything you can to win. Even if this is at the expense of a friendship ;).
Strategy Game #2: Ticket to Ride Europe
Days of Wonder released Ticket to Ride in 2004 with the United States as its map. The European map followed a year later, but even after that, countless expanding and standalone games followed.
With Ticket to Ride Europe, the goal is to get the most points. Each player receives cards from their hand (carriages depicted in different colours) and trains to place on the board. By playing cards of the same colour, players can occupy routes with their trains. You can also connect multiple routes and get so-called destination cards for extra points. Are you just not getting it? Then there are downsides.
I always enjoy playing Ticket to Ride Europe. Because of the simple game rules, I also describe this as an easy strategic board game. Despite the simplicity, you can apply some tactics. So do you want to think a bit more during a game but don’t want it to take that long? Then I recommend this strategy game!
Difficult Strategy Games
These are the most challenging games, in my opinion. They soon take a little longer; you have to deliberate more and be able to plan to some extent.
Strategy Game #4: High Voltage
In 2009, 999Games released the board game High Voltage. A year later, in 2010, it also won the Dutch Games Prize. Eventually, the game sold out everywhere in Europe but was re-released in 2019 due to huge demand.
In High Voltage, you play the boss of an energy company, and there are many things you have to do. You need to connect cities to your power grid (that’s how a route is formed around the board). You also have to invest in power plants. The cheaper ones are worse for the environment and less efficient. As you get more money, you can buy better power stations. Finally, for the power plants, you also have to purchase raw materials that you can convert into energy. As soon as the cities get energy, this yields money, which you can reinvest.
Personally, I find High Voltage a difficult strategy game because you have to think a bit further ahead. You also have to consider a lot: will you invest in a power plant or expand your network? Do you choose a cheap, inefficient power plant or go for the more expensive one that will yield more money in the long run? All in all, High Voltage is a challenging strategy game with a modern developed theme!
Strategy game #5: Agricola
Uwe Rosenberg is one of the most esteemed board game designers. And although he has already released several titles for it, I think Agricola was responsible for the biggest upward trend. It is, therefore, not for nothing that Agricola won the Dutch Games Prize in 2009!
In Agricola, the aim is to develop your own farm. You need resources to build additional rooms, pastures and fields. You can put children, animals and vegetables on it respectively. In addition, you can make wise use of investments to obtain extra raw materials, for example. Be careful, because every round you have to feed the inhabitants of your farm. Does this not work? Then you get minuses. The player with the most points after x number of rounds wins the game.
Agricola is about choosing, choosing and choosing. Focus is also a keyword. You need a strategy to achieve a particular goal. Do you deviate too much from that, and do you lose focus? That could cost you the win. A considerable advantage of this tactical game is the amount of variation you can create with cards. That also keeps it fun in the long run!