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15 Strategy Board Games You’ll Love (and Where to Get Them)

Play these games to determine if your decisions will lead to victory or vanquishment.

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Senior African man playing chessDave & Les Jacobs/Getty Images

Take game night to the next level with these strategy board games

Board games are timeless pieces of entertainment that help us bond with those closest to us. Some people love classic board games, while others prefer online board games and even games for two people. If you really want to test your board game skills and make game night more interesting, make sure you add strategy board games into the mix.

Strategy board games are games where your decision-making skills are put to the test. Every decision you make can lead to your victory, or your defeat. Plus, strategy board games bring out our competitive side—we want to win against our family and friends, after all. See how your critical thinking and planning skills compare to others by playing these strategy board games.

Riskvia amazon.com

Risk

Age range: 10+

Players: 2–6

Risk is a classic strategy board game from Hasbro Gaming that combines diplomacy and conquest. You’ll use strategic military tactics to acquire territories and form important alliances that’ll help you conquer the world. There’s a bit of luck to the game, as dice are used to figure out which player wins a battle, but there’s still plenty of strategic thinking to do. Taking over land is risky—are you up for the challenge?

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Chess board gamevia amazon.com

Chess

Age range: 4+

Players: 2

Chess is one of the best strategy board games to play. The object of the game is to checkmate the other player, meaning their king piece cannot avoid being attacked. Each piece on the board can only move certain ways, so you have to think a couple of moves ahead in order to form the best winning strategy. The best part is that chess can be taught at any age—some people teach children as young as four to play, while others don’t touch a chess board until they’re adults. It’s never too late to learn this classic game!

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Catan board gamevia amazon.com

Catan

Age range: 10+

Players: Up to 6

Catan is another classic strategy board game that’ll get the gears in your head going. In Catan, each player is a settler that tries to build up settlements by utilizing trading strategies and gaining resources. The person who has the supreme settlement wins. Catan has been incredibly popular since it was made in 1995 and has inspired multiple extension packages. See if you have what it takes to build the best settlement!

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Betrayal at House on the Hillvia amazon.com

Betrayal at House on the Hill

Age range: 12+

Players: 3–6

If you like spooky games, Betrayal at House on the Hill is right up your alley. You’ll spend the game building and exploring a haunted mansion with your fellow players, but there’s a twist: One player ends up betraying the others, and the others must band together to make it out of the mansion alive. Get ready to navigate creepy twists and turns as you fight to get out—it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.

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Monopoly board gamevia amazon.com

Monopoly

Age range: 8+

Players: 2–8

Monopoly is a classic board game that combines strategic thinking and the luck of the dice. The purpose of the game is to go around the board buying and trading properties to develop your real estate. The key is to own as many properties as possible and collect money from other players. Between buying properties, passing “Go,” and getting out of jail, you and your group will be occupied for quite some time.

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Wingspan board gamevia amazon.com

Wingspan

Age range: 10+

Players: Up to 5

Wingspan is one of the newer strategy board games that’s made quite the impression. It’s a competitive card-driven game where your goal is to discover and attract the best birds to your wildlife habitat. You don’t have to be a bird enthusiast to enjoy this strategic game—anyone can appreciate the planning that goes into having the best habitat on the board. Plus, the game’s artwork is stunning!

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Scythe board gamevia amazon.com

Scythe

Age range: 14+

Players: 2–5

This is an interesting game to play, especially if you’re interested in history. Scythe is set in an alternative-history version of 1920s Europe, where there’s unrest following the Great War. Each player is a character from one of the five factions in Eastern Europa. The goal of the game is to lead your faction to victory and get it to rise to power through conquering territories and defending your own. Will you achieve your goals and rise to the top in this world?

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Pandemic game board gamevia amazon.com

Pandemic

Age range: 13+

Players: 2–4

This is a strategic board game that requires you to multitask and think ahead to save humanity from catastrophic diseases. During Pandemic, you’re part of a team tasked with working together to save the world from serious epidemics. You’re also responsible for finding the cures for all these diseases. If you like strategically working with others to achieve a high-stakes goal, this is the game for you. Try it out and see if you can save the world from disease. Make of this what you will: It’s considered one of the best-reviewed games to play in quarantine.

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Taco vs burrito board gamevia amazon.com

Taco vs Burrito

Age range: 7+

Players: 2–4

This game may have been created by a seven-year-old, but it’s popular among people of all ages—and for good reason. Taco vs Burrito challenges you to create the best (and weirdest) meal using some…interesting ingredients. It’s a pretty easy card game to learn, but there is some strategy involved. You have to play your cards right to create the right meal, so choose wisely.

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Carcassonne board gamevia amazon.com

Carcassonne

Age range: 7+

Players: 2–5

If you want to play a game where you can get lost in the medieval era for a bit, Carcassonne is for you. Named after an actual hilltop town in southern France, Carcassonne is a game where players use tiles to fill the countryside around the city. Tiles can represent roads, fields, cities, etc. The goal of the game is for players to score the most points by having the most followers on their structures. Place those tiles carefully—you never know when one will come in handy.

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Twilight Struggle gamevia amazon.com

Twilight Struggle

Age range: 13+

Players: 2

History buffs will enjoy this board game, as it pits two people against one another during the Cold War. One player is the United States and the other is the Soviet Union. Players will spend time strategically thinking of ways to spread their influence across the board. The person who spreads the most influence across regions wins. It’s interesting to put yourself in a world leader’s shoes and make strategic decisions that will impact your place as the leading superpower. May the best (and most influential) player win!

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Ticket to Ride board gamevia amazon.com

Ticket to Ride

Age range: 8+

Players: 2–5

All aboard! This strategic board game will take you and your group across the United States as you compete to build the best train routes to connect North American cities. This game is fun for the whole family and will give your brain a workout—you have to plan ahead to build train routes, after all.

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Spy Alley gamevia amazon.com

Spy Alley

Age range: 8+

Players: 2–6

This award-winning strategic board game will surely keep you on your toes and sharpen your logical thinking skills. During Spy Alley, you assume a secret identity (a.k.a. nationality). Then you must collect all the items you need for your nationality and get to the winner’s square. There’s a catch, though: If someone guesses your nationality before you get to the winner’s square, you’re out. If they guess wrong, though, they’re out. That’s why it’s important to think strategically about what you collect and pay attention to what others are collecting. Sit back, watch closely, and guess wisely!

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Tiny Towns board gamevia amazon.com

Tiny Towns

Age range: 14+

Players: 1–6

Tiny Towns will test your resourcefulness and planning skills. During the game, you’re the mayor of a tiny town in a forest. The forest is inhabited by smaller creatures that created an area that’s hidden from predators, and since it’s a small area, you must know how to use your resources to efficiently build up the town. The more you build and the less you waste, the more likely you are to win. See if you can create a bustling town and meet its needs without wasting materials—it may be harder than you think. Don’t forget to bookmark this list of the best outdoor games for kids for some outdoor playtime inspiration.

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Ravensburger Disney Villainous Strategy Board Gamevia amazon.com

Ravensburger Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game

Age range: 10+

Players: 2–6

We love rooting for our favorite Disney heroes, but the villains are pretty fun characters, too. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be the bad guy, this is the game for you. During the game, you’ll play as a classic Disney villain to achieve your sinister goals. Keep in mind, though, that the other villains have their goals, too—and they’ll do anything to achieve them. This is a strategy game that families, Disney fans, and board game enthusiasts can enjoy. Play for yourself and see which villain takes the evil cake!

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