The 30 Best Map-Based Strategy Board Games

Strategy games have been for thousands of years. From the first version of Chess to map-based board games, people have been continuously looking for ideas to challenge our mates in wits’ struggles.

With such a rich history, strategy games have developed over the years. Therefore, it is not surprising that so many game versions accessible; choosing new favorite strategic board games can be overwhelming. Here are 30 of the best strategy map based board games that give you and your friends and family some of the most memorable and fulfilling experiences.

Imperial
Board Game Imperial

The scene is set in Europe in the age of imperialism. Global operating investors aim for the most significant political influence on the European continent. Giving credits, they increase power over the 6 imperial countries: Great Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy, and France. These countries urgently need funds to build up their economy and to get soldiers and navies. With their increasing power in Europe, they accumulate more taxes and pay their investors’ growing interests. Because the 6 imperial countries are under the changing influence of many investors, strategic partnerships, and disputes occur. Sometimes this even leads to war. The gamers represent globally operating investors who stay in the background. The board game turns are to carry out by the 6 imperial countries, not by the investors themselves, who only force their financial influence on different countries. Only the investor who gets the best income on his investments, who gains power over the most influential imperial countries and can control European diplomacy to his interest, will win the game. Imperial is a challenging map-based strategy game without any luck of cards or dice.

Players: 2-6
Ages: 12+
Time to play: 120-180 Min
Review: 4.0/5
List Price: $46.43
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Runewars
Map bases strategic board game Runewars

Runewars is a classic strategic board game of conquering, adventure, and fantasy realms for 2 to 4 players. Designed by Corey Konieczka, Runewars pits gamers against each other in a strategic competition of struggles and territory control. They must accumulate resources, train troops, and set siege to heavily fortified towns. Runewars occur in the same famous fantasy world as the best-selling strategic board games Runebound and Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition, and dozens of fan-favorite warriors and monstrosities play their part. The fights for the dragon runes are starting, and only one side will emerge victoriously.

Players: 2-4
Ages: 13-15
Time to play: 120-180 Min
Review: 4.0/5
List Price: $62.10
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Combat Commander Board Wargame
Combat Commander game map
WWII Historical Wargame Combat Commander

Combat Commander is a historical boardgame, including tactical soldier warfare in the European Theater of the Second World War II. One player takes the German role while another gamer commands the Allies (USA or Russia). These 2 gamers will take turns playing one or more “Fate” cards from their hands to initiate his military units on the mapboard for different army purposes.

Players try to reach success by relocating their units across the game map to strike their opponents’ combat units and conquer various aims. A player’s level to succeed or fails is estimated by a scenario’s particular “objective” chits, the elimination of enemy units, and the exiting of friendly units off the opponent’s map board edge.

A board game of Combat Commander is split into some measures of Game Time. There is no order of action to follow. However, each Time part is divided into a changeable number of player Turns, each of which may consist of one or more Fate Card “Orders” conducted by the active player. Fate Card “Actions” may regularly be performed by either player at any time. “Events” will happen at irregular interims to add a little disorder and indecision to every player’s comprehensive plan.

Players: 2
Ages: 12+
Time to play: 120 Min
Review: 4.3/5
List Price: $61.86
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Avalon Hill Axis and Allies 1941
Axis and Allies strategic board game

It is 1941. Five leading powers fight for domination. The Axis has significant momentum and is extending its successes in Europe and Asia.
Managing one of the Axis or Allied powers, you will control your nation’s armed forces and its war-time economy. Prove that you are an excellent army tactician by organizing your attacks, leading your troops into embattled regions, and solving the conflicts. Success goes to the side that defeats its competitors on the field of battle and frees or invades the world’s largest cities. Shape the course of history in some short hours.

Players: 2-5
Ages: 13+
Time to play: 120 Min
Review: 4.4/5
List Price: $25.99
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Diplomacy
Diplomacy board game

At the turn of the twentieth century, the 7 Great European Powers involve in an obscure fight for domination. Armed forces invade and withdraw, changing boundaries and changing empires with subtle movements and daring gambits.

Form alliances and unhatch your traitorous plans as you negotiate and trick – in a fragile equilibrium of collaboration and competition – to get dominance of the continent. In Diplomacy, your success adds not on the luck of the dice but your cunning and ingenuity.

Players: 2-7
Ages: 13+
Time to play: 360 Min
Review: 4.5/5
List Price: $25.77
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Age of Steam
Map-based board game Age of Steam

Iron horses belching smoke and steam roar West across the United States. in the 1830s. Re-create the epoch of pioneering American railway corporations that created the track and changed America’s economy. The cut-throat activity is focused on the manufacturing powerhouses of the growing nation: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, and beyond. Steam’s Age is frequently recognized as the best Railroad board game ever made and is excellent for students of history or even geography. This new version maintains a growing list of 36 and more extensions that have been designed over the past 6 years for this map-based game.

Players: 3-6
Ages: 13+
Time to play: 120-180 Min
Review: 4.5/5
List Price: $43.00
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Mage Knight Board Game
Mage Knight Board Game

The Mage Knight Game throws you in the extending and dynamic world of the Atlantean Empire, an area that is but a distant memory since your transmutation into a mystical Mage Knight. Create your armies, beating groups of marauding rebels, and finally capture cities in the name of the mystic Void Council. Created by famous designer Vlaada Chvatil, Mage Knight is a game of heroic journey and conquering that combines character evolution, intrigue, and swords’ clashing to generate a unique gaming adventure. As a Mage Knight, you must control your notoriety and walk the path or embrace a generous leader or brutal dictator’s role. Gather fame and knowledge to obtain effectual Spells and skills, then use your strength to control units to join your ranks. Will you defeat an ancient Draconum and earn support with the people, or burn down a cloister to take the mighty artifact stored there? Both ways may head to triumph, but the choice is yours to make. The Mage Knight Game comes with various campaign opportunities, providing you to play both competitively or cooperatively.

Players: 1-4
Ages: 14+
Time to play: 150 Min
Review: 4.5/5
List Price: $64.00
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Hannibal Rome vs Carthage
Board game Hannibal Rome vs Carthage

One of the most famous army leaders and strategists in history descends on the Roman Empire once again. 

Created with all new artwork from Kurt Miller, this is an edition of the popular Avalon-Hill version from 1996. 

Players use Strategy Cards for various purposes:

  • Moving generals
  • Levying new troops
  • Strengthening existing armies
  • Getting political control of the provinces affected in the war
  • Introducing historical events

When 2 armies meet on the battlefield, the second set of cards, called Battle Cards, are applied to define the winner. 

Players: 2
Ages: 14+
Time to play: 150 Min
Review: 4.5/5
List Price: $90.00
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Civilization

Civilization recreates the best-selling popular computer game series as a strategy map-based board game. In this fast-paced and convenient adaptation, gamers lead their nations to compete for territory, technology, and game-changing wonders. Taking a turn is as simple as using a single card, but there is a deep strategy in choosing which of your 5 cards to use. You could use caravans to build diplomatic connections with your neighbors or defeat them with your army force. You could extend the grasp of your culture or research exceptional versions of your cards. You could use your production toward an essential new city or a mighty world wonder. With randomized goals and an excellent map crafted each game anew, no two games are identical.

Players: 2-4
Ages: 14+
Time to play: 60-120 Min
Review: 4.5/5
List Price: $39.96
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Carcassonne
Carcassonne strategic board game

An intelligent tile-laying board game. The southern French city of Carcassonne is well-known for its unique Roman and Medieval fortresses. The gamers develop the area near Carcassonne and deploy their followers in the settlements, cloisters, roads, and fields.

Published to critical acclaim in 2000, the Strategic board game Carcassonne has long fascinated audiences with its uncomplicated yet engaging gameplay.

Players: 2-5
Ages: 13+
Time to play: 60-120 Min
Review: 4.5/5
List Price: $59.99
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Twilight Struggle the Cold War (1945-1989)
Twilight Struggle the Cold War Strategic Board Game

In 1945, dubious allies fell Hitler’s war machine, while humanity’s most destructive weapons pushed the Japanese Empire to its knees in a hurricane of fire. Where previously there were many great powers, there then stood just 2. The planet had limited months to sigh its collective relief before a new war threatened. Unlike the previous decades’ enormous conflicts, this struggle would be made not primarily by soldiers and tanks but also by spies, diplomats, scientists and academicians, artists, and collaborators.

Twilight Struggle is a quick-playing, low-complexity, 2-player strategic board game reproducing the 45-year dancing of flirtation, prestige, and sporadic flashes of hostilities between the USSR and the U.S.The whole world is the scene where these 2 giants struggle to make the globe safe for their doctrines and styles of life.

The game starts amidst Europe’s ruins as the 2 new “superpowers” scramble over WWII’s wreckage and stops in 1989 when only the U.S. endured being.
The board game map is a world map of the time, where gamers relocate units and use power to get collaborators and control for their superpower.

Struggle’s Event cards attach detail and flavor to the strategy board game. They include a broad array of historical events, from the Arab- Israeli disputes of 1948 and 1967 to Vietnam and the United States peace action, to the Cuban Missile Crisis and other so conflicts that led the world to the edge of nuclear annihilation. Superpowers capture the Space Race and atomic tightness, with the hope of game-ending nuclear war.

Players: 2
Ages: 14+
Time to play: 45 Min
Review: 4.6/5
List Price: $60.96
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A Game of Thrones
Strategic board Game of Thrones

King Robert Baratheon is gone, and the lands of Westeros brace for fighting. Can you require the Iron Throne?

To take control of George R.R. Martin’s popular fantasy series’s famous personages, players must compete for dominance of the realm. Every gamer takes control of 1 of the 6 Great Houses of Westeros, then sets out on epic warfare of conflict and politics to achieve complete dominance. Players take management of the Great Houses of Westeros. Muster troops and march to war on a map of Westeros. 6 different Great Houses offer unusual, asymmetrical play experiences.

Gameplay proceeds throughout 10 rounds, after which the player who has deserved the most castles or fortresses is proclaimed the victor.

The complete board depicts Westeros’s detailed map, and figures shaped as footmen, knights, ships, and attack engines present your armed strength to the realm.

Players: 3-6
Ages: 14+
Time to play: 180 Min
Review: 4.5/5
List Price: $50.36
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Steam
Board Game Steam

Explore a modern European classic. Celebrate one of the world’s most essential and enduring passions: trains and railroads. Use your first investment to make a railway. Then pick up products where they are planted, mined, or produced and deliver them to the right demand place. Perform a delivery, make the cash you need to get bigger and faster trains, and extend your railway empire. Win the game by creating the most efficient railroad empire. With above a million variations, Eurorails never gets old. You choose where to put your tracks. Your only barriers are competing ways and Europe’s great ranges, rivers, and channels. So, ignore the boundaries. Catch the industrial spirit of Europe and study to build an empire.

It’s an excellent way to learn about Europe’s geography, marketing, freighting, and transportation while having loads of enjoyment with friends or family.

Players: 3-6
Ages: 12+
Time to play: 90 Min
Review: 4.5/5
List Price: $27.77
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Command and Colors: Ancients
Map-based board wargame Command and Colors: Ancients

Commands and Colors: Ancients board wargame lets you fight significant struggles of the ancient world. Here the center is on the 2 competitors for power in the Western Mediterranean – Carthage and Rome. Will you, as Hannibal’s success over more massive Roman armies, or as Scipio Africanus, will you defeat Hannibal with more innovative tactics of your own? Units in both armies can only go and attack when commanded. The command playing cards provide those orders giving a factor of chance that creates a fog of war and presents players with difficulties and possibilities. It would be best if you maximize your opportunities by playing your command cards judiciously. How well you manage the various units, their weaponry, and the territory will define triumph.

Players: 2
Ages: 13+
Time to play: 45 Min
Review: 4.6/5
List Price: $54.46
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Tigris and Euphrates
Board game Tigris and Euphrates

Found a dynasty at the origin of human civilization in Tigris and Euphrates, Reiner Knizia’s outstanding tile placement board game. 2 to 4 players lead neighboring civilizations in biblical Mesopotamia. As they build, they must struggle for land while balancing trade, farming, housing, and religion. This latest edition maintains the games’ original mechanics while giving it a refreshed look based on ancient Sumer and Babylon’s art. A double-sided map-based game board and all elements required for the primary game and advanced varieties are included.

Players: 2-4
Ages: 14+
Time to play: 120 Min
Review: 4.6/5
List Price: $49.50
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Terra Mystica Board Game
Terra Mystica Map Based Board Game

In the world of Terra Mystica live fourteen various races in 7 landscapes. Each race is tied to its unique home environment, so to grow and improve, they must terraform nearby landscapes into their home environments in conflict with the other races. Terra Mystica is a board game with pretty little luck that remunerates strategic planning. Every gamer rules one of the fourteen races. With delicacy and proficiency, the gamer must try to lead as great an area as possible and evolve that race’s abilities. There are additionally 4 religious cults in which you can proceed. To perform all that, every race has unique skills and experiences. Taking turns, the gamers perform their activities on the resources they have at their disposition. Various constructions allow gamers to produce multiple resources. Houses support for more workers. Trading dwellings let gamers to earn money. Fortresses open a race’s unique ability, and temples enable you to develop religion and your terraforming and maritime experiences. Each type of constructions in this strategic board game can be upgraded.

Players: 2-5
Ages: 12+
Time to play: 45 Min
Review: 4.7/5
List Price: $57.97
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Terraforming Mars
Board game - Terraforming Mars

In the 2400s, humanity starts to terraform the Planet Mars. Large companies, sponsored by the world government on earth, start big projects to raise the temperature, the oxygen level, and the ocean coverage until the environment is livable. In Terraforming Mars, you represent one of those corporations and collaborate in the Terraforming process, but compete in doing the best job, with winning scores awarded not only for your participation in the Terraforming but also for developing human infrastructure the solar systems, and other deserving successes. The players get unique project cards, representing anything from introducing plants or animals, throwing asteroids at the Mars surface, creating cities, and developing Greenhouse gas industries to heat the atmosphere. You fight for the best areas for your city tiles, greenery, and ocean tiles. When the Terraforming process is finished, the player Corporation with the most winning points wins.

Players: 1-5
Ages: 12+
Time to play: 50 Min
Review: 4.7/5
List Price: $55.17
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Catan
Catan board game

Your brave settlers seek to docile the isolated but rich lend of Catan. Begin by unveiling Catan’s various harbors and areas: meadows, fields, mounts, hills, woods, and deserts.

Manage resource mixtures of cereal, wool, metal, stone, and timber to construct roadways, new villages, and cities and upgrade them. But beware, someone might cut off your drive or use a monopoly card.

Manage your settlers to success by creative dealing and skillful development. The chance mix produces various board, practically every game.

Players: 3-4
Ages: 10+
Time to play: 60 Min
Review: 4.8/5
List Price: $43.97
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Concordia
Concordia board game map
Concordia game map

Two thousand years ago, the Roman Empire controlled the lands throughout the Mediterranean Sea. With peace at the boundaries, harmony inside the provinces of the Empire, equal law, and a universal currency, the economy flourished and gave growth to powerful Roman dynasties as they extended everywhere the many cities.
Manage one of these dynasties and transfer settlers to the remote areas of the Empire; extend your trade system, and satisfy the ancient gods for their support – all to increase the probability to emerge victoriously.

Concordia is a strategic map-based board game listed in the top twenty board games of all time. Think and make vital decisions every round. Ever be prepared to make a trade-off – your actions can benefit other players and yourself. Concordia is a strategy board game where 2 to 5 players face each other to struggle for prosperity and power. You will create your trade empire of the ancient world.

Players: 2-5
Ages: 13+
Time to play: 90 Min
Review: 4.8/5
List Price: $53.37
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War of the Ring
Board game War of the Ring

The War of the Ring is a great strategy map-based board game that enables players to engage themselves in Tolkien’s world, the Lord of the Rings, and feel its tremendous action, dramatic struggle, and unforgettable characters. As the Free People gamer, you command the Third Age’s most powerful kingdoms’ proud hosts. From the Gondor’s fighters to Horse-lords of Rohan and Rivendell’s Elven lords, you control the defense of the latest free realms of Middle-Earth. As the darkness player, you lead the Dark Lord’s crowds and his most strong creatures as they try to bring darkness to Middle-Earth. Armies of Orcs, Trolls Warg Riders, and the terrible Ringwraiths expect your leadership.

Players: 2-4
Ages: 13+
Time to play: 180 Min
Review: 4.7/5
List Price: $69.58
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Ticket To Ride
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to ride game map

From the rocky hills of Edinburgh to the sunlit piers of Constantinople, from the dusty roads of Pamplona to a windswept station in Berlin, Ticket to Ride Europe takes you on an unforgettable train enterprise through the great cities of turn-of-the-century Europe into the heart of the continent. In extension to the new board map, it gives you brand further gameplay details, including tunnels, boats, and railroad stations. Boardgame creators have additionally updated you to first-class accommodations with larger cards, new train station game pieces, and a richly illustrated map game board. Like the Spiel des Jahres winning original, The game remains elegantly simplistic and easy to learn. Ticket to Ride is a comprehensive, new board game that does not need the first version and is guaranteed to give you hours of fun.

Players: 2-5
Ages: 8+
Time to play: 30-60 Min
Review: 4.8/5
List Price: $47.99
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Lords of Waterdeep
Strategic board game Lords of Waterdeep

This board game is the most splendid jewel in the Forgotten Realms and a den of political manipulation and shady back-alley dealings.

You take in the part of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, the city’s hidden rulers. Through your servants, you recruit adventurers to quests on your interest, get prizes, and develop your power over the city. Extend the city by buying new structures that open up further actions on the map board and prevent or cooperate with the other rulers by playing Intrigue cards to perform your thoughtfully laid plans.

Players: 2-5
Ages: 12+
Time to play: 60 Min
Review: 4.8/5
List Price: $94.80
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Railways of the World
Board game Railways of the World

Railways of the World is the latest version of the base game for Eagle Games’ famous Railways of the World Series, first announced as Railroad Tycoon in 2005. It reimplements the original board game with several changes. Relive the first days of the Age of Steam as you begin with a locomotive. From there, build your growing railway network into a large empire. Unite New York City to Chicago, make the most money, produce bigger and faster trains and perhaps also span North America and create the Transcontinental Railway. Many extensions featuring various maps are available. Railroads of the World is the new base board game for the system and includes the engine placards, railway tiles, train tokens, currency, bonds, and other things required in almost all the Railways of the World series. Gameboard represents the eastern part of the U.S. is covered in the base game and a mounted map of Mexico.

Players: 2-6
Ages: 14+
Time to play: 120 Min
Review: 4.8/5
List Price: $94.80
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Power Grid
Power Grid Board Game
Power Grid board game map

What more excellent way to make money than with electric power? But how should you do it? Will you use traditional oil or coal? Maybe you will be at the vanguard of burning trash. Nuclear energy is intriguing, as long as you can get uranium. You can ever be autonomous of resources if you go the eco-friendly way.

Nevertheless, you choose to produce energy; you will have to struggle with your competitors for the most wanted power plants and the required resources and places to create your energy distribution system. You will need to closely observe your competitors, accurately control your capital, and develop your network thoughtfully to make revenue. The gamer that can build the most extensive network and triumphantly power it will be the champion.

Players: 2-6
Ages: 13+
Time to play: 45 Min
Review: 4.8/5
List Price: $33.96
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Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory Board Game

They named it the Great War. In over 4 years of a huge fight, Monarchs’ old Europe ripped itself to parts, providing birth to our brutal contemporary age. The fierce battles fought in the Western Front’s trenches, Poland’s icy fields, the Balkans’ mounts, and Arabia’s sands formed the world map we know now. We are all children of the Great War.

The map-based board game Paths of Glory, produced by 6-time Charles S. Roberts Award champion, Ted Raicer, allows gamers to step into the kings’ shoes and officers who triumphed and bungled from 1914 to 1918. As the Central Powers, you must use the benefit of internal lines and the fighting craft of the Imperial German Army to get your proper “place in the sun.” As the Allies, you must bring your more significant numbers to bear to put an end to German power and guarantee this is the bloody war “to end all wars.” Both gamers will get their tactics and strategic skills to the test as Paths of Glory’s innovative game systems allow you to recreate all WWI’s dramatic episodes.

Players: 2
Ages: 14+
Time to play: 45 Min
Review: 4.8/5
List Price: $50.00
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Brass Birmingham Board Game
Brass Birmingham Board Game

Brass Birmingham is an economic strategy board game series to Martin Wallace’s 2007 masterwork. The board game narrates the story of racing businesspeople in Birmingham throughout the industrial revolution, between 1770-1870.

You must create, develop, and establish your industries and system to use low or high market requirements.

The game is performed over 2 halves: the canal period (1770-1830) and the rail period (1830-1870). To win the contest, score the most VPs.

Players: 2-4
Ages: 16+
Time to play: 60 Min
Review: 4.8/5
List Price: $66.99
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Pandemic
Board Game Pandemic

Several epidemics have broken out globally, and it is up to a team of professionals in different disciplines to get medicines for these infections before humanity is cleaned out. Gamers must collaborate to play to their characters’ powers and plan their elimination strategy before the diseases destroy the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. For instance, the operation expert can create research stations required to get cures for the infections. The Scientist needs only four cards of a particular disease to cure it alternately of the usual five. But the conditions are outbreaking fast, and time is running out: The team needs to try to stem the tide of the disease in infected territories while also towards cures. A truly cooperative game where you all win, or you all lose.

Players: 2-4
Ages: 8+
Time to play: 45 Min
Review: 4.8/5
List Price: $30.36
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Twilight Imperium
Map-based game Twilight Imperium

Twilight Imperium is a board game of galactic conquest in which 3 to 6 gamers take on the part of one of 17 races competing for galactic control by armed force, political maneuvering, and financial agreement. Every race has an entirely different play activity.

These 17 nations are offered various ways to victory, but only one may get the throne of Mecatol Rex as the new rulers of the universe. No two board games of Twilight Imperium are ever identical. At the start of each galactic era, a mapboard is strategically and uniquely created using 51 galaxy tilings that feature everything from rich, unique planets and stars to asteroid fields and gravity holes. Gamers are dealt a hand of these tilings and take turns building the galaxy around Mecatol Rex, the capital planet located in the mapboard’s center. An ion superstorm may block your nation from growing through the universe, while a casually placed gravity hole may defend you from your nearest enemies.

Players: 3-6
Ages: 14+
Time to play: 4-8 Hours
Review: 4.9/5
List Price: $118.90
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Risk
Risk board game

Get ready for any world power in this intensive strategy board game. Gamers race to control all the areas on the board to win the competition. It is all about who is ready to make the most significant Risk in this classic board game. This game comes with forty infantry, twelve dragoons, eight cannons units each, a deck of 56 Risk game cards, five dice, five cardboard war boxes, and a game guide. Take your strategy thoughtfully and dominate the board.

Players: 2-5
Ages: 10+
Time to play: 45-90 Min
Review: 4.9/5
List Price: $39.99
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Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 Expansion
Board game Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a cross-nation train adventure where players accumulate and play pairing train cards to claim railroad routes uniting cities throughout North America.

The longer the railroads, the more points they get.

Extra points get to those who can achieve their Destination Tickets by uniting two remote cities, and to the player who creates the most extended continuous railroad.

The board game contains one board map of North American train railroads, 225 colored train cars, 144 illustrated cards, five wooden scoring markers, and one rules booklet.

Players: 2-5
Ages: 8+
Time to play: 30-60 Min
Review: 4.9/5
List Price: $25.99
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