With that dreadful pandemic going on right now, entertaining yourself indoors has never been more crucial and that’s why we made this list of strategy board games!
And we’re not just talking about the best war strategy board games for adults here; we’re talking about everything from terraforming Mars to Settlers of Catan!
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We scoured the tabletop landscape (a tablescape?) in order to come up with this list of strategy board games that will save you from cabin fever.
From deduction games to twoplayer games to single player board games, we spent hours upon hours reviewing everything we can get our hands on.
So, wondering if games like Twilight Imperium or the Game of Thrones edition of Monopoly is included in our list of strategy board games?
Well, read on and be amazed at what the world of game board games has to offer us wee mortals!
Board, not Bored!
In coming up with this list of strategy board games, we took a whole lot of things in consideration.
It includes the time you play them, whether they’re for six players or otherwise, and other categories we won’t bore you with.
As such, we’re covering a diverse array of genres.
It ranges from titles like Secret Hitler, Sentinels of the Multiverse and right up to grand strategy games like Settlers of Catan.
After all, it’s only right that you end up saying “that’s the best game I’ve ever played!” once you’re done with our list of strategy board games.
So, get your action cards ready; gather your five players; prepare to gain points; and make sure that your player controls are crisp and clear.
We’re about to delve into the greatest game board games out there!
And what better way to start it than with a bona fide classic!
Our TOP 5 Strategy Board Games
“An Absolute Tabletop Classic!”
Our Rating: 5
Yes, Catan—or as it’s more popularly known, Settlers of Catan.
This game has been around since the 2010s and sees no signs of slowing down, and right fully so.
This resource management game is without a doubt one of the greatest player board games to ever come out of Catan Studios.
Settlers of Catanis a building game that mixes elements of the best war strategy board games for adults and resource management.
Plus, this is something that doesn’t require a whole lot of commitment the way D and D does.
That’s because the amount oftime you play this classic is only about an hour per session.
What’s a Catan?
Well, simply put, Catan is a fictional island where you—and your friends— play the role of settlers, jocking for resources and position throughout the whole game.
You have action cards and game pieces that determine how you gain and lose resources, from bricks to lumber to ore and grain!
And aside from the grand strategy elements of this game, the player controls an element of RPG here as well.
By that, we mean that Settlers of Catan is much like your Axis and Allies or West Kingdom games.
You need to play the role of settler in order to win it.
There’s a ‘Robber’
Aside from battling it with other players, the game also features a “robber”.
It is there to throw a wrench into the whole resource management formula and give players more of a challenge.
Are You Settling?
What we love about this game is how pretty much straightforward it is.
It’s almost similar to chess in the way that the rules are easy to understand but mastering it will take a lot of skill and time.
Plus, you don’t have to commit too much here like with Civilization: the Board Game.
In that you have to trudge through the Stone Age to historical eras with castle of mad king and queens.
That’s just frustrating; but Catan is the exact opposite of that.
Right out the gate, you’re getting a game board game that provides various ways of winning.
Just 3-4 Players
The only flaw we see in this, actually, is that it can’t accommodate six players (a group game standard).
Hell, it doesn’t even allow five players; Catan only allows anywhere between three to four players at a time, so it’s not very flexible in that regard.
“A Family-Friendly Building Game!”
Our Rating: 5
Next up on our list of strategy board games is something that’s a bit more family-friendly: Ticket to Ride from Days of Wonder.
If you’re looking exclusively for the best war strategy board games for adults, then we’ll say it right now: this probably isn’t your cup of tea.
However, it’s perfect for all age levels and serves up that sweet, sweet tabletop entertainment in spades.
Ticket to Ride is a game that turns players from simple citizens to railroad prospectors as they compete to set the best routes in North America.
It’s set in the early industrial age.
Get ready to twirl your old timey moustache as you move your game pieces and gain points by getting the best train routes in-game.
Don’t expect something like Ticket to Ride to play as intensely as Secret Hitler or Axis and Allies, though, since this is pure family-fun fare.
And one of the main reasons why we included this in our list of strategy board games is the relatively short time you play each session.
It clocks in at about 60 minutes.
Up to Five Players
This could be considered as one of those great twoplayer games you could play with a friend.
However, it shines when you consider that it can handle up to five players at any given session.
This is a game where the player controls routes and action cards are used for going from one train station to another in-game.
That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg!
Ticket to Ride is a grand strategy game not unlike, say, Twilight Imperium or Terraforming Mars.
More importantly, this is also like Settlers of Catan in that it’s a building game that demands players to mix strategy and expansion to win.
So, if you’re wondering why we included this in our list of strategy board games, then there’s your answer!
Comparing with serious games like a Game of Thrones edition orSentinels of the Multiverse or Ticket to Ride, we’ll always go with this train-building game.
Our only gripe here is that this is yet another one of those game board games that have some pretty bland board designs.
Just look at it: it appears as less of a game board than it is a map of NY’s subway system.
Still, that’s a flaw that we could easily get over and this is easily a game I’ve personally enjoyed time and time again.
“Short but Enjoyable Co-op Game!”
Our Rating: 5
In searching for titles to make our list of strategy board games, we chanced upon this little gem.
It is probably one of the most apt game board games you could play right now.
Ladies and gentlemen: this is Pandemic by Z-Man Games.
If there’s one thing we learned coming up with this list of strategy board games, it’s that ANY scenario is fair game.
Grand Game with Solid Replay Value
Getting past the rather distasteful premise of this game, you’ll notice that this is one grand strategy tabletop game that has some solid replay value.
Believe us, I’ll even wager to let you sell my info online if you’re not convinced that this is a pretty good game after playing.
In this game, the player controls a team of frontliners to battle, as the name suggests, a pandemic ravaging the world.
Whether it started from some idiot eating bat soup is up for debate.
Fighting and Surviving
Pandemic by Z-Man Games mixes elements of strategy and resource management.
In some cases, you could even say that this is one of the best war strategy board games for adults.
It’s a game I’ve played numerous times and has never failed to amuse me, which is why it makes our list of strategy board games.
In addition to what we just said, this is also one of those uncommon game board games that don’t pit players against each other.
It’s the opposite, as Pandemic is one of those twoplayer games/four-player games that force players to cooperate in order to win it.
So, how exactly do you win against the Pandemic?
All too Real!
Well, much like in real life, the way to win against a pandemic is to find a cure and that’s exactly what this game is all about.
However, getting there requires a lot of strategy, too,
You move game pieces and use action cards in order to properly allocate resources and form that grand strategy to beat the in-game pandemic.
Here, you play as one of five designated frontliners: researcher, quarantine specialist, scientist, dispatcher, and medic.
Each has their own specialties and abilities in order to find a cure for one of the four in-game diseases per session.
Playtime Could be Longer
This game is almost perfect: if not for the time you play each session, which only lasts about 45 minutes, this would have been perfect.
Well, that’s simply our way of saying they should have made each session longer!
“An Exciting Minimalist Adventure Experience!”
Our Rating: 4.5
We encountered a lot of classics in building this list of strategy board games for your pleasure.
We tried out the best war strategy board games for adults and family-friendly games alike.
It ranges from player board games to deduction games that rely heavily on action cards and game pieces without a board.
And in our quest to find the perfect entry, our paths crossed with Forbidden Island by Gamewright.
If you’ve imagined how it would feel like to become Indiana Jones in tabletop form, then this is the game that sets the bar for it.
It’s a grand strategy co-op fare that does away with the usual player board game tropes.
It does this by emphasizing action cards, game pieces, and fast-paced gameplay over resource management.
And to tell you guys the truth, it’s one of the most refreshing tabletop games we’ve played in a long while.
Not so Forbidden
The whole game, though, sadly isn’t for five players or six players, as the maximum allowable participants stand at four per session.
Despite the relatively small payer count, though, the time you play it is at a break-neck speed: 30 minutes.
Now, a 45-minute gaming session makes us hanker for more.
But cutting things short at half an hour is just perfect for a quick-strike game like this.
In Forbidden, you play as adventurers tasked with solving riddles and answering questions in order to win the whole game by gathering four artifacts.
And speaking of these artifacts, Gamewright pulled all the stops in producing this title.
Unlike Secret Hitler, West Kingdom, or Sentinels of the Multiverse, Forbidden doesn’t rely heavily on airtight rules alone.
Sure, having solid gameplay mechanics is a must for every tabletop game out there, but that’s not EVERYTHING.
By that, we mean a sense of production value must also be involved in coming up with a proper gaming experience, and Forbidden does exactly that.
From the action cards containing various in-game trivia, riddles, and questions to the collectible-worthy sculpt of the game pieces themselves, you’re getting something premium.
If there’s one thing we’d complain about this game, though, it’s the lack of five players or six players options.
This game only allows for a maximum of four players at a time.
Mixing it Up
Aside from its quick, adventure-heavy elements, Forbidden also ticks the boxes when it comes to adding elements of strategy and cooperation into the mix.
As such, players are treated to a very immersive experience without the cumbersome action cards, game pieces, and game boards that other titles have.
So, this is perfect for those looking for a game that has more than enough entertainment and replay value with minimal tools.
And did we mention that this is one of the most affordable tabletop games available in the market?
Because it totally is, making this an almost perfect experience well worthy of our list of strategy board games.
“An Absolute Tabletop Gaming Classic!”
Our Rating: 4.5
When it comes to the best war strategy board games for adults and kids alike, the first thing that must have popped into your head is Risk.
In fact, it’s almost unfair to add this one to our list of strategy board games.
That’s because Risk has become such a classic that it’s now less a game than it is an industry pillar.
But, credit where credit is due, and Risk by Hasbro Games—regardless whether it’s the Game of Thrones edition or what-not—isn’t going anywhere.
We’re going to tell you that even though this game is pretty affordable, it almost always sells out quickly because of how in-demand this title is.
And that’s understandable, considering the millions of people that this game has provided countless hours of replay value for.
Take the Risk
Simply put, risk is like the godfather of grand strategy games: it’s influenced the likes of Settlers of Catan, Secret Hitler, West Kingdom, etc.
You name it, and risk is more than likely to have provided some influence over it.
But enough about its accolades and pedigree; let’s talk about the game itself.
Risk is a competitive building game, strategy game, and war game all combined into one package.
However, what makes this game shine is how versatile it is: there are four game modes players can choose from.
Looking for twoplayer games? Then Risk has that option.
Then, there’s the Secret Mission game mode where you use action cards to, well, finish all those secret missions (we won’t spoil it by revealing them).
Then, there’s Capital, which is just a shorter version of the tried-and-true classic Risk setting.
Then, of course, there’s Classic Risk, where players vie for control of the game map through in-game warfare.
The only flaw is that Risk has been around for so long that choosing it over other more recent entries like Rising Suns is simply unfair.
A Sure Thing
One thing’s for sure, though: Risk has everything you’re looking for in a proper, competitive board game.
There’s warfare; temporary alliances, and resource management just to name a few of its gameplay elements.
Plus, it can accommodate five players, which is pretty decent for an “old” board game.
Suffice it to say that our list of strategy board games won’t even exist without the contributions of something like Risk!
It’s THAT good.
List of Strategy Board Games—Our Verdict!
We here at Shrunk Collectibles made sure that our list is comprehensive.
So we included everything from the best war strategy board games for adults and kids alike to deduction games and building game classics
So, the titles we included here are great if you’re looking for something to spice up game night or just survive the ongoing lockdowns.
We hope that you could use this to give yourselves some time and opportunity to unwind amidst all the craziness in the world today!
Our list of strategy board games is here to help.