Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Only Board Games You May Ever Need To Play

Over the break I have had a bit of time to play board games, especially with the power outages that happened in Toronto. At this time, I began to think about how pointless certain board games are. Snakes and Ladders is entirely a game of chance, as is Trouble. Though games like Risk and Monopoly have elements of strategy built into them, luck still plays a significant role in winning. Out of all the board games I have come across thus far, three have stuck out as being particularly good at testing strategic thinking.

3) Chess- Known as the game of kings, it originated in 6th century India. It is played on an 8x8 board with each side consisting of 8 pawns, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops 1 king and 1 queen. For those who are looking to learn I recommend checking out chess.com. The great thing about chess is that it can be played in as little as 10-15 minutes (though I would question the quality of game play). Chess is largely a tactical rather than strategic game though, which leads me to chess' oriental counterpart.

2) Go (Wei Qi)- Go is a 2 player board game played on a 19x19 game board. The purpose of this game is to encircle your opponent. The beauty of this game is though you may be outmaneuvered in one part of the board, one can redeem yourself in other parts. Go takes a while to play and the winner is the one who controls the majority of the board. In a well played game this may come down to just a few space. Go is easy to learn but difficult to master. Free apps are available for all smartphone platforms. I recommend Go for anyone who is looking for a new challenge.

1) Diplomacy- Diplomacy has been described as being John F Kennedy's and Henry Kissinger's favourite board game. It can be played with 2-7 players each assigned a pre-World War I power. To win one player must control 18 supply center states (you start with 3 or 4). To succeed, one must work with and against opposing players. There is no dice in this game and every movement by an army or navy is one space. If two armies head for the same space, they bounce back to their original position. Though this is my favourite strategy game at this time, it can take as long as 12 hours to play. What I can promise is that that 12 hours will be tense!

Have any board game suggestions? Post them in the comment section below!

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