Like video games, board games are also divided into categories , but with one big difference: some can be part of multiple genres. In fact, the universe of board games is not watertight, but consists of a series of sets, in whose intersections the various products are placed. So it may happen that you have a ” dungeon crawler american “, an abstract German card game, or you may find yourself in front of titles that cannot be inscribed in any group, which, thanks to their innovative streak, create a new classification.
This article clearly does not have the audacity to want to describe all the various genres, but wants to make an excursus among the most popular, in order to give (especially to beginners) a basis for deciding what to look for, so as to buy the game that is as close as possible to your needs. Call to chat: get ready for the guided tour in the Everyeye playroom!
German and American
These are certainly the two most numerous genres. German (German or European) contains a whole series of games that involve managing and recovering resources to develop ” something “. Usually these are indirect competitive, and rarely can you interact directly against a specific opponent. There is also a very low component of randomness, since throughout the game it is the choices of the players that influence the progress of the game. Victory or defeat is attributable to personal error. Among the most famous exponents of this category are The Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne .
The American genus(American style or ameritrash) is almost the opposite of the previous one: luck is the king here, given that dice are often thrown or other random events are managed. Clearly, you don’t just play hoping for the benevolence of the blindfolded goddess, but your intervention is always welcome! They are games that involve the display of a large number of refined materials: many miniatures, detailed planks and colored cards. The typologies here are the most disparate, from the cooperative to the most extreme competitive.
Among the most illustrious representatives of the genus we can find Talisman , Descent, Rising Sun or Zombicide . In these two categories it is difficult to talk about game times: it starts from the couple of hours until you get to whole days dedicated to a single game. Costs, on the other hand, tend to be more contained with German products, which are oriented around forty euros. For Americans, on the other hand, it is very easy to exceed one hundred euros!
Small note: be careful not to consider ” luck ” only as a negative element. If the game is well done, its presence (when well managed) can be part of the engine that drives the whole fun car.
Abstract and Dungeon Crawler
These two categories are often associated with those described in the previous paragraph, while sometimes they are considered as their subgenres.
The abstract are so called because they do not describe ” real ” situations , but allude to them; their approach is very similar to that of the Germans but with rather basic rules, which give many possibilities to manage the progress of the game. Usually the game elements are revealed to all participants, who can reason without the risk of being surprised by the opponents! Among them we can include Santorini and Azul.
You should already know the dungeon crawlers: we talked about them in the reviews of Dark Souls and Massive Darkness . In short, these are games in which several people collaborate to complete missions within various dungeons in order to gain experience and new equipment thanks to which to continue the adventure. Here we are facing the apotheosis of the American genre: many miniatures, a lot of dice to roll and a lot of content! In recent years this type of games has undergone a great evolution: normally, traditionally, a member of the group had always to impersonate the ” villain “”and manage the monsters, however many titles have recently appeared in which the opponents are maneuvered by the game itself, now in the form of cards representing the actions of the creatures now of real mobile apps that take the place of the participants. mention Le Case della Follia (second edition), Assalto Imperiale (the app in Italian should be released soon) or the aforementioned Descent. Many of you may be wondering, and yes: Hero Quest is part of this group, indeed we can really consider it as a progenitor of the genre. On the price side, the abstracts tend to be quite cheap, instead for the crawlers the same goes for the Americans: many miniatures involve a rather high cost.
This is not a real category, but a universe of its own in board games! Roughly, we can divide everything into two sections: the ” simple ” card games”and the collectible ones (or Trade Card Game). In the first case we talk about products in which we must win the game by drawing cards from a common deck, and creating a hand with which to defeat the opponents. The direct clash between the players in this case is the centerpiece of the game, and the randomness and secrecy in the catch, serves to guarantee both the right amount of variety and a thrill of uncertainty. These games are equipped with simple and fast mechanics, which allow you to start one game after another. packaging and card formats are highly variable, but inside the box there is always all it takes for participants to play. Some examples? BANG! , Boss Monster , Munchkin or Bloodborne .
Speaking of collectible card games, however, just list a few names to immediately understand what we are referring to: MAGIC, Force of Will and Yu-Gi-Ho. In short, we understand each other: here the degree of competitiveness reaches its maximum levels and the 1vs1 clashes become duels to the death. Two challengers, each with their own deck (previously created by the player himself), battle until one of the two succumbs. Easy? Not at all! Each card has various effects and modifiers and the regulations are very complex, just to be able to manage a huge amount of variables. But above all, creating the perfect deck is the beating heart of the game! In fact, in order to assemble it, it is necessary to purchase expansion packs that have absolutely random cards inside them. Then,
In jargon they are called “miniature games”. Again, better to start with a few examples to simplify everything: have you ever heard of Warhammer , Warhammer 40.000 or the very recent Star Wars Legion ?
In these games, two contenders battle each other using their own custom armies on a field which is also made ad hoc (this type of product requires a lot of space to be used to its best). Obviously, there is no shortage of rules and quibbles to manage all the pieces, as well as careful and meticulous planning in the creation of your own squadron.