Interested in getting in to gaming and not sure what the difference between a Family game and Strategy Game?
Below we take you through all the different types with some helpful suggestions!
- Trading Card Games
- Living Card Games
- Miniature Gaming
- Thematic Games
- Abstract Games
- Party Games
- Family Games
- Cooperative Games
Strategy games are where a player’s ability to plan, make decisions and react often depict the result of the game. During the game play, players will be required to be constantly making decisions about their next move and assessing the overall impact each of these choices will have on not only their next move but the movement of the other players. Unlike abstract games, strategy games incorporate theme into the gameplay, a famous strategy game being Risk. Strategy games let you show off your thinking and planning skills as you maneuver your meeples, miniatures, tokens or dice across the board to victory.
Trading Card Games
Trading Card games (TCG) are card games that are constantly growing and expanding with new card releases. TCG’s tend to be 2 player card battles, where players draw cards from a deck and place them into play in an area in front of them in a set arrangement (known as a tableau). To play you need a deck that you have either created yourself or is premade. Each player creates a deck using the cards they have collected. Different TCG have different rules regarding the creation of the deck, for example total number of cards in the deck and specific quantities of different types of cards. For example, in Magic the Gathering you must have at least 60 cards in your deck, but it can be as large as you like. New players can purchase premade decks in the form of commander decks or they can purchase the booster packs that include a number of random cards to build their own. Because the contents of boosters are unknown you could end up with duplicates and this is when the trading happens. A big part of TCG is the trading, you can sell duplicates or trade with your friends to get a better card that you are chasing to make your deck more powerful. There are rare cards to be collected that can give your deck the edge it needs to beat your opponent in battle or perhaps you just want to complete your collection.
Living Card Games
Like Trading Card Games (TCG), Living Card Games (LCG) are games that are constantly growing and expanding with new card releases. Unlike TCG, in a LCG the additional card packs are not made up of random cards. LCG Card packs are defined expansions for the game. For example a popular LCG is Arkham Horror, in the base game there are 4 story scenarios you can play through which is enough to sink your teeth into. However, there are many expansion packs that either add an additional character or expand the story with another scenario to play. Another example Marvel Champions a very popular LCG has both character packs eg Star Lord so that you can play a new hero against a villain or friend and there are also scenario expansions that give players a new scenario to solve like the Sinister Motives Expansion.
Some LCG games incorporate deck building, so that you can take the expansions and mix and match the cards to create the perfect deck to play in your game.
Miniature gaming is when you use scale figures to recreate battles. The battle is played out using a defined set of rules for example how close a unit needs to be to hit a target, most miniature games come with a battle ruler to quash any disputes whether the unit hit or not. These battles can be played over large areas defined by the edge of the table and the terrain you have built to create the scene for example Warhammer or Star Wars Legion while others are defined by the game board for example Warhammer Underworlds or these can be based on battles from periods in time or fantasy/sci-fi battles. Miniature gaming offers great aesthetic appeal and incorporates the joys of modelling allowing you to paint and customize the figures to your liking. In fact there are a few modelers who build armies and never take them into battle.
Thematic games are games with a very defined and immersive theme. This is the most important aspect of the game. They are often driven by a story and players are required to either choose the direction the story unfolds or solve the puzzle to achieve a specific ending to the story in order to win. Nemesis is an excellent example of a thematic game, that throws you into deep space and has you and your friends attempting to survive alien encounters and other obstacles.
Abstract games are games with no apparent theme and the focus is on the decisions made in the game. Typically, a player will have control of a number of tokens/pieces oppose to a single token/hero and a turn consists of moving a token in accordance with the rules. It is not uncommon for a player to plan 5 moves ahead. Your turn often feels like you are solving a puzzle, which piece do I move, where do I move it and will this lead to the ultimate move 5 turns away. Chess is the most famous of these games, but Azul is a modern favourite.
Great for social gatherings, high player counts and are easy to learn! Party games are usually fun, LOUD, provide a lot of entertainment and encourage interaction between players. Card against Humanity really set the scene for this style of game play.
Fun for all ages comes to mind when we think family games. Family Games usually have a light and relatable theme. The rules are simple and yet engaging so that a wide age group can enjoy the fun. Ticket To Ride is an excellent example of a family game. This is a game you can play with children 8+ or at a game night amongst friends and it will bring joy on both occasions.
Teamwork makes the dream work! As the name suggests cooperative games are where all players work together against the game either everyone wins, or everyone loses. Pandemic is the classic example, but there are many others Horrified has you saving the town from legendary monsters such as Dracula. There are also the Exit the game series that has you solving a puzzle together to escape a scenario.