Tuesday, August 18, 2009

German Style Board Games - My Top Three

German-style board games have made their way to North America and these games focus on strategy as well as social interaction, unlike their typical North American counterparts, which often focuses on silent contemplation of the next move.

While in the past only comic and gaming stores carried these games, they have slowly made their way into chain stores. Unlike their counterparts, these games won’t grow old quickly. Many of these games offer expansions and different versions that can be later added to the basic version, and many use tiles instead of a board for a different experience every time. They’re also visually appealing, from the artistically crafted boards and tiles to the wooden pieces that will stand the test of time. Even more exciting is their inclusion of many places around the world that are unfamiliar to many people.

If you're unfamiliar with German style board games, check out one of the following games below. All three are international hits, and you might discover the joy of board gaming all over again.

Named after a medieval city in France, players place a tile adjacent to other tiles on the board. By placing followers on roads, in cities, in cloisters, and on farms, players score points immediately or by controlling a larger area than other players at the end of a game. Terribly addictive due to its ever-changing layout and multiple expansions. One even adds a fairy and a dragon! (Players: 2-5, Time to Play: 60 minutes, Basic Edition Cost: $20-25)

Ticket to Ride
Players place train tokens on a board and attempt to secretly complete routes on the map while other players are doing the same. Multiple strategies are in play and you can choose to add more routes or have fun trying to thwart your opposition. The European edition even includes the names of the cities in their native languages around the year 1910. (Players: 2-4, Time to Play: 60 minutes, American or European Edition Cost: $30-40)

Settlers of Catan
Players attempt to dominate the island by collecting and trading resources to build settlements, cities and roads. A winner emerges when someone possesses ten victory points. With plenty of trading (and back-stabbing), SOC is a social game but is best played when you have more time. The first board game to gain widespread popularity outside of Europe. (Players: 3-4, Time to Play: 60-90 minutes, Basic Edition Cost: $25-35)


  1. Carcassonne gets my vote, any game with a Dragon of sorts usually does... :)

  2. I love the dragon. Unfortunately the people I play with say that it inflicts too much chaos on the game. I say a little strategy, a little luck, and a little chaos makes a balanced game!