Talk:Board game

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We definitely need to come up with a better classification here, at some point. It's a good start, but games like Abalone and Die Siedler really defy any coarse classification. Perhaps nested classification pages, with games existing on multiple pages? I'm planning on adding entries for a few more games that we play regularly, most of rticle. The same could apply to any other specialist categorization. --Imran

My preference, therefore, is to do the best we can to avoid listing any game twice. No classification system will be perfect, but a unified system is much to be desired, even if there is more than one principle on which it _could_ be based.

Oh, and as to Risk, I forgot that it has evolved from being a pure elimination game as it was when I first learned it. But it still belongs in the elimination category, because players can be wiped out even when assignment cards are used, and then they may have nothing to do until the next game starts. I will modify the description to include possible elimination. --Karl Juhnke

I have started up a page about classifying games in general; Maybe we can continue this discussion over there if need be. --Fritzlein 16:20 Aug 24, 2002 (PDT)

I removed this list from the article:

==European race games==

I don't think many people would consider "European Race Games" a genre unto itself. If anyone cares to, they could add some of these games to other lists, though they sound pretty obscure to me. —Frecklefoot 13:33 16 Jul 2003 (UTC)

That's because most of them are from the 18th/19th century, while this class of game isn't very common today, it was once very important and many of todays games companies (including Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley, and Chad Valley) started out by producing this kind of game. It was also these games that allowed for the first European board game companies to exist as companies in their own right (as opposed to being part of a lithograph/publishing company). Although many of them could be classified as chance games or in a generalized "race game" category, I think they are distinctive enough to qualify for their own category. --Imran 20:12 16 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I can see your point, Imran. The category is fairly distinctive, especially since the games are seldom played today. I earlier argued for the page to be grouped from a gamer's point of view, but a class of historical games may deserve its own heading, as the gamer would have no opinion. My only problem with the list being in the main board game article is a lack of articles behind it. If each game were backed by good information, as well as the heading having its own article, then I think it would be a fine format for the information, and the best place in Wikipedia for it to appear. --Fritzlein 22:14 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Perhaps a seperate article for the european race games would be more appropriate, as more can probably be said about these games as a genre than could be said about the individual games. --Imran 22:56 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

We have a slight categorization problem here. Several of the games linked under word games and party games do not have a board. Apples to Apples, Taboo, Anagrams, and I think several other games are played with cards and other equipment not including a board.

I see several possible solutions:

  1. Do nothing, and let the board games article serve as a catch-all for all games that bear some resemblance to board games.
  2. Remove the games that are not board games. For example, under word games we include only word games which are board games too, but delete word games which aren't board games.
  3. Remove all party games and word games from this article, and simply leave a link to those other categories.

My personal preference is for the latter option. Let's not try to maintain two lists of word games, one on the word games page and one on the board games page. Instead let's put prominent links to those other pages, and maintain all the links to individual games over there.

Since I don't want to maintain lists in two places, I look for the more compelling category. In my mind, "word game" has a stronger hold over Scrabble than "board game".

It there are no objections, I will implement this proposal when I get around to it. --Fritzlein 20:22 26 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I don't know the game PARFUDREZ and I don't think it is a Classic two-player abstract strategy game

The only Google hits for PARFUDREZ are for Wikipedia and sites that copy Wikipedia content. I'll remove it. --Zundark 12:08, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
And yet it seems that an article entitled PARFUDREZ was deleted 18:55, 9 Jun 2004 as being a copyvio. How can this be? Incidentally I suspect [1] may be a cache of this article. -Blotwell 01:19, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Luck in chess[edit]

The article states "Some games, such as chess, have no luck involved." This is only true in theory. Chess is a deterministic game, that is the desicion tree for all chess games can be (trivialy) constructed. However to represent the desicion tree more bits than atoms in the universe must be used. Therefore it is not practical to construct. Hence there must be luck involved in playing chess. Søren Olesen (2. nov 2005)

Not any more luck than me touching my nose with my index finger. It can't be proved that a bird won't swoop down between the two, or that I'll live long enough to complete the task. Using your definition, luck becomes a meaningless term. There is no 'luck' involved in playing chess as most boardgamers define the term. It's a random element of the game that has the potential to benefit some while hindering others, or only affecting a subset of the total player base. Chaos is a related but different term, often confused with luck. Chaos is the inability to predict the flow of the game. Chess might have chaos, but it certainly doesn't have what most people refer to as luck. I suppose all multiplayer games have a certain amout of chaos. Eric Mowrer (2 Nov 2005)
What is the difference between luck and random element ? Søren Olesen (3. nov 2005)
Søren, the "atoms in the universe" description helps visualize the complexity of chess for sure, but I don't think supports anything on the luck vs. strategy front. Why do you presume that a player needs to render a decision tree or any portion of it in their head in order (or elsewhere) to make a non-luck-based decision? A decision tree (if complete and followed without mistake) could lead to optimal play in chess. However, to act strategically does not require full knowledge of optimal actions. Or do you believe otherwise? --Ds13 17:16, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Why do you presume that a player needs to render a decision tree or any portion of it in their head in order (or elsewhere) to make a non-luck-based decision? Because it is the only way to prove that the move was the optimal move. The definition from the article states One way of defining board games are between those based upon luck and strategy. I have showed that it is not possible to play optimally in chess, therefore there must be luck involved. Søren Olesen (3. nov 2005)
I disagree. Lack of optimal play does not mean lack of strategic play. Playing optimally can, sometimes, be proven mathematically and optimal play would appear to be the best strategy if the knowledge (and brainpower or CPU time) is available. Playing strategically means playing with a plan, and that plan need not be optimal. In complex games, warfare, business, etc. strategies can rarely be proven to be optimal or not yet the fact that one is following a plan, intending to achieve a goal, means they are playing strategically. --Ds13 16:29, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Ordering of external links[edit]

This article is rather vulnerable to link spam. Anybody with board games to sell, or ads that they want readers to see, is tempted to put their own links in the external link-lists at the end of this article.

Just now an editor added a link to the front of the Play online section. There were about a dozen links there already. Why should the new link get to go first? It's true that we don't have a clear guideline for the order of the external links, but it seemed odd to put a new link in front of all the others. I suspected link spam, but I checked the link to make sure. It turned out I was wrong: the new link led to a modest Java chessboard with a couple of unobtrusive Google ads. Nothing horrid.

But still, my intuition is that proud page-owners should get in line. Put new links at the end, please. A link added at the front of a list is a warning sign of spam, and an editor could be forgiven for reverting it without checking. ACW 15:49, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Strange sentence[edit]

The article contains the following sentence:

The rise of computers has also led to a relative decline in the most complicated board games, as they require less space, and are easier to set up and clear away.

I do not understand what it tries to say. Does the sentence mean that computer games have replaced complicated board games, since computer games require less space and are easier to set up and clear away? Or that computerized versions of complicated board games have replaced cardboard versions of complicated board games? Or that people prefer complicated board games to simple board games, since complicated games require less space and are easier to set up and clear away? (Well, at least go and chess are such complicated board games.) Or that computers have somehow affected people so that they want to have things that require more space and are more difficult to set up and clear away? (The last theory would at least explain the popularity of Microsoft products.)Punainen Nörtti 12:51, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

I assumed that it meant games like Dungeons and Dragons or large war simulations had declined in popularity since computer games can handle all the bookkeeping details of large simulations. I clarified the sentence like so:

The rise of computers has also led to a relative decline in the most complicated board games, as computers require less space, and the games don't have to be set up and cleared away.

Don Kirkby 20:52, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I also want to challenge this. Complex games, such as 18xx, Titan, Advanced Civilization, etc, are easier to play on the computer, than in person. That's not a relative decline, that's helpful. Keybounce (talk) 20:44, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

"You Play It"[edit]

An anonymous editor added a link to the "Online Play" subsection of the "External Links" section. It feels like a borderline adlink to me. The referenced site seems fairly benign, but it's (free) registration-only, and I could not assess the content without registering. I didn't register.

Probably the link was inserted by people affiliated with the "You Play It" site. This isn't intrinsically bad, I hasten to emphasize, though I was a little put off by the repetition of some ad-like verbiage ("many famous games") from the site's splash page. Despite the phrase "many famous games", the splash page lists only about half a dozen, none of which I had heard of.

So, anyway, I toned down the adspeak a little, and fixed a punctuation error, and left the link in. What should happen next is that some intrepid neutral editor should register at "You Play It" and make sure that everything is on the up-and-up. I'm afraid I'm feeling rather extrepid tonight. ACW 02:38, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Link spam[edit]

My apologies to the good people at azumos online, but it looked like a small site selling board games. It didn't appear to have any features that allow you to play or discuss board games.

What's the etiquette for removing something that looks like link spam? Justify it in the discussion page, or just nuke it and wait for it to come back if it's valid?

Don Kirkby 20:52, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

find purely luck based games such as Top Trumps quite boring[edit]

I don't quite comprehend how Top Trumps is purely luck. Anybody who has played the game knows that whilst the cards are dealt randomly you will have to use your 'skill' to choose the most appropriate attribute to compare against your opponent. Whilst there is luck on whether or not they have a better card than you, you do have an influence on the outcome of the game by your choices.

Don't particularly care either way whether this stays or not, but I would say a game such as snakes & ladders is a much better example of purely luck-based gaming (unless someone wants to suggest that one can throw a dice with degree of accuracy). ny156uk 19:21, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Done. Good suggestion. ptkfgs 23:54, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Game piece (or token or bit)[edit]

surely you have missed out "counter". that is a far more common term for a game piece than token or bit, at least where i'm from.

WP:OR on Lucky, Strategy, and Diplomacy Section[edit]

I'm not an expert in board games, but this section smacks of WP:OR. It definitely needs sources and to get away from the passive voice. For example the opening sentence: "One way to categorize board games is to distinguish ..." fails to answer the question of 'Who is doing this categorizing?' Burzmali 20:04, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

LCD boardgame[edit]

The Phillips Entertaible may soon revolutionise board games and make it possible to play a huge number of them at lower costs (lcd-screen only needs to be purchased once). As such, it should be included into the article.

Info on this:

Thanks KVDP (talk) 09:35, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if this should be added to this article, or how it should be brought up if it is to be added. Here are the points that I see for adding/not adding it:
  • For: It is an up-and-coming "board game" technology that has the potential of revolutionizing how board games are played.
  • Against: It isn't out yet, it is from a single company (and could be seen as advertising), and it isn't technically a "board" game.
Let's discuss this and see if a consensus develops before we add it. — Val42 (talk) 18:28, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

If and when it manages to "revolutionise board games", we could consider adding a link to its existing article. Currently, it seems much less influential than computer game versions of Risk, Monopoly, Settlers, etc. which do not appear in the article. Certes (talk) 19:37, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Mancala is not a race game[edit]

Mancala is falsly classified a race game her. The "sowing" of the game pieces (usually seeds) is movement along a circular track, but there is no start, finish etc. Players each own half of the board and the pieces alternate between those halves. No racing invlolved. Mancala is an abstract strategy game with a focus on counting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:09, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Xiangqi in timeline[edit]

The timeline claims the first reference to Xiangqi is around 79BC. However, the History of Chess article says Xiangqi arose from Chaturanga after 600AD. Xiangqi entry in time lines either needs to be cited or removed. Readin (talk) 01:57, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Game history[edit]

Taken out of comments embedded in the actual page....

And can we please have some descriptions/definitions of things, instead of just making lists of non-English words? For all I know, these are games where Indians and Iranians throw Sno-Cones at each other. Come on. -SB 15 September 2008

Many of these missing citations can be found within H J R Murray 'History of Board Games other than Chess' p 12 to 36 and footnotes to the relevant reports of excavations etc are given there. --Salisbury-99 17 September 2008
I think we can all agree that the current history section is atrocious. I started work on completely redoing it at one point, but haven't gotten anywhere to speak of. Anyone who wants to go in and propose a draft, or sections, or whatever should feel free to do so.
My main thought is to drop the 'laundry list' completely. A lot of the ancient stuff should go. (At least as long it's here. A separate History of board games article would have room for it all.--that blue link is a redirect to here...) We should demonstrate that the origins of board games are lost in the mists of time, but we don't have to beat people over the head with it. From there we can go on to things a little more relevant to the current perception of board games. A full history needs doing, but for this general article, we need something that's a jumping off point.
If we can put together a readable history section, it'll do a lot to make this article something that I won't be embarrassed to see in Wikipedia 0.7, which this just got auto-nominated for. --Rindis (talk) 16:50, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Based on the above comments, I would like (soon) to temporarily reinstate the comment about many citations available in the Murray book. A precis of those 24 pages, amended where possible by more recent work, should be the guts of the article. Should the citation be to Murray or to the Murray-citation? If to the Murray citation, then what is the advice on where a citation should end? For example should references to Freud's casework be to the notes of the actual case or to the book where it is written about? Salisbury-99 (talk) 08:26, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
If you're reading about Freud in Murray, cite Murray (even for a direct quote), if you go find Freud's work and have it in front of you, cite that. Basically, cite what you have. Also, the talk about where info for the article can be found is talking about the article, not the subject of the article, and that's what this talk page is for. A "further reading" section mentioning his work would be fine. (Which I see we already have.)
As for citing, use an in-line cite, presumably using the {{cite book}} template. give the reference a name (you can see that done in the Senet reference), and then every time you use it again, just give "<ref name="example" />", and it will reference the same footnote. I believe you shouldn't need to give a (same) reference more than once a paragraph. We'll work it out once we start work, but go see WP:CIT and WP:FOOT. ~_^ --Rindis (talk) 16:20, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


I find the introduction oversimplified and yet there is unnecessary detail. The second sentence is ghastly and meaningless.
I no longer like the sequence of sections. I will be working on a revision asap. Where is the best place to put this for comment and some chance of consensus?

Common Terms
Timeline (and so able to refer to categories)
Alternative Categorisation - Luck, Skill, Strategy
Further Reading

I would hope that more 'meaningful' pictures could be obtained especially for the top. Salisbury-99 (talk) 08:54, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

That doesn't sound bad, though I would say 'history' instead of 'timeline'. I think a general prose overview is to be much preferred in such a general article than a list of dates that will make the new reader's eyes skip to the next section (or just glaze over completely. Though, perhaps alternative categorization should be a subsection of 'categories'. Give a way to do it, and then give the alternate methods, instead of coming back to the subject later.
What do you think a 'meaningful' picture would be? Not that we can't do better, I just don't know what you have in mind. --Rindis (talk) 15:56, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
I have done a re-sort and chop at my own talk-page. Have a look. (By the way, do you assess that R C Bell is 'notable' or not?). Salisbury-99 (talk) 07:34, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
R. C. Bell sounds like he should be notable, assuming that the books listed are considered authoritative/informative on the subject (which I assume to be the case). But, the best way to be considered notable on Wikipedia is to find outside references that talk about the subject. So, say you find a book about board games that mentions Bell's work. If it also says a couple things about Bell himself, you can put that info on the page, cite it, and do a lot for establishing notability. There's further guidelines for people at WP:BIO, but I don't know much about them.
Article: In general, I'm not happy with your version, but it is certainly an improvement (of course, I've put lots of effort into wargaming, and I'm not happy with it). Note that you can make subpages off of your userpage, such as User:Rindis/Sandbox, which is where I store my drafts-to-be-worked-on. I think it might be easier for you to work on drafts that way. Also, it would be best to trim out the administrative stuff like categories in your draft, so that your talk page doesn't get listed at Category:Board games. There's a bunch of niggling grammar problems and the such, but that kind of cleanup can wait until the content is in shape. Comments by section (many of which are coming straight out of the current article...):
  • In the interests of simplicity for the reader, I would still avoid a separate bullet mention of miniatures and RPGs, and their relationship with board wargames. Each bullet point should be a category of board games. We don't have to give all the relationships between various types of tabletop games all at once.
  • The history section has become a laundry list of ancient games, and should be more of an overview of 'board games through the ages'. Maybe someday I'll actually get to writing on that. :P
  • Recent changes sounds like it could become an interesting section. I don't know where the pinball stuff is coming from though....
  • Psycology is incomplete. However, it's a subject that hasn't gotten a lot of attention, so I don't know how much can be said. :(
Hope that helps some! --Rindis (talk) 17:14, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

"Ball" board games[edit]

Given the advent of Velcro, there are games played on a round, ball-shaped board.

The one I have seen (and used to own before it got lost) was called "O". It had 12, 24, or 30 velcro spaces (depending on the size), and half were covered by each person's pieces. Play was much like checkers -- you jump pieces, but instead of removing them from the game, you took one piece off the top of the stack, and put it underneath your moving stack. A stack with many of your pieces on top was strong (hard to capture), but the only way to get that was to feed into an enemy stack, and then recapture it.

Unlike games where you gain an increasing power overwhelm as you capture more stuff, in this game capturing too much, too quickly will hurt you.

I do not know if there are any other "ball" games like this, but not all board games are on flat boards. Keybounce (talk) 20:58, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Play Jiroft Board game[edit]

We developed the Jiroft game. I placed the direct link in external link section but someone has deleted.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:36, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

This is not the place to advertise your board game. Please take a look at WP:ELNO. --McGeddon (talk) 11:22, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Board Game Geek is the best resource[edit]

I don't know why someone removed Board Game Geek from external resources, but it's one of the best resources on the internet about board games and was rightfully linked on this page. I propose to returned it back and will do so if nobody will provide reasonable cont-arguments.

Here's the link to the change that was made:

--Sergey Chernyshev (talk) 21:15, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I've restored the link. Presumably the unregistered editor wanted to avoid a long list of fan sites, but BoardGameGeek is as appropriate a link for this article as the Internet Movie Database is for film. EALacey (talk) 08:09, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Kurna myth[edit]

Some would-be encyclopedians continue to insert wrong information. These vandals should be banned.

About the Kurna myth:

"According to R. C. Bell, the earliest known board for the game includes diagonal lines and was "cut into the roofing slabs of the temple at Kurna in Egypt" c. 1400 BCE.[10] However, Friedrich Berger writes that some of the diagrams at Qurna include Coptic crosses, making it "doubtful" that the diagrams date to 1400 BCE. Berger concludes, "certainly they cannot be dated."[1]""


"The Kurna (or Qurna) Temple graffiti were published by Parker in 1909 (although his book dealt with... Ceylon!) and were reproduced, with some slight "improvements", by Murray in his book "A History of Board Games other than Chess" (1952). Since then nobody has seen them! Some archaeologists with an interest in board-game history have tried to find them but found only a few of them, and their conclusion is that they cannot be dated with certainty. One of these designs (reproduced by Parker and, after a drastic simplification, by Murray) appears to be Coptic! Others are better related to Roman board games... None of the so-called "mancala" boards have been observed! All egyptologists say they have never encountered anything like mancala in the rich Egyptian tradition of table games. We cannot relie on such a poor evidence.

In fact the earliest certain data we have on mancala games come from Axum (Ethiopia) and would date from the 6th-7th century AD. Archaeologists found there, during excavations, some 'gabata' boards made with clay and easy to date with the context. According to Pankhurst and others Ethiopia is likely to be the birthplace of mancalas but this doesn't seem to have happened before the Christian era."

Source: Thierry Depaulis Paris, France -- Board Game Studies Editor

-- (talk) 10:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)


I think some clarity is required here especially with respect to the timeline cited. I think that a clearer declaration of what is being used for the timelines. What counts as the game being identified as the game itself. First - the exclusion of Oware / Mancala from the timeline should be clearly stated. Since it is the oldest known game and is in its current form played on a board. Second - Some of the references are from sources that although widely quoted are questionable in view of partiality. (Consider is it likely that a die was invented before a draughts piece) Third - Backgammon according to a book in the 1960s is only about 200 years old the other forms of dice race games only have a tenuous connection to the game. Obviously other than the written records of Go it is difficult when dealing with issues more than ~2500 years ago but some clear indication is needed. (Tetron76 (talk) 19:26, 13 June 2010 (UTC))

Luck, strategy and diplomacy[edit]

This section makes mainly valid points, but it is the exclusion of various strategies that makes the whole section questionable. It would be possible to add various refs but I am concerned this might be more misleading by giving an implied endorsement. (Tetron76 (talk) 19:26, 13 June 2010 (UTC))

File:Men Playing Board Games.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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This article has only two pictures depicting modern board games, and neither of them shows the actual board. This article is called "Board game", not "History of board games". JIP | Talk 18:12, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Good point. They're great pictures, but they really don't match the amount of weight given in the article text. --McGeddon (talk) 18:58, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I will add some pictures of board games. Geraldshields11 (talk) 00:03, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

How abstract is Scrabble?[edit]

Well, I didn't think this would require a talk page discussion, but here goes: Scrabble has recently been added to this sentence in the article lead paragraphs:

Their representation of real-life situations can range from having no inherent theme (e.g. checkers, scrabble), to having a specific theme and narrative (e.g. Cluedo).

I reverted it out, and my reversion has been reverted. My reasoning for removing Scrabble from this sentence seems to have been misapprehended. Scrabble is indeed a board game. But here it is being used as an exemplar of a board game that has no "inherent theme" and by implication no "representation of real-life". As I tried to explain in my edit summary, the fact that letters and words are a primary component of this game -- even though they are indeed being used abstractly -- makes this game impinge on "real life" more strongly than, say, checkers; also the game resembles -- by design -- a crossword puzzle, so that in a limited sense Scrabble presents precisely a "representation of real-life". Don't get me wrong: Scrabble is actually pretty abstract. But it is not so utterly abstract that it should serve as a defining exemplar in the lead paragraphs of this article. I am not an edit warrior, so I will not be re-reverting. I will hope my reasoning is solid enough for someone else to bother to fix this. Phil wink (talk) 16:33, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

To be honest I didn't read it properly. Scrabble doesn't need to be in the article. Scrabble taken back out. No hard feelings. Jkmaskell (talk) 16:56, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

More references needed[edit]

I've added some refs and a new market section. I couldn't find numbers for European/German market size, and what I found may suffer from differing definitions of what is a board game market (ex. are card games included or not...), but it's a start. Some sources I found can be used to reference rest of the article, which is mostly unreferenced and seems to suffer from much WP:OR. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:26, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

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