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The Best Abstract Strategy Board Games

Aug 3, 2008
Abstract Strategy is the title given to the types of board games which offer direct competition between two players with no hidden information or random chance involved. When two players face off, head to head, the only obstacles present are the puzzles that they present to each other. For this fact and the fact that every time a move is made, everything about that move, save for the player's intention, are immediately known, these games are given over to a form of abstract strategy, hence the name. Players need to outsmart their opponent in order to win, no amount of luck will aid them in victory.

Chess is highly considered to be one of the most popular abstract strategy games available. Considering that Chess is one of the most popular games in the world, it is no wonder that it is given some of the best recommendations in the world of abstract strategy. The game is played on a square board, with 8 rows and 8 columns of squares. Players choose a side, generally either white or black, and set their pieces according to a standard format. 8 pawns make up the inner row while the back row consists of the specialty pieces, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops, the queen, and the king. Each piece has a special way of moving and cannot break that pattern. By using these different pattern movements, players must try to "checkmate" the other player's king piece, putting it into a position where it will be captured and nothing can be done to stop this. The player who can do this first is declared the winner of Chess.

Other games exist within the abstract strategy realm, however. Go, a game that dates back to Ancient China, is considered to be even more popular than Chess. It has much simpler rules yet requires just as much strategic thought as its European counterpart. Two players, again black and white, take turns placing a colored stone on the board, which has been marked with a 19 by 19 grid of perpendicular lines. Once a stone has been placed on one of the intersections, it cannot be moved from that space, and players try to make chains between their stones. When a chain of stones has been made, no matter the size, it cannot be broken, only removed from the board.

If one player is able to completely surround another player's chain, those player's stones are removed from the board. Play continues until both players can find no more moves available to them, and scoring commences. There a few different styles to tabulating the scores of Go, but both methods generally consider both the number of stones on the board as well as the number of stones which have been captured. These two numbers are often directly in proportion to each other, as stones captures come from areas surrounded, which is considered to be another form of scoring.

Abstract strategy games allow players to think outside the box when they are confronting an opponent, which can be refreshing to many players who tire quickly of traditional board games that rely mainly on luck. These games are often the games which have lasted through history, always providing something that other games do not. They can be used to help educate and keep the mind sharp, and for this reason, they are some of the most beloved games available today.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for board games, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures. You will find all these things and more if you visit abstract board games, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures.
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