There are a lot of weird and exotic terms in modern board gaming, too many for me to list here. This is a short and sweet list for words and terms you will come across here, and in other gaming sites.

If you want a full and detailed glossary I suggest you check out this Glossary on BoardGameGeek (BGG). Their glossary is so large it has to be subdivided into different categories for gaming terms, publishers names, and common abbreviations used for individual games.

Short and sweet board game glossary

Ameritrash – Games with a high degree of luck and conflict between players. Examples are Axis & Allies, and Risk.

Analysis Paralysis  – Abbreviated to AP. Analysis Paralysis is the uncomfortable delay in a game when a player takes a long time to take their turn. The player is often over-analyzing their options and choices, which can cause frustration for the other players of the game.

BGG – The acronym for the website BoardGameGeek is a repository of information on all aspects of board and card games. For my article about BGG see here

B&M – Bricks and mortar. A business that has a physical shop location such as a Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). Compare this with an online business that only sells games indirectly via the internet.

Classic game – Used to describe mass market mainstream board games. Examples are Monopoly and Clue.

Collectible Card Game – Often abbreviated to CCG, Collectible Card Games are a very popular card game format where the players selects the cards they want in their deck. This preconstructed deck is then used to battle an opponent. Popular CCGs have many hundreds of cards to chose from, thus allowing for many different startegies. A very popular CCG is Magic: The Gathering, a game system that has been going for over 30 years.

Collection – The games owned by a gamer. e.g. I have 150 games in my collection.

Cooperative game – where the players openly co-operate with each other to beat the game. This type of game is a good introduction to gaming for those who are uncomfortable with direct conflict between players. An example is Pandemic.

Deck Builder – A game mechanic where each player stars with a fixed set of cards. The players add cards to their own card deck. The players can each form their own strategies based on the cards they add to their deck, and how they play the card in their hand. This produces a lot of variety in game play. The first popular deck building game was Dominion.

Euro – Also known as Eurogame, German game or Designer game. With engaging gameplay and attractive components; euro games are the most common type of modern board games. The board gaming world was revolutionized and revitalized board in the 1990’s with the release of first successful euro game Settlers of Catan. Settlers of Catan is now known simply as Catan.

Family game – A game that is well suited to be played by a family. The game us suited for a group of gamers of varying levels of game experience, or a range of ages. These games tend to have little or no conflict between players. Simple, yet fun mechanics make these excellent games for beginners while still being suitable for experienced gamers. An example are the games in the Ticket to Ride series.

FLGS – Friendly Local Game Store. A Business that sells games and gaming accessories to people via an actual store. They may also sell other hobby or entertainment items, such as comics, music or collectible toys.

Mechanic/Mechanism – Terminology used to describe how the game functions. It could a dice game, involve auctions, have worker placement, or include cards. Games may use more than one mechanic. For example: Catan is a game that includes resource trading, a modular map, and card management among the game mechanics.

Party game – An easy to learn, quick to play game that focuses on the social style of gaming. This can include games with trivia, dexterity, or mature content.

Tabletop game – This is a wide ranging term used to cover the games played on a table. This includes: board games, card games, dice games, miniature games, and Role Playing Games.

Theme – The theme is the subject of a game. The theme is used to place the game in a context that is easily comprehended by the players. For example: the theme of the game Agricola is farming in 17th century Europe. That may not sound exciting, but it is actually an award winning, well respected, fun and challenging game.

Wargame – Games that simulate historical warfare or battles. Miniature figures or cardboard counters are used to represent military units that are maneuvered around a map. Direct conflict between players is the norm. Wargames have benefited from the increase in production quality, and include game mechanic innovations that were first incorporated into euro games.

Worker Placement  – A popular game mechanic in Euro games. Each player has a limited number of pieces that represent their workers. These workers pieces are placed, often with each player taking turns to each place one worker, on the game board. The position on the game board gives a specific benefit to its player. With the number of productive spaces often being limited, each player must carefully choose the order in which their worker pieces are placed. An example of a work placement game is Stone Age.

Last updated: 7th March 2017


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