Board Game Terms: Explained



Tom Vasel takes a look at different terms the Dice Tower uses to talk about board game mechanisms, and explains what they mean.

1:16 – Abstract Strategy
2:05 – Action Point Selection
3:03 – Area Control
3:42 – Asymmetrical
4:39 – Types of Auctions
5:42 – CDG (Card driven game)
6:32 – CCG/TCG – Collectible Card Game
7:40 – LCG – Living Card Game
8:20 – Cooperative Games
9:10 – Deck Building
10:11 – Drafting
11:03 – Filler
11:52 – Gateway Games
12:39 – Hidden Roles
13:33 – Pick up and Delivery
14:22 – Push Your Luck
15:13 – Roll & Move
16:04 – Set Collection
17:07 – Simultaneous Selection
18:07 – Strategy and Tactics
19:21 – “Take That”
20:07 – Trick Taking Games
21:16 – Worker Placement

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All Comments

  • Very informative. Thank you from Iran.

    Saeed Mottaghian July 25, 2020 11:27 am Reply
  • bluffing game?

    Khandar William July 25, 2020 11:27 am Reply
  • Not shown because they didn't really exist at the time: Legacy games. These games (named for Risk Legacy) have a unique feature where as you play, you actually modify the game itself, such as applying stickers to the boards, ripping up cards, etc. These changes persist to later playthroughs. This can result in some games becoming unplayable after a certain number of plays (such as Pandemic Legacy), but you generally still get a fantastic experience from them that you don't from non-legacy games.

    I wanted to add this since I'm currently making a legacy game…

    Ratstail91 July 25, 2020 11:27 am Reply
  • Thank you so much for this video. I teach a middle school game design class and this has been a great video to use to have a collection of mechanics we can use when we play all sorts of games. 🙂

    Katrina Warren July 25, 2020 11:27 am Reply
  • How is Resource Management different from Worker Placement?

    MsGinahidesout July 25, 2020 11:27 am Reply
  • Thank you very much Mr Vasel for this video. I'm new to board games and I have being wondering what some of the terms used in the game reviews actually mean. I figured some of them and you did the rest. Very much appreciated and helpful for newbies and non English native speakers (which I both am).

    Dorotea Saputo July 25, 2020 11:27 am Reply
  • What is the game that’s used for deck building example?

    Oğul KÖKER July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • I am just getting into gaming – thank you – I found this very helpful!

    Jim Kledis July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Sorry, but I wouldn’t use chess as an example in order to teach the difference between strategy and tactics, because that is the one game in which strategy and tactics have a VERY specific meaning. Chess tactics are the sequence of moves which chess players use to gain an advantage (such as forks/double attacks, pins, skewers, checks, discovered attacks, discovered checks, etc.) It involves attacking the actual pieces of your opponent on the chessboard. Chess strategy, on the other hand, rather than being about attacking the chess pieces, is more about POSITION and putting your pieces in the best positions in order to gain a tactical – ATTACKING advantage. Hence, the study of chess strategy involves: Pawn structures, good vs. bad pieces (again, WHERE is the best place to place your pieces?), etc. They are 2 completely different things in chess, though. Unlike most other games.

    J.J. The Great July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • There are also “Dutch Auctions”.

    J.J. The Great July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • I would argue that “action point selection” gives you a number of points to use, rather than a number of actions. Then the number of actions you get depends on how many points each action uses – and which action(s) a player chooses to use.

    J.J. The Great July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Ok, so what is the difference between abstract (strategy) games and Eurogames, then? You like to complain about how Eurogames don’t have themes. Does that mean that all Eurogames are abstract (or all abstract games are Eurogames)?

    J.J. The Great July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • What is an "rendall"?

    Lexke81 July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Thumbs up for listing timestamps 🙂

    Ksawery July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Could you put a list of the games featured in the description please? I'm especially interested in the hot air balloon game.

    thedangeroussaint July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Oh Tom, I've seen so many of your videos but this one's so awesome. After months playing and learning new board games, this is a great reward as it helps me to consolidate terms and jargon that I had some kind of an intuition about. Thanks so much!

    Joel H July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Thanks Dude!
    I said GOODDAY SIR!!

    Deathrace82 July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Good video, Tom

    James Chester July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • greatly appreciate this one. thanks Tom

    Travis Ladd July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • looking for a printable list/chart of maybe few hundred great games and what mechanics are played in each. Is there such a thing?

    Lisa Flores July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Thank you for this video, Tom! I don't often post out here, but I'll try to do so more often because I really appreciate your family friendly videos.  My teenagers, who are all about video games, are now excited about playing board games thanks to your videos… though my husband's wallet may not be as thrilled about it.  😉 lol  Anyway, keep up the great work!

    Malynn Conch July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • You guys need to do a top 10 Abstract Games video.

    Steve Thomas July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THIS

    RecordsHisPlays July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Great video.  Thanks
    Where did you get the viruses for Pandemic?  They are awesome!

    Evil Twin July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • the most famous trick taking game tom is BRIDGE

    tsukune007 July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Is that a werewolf or a werespider?

    Independent Outsider July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Great explanations! Thank you! 🙂

    Mifoi123 July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Which game is used as an example of Area Control in 3:04 ? The board seems to represent Spain but the names are written in German… 

    Ismael Cebrian Marco July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Future video!

     I hope to use this video (& future ones( as an educational tool for my Facebook pages & Board Game Events I host to create awareness in my city!

    Jake K July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Role selection should be on this list 🙂 Like in Rattus, though it is very similar to worker placement.

    wroot July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Could a poker variant like Texas Hold-'em be considered a deck building game?  You don't actually buy cards per se, but community cards are considered part of every player's hand, and players try to build the strongest hand they can from the combination of their own cards and the community cards.

    notoriouswhitemoth July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Euro game should be a term explained

    PersianImm0rtal July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Thank you so much for this

    Raphael Norton July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • OH MY, HOW DID I MISS THAT VIDEO? I love it, FINALLY!

    VieneLea July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • great video!

    StevieV July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Exactly the episode I was looking for. A lot has happened the last 20 years… 🙂

    jankogo July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • may sounds weird, but i have no idea what does it mean: "Go and initiate" mechanic.

    Tomáš Legard July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • Perfect for teaching my wife!!!

    savannafc July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • This is a great video that probably took a long long time to put together. Go and pay the guy or catch the last few days of the kickstarter. Top job Tom.

    Paul Batey July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply
  • For some reason I have a problem with differentiating between Luck and Randomness

    Tony Sanfilippo July 25, 2020 11:28 am Reply

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