Who doesn’t like to beat an opponent in a game situation by out-smarting them? Isn’t it gratifying when your planned strategy works to perfection and produces the winning play? Working together with partners to reach the strategic game goal can be a rewarding social interaction. Playing strategy games has been a part of human nature for a long time. They have been around so long that perhaps strategy games help humankind by allowing competition and the resolution of a conflict in an environment that does not end in the tragedy.
Let’s start this series of posts by naming the first five strategy games of our choice and look deeper into our fascination with them.
Dominoes (12th Century)
The game features bones (tiles) with a number of pips on them. Players match them up trying to empty their hands by matching one of the numbers with one of the free numbers on the table.
Dominoes are also noted for being able to stand on end in long rows so that when one is knocked over they all fall in a row. A popular pastime is lining up hundreds or thousands of dominoes to make designs when they fall.
A major favorite around the world: Monopoly is unusual in that the game has official, printed rules, but most players learn how to play from others, never actually learning the correct way to play. Think about it, how did you learn to play Monopoly? This has led to the change of a number of house rules that make the game more palatable to children, but harm the gameplay by preventing players from going bankrupt or slowing down the rate of property acquisition.
One common house rule has players put any money paid to the bank in the center of the board, which jackpot a player may earn by landing on Free Parking. This prevents the game from removing money from play, and since players collect $200 each time they pass Go, this results in ever-increasing bankrolls and players surviving rents that should have bankrupted them.
The game played on a 15×15 grid features players spelling out words for points. The game features areas with double or triple letter or word score and letters have more points if they are less commonly used.
Fanatical players have actually gone as far as memorizing all the acceptable words from the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. Be warned, if someone you don’t know offers to play you for 10 cents a point as they might be able to win by many hundreds of points.
Risk (1957 Parker Brothers)
A game combining luck, strategy, and diplomacy, RISK brings together friends for a maniacal six hour adventure, where just setting up the game and strategically placing armies can take up to an hour.
The fragile alliances that you make and break over the course of a game are key to the game’s popularity along with a bit of luck that comes along with the role of the dice. Here’s a look the origins of the board game RISK, its evolution over the years, and modern games that exist thanks to its creation.
According to the Backgammon Village, “Backgammon is said to be the oldest game in recorded history. Its origin stems from a version of this board game that was first played about 5,000 years ago in Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia. In Greek, Mesopotamia means “between rivers”. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers bordered this area situated just north of the Persian Gulf in present day Iraq and Kuwait.
Between 2900-1800 BC, early civilizations of a very diverse people lived in these fertile valleys. Ur, also known as the home of the Biblical Abraham, was an important city of the Sumerian culture.”