Popular Mechanics in Board Games
New to the entire board game phenomenon? Feeling a little overwhelmed by the vast number of titles being released each month? Having difficulties with finding a game that fits your personal taste and style of play? No problem. The Guild Hall Team has put together a list of the most popular mechanics you will find in modern board games, just for you.
How to use this little guide:
Skim this list and find the mechanics that you find appealing to you or your group of friends. Each of these mechanics is associated with certain games that you might want to consider for your collection. The list will include some examples of the most popular games in that category and a concise description of the mechanic. But wait…. there’s more. This guide is just the start and we will follow up with a series of articles that will take each category and have a more in-depth look at it and at the games linked to it. In this manner, you will have a complete idea of what to expect when choosing a game to add to your collection.
Players can place game pieces or tokens on individual slots on the gameboard and receive (immediately or later) a certain amount of goods or points in exchange.
Variable Player Powers
Each player has a unique ability that can be used under certain circumstances during the round.
Pieces are placed in regions marked on the gameboard and the player who holds the majority (usually) will win the points associated with that region when scoring is triggered.
Games where players select in advance the movement and actions of their game pieces and then follow them from start to finish, without any opportunity to alter them.
Examples of action programming games: Space Alert, Colt Express, Robbo Rally
Games driven forward by a story or by “choose your own adventure” type of system. Players decide on a narrative course and follow the story to the conclusion.
Push your luck
Players can end their round at any given time and score points or continue to play in order to obtain more points, but they run the risk of losing everything by triggering a turn ending condition.
In this type of games, players will select and place small tiles in contact with other tiles already on the table in order to form certain terrain types or shapes or combinations that will generate points during or at the end of the game.
Exchanges of goods, points or anything else are the key to success in this kind of games. Players are free or conditioned by rules to offer and receive tokens, coins or all sorts of commodities.
Examples of tile placement games: Catan, Monopoly
Usually, players start with the same combination of cards in their hand and will try to add to it more and better cards to improve the chances of triggering some special actions or scoring points.
Please keep in mind that this is just a selection of the most used mechanics in games and by no means an exhaustive list. Modern board games are more complex than those you could find a decade ago and they will combine in one box several of the mechanics mentioned on the above list. We made a selection that will keep things simple and easy to understand for everybody but remember that for any advice or clarifications you can always rely on our staff at The Guild Hall. The highly trained specialists will help you find the best game for you in a matter of minutes. See you in our store.