Top Board Games for Abstract Strategy

People on the Internet love to argue. Especially the board player, it seems. These include the definitions of what agame is, or a thematic game, or a card game, or an abstract strategy game.

1. City center

Dylan: I talked about Downtown on our list of underrated game quests, but Downtown deserves the awards it rarely gets. The game consists only of game boards and six block colors, but somehow it combines the theme of a city with these abstract components.

The placement of each block leads to a city that rises above the ground like New York City or remains flat like one of its suburbs. The draft (although it brings a bit of luck) is strained to make sure that the active player stacks the blocks in such a way that he somehow gets the best offer. In terms of summaries, there aren’t many games like this (it even offer a really fun solo mode), so Town Center is my favorite abstract game.

2. Shobu (review)

Andrew: Shobu is one of the newest games here, which debuted on Origins last year. But it has quickly become the game that I have to show everyone. It looks and feels like an abstract classic that has always existed. There are four wooden boards (two light and two dark) and river stones for the player’s figures. In each turn you make two moves, the first one can not move other stones.

The second move must be made in the same direction and the same number of squares, and on the opposite colored board. But this second move can bump an opponent’s stone and possibly knock him off the board. If you remove all of your opponent’s tiles from one of the four boards, you win. It’s simple, easy to teach, but it has a depth that still comes out even after dozens of games.

3. Walking

Dylan: In my first Go games, I was hesitant to explore it further. We live in a time when games are played once or twice and then stand on a shelf for six months. Go should not be one of those games. To understand the true strategy and concepts of Go, repeated games are required. I’ve played it 30 times and I’m still barely scratching the surface to see the full scope of the game. When you should continue a action or take a step back and start a conflict in another area of the board are questions that you need to ask yourself. All with a simple mechanics: place a stone.