Crusaders Games

Strategy Board Games

Some strategy games are more complex, often taking around 3 hours or longer to complete, and comprising a deeper level of rules understanding or strategic gameplay. These games can be overwhelming to newcomers and usually require knowledge of certain strategies to compete well. This list of games that stand out for theme and gameplay feature at the games group rather than at home and I do not own them myself. There is a fine line to balance for me between good depth and over complex.

1. Scythe – Stonemaier Games (2016)

A worker placement economic board game set in an alternate history 1920s period. It is a time of farming and war, where players take an Eastern Europa faction, each having unique starting set ups and abilities. You conquer hex territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, build structures, and activate mechs, and expand across the world map, occasionally fighting other factions for territory and building up economic power. Winning is settled by the end of game gold count. This game looks really complex at first, but the round mechanics are repeated and you soon get into what is quite a quickly flowing game, and there are so many options, you always feel spoilt for choice. The artwork and style of the game is fabulous and really helps this to stand out as a great strategy game, however a listed game time of 115 minutes on the box seems well understated. If i were to buy one game on the list it would be this one.


2. Caverna – 999 Games (2013)

A worker placement game where each player builds his farm and excavates his dwelling cave to build his unique area. This is a game of massive choice and different strategies, and there is so much to do and many different ways to compete in this game, from growing crops, keeping animals, jewel mining and adventuring. The theme is family friendly, although it can take a while to set up, and with so many choices it is right at the top end of what a family may be happy to cope with playing. This game was the follow up to the famous Agricola and is a one which definitely makes you ponder each move, and you will often feel blocked off from your favoured option. The contents are excellent, with nice little animal meeples, and you will always get a warm feeling of having built a cool farm at the end of the game.

3. Lancaster – Queen Games (2011)

A knight placement game set in 1413, where players are taking the role of an ambitious aristocratic family aiming to become the best supporter and ally of the new king of England.  You develop status by deploying your knights in the counties of England, building their own castle, or even helping at conflicts with France. The core of game revolves around parliament, where you will try to push through the best laws to benefit yourself the most. This game provides a mixture of strategy choices and manipulating or reacting to law changes, and knight conflicts are common enabling you to potentially take over a county already held by another player, but also holding territory is ultimately not the main aim of the game. Whilst it is a fairly lengthy play, the limited number of rounds will keep a lid on the time.


 4. Blood Rage – Cmon (2015)

This game bridges a few categories, it has lovely miniatures but is not an adventure game, can be played in under two hours, but is also strategic, and isn’t overly rules heavy. You command a clan of vikings who gain glory by claiming territory, winning or losing battles and completing quests. It contains a number of different mechanic elements from initial card drafting to placement of warriors on a map, upgrading them, or obtaining monsters to fight for you. You will also need to balance your clan status between gaining extra rage, improving the glory you get from battles and the number of warriors you can use each turn. This is a fun game with great models, many different options and ways to win, but also manages to be not overly complex or long to play. Some combinations are very powerful so runaway winners can happen.


5. Terra Mystica – Z-Man Games (2013)

In Terra Mystica dwell 14 different fantasy peoples such as halflings, dwarves and mermaids live in seven landscapes (desert, forest, lake, plains, swamp, mountain, wasteland), and each group is bound to its own home environment. They must develop and grow by terraforming neighboring landscapes into their home environments, in competition of course with the other groups. A real strength of the game is that each race has its own unique skills and play style, which means that every game you play can have a different focus. The board itself is a little bland looking compared to some games, but the player boards are really nice and it has some cool bowls where you will move power around during the game. The diverse races make this game special.


6. Tzolk’in – CGE Games (2012)

Players representing different Mayan tribes and will be placing their workers on a board containing giant connected gears. The gears will rotate each round taking the workers to different action spots, and staying on a gear longer will yield greater rewards, but they do also tie you down, so you there is also an offset cost involved. This game is all about timing your way on and off the cogs and there are many paths to victory, almost too many. The mechanic here is different enough to make it memorable against other placement games and lifts it out of the pack.

Strategy Games I Want To Try As They Could Challenge The Top List

Viticulture, Terraforming Mars, Russian Railroads