|What most Americans picture when you say "Board Games".|
|A modern recreation of Senet, the earliest known board game.|
|Hate, hate, HATE this game. Yes, there may be a chance that when attacking with overwhelming force that a lone defender can take no losses and kill an attacker. That chance should not be 1 in 6.|
|The Limited Anniversary 3-D Collector's "Treasure Chest" Edition of Settlers of Catan. $469 USD retail... and yes, I have one.|
- The games tend to be non-violent. Games in this style often abstract any sort of fighting, if it is present at all. Building, trading and otherwise growing something a player controls is the focus, rather than trying to eliminate something controlled by an opponent.
- Resource management is one of the keys to victory. Whether it is in-game currency, actions or “action points” per turn or numbers of pawns, tokens or cards, most of these games reward effective and efficient use of available resources to increase score, claim dominance on a board, or otherwise collect whatever is required to win.
- The impact of random chance is minimized in determining who wins. Many of these games feature dice, cards or other random tokens, but few use the “roll and move” mechanic that is common in “race” games. Though few are games of perfect information, where there are no random elements and every action an opponent may take is publicly known, a player can usually increase their chance of victory through capitalizing on good fortune, making timing and planning at least as important as a fortunate draw of a card or roll of dice.
- Players frequently simultaneously cooperate and compete. This concept, minus the “compete” is a subgenre I've written about before, but any trading game features this idea. Railroad gaming often forces players to use each other's lines to travel or ship goods, and games where players must collaborate, even briefly, to earn victory points are common. They key to managing these sorts of cooperative efforts in these games is usually helping someone, but not as much as they help you.