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There’s just something about board games that brings people together. Maybe it’s the challenge of trying to outsmart your opponents or the satisfaction of seeing your pieces move across the board in perfect formation. Perhaps it’s the compelling combination of skill, luck, and deduction that can keep players entertained for hours on end.

Whatever the reason, board games have been entertaining people for centuries and show no signs of slowing down. Today, more board games are available than ever, and with the recent resurgence in popularity, there’s something for everyone.

What are strategy board games?

Strategy board games are games that require players to make decisions to win. They often have simple rules but complex gameplay and can be won or lost based on a single move. Strategy games can be competitive or cooperative and usually involve some element of chance.

Some popular strategy board games include Risk, Monopoly, and Checkers. These games require planning and foresight, and the best players always think several moves ahead. But there’s more to board games than just strategy.

What’s fun in playing strategy board games is the time you spend with other people. You can talk, laugh, and trash-talk your way through the game, and the experience is always more enjoyable with friends or family. So if you’re looking for a fun way to spend an evening, try playing a board game, and you might be surprised at how much fun you have.

Best Strategy Board Games

Want to test your skills and try your hand at a strategy board game during your next game night? Strategy board games are a great way to immerse yourself in an interactive, challenging experience with friends or family.

In this list, we’ve compiled some of the best strategy board games available in the market. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran looking for the next big challenge or a complete beginner who’s not sure where to start, there’s something here for everyone.


1. Indie Boards and Cards Terraforming Mars Board Game

Available on
  • Player count: 2-5 players
  • Duration: 120 minutes average playtime
  • Ages: for ages 12 and up

This award-winning game has players take on the role of one of several corporations attempting to terraform the red planet. Using cards and resources, players must raise the planet’s temperature, create oceans, and build cities to make Mars habitable for humanity.

With multiple ways to win and plenty of room for strategic play, Terraforming Mars is a great choice for those looking for a complex, challenging game.

How to play Indie Boards and Cards Terraforming Mars Board Game:

To play the game, each player must represent a corporation and take turns placing tiles on the board to terraform the planet. Players will need to manage their resources carefully to be successful. You will have to manipulate the economy and various natural resources like CO₂, water, and heat, in order to make the planet more habitable for human life.

The game can be won by achieving certain milestones, such as being the first player to terraform one section of the planet or having the most points at the end of the game.

Reasons to buy:

  • Challenging and complex gameplay is perfect for an immersive playing experience
  • There are multiple ways to win, so there’s a huge replayability factor
  • Great for those looking for a game that relies on strategic thinking

Reasons to avoid:

  • Long playing time (up to two hours)
  • For beginners, learning how to play may be complicated and overwhelming.

2. Catan Junior Board Game

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 30 minutes average playtime
  • Ages: for ages 6 and up

A simplified version of the classic game Settlers of Catan, Catan Junior Board Game is designed for younger players or those who are new to the game. In Catan Junior, players must collect resources and build houses on the island of Catan.

A great way to introduce new players to the world of strategy board games, Catan Junior is perfect for family game night.

How to play Catan Junior Board Game:

Players start the game with two pirate hideouts and must collect resources to build houses on the island. Each island boasts a different resource, and players must strategize to amass the necessary resources to build houses.

Players must trade with their opponents or build ships to travel to new islands to expand their settlements. The first player to control all seven hideouts on the island wins the game.

Reasons to buy:

  • Level of difficulty is lower than Settlers of Catan, making it a great introductory game for beginners or younger players

Reasons to avoid:

  • With some strategy sacrificed for simplicity, some players may find the game too easy

3. Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven: Jaws of The Lion Strategy Boxed Board Game

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 30 - 120 minutes
  • Ages: for ages 14 and up

One of the newer games on this list, Gloomhaven: Jaws of The Lion, is a strategy board game with players taking on the role of mercenaries in the city of Gloomhaven. Working as a standalone game or as an expansion to the original Gloomhaven game, Jaws of The Lion offers players a chance to dive into the world of tactical combat, dungeon crawling, and strategic decision-making.

In this newer version, you are introduced to 4 new mercenaries, each with their unique abilities. The game also features new scenarios, as well as new items and enemies to encounter. This board game is perfect for those looking for an immersive and challenging board game experience.

How to Play Cephalofair Games Gloomhaven: Jaws of The Lion Strategy Boxed Board Game:

In Gloomhaven: Jaws of The Lion, players begin the game by taking on the role of mercenaries working together to complete various scenarios.

Players will need to use their unique abilities to defeat enemies and reach objectives. The game is played over a series of rounds, with each player taking turns to move their character and take action.

The game can be won by meeting each scenario’s objectives, such as defeating all enemies or reaching a specific location.

Reasons to buy:

  • A condensed version of the original game, making it a perfect starting point for new players to the Gloomhaven world
  • Fans of the original game will enjoy the new characters, scenarios, and items
  • The gameplay is relatively easy to learn and can be completed much faster than the original game

Reasons to avoid:

  • If you’re looking for a complex and challenging game that takes many hours to finish, Gloomhaven: Jaws of The Lion may not be for you

4. Hasbro Gaming Sorry! Board Game: Disney Villains Edition Kids Game

Available on
  • Player count: 2-4 players
  • Duration: 10 - 30 minutes or more
  • Ages: for ages 6 and up

Sorry! Board Game is a classic board game that has been around for generations. In this Disney Villains Edition, players take on the role of Disney Villains as they attempt to be the first to move all of their pieces around the board. The game features classic characters you’re already familiar with, such as Ursula, Scar, Jafar, and Maleficent.

With easy-to-learn rules and new characters, Sorry! Board Game: Disney Villains Edition is an ideal strategy board game for family game night. A great learning opportunity for children, players will need to use their wits and strategy to outsmart their opponents and be the first to finish the game.

How to play Hasbro Gaming Sorry! Board Game: Disney Villains Edition Kids Game:

Players begin the game by choosing their Disney Villain character.

Players then take turns drawing cards that will determine the movement of their pieces around the board. Their character of choice can land on a slide, which will take them several spaces ahead, except in this version, they can only use the slide of the corresponding color of their character.

Players can also land on a space that will let them switch places with another player or choose to move one of their opponents’ pieces back to the start. The first player to reach the home space with all their pieces wins the game.

Reasons to buy:

  • Easy to learn rules and classic gameplay that’s perfect for young fans of the Disney Villains
  • Includes exciting new characters and features not found in the original game

Reasons to avoid:

  • This game is suitable for a younger audience and may not be challenging enough for some experienced players.

5. Risk

Available on
  • Player count: 4 players
  • Duration: 60 - 90 minutes or more
  • Ages: for ages 10 to 15

Another old classic on our list, Risk has been around for decades and is a favorite among strategy board game fans. This game will have players take on the role of world leaders as they try to jockey for position and take control of the world.

The game is played on a map of the world, with players taking turns to place their armies, attack other players, and attempt to conquer the world. This excellent game will test your strategy and critical thinking skills.

How to play Risk:

Players select a color to set up the game and then decide their starting world position. Then, players take turns placing their armies on the board, each player trying to control as much of the world as possible.

Once all armies have been placed, the game enters the first turn. On a player’s turn, they can choose to place more armies on the board or attack another player.

If a player decides to attack, they roll the dice to determine the battle’s outcome. The player that gets a higher number will make the other player lose troops. The game’s goal is to have a player conquer all of the world’s territories.

Reasons to buy:

  • Perfect for veterans and beginners who want a longer, more complex gameplay

Reasons to avoid:

  • If you want a quick game that’s easy to learn, this may not be for you

6. Exploding Kittens

Available on
  • Player count: 2-5 players
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Ages: for ages 7 and up

Exploding Kittens is a card game that’s perfect for family game night. Players take turns drawing cards from a deck in this hilarious and fast-paced game. If a player draws an Exploding Kitten card, they must defuse it, or else they explode and are out of the game.

The game is simple to learn and is perfect for players of all ages. With its humorous artwork and fast-paced gameplay, Exploding Kittens will surely be a hit with your family and friends.

How to play Exploding Kittens:

The game begins by drawing all the Exploding Kitten cards and placing them in the deck. Then, each player is dealt a hand of cards, including a Defuse card.

On a player’s turn, they draw a card from the deck and can choose to either play a card from their hand or pass their turn. If a player draws an Exploding Kitten card, they can defuse it by playing a Defuse card from their hand.

If players do not have a Defuse card, they explode and are out of the game. Players can also play action cards and attack other players to help them avoid drawing an Exploding Kitten card. The last player who has successfully avoided or defused all of the Exploding Kittens wins the game.

Reasons to buy:

  • Gorgeous card artwork that’s sure to please players of all ages, especially cat-lovers
  • Simple to learn rules yet addicting gameplay that’s perfect for family game night

Reasons to avoid:

  • May be too fast-paced for some players
  • Not recommended for young children who may be upset by the concept of kittens exploding

7. Monopoly Board Game

Available on
  • Player count: 2-8 players
  • Duration: 60 - 90 minutes or more
  • Ages: for ages 8 and up

The next game on our list is Monopoly, the infamous board game of property development and capitalism that relies on your business tactics to either make you rich… or bankrupt. As players, you will take on the role of property moguls as you attempt to buy, develop, and trade your way to victory.

The game is played on a board with properties, utilities, and railroads that players can use to their advantage. Players take turns rolling the dice and moving around the board with the goal of making as much money as possible. Be ready to wheel and deal your way to the top in this beloved strategy board game!

How to play Monopoly:

The game begins with each player being given a sum of money. Players then take turns rolling the dice and moving around the board. If a player lands on an unowned property, they can choose to buy it or auction it off to the other players.

If a player lands on a property that another player owns, they must pay rent. Players can also purchase properties from other players or trade properties with them. The game ends when one player has all the money and is declared the winner.

Reasons to buy:

  • A classic board game that’s perfect for players who enjoy strategizing and playing with money

Reasons to avoid:

  • If you don’t like games that take a long time to play, this may not be the game for you.
  • The game can also get cutthroat, so be prepared to deal with some competitive players.

8. Checkers

Available on
  • Player count: 2 players
  • Duration: 10 - 30 minutes or more
  • Ages: for ages 6 and up

Looking for a classic board game that’s perfect for two players? Checkers is a simple yet addicting game perfect for anyone who enjoys strategy and thinking ahead. This game has been around for centuries and is still just as fun to play today.

In Checkers, players try to outsmart their opponent by capturing all of their pieces. The game is played on a board with squares, and each player has 12 pieces. This game is perfect for any player regardless of experience, as it can be learned in just a few minutes.

How to play Checkers:

Players start with 12 pieces each, which are positioned on the board so that only half of them are visible. The game is played by taking turns moving your pieces, and pieces can only move forward one space at a time, except for when they make a capture.

To make a capture, a piece must jump over another piece and land on a square that’s occupied by the opponent’s piece. The opponent’s piece is then removed from the board. The game ends when one player either captures all of the opponent’s pieces or blocks them so that they can’t make any more moves.

Reasons to buy:

  • A classic game that’s perfect for two players
  • Intuitive gameplay that can be learned by even the most inexperienced players

Reasons to avoid:

  • For players looking for a more challenging game, this game may be too simple.

9. Carcassonne Board Game

Available on
  • Player count: 2-5 players
  • Duration: 45 minutes average playtime
  • Ages: for ages 7 and up

Carcassonne is a tile-based strategy board game suitable for players who enjoy building and planning. As one of the most popular board games of all time, this game is ideal for anyone looking for a challenging and rewarding experience.

Through careful planning and strategic placement of tiles, players must create a medieval landscape in this game. Carcassonne is played with tiles that depict roads, cities, fields, and monasteries. Players take turns placing these tiles and then place their followers on the newly placed tile. The goal is to score the most points by the end of the game.

How to play Carcassonne Board Game:

To play Carcassonne, each player starts with seven followers. On a player’s turn, they draw a tile and place it on the board, then place one of their followers on the tile. Followers can be placed on roads, cities, fields, or monasteries.

When a player places a tile, they must follow the game’s rules. For example, a road must be connected to another road, and a city must be connected to another city. If players break these rules, they must remove their followers from the board and return them to their supply.

The game ends when the last tile has been placed. Scores are then tallied, and the player with the most points is declared the winner.

Reasons to buy:

  • Easy to play and learn
  • Multiple ways to score points, high replay value

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not a good choice for players who want a more fast-paced game, as this game can last for hours.

10. Hasbro Gaming Clue Junior Board Game

Available on
  • Player count: 2-10 players
  • Duration: 10 - 20 minutes per round or more
  • Ages: for ages 7 and up

Another rendition of the classic board game, Clue, is next on our list, this time designed for younger players ages five and up. In this junior version of the game, players are tasked with either the cake or toy mystery.

The game board, smaller in size compared to the classic game, features clues that will help the players solve the mystery and move the story forward. In the case of the broken toy, players will have to figure out who broke the toy, what toy was broken, and when it was broken. In the case of the missing cake, players will have to figure out who took the last piece of cake, when they took it, and what they drank along with it.

This mystery game will help young players develop their deduction and reasoning skills. Unlike the classic game, this junior version has a more straightforward rule set that’s easy to follow.

How to play Hasbro Gaming Clue Junior Board Game:

Players start the game by choosing one of the suspects, including Mrs. Peacock, Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet, or Dr. Orchid. Once all the players have chosen a suspect, they will need to select a card representing their character.

The game board is placed in the middle of the playing area, and each player is given a game piece representing their character. Players will also be given a clue sheet, which they will use to keep track of the clues they find.

On a player’s turn, they will roll the dice to determine if they can move their game piece around the board. If a player lands on a space that contains a clue, they will take the corresponding clue. Once a player has collected sufficient clues, they can guess any aspect of the mystery.

To win the game, players must correctly guess the Ws of the mystery, which includes the who, what, and when.

Reasons to buy:

  • Junior version is perfect for younger players, having a simpler rule set compared to the classic game and being much easier to setup
  • Encourages deduction and reasoning skills

Reasons to avoid:

  • This version is much easier compared to the classic game, making it less challenging for more experienced players

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Party & Drinking Games

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