2018 Best Strategy Board Games

Looking for a fun and challenging way to spend time with family and friends? Look no further than the 2018 best strategy board games.

Strategy board games have been gaining popularity in recent years, offering players an opportunity to exercise their critical thinking skills while competing with others. In this article, we’ll explore what sets the top strategy board games of 2018 apart from the rest, providing in-depth reviews, comparisons to previous years, and tips for choosing the best game for different player preferences.

So, what exactly makes a board game the best in strategy? We’ll delve into the key elements that set these games apart from others, including complex gameplay, innovative mechanics, and engaging strategic thinking. Whether you’re a seasoned strategist or new to the world of board games, there’s sure to be something on our list of the top 5 best strategy board games of 2018 that will pique your interest.

From resource management to tactical maneuvering, each of the top strategy board games of 2018 offers a unique and immersive gaming experience. We’ll provide an in-depth review of each game, examining gameplay mechanics and the strategic challenges involved.



Additionally, we’ll highlight some honorable mentions and runner-ups from 2018 that deserve recognition for their contribution to the world of strategy board games. Whether you’re looking to expand your collection or pick up your first game, our comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision.

What Makes a Board Game the Best in Strategy?

When it comes to determining the best strategy board games of 2018, several factors come into play. Here are some key elements that contribute to making a board game stand out as the best in strategy:

1. Complexity and Depth: The best strategy board games often have a high level of complexity and depth, requiring players to think several moves ahead and consider multiple potential outcomes. Games with intricate mechanics and strategic options tend to be more engaging and rewarding for players.

2. Balance and Fairness: A top-rated strategy board game should offer a balance between luck and skill, ensuring that all players have an equal chance of winning. Games that rely too heavily on luck or ones where the winner is determined early on can be less satisfying for strategic gamers.

3. Replayability: The best strategy board games are those that offer high replay value, meaning that the game remains fresh and enjoyable even after multiple plays. This can be achieved through variable setups, dynamic player interactions, or diverse strategies that can be employed.

In addition to these factors, top-rated strategy board games often feature innovative gameplay mechanics, thematic integration, and a strong community following. By considering these elements, players can determine which games stand out as the best in strategy for 2018.

Overall, when evaluating the best strategy board games of 2018, it’s essential to consider the complexity and depth of gameplay, the balance between luck and skill, and the replay value of each game. These key features contribute to what makes a particular board game stand out in terms of strategic decision-making and overall enjoyment for players.

Top 5 Best Strategy Board Games of 2018

In 2018, the board gaming industry saw a surge in the popularity of strategy games, with several standout titles capturing the attention of both casual and serious gamers. These games are not only entertaining but also offer a challenging and immersive experience that keeps players coming back for more. The top 5 best strategy board games of 2018 represent a diverse range of themes, mechanics, and player interactions, making them suitable for a wide audience.

One notable game from 2018 is “Root” by Leder Games. This asymmetrical strategy game gained widespread acclaim for its unique factions, engaging gameplay, and high replay value. Another standout title is “Brass: Birmingham” by Roxley Games, which combines economic strategy with beautiful artwork and deep tactical decision-making. “Cryptid” by Osprey Games also made waves in the gaming community with its innovative deduction mechanics and intense player interaction.

This year also saw the release of “Teotihuacan: City of Gods” by NSKN Games, an intricate worker placement game set in ancient Mesoamerica. Rounding out the top 5 is “Underwater Cities” by Delicious Games, offering players a chance to develop their own underwater civilization through strategic card play and resource management. These games stood out among the competition in 2018 due to their innovative gameplay, depth of strategy, and overall impact on the tabletop gaming hobby.

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Game TitlePublisherMain Mechanics
RootLeder GamesAsymmetrical factions
Brass: BirminghamRoxley GamesEconomic strategy
CryptidOsprey Games

In-Depth Review of Each Game, Including Gameplay, Mechanics, and Strategy Involved

Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven was a standout in the 2018 best strategy board games. This game is known for its immersive gameplay, intricate mechanics, and deep strategy involved. Set in a dark and mysterious world, players take on the role of adventurers exploring dungeons, battling monsters, and making crucial decisions that impact the game’s evolving storyline.

The game features a unique card-driven combat system that requires players to carefully plan their moves and anticipate their opponents’ actions. With its branching narrative and character progression, Gloomhaven offers a rich and engaging experience for dedicated gamers.

Rising Sun

Rising Sun, another top contender in the 2018 best strategy board games category, takes place in feudal Japan where clans compete for power and influence. Known for its breathtaking artwork and intricate miniatures, this game offers players a mix of negotiation, war strategy, and resource management.

With a focus on alliances and betrayals, Rising Sun challenges players to outmaneuver their rivals while navigating complex political alliances. Its gameplay mechanics emphasize strategic planning and skillful diplomacy as players vie for control over different regions of the country.

Terraforming Mars



Terraforming Mars rounds out the list of top strategy board games of 2018 with its innovative approach to resource management and scientific development. Set in a future where corporations compete to terraform the red planet, this game requires players to balance economic efficiency with environmental sustainability.

Players must strategically allocate resources to generate income, improve infrastructure, and advance scientific research to make Mars habitable for future generations. With its compelling theme and deep gameplay mechanics, Terraforming Mars offers an intellectually stimulating experience for players who enjoy complex decision-making and long-term planning.

These three standout games represent the pinnacle of strategic depth and immersive gameplay in the world of board gaming during 2018 – showcasing why they deserve their place among the 2018 best strategy board games.

Honorable Mentions and Runner-Ups for 2018

In addition to the top 5 best strategy board games of 2018, there were a number of honorable mentions and runner-ups that also deserve recognition for their gameplay and strategic elements. These games may not have made it to the top of the list, but they are still highly recommended by critics and players alike for their engaging mechanics and immersive strategy.

One such honorable mention is “Terraforming Mars,” a game that puts players in the role of corporations working together to terraform the planet Mars. With a focus on resource management and strategic decision-making, “Terraforming Mars” offers deep gameplay and multiple paths to victory, making it a favorite among strategy game enthusiasts.

Another notable runner-up for 2018 is “Scythe,” an alternate-history game set in an Eastern European country in the 1920s. Combining elements of resource management, combat, and area control, “Scythe” offers a richly thematic experience with complex strategies that keep players coming back for more.

Finally, “Rising Sun” also deserves recognition as an honorable mention for its blend of diplomacy, warfare, and mythological creatures set in feudal Japan. With stunning artwork and innovative gameplay mechanics, “Rising Sun” provides players with endless strategic possibilities and has earned its place as one of the standout strategy board games of 2018.

These honorable mentions and runner-ups are just a few examples of the incredible selection of strategy board games released in 2018. While they may not have made it into the top 5, they are still highly recommended for anyone looking for challenging and immersive gaming experiences.

Comparison of 2018 Strategy Board Games to Previous Years

When it comes to strategy board games, 2018 was a remarkable year with the release of several outstanding titles that pushed the boundaries of gameplay and design. In a market saturated by countless options, it’s important to analyze how these games stacked up against previous years in terms of innovation, player engagement, and overall impact on the gaming community.

To understand the evolution of strategy board games, we need to look back at some of the most influential titles from previous years. Here are some notable comparisons:

  • 2018: Gloomhaven – This highly-acclaimed game revolutionized the way players interacted with campaign-style gameplay, offering an immersive experience with evolving storylines and challenging scenarios.
  • 2017: Terraforming Mars – Known for its deep strategic elements and intricate resource management, this game set a new standard for complex decision-making and long-term planning.
  • 2016: Scythe – With its stunning artwork and unique blend of combat, exploration, and economic development, this game redefined what it meant to create an engaging world within a strategy board game.
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Looking at these examples, it’s clear that each passing year brings new innovations and challenges for designers to create compelling strategy board games. The focus on immersive storytelling, complex decision-making, and innovative mechanics has continued to evolve, pushing the boundaries of what players expect from these games. As we move forward into the future, it will be exciting to see how these trends continue to shape the landscape of strategy board games.

Tips for Choosing the Best Strategy Board Games for Different Player Preferences

When it comes to choosing the best strategy board game, it’s important to consider the preferences and skill level of the players involved. Different games offer different levels of complexity, player interaction, and strategic depth. Here are some tips for choosing the best strategy board games for different player preferences.

Casual Players

If you’re playing with more casual gamers who may not have a lot of experience with strategy board games, it’s important to choose a game that is easy to learn and has a relatively quick playing time. Games with simple rules and mechanics, such as Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne, are great choices for casual players. These games offer enough strategic depth to keep things interesting without overwhelming newer players.

Experienced Gamers

For more experienced gamers who are looking for a challenge, it’s best to look for strategy board games that offer complex decision-making and deep strategic gameplay. Games like Terraforming Mars or Scythe are excellent choices for experienced gamers, as they require careful planning and offer multiple paths to victory. These games often have longer playing times and more intricate rules, making them better suited for seasoned players.

Player Interaction

Consider the level of player interaction that your group prefers. Some players enjoy direct conflict and confrontation, while others prefer more indirect forms of interaction. Games like Risk or Diplomacy offer plenty of direct conflict, while Euro-style games like Agricola or Puerto Rico focus more on resource management and indirect player interaction.

By taking into account the preferences and skill levels of the players involved, you can ensure that everyone has an enjoyable gaming experience with 2018 best strategy board games.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on the Impact of Strategy Board Games in 2018

In conclusion, the year 2018 brought a wide array of exceptional strategy board games that appealed to both casual and dedicated gamers alike. From intense battles of wit and skill to cooperative gameplay that required teamwork and strategic planning, the top 5 best strategy board games of 2018 truly showcased the diversity and excitement found within this genre. The players were treated to unique mechanics, immersive themes, and challenging gameplay that kept them coming back for more.

Furthermore, the significant increase in the popularity of strategy board games in 2018 showed how these games have become an integral part of social gatherings, family game nights, and competitive gaming events. The level of engagement and interaction offered by these games has continued to bring people together in a shared love for strategic thinking and clever decision-making.

As we look back on the impact of strategy board games in 2018, it is clear that they have not only provided countless hours of entertainment but have also fostered critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and camaraderie among players. Whether it was through epic journeys into fantasy realms or tense showdowns between rival factions, the best strategy board games of 2018 have left a lasting impression on the gaming community.

And as we eagerly anticipate what future years will bring, it is certain that strategy board games will continue to be a staple in gaming culture for years to come.



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