How to Make Strategy Board Game

Strategy board games have captivated players for centuries, offering a unique blend of competition, skill, and intellectual challenge. In this article, we will explore the exciting process of creating your own strategy board game from scratch. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer looking to embark on a creative endeavor or a newcomer to the world of tabletop gaming, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and step-by-step instructions on how to bring your vision to life.

The popularity of strategy board games can be attributed to their ability to engage players in strategic decision-making, critical thinking, and problem-solving. These games offer an immersive experience where every move matters, and success is determined by the player’s ability to outwit opponents and anticipate their next moves. From classic titles like Chess and Risk to modern favorites like Settlers of Catan and Pandemic, strategy board games have a wide appeal that transcends age and background.

Creating your own strategy board game allows you to unleash your creativity and design a unique gameplay experience tailored to your preferences. It offers an opportunity to craft challenges, build worlds, and immerse players in captivating narratives of your own making. Not only does it provide hours of entertainment for both the designer and players but also fosters social interaction, strategic thinking skills, and problem-solving abilities.

In the following sections of this article, we will guide you through the entire process of creating a strategy board game. We will dive into understanding what makes a game fall under this genre while differentiating it from other types of board games such as party or co-operative styles. Furthermore, we will explore techniques for generating ideas and themes that resonate with players’ interests along with tips on designing visually stunning game boards.

Additionally, fundamental gameplay mechanics will be discussed alongside strategies for achieving game balance and ensuring an enjoyable experience for all players. Finally, we’ll delve into prototyping techniques refining your design before discussing steps for finalizing your creation.

Get ready to embark on an exciting journey where you will explore the depths of your creativity, challenge your problem-solving skills, and ultimately share your unique game with the world. Whether you dream of designing a strategic fantasy world or engaging players in an epic battle of wits, this guide will equip you with everything you need to know to create a successful strategy board game.

So gather your ideas and let’s dive into the fascinating world of tabletop strategy gaming.

Understanding the Basics

Strategy board games are a beloved genre within the larger world of board game enthusiasts. These games involve strategic decision-making and planning, often pitting players against each other in a battle of wits. But what exactly defines a strategy board game?

What Constitutes a Strategy Board Game?

At its core, a strategy board game is a game that requires players to make strategic choices in order to achieve their goals. These games typically involve some form of resource management, tactical positioning, and long-term planning. They can range from complex war simulations to more abstract and family-friendly games.

Unlike other types of board games, such as party or trivia games, strategy board games prioritize deep thinking over luck or chance. The outcome of the game is determined by the decisions made by the players rather than random events. Strategy board games also tend to have well-defined victory conditions and multiple paths to success, allowing players to explore different strategies and play styles.

Differentiating Strategy Board Games

Although all strategy board games share the common element of strategic decision-making, they can differ greatly in terms of gameplay mechanics and themes. Some strategy board games focus primarily on combat and conflict resolution, while others emphasize economic management or diplomatic negotiation.

Additionally, strategy board games can be categorized based on their level of complexity. Some are accessible and easy to learn for casual gamers, while others require extensive rulebooks and deep knowledge of intricate systems.

It’s important for aspiring game designers to understand these nuances in order to create a unique and engaging strategy board game that stands out from the crowd.

Conceptualizing your Game

When it comes to creating a strategy board game, one of the most exciting and challenging parts of the process is conceptualizing your game. This is where you get to let your creativity run wild and come up with unique ideas and themes that will engage and captivate players.

In this section, we will explore some techniques for generating game ideas and themes, as well as provide tips for selecting a concept that will make your strategy board game stand out.

Generating Game Ideas

Brainstorming is an essential part of the game creation process. It allows you to generate a wide range of ideas that can be explored further. One effective technique for brainstorming is word association. Start by writing down words or phrases related to strategy, competition, conflict, or any other theme you find interesting. Then, try to connect these words together and see what possibilities emerge.

Another approach is to draw inspiration from history, mythology, literature, or even popular culture. Take a concept or story that resonates with you and think about how it could be adapted into a strategy board game. This way, you can tap into existing narratives or themes that players are already familiar with, making it easier for them to connect with your game.

Selecting an Engaging Concept

Once you have generated several potential concepts for your strategy board game, it’s time to narrow down your options and select the one that best fits your goals and target audience. Consider factors such as complexity level, playtime duration, number of players, and the overall experience you want to create.

Look for a concept that hasn’t been done before or offers a unique twist on existing mechanics. While there are classic themes in strategy board games like medieval warfare or colonization, finding a fresh approach can make your game more appealing to players who are looking for something new.

Additionally, consider the potential for expansion or variation within your chosen concept. This will allow you to introduce new elements or mechanics in future iterations of the game, keeping it fresh and engaging for players in the long run.

By brainstorming ideas and selecting an engaging concept, you are laying the foundation for a strategy board game that stands out from the crowd. In the next section, we will discuss how to bring your concept to life by designing a visually alluring game board.

Designing the Game Board

The game board is a crucial component of any strategy board game as it sets the stage for players to engage with the gameplay mechanics and navigate through the strategic challenges. A visually alluring game space not only enhances the players’ experience but also adds to the overall appeal of the game. Here are some steps to guide you in designing an aesthetically pleasing and captivating game board:

  1. Determine the Dimensions: The first step in designing your game board is to determine its size and shape. Consider factors such as table space, player count, and complexity of the game when deciding on dimensions. Additionally, ensure that the board can be easily viewed and accessed by all players during gameplay.
  2. Choose Suitable Materials: The choice of materials for your game board will greatly impact its visual appeal and durability. Depending on your budget and desired aesthetic, options range from standard cardboard or chipboard to more premium materials like wood or acrylic. Consider the theme and style of your game when selecting materials that will complement the overall design.
  3. Create a Compelling Layout: The layout of your game board should be intuitive, visually clear, and easy to understand for players. Use clear delineations, color-coding, or icons to represent different regions or areas of significance within your game world. This will help players quickly navigate through the board and make informed decisions based on their strategic goals.
  4. Inject Theming and Artwork: Infuse your game board with thematic elements that enhance immersion for players. Whether it’s a fantasy realm, outer space setting, historical period, or any other theme, use artwork that reflects it throughout the game space. Collaborate with talented artists who can bring life to your vision through illustrations, graphic design elements, and eye-catching visuals.
  5. Test for Readability: Before finalizing your design, it’s crucial to playtest your game board to ensure its readability. Gather feedback from playtesters and make adjustments to improve clarity, legibility, and overall user experience. Consider aspects such as font size, color contrast, and the placement of important information or icons to ensure that players can easily comprehend the game board.
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Remember, creating a visually alluring game space is not just about aesthetics; it also contributes to the overall engagement and enjoyment of your strategy board game. By carefully considering dimensions, materials, layout, theming, and readability, you can create a game board that captivates players and enhances their strategic experience.

Crafting Engaging Game Mechanics

Crafting engaging game mechanics is a crucial aspect of designing a strategy board game. The game mechanics are the rules and gameplay elements that shape the overall experience of the players. They determine the strategies, decision-making, and interactions that occur throughout the game. In this section, we will explore the fundamental game mechanics that define strategy board games and provide tips on creating balanced and compelling gameplay rules.

One of the key aspects to consider when crafting game mechanics is balance. A balanced game ensures that no single strategy dominates and that all players have an equal chance of winning. To achieve balance, it is important to carefully design rules that discourage dominant strategies while encouraging diverse tactics.

Another crucial element in designing engaging game mechanics is player agency. Player agency refers to the extent to which players can make meaningful choices that impact their gameplay experience. Providing players with meaningful choices increases their engagement and investment in the game.

To create compelling gameplay elements, it’s important to focus on providing clear goals for players to pursue within the game. Goals can be both short-term and long-term, giving players a sense of progression and accomplishment as they work towards achieving them.

Additionally, incorporating interactive elements into your gameplay mechanics can enhance player engagement. Interactive elements allow players to directly interact with each other or affect other players’ actions, creating dynamic and ever-changing strategies.

In summary, crafting engaging game mechanics involves creating balanced rules, providing meaningful choices for players, setting clear goals, and incorporating interactive elements. These aspects contribute to an immersive and captivating gameplay experience in strategy board games.

BalanceCreate rules that discourage dominant strategies while encouraging diverse tactics.
Player AgencyDesign gameplay mechanics that allow players to make meaningful choices that impact their experience.
GoalsProvide clear short-term and long-term goals for players to pursue within the game.
InteractivityIncorporate elements that allow players to interact with each other or affect other players’ actions.

Designing Captivating Player Pieces

Designing captivating player pieces is a crucial aspect of creating a strategy board game. These tokens and figures not only enhance the visual appeal of the game but also play a significant role in immersing players into the gameplay experience. By carefully considering the design and aesthetics of your player pieces, you can heighten engagement and make your strategy board game more memorable.

Player pieces serve as representations of individual players within the game world. They can take various forms, such as tokens, miniatures, or even personalized standees. The importance of these pieces lies in their ability to create a connection between players and their in-game personas. When players have visually appealing and unique pieces that represent them on the game board, it contributes to a deeper sense of personal investment in the game.

When designing player pieces for your strategy board game, it’s essential to focus on both functionality and visual appeal. Each piece should be clearly distinguishable from one another to avoid confusion during gameplay. Consider using different colors, shapes, or symbols to differentiate between player pieces effectively. Additionally, pay attention to the overall aesthetics and thematic consistency of your game when designing these components. Aligning the design choices with your game’s theme will further enhance its immersion factor.

To create captivating player pieces, you may choose to hire professional artists or designers who specialize in board games. Their expertise can help bring your vision to life by translating it into visually stunning figurines or tokens. Alternatively, if you are on a tight budget, there are resources available online where you can find royalty-free images that align with your game’s theme.

Remember that while design aesthetics are important, practicality shouldn’t be overlooked either. Make sure that the size and shape of your player pieces fit comfortably within designated spaces on the game board without obstructing gameplay elements or causing frustration for players.

By designing captivating player pieces that blend functionality and aesthetics seamlessly, you can elevate your strategy board game to new heights of immersion and engagement. These pieces will leave a lasting impression on players and contribute to the overall enjoyment of the game.

Balancing the Game

In order to create an enjoyable strategy board game, it is crucial to achieve a balance that provides a fair and challenging experience for all players. Game balance refers to the equilibrium between different elements of the game, such as gameplay mechanics, player abilities, and victory conditions. A well-balanced game ensures that no player has an unfair advantage and that strategic decision-making determines the outcome of the game.

One of the key strategies for achieving game balance is through extensive playtesting. Playtesting involves gathering a group of players to test your game and provide feedback on various aspects, including difficulty levels, rule clarity, and overall enjoyment. By observing how players interact with your game and listening to their feedback, you can identify potential imbalances and make necessary adjustments to ensure fairness.

Another important aspect of balancing a strategy board game is evaluating the impact of player abilities or special powers. While it can be exciting to have unique abilities for each player or faction in the game, it’s essential to consider if these abilities create an unbalanced advantage for certain players.

To address this, you can introduce countermeasures or limitations that equalize the gameplay experience. Additionally, consider implementing mechanisms that allow players who are falling behind to catch up or have alternative paths to victory.

To assist in evaluating and analyzing the balance of your strategy board game, creating a scoring system can be helpful. This allows you to objectively assess different aspects of gameplay and adjust accordingly. This scoring system could cover areas such as resources management, strategic decision-making, player interaction, or timing. By assigning values or ratings in these areas during playtesting sessions, you can track trends and identify areas where rebalancing may be needed.

Resource Management8/10
Strategic Decision-Making9/10
Player Interaction7/10
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It is worth noting that achieving perfect game balance can be challenging, as the preferences and skill levels of players may vary. However, through playtesting and iteration, you can work towards finding a balance that provides an enjoyable experience for a wide range of players. Ultimately, the goal is to create a strategy board game that offers strategic depth, exciting challenges, and fair competition.

Through careful consideration of game mechanics, player abilities, and continuous playtesting and adjustment, you can ensure that your strategy board game is well-balanced. This will not only enhance the overall gaming experience but also increase replayability and contribute to its longevity in the board gaming community.

Prototyping and Playtesting

Once you have defined the concept and designed the game mechanics for your strategy board game, it is time to bring your creation to life through prototyping and playtesting. Prototyping allows you to create a physical version of your game that can be tested and refined, while playtesting allows you to gather feedback from players and make necessary adjustments before finalizing your design.

To begin the prototyping process, start by creating a basic version of your game using simple materials such as index cards, cardboard, or even paper. This initial prototype will help you test out the core mechanics and gameplay elements without investing too much time or resources. Focus on getting the basic structure of the game right before moving on to more detailed components.

As you progress in the prototyping stage, gradually refine your materials and components to match your envisioned final product. Use software tools or graphic design programs to create high-quality artwork for the game board, cards, tokens, or any other visual elements. Invest in professional-grade materials like wooden pieces or plastic miniatures if needed.

Playtesting is a crucial step in bringing your strategy board game to life. It allows you to observe how players interact with your game and identify areas for improvement. Conduct playtests with a diverse group of players who are unfamiliar with your game’s rules but have some experience playing strategy board games. Take note of their feedback regarding ease of understanding, clarity of rules, balance of gameplay, and overall enjoyment.

After each playtest session, analyze the feedback gathered and make necessary adjustments to address any issues that arise. It may be necessary to tweak rules, modify gameplay mechanics, or rebalance certain aspects of the game. Continuous playtesting will help you iron out any kinks in your design and ensure that your final product offers an enjoyable experience for players.

Finalizing Your Game

Once you have completed the design of your strategy board game, it is time to focus on finalizing and polishing your game before preparing it for production. This stage is crucial to ensure that your game looks and plays its best when it reaches the hands of players.

The first step in finalizing your game is to refine the components, artwork, and rulebook. Take a close look at every aspect of your game and make any necessary adjustments or improvements. Pay attention to the quality of materials used for components such as cards, tokens, or dice. Ensure that the artwork is visually appealing, consistent, and aligned with the theme of your game.

Another important aspect to consider during this stage is the rulebook. The rulebook should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. It should provide all the necessary information for players to learn and play the game without confusion. Make sure to proofread and edit the rulebook multiple times to eliminate any errors or ambiguities.

After refining your components, artwork, and rulebook, it’s time to prepare your strategy board game for production. There are several options available for production depending on your budget and preferences. If you choose self-publishing, you can explore different printing companies that specialize in board games.

Research their capabilities, pricing, and turnaround times before making a decision. Alternatively, if you want to seek a publisher for your game, prepare a comprehensive pitch package including a brief overview of your game’s concept and mechanics along with some visual elements such as sample artwork or component prototypes.


In conclusion, creating a strategy board game is not just a fulfilling creative endeavor, but it also gives you the opportunity to share your unique ideas and creativity with the world. Throughout this guide, we have explored the various aspects of making a strategy board game, from brainstorming ideas and designing the game board to crafting engaging gameplay mechanics and player pieces.

The process may be challenging at times, but it is ultimately rewarding when you see your creation come to life.

One important aspect of sharing your creativity with the world is embracing the journey and potential challenges that come with making a strategy board game. It requires dedication, perseverance, and patience to navigate through the design process. However, by staying committed to bringing your vision to fruition, you can create a game that brings joy and entertainment to players.

Once your strategy board game is complete, there are various avenues for sharing and promoting it. One option is crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, which allow you to raise funds and generate interest in your game before production. Additionally, local gaming communities can provide a valuable platform for showcasing your game and connecting with other enthusiasts who may help spread the word.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you create a game strategy?

Creating a game strategy involves carefully analyzing the game mechanics, understanding the rules, and identifying the objectives and constraints of the game. It is important to assess the different options available within the game and determine the potential outcomes associated with each choice. A thorough understanding of your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses can also help in devising a suitable strategy.

Effective game strategies often require a balance between offensive and defensive tactics, adapting to changing circumstances, and anticipating the moves of other players. Experimenting with different approaches, learning from mistakes, and constantly refining your strategy through practice are key elements to success.

What makes a good strategy board game?

A good strategy board game is characterized by several key features that enhance gameplay and challenge players’ strategic thinking abilities. Firstly, it should have meaningful choices that require thoughtful decision-making throughout the game rather than relying solely on luck or chance. This can be achieved by incorporating multiple viable strategies or paths to victory that cater to different playstyles.

Additionally, a good strategy board game provides players with opportunities for long-term planning and strategizing, allowing them to develop their own unique approach to achieving their goals. Well-balanced gameplay is also crucial as it ensures that no single tactic or strategy dominates, thus promoting fairness and engagement among players.

How can I make my own board game?

Making your own board game can be a fun and rewarding creative endeavor. To start, you’ll need a clear concept or theme for your game – something that interests you or has potential appeal to others. Next, carefully consider the mechanics that will drive your game’s gameplay – what actions can players take? How do they interact with each other?

Create a prototype using basic materials like index cards or paper cutouts to test out your ideas before investing in more permanent components. Iterate on your design based on playtesting feedback until you are satisfied with how everything flows together. Once you have finalized your ruleset and components, consider professional production options if you wish to distribute it commercially or explore self-publishing possibilities. Remember, creating a board game requires attention to detail, playtesting, and being open to revisions throughout the design process.

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