4 Popular Strategic Board Games for Family and Friends

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Board games have always been a popular pastime for families and friends. Even with the advent of the internet and cable television, people still like playing board games because, let’s face it, it’s just that much fun.

Now, most people are familiar with the really popular board games like Monopoly and Snakes and Ladders and Risk, but there is literally a whole world of board games out there – a veritable smorgasbord of dice and board game bits for your delectation!

Take, for example…

The Settlers of Catan

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The Settlers of Catan is a multiplayer board game designed by Klaus Teuber. It first came out in Germany as Die Sidler von Catan. Players pretend to be settlers on the imaginary island of Catan. They build settlements, cities, roads – all of that. Now, the goal is to reach ten victory points. You score one victory point for each settlement you own, and two points for each city. You can also build your own armies and roads, which will give you additional points. The Settlers of Catan now have a video game series, and several expansions from the original board game.

Ticket to Ride

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Ticket to Ride is another board game from Germany. The point is you build a railway, and the game ends when you’ve used up all your supply of colored train pieces. Now, there’s an application on the iPhone for this board game turned video game, and you can play it anywhere you like. But of course nothing beats the original form.


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Dominion is another strategic board game. Dominion is considered one of the first “deck building” games and has inspired several other card-based games. It is set against a backdrop of Medieval times, with players attempting to build their kingdom. There are four kinds of cards in this game: the Victory Card, which awards you victory points after the game; Curse cards, which are like victory cards but take points away from you; Treasure Cards, which are played during the ‘Buy’ phase and generate coins; and Action Cards that generate effects during your turn. Dominion has been translated into several languages, including French, German, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Russian, Norwegian, and a few others. Right now, there is a browser based online version of Dominion being developed.

Axis and Allies

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Axis and Allies is a series of World War II strategy games. There are several expansions in the Axis and Allies games. Namely: Axis and Allies, Axis and Allies: Classic, Axis and Allies: Europe, Axis and Allies: Pacific, Axis and Allies: D-Day, Axis and Allies: Revised, Axis and Allies: Battle of the Bulge, Axis and Allies: Guadalcanal, Axis and Allies: 50th Anniversary Edition, Axis and Allies: Spring 1942, Axis and Allies: Pacific 1940… and so on and so forth. This is a great game for history aficionados. You play as one of the major players in World War Two: Japan, Germany, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America. The expansion packs allow you to play other countries. It’s a very intricate board game that allows for a lot of strategizing and hours and hours of fun.

Have you played one (or two) of them? What are your other favourite board games?

About the Author

Nikki dela Paz is a lifestyle and business blogger. She writes for Netgiraffen, a Danish specialty store offering quality and educational toys and games for children.

Updated: November 19, 2012 — 7:58 am