Best Strategy Board Games 2018

Strategy board games have been a beloved pastime for centuries, but in 2018, the genre experienced a surge in popularity like never before. From classic titles that have stood the test of time to innovative new games that captured the hearts of enthusiasts, the year was filled with an impressive array of options for players. In this article, we will delve into the world of strategy board games and explore the best titles that made their mark in 2018.

The demand for engaging strategy board games was at an all-time high in 2018, with players seeking intellectually stimulating and immersive gaming experiences. Whether it’s conquering new territory, building civilizations, or devising intricate battle plans, strategy board games offer an exciting challenge for all types of players.

With countless options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the plethora of choices. That’s why we are here to guide you through the top-rated games, timeless classics, rising stars, and other noteworthy mentions that defined the landscape of strategy board gaming in 2018.

In this comprehensive overview, we will provide valuable insights into what made these games stand out from the crowd and offer valuable tips and tricks for mastering them. Additionally, we will take a closer look at the vibrant community of strategy board game enthusiasts who continue to keep the genre alive and thriving. So grab your dice, gather your resources, and get ready to dive into the diverse and exhilarating world of strategy board games from 2018.

Top 5 Strategy Board Games of 2018

In 2018, the strategy board game landscape saw the release of several outstanding games that captured the attention of enthusiasts and critics alike. These top-rated games offered players immersive experiences, challenging gameplay, and captivating themes. Here are five of the best strategy board games of 2018 that stood out for their exceptional design and gameplay.

1. “Gloomhaven”: This highly acclaimed game takes the top spot as one of the best strategy board games of 2018. With its deep narrative, innovative combat mechanics, and stunning artwork, “Gloomhaven” offers players a rich and immersive gaming experience. The game’s campaign mode and evolving storyline keep players engaged for hours on end, making it a must-have for any strategy board game enthusiast.

2. “Root”: Combining adorable woodland creatures with deep strategic gameplay, “Root” became an instant hit in 2018. This asymmetric game challenges players to conquer territory, form alliances, and outmaneuver opponents in a visually stunning world. The game’s unique faction abilities and dynamic player interaction make each playthrough a new and exciting experience.

3. “Brass: Birmingham”: As a sequel to the popular economic strategy game “Brass,” “Brass: Birmingham” wowed players with its intricate network-building mechanics and complex decision-making opportunities. Set during the industrial revolution in England, this game offers a deep and rewarding gameplay experience that requires careful planning and strategic thinking.

These top 5 strategy board games prove that 2018 was a remarkable year for lovers of tabletop gaming. Whether players were drawn to epic campaigns, asymmetric warfare, or economic challenges, there was something for everyone among these standout titles. These games not only contributed to an enhanced appreciation for the genre but also elevated expectations for future releases within the tabletop community.

Classic Strategy Board Games

When it comes to classic strategy board games that stood the test of time, Chess and Go continue to be at the top of the list for enthusiasts in 2018. Both games have been played for centuries and are still widely popular due to their simple yet challenging gameplay.

Chess, a game of skill and tactics, has even found itself among competitive leagues and international tournaments, attracting players from all over the world. Similarly, Go, an ancient Chinese game known for its complex strategy and captivating gameplay, continues to draw in players who seek a mental challenge.

Another classic that maintains its popularity in 2018 is Risk, a game focused on world domination. Despite being first published in the late 1950s, Risk remains a staple within the strategy board game community. The game’s blend of diplomacy, conflict, and conquest makes it an enduring favorite for those who enjoy epic battles and strategic decision-making.

Machiavelli Board Game Strategy

The enduring appeal of these classic strategy board games lies in their timeless mechanics and endless replay value. Whether it’s maneuvering pieces on a chessboard or conquering territories in Risk, these games offer a depth of strategy that continues to captivate players year after year. Their enduring popularity only goes to show that these classics are here to stay as beloved icons within the best strategy board games of 2018.

Classic Strategy GameReason for Popularity
ChessSkill and tactics
GoComplex strategy and captivating gameplay
RiskDiplomacy, conflict, conquest

Rising Stars

In 2018, the strategy board game landscape saw the rise of several new and innovative games that captured the attention of enthusiasts. These rising stars brought fresh perspectives and gameplay mechanics to the table, making them stand out among the multitude of options available to gamers. Whether it was through unique themes, inventive strategies, or engaging player interactions, these games made a significant impact on the board game community.

Unique Themes and Storytelling

One notable trend among the rising stars of 2018 was the emphasis on unique themes and immersive storytelling. Games like “Root” and “Rising Sun” offered players a chance to delve into richly detailed worlds with distinct factions and characters. This focus on storytelling not only added depth to the gameplay experience but also drew in players who were interested in narrative-driven gaming experiences.

Innovative Gameplay Mechanics

Another defining feature of the best strategy board games 2018 was the implementation of innovative gameplay mechanics. Titles such as “Cryptid” and “Pioneers” introduced fresh approaches to resource management, player interaction, and strategic decision-making. These games challenged traditional conventions while offering a compelling and rewarding experience for players looking for something new and original.

Engaging Player Interactions

Finally, many rising stars of 2018 succeeded in creating engaging player interactions that kept participants invested throughout each gaming session. Games like “The Quacks of Quedlinburg” and “Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig” fostered competition, cooperation, and negotiation among players, leading to dynamic and unpredictable gameplay experiences. The focus on fostering meaningful interactions added an extra layer of excitement to these emerging titles.

Honorable Mentions

When it comes to strategy board games, there are always a few standout titles that capture the hearts and minds of players. In 2018, there were several noteworthy games that, while they may not have made the top 5 list, still deserve recognition for their unique gameplay and fun factor. Here are some honorable mentions for the best strategy board games 2018:

Unearth: This visually stunning game combines dice rolling with card drafting and set collection. Players take on the role of delvers, exploring ancient ruins and unearthing precious resources. With its beautiful artwork and engaging mechanics, Unearth offers a delightful gaming experience for both casual and serious gamers.

Santorini: A simple yet deep abstract strategy game, Santorini has been praised for its elegant design and high replay value. With easy-to-grasp rules but plenty of strategic depth, this game has become a favorite among fans of abstract strategy games.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game: Set in the eerie world of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, Arkham Horror: The Card Game offers a unique blend of narrative storytelling and customizable deck building. Players take on the roles of investigators delving into dark mysteries, facing otherworldly horrors, and unraveling complex storylines.

These honorable mentions may not have made it into the top 5 best strategy board games of 2018 list but they certainly earned their spot as standout titles in their own right. Whether you’re a fan of visually stunning games like Unearth, challenging abstract strategies like Santorini or immersive storytelling experiences like Arkham Horror: The Card Game, these games offer something special for every type of gamer.

  • Unearth
  • Santorini
  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Strategy Tips and Tricks

Understanding the Game Mechanics

Before diving into any strategy board game, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of the game mechanics. Whether it’s resource management, hand management, area control, or worker placement, knowing how these mechanics work will give you a significant advantage when playing. Take the time to thoroughly read the rulebook and play a few practice rounds to familiarize yourself with the mechanics before engaging in competitive matches.

Adapting to Different Play Styles

One of the best strategy board games 2018 requires players to adapt to different play styles. Some games may reward aggressive and confrontational tactics, while others may require a more defensive and cautious approach. By being flexible in your play style, you can keep your opponents on their toes and increase your chances of success. Pay attention to the strategies employed by your fellow players and adjust your own gameplay accordingly.

Strategy and Tactics Civil War Board Games

Anticipating Your Opponents’ Moves

Anticipating your opponents’ moves is an essential skill in mastering strategy board games. By carefully observing their actions and thought processes, you can predict their next moves and plan your own strategy accordingly.

This foresight allows you to make proactive decisions rather than reactive ones, giving you an edge over less perceptive players. Additionally, learning to bluff and mislead your opponents can further enhance your strategic capabilities and help you secure victory in the best strategy board games 2018 has to offer.

Board Game Community

The best strategy board games 2018 have not only captivated the gaming world but have also fostered a thriving community of enthusiasts. Whether it’s through local meetups, online forums, or competitive tournaments, the board game community continues to grow and flourish in 2018. Here are some ways in which this community has contributed to the overall popularity and success of strategy board games:

  • Local Meetups: Many cities and towns now have dedicated board game cafes or meet-up groups where enthusiasts can gather to play and discuss their favorite games. These gatherings provide a welcoming and inclusive space for both casual players and serious strategists to come together and share their passion for board gaming.
  • Online Forums: The digital age has provided a platform for board game enthusiasts to connect with others from around the world. Websites such as BoardGameGeek, Reddit’s r/boardgames, and social media groups have become hubs for sharing strategies, discussing new releases, and organizing virtual game nights.
  • Competitive Tournaments: With the rise of e-sports, competitive gaming has become increasingly popular across all genres, including board games. In 2018, there has been a surge in organized tournaments for strategy board games, attracting top players from different regions to compete in high-stakes events.

The sense of camaraderie and shared enthusiasm within the board game community has undoubtedly played a significant role in bolstering the appeal of strategy board games in 2018. As this community continues to expand and diversify, it will undoubtedly contribute to an even more exciting landscape for strategy gaming in the coming years.


In conclusion, 2018 was a remarkable year for strategy board games, with an incredible variety of options that catered to both new and seasoned players. The top-rated games of the year, such as “Gloomhaven” and “Terraforming Mars,” showcased the innovation and creativity that continue to drive the genre forward. These games offered intricate gameplay, immersive storytelling, and high-quality components, solidifying their positions as some of the best strategy board games 2018 had to offer.

In addition to the established classics like “Risk” and “Settlers of Catan,” new and innovative titles also made a significant impact in 2018. Games like “Azul” and “The Quacks of Quedlinburg” brought fresh mechanics and themes to the table, captivating players with their approachability and strategic depth. These rising stars added a dynamic flair to the strategy board game landscape in 2018, attracting a new wave of enthusiasts while retaining the interest of veteran players.

As we reflect on the diverse range of strategy board games that graced 2018, it’s clear that this beloved pastime continues to thrive within a vibrant community of passionate enthusiasts. With valuable tips for mastering these games available and additional noteworthy honorable mentions, it’s evident that there’s no shortage of options for those seeking exceptional gameplay experiences.

The future looks bright for strategy board games, as they continue to evolve and capture the hearts of players around the world.

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