Tabletop Skills

  • ActingDrama

    Some or all of the players take on roles; to communicate information or simply to enjoy being someone else for a while.

  • AreaControl

    Players control part of the board or map in order to win or keep points. Most common in wargames.

  • Asymmetry

    Each player's condition or circumstances are different at the start of the game. They may have different abilities, different resources, or different actions.

  • BettingBidding

    Players compete to assign a value to an item, action, or option. This includes auctions.

  • Bluffing

    Players can make a claim, or a series of claims, that cannot be easily verified by the other players until a future part of the game.

  • CollectibleCardGame

    The primary (or sole) components of the game are playing cards that are bought and collected by individual players over time.

  • Cooperative

    Rather than playing against each other to determine a sole winner, players work together toward a common goal, or to defeat an in-game condition.

  • DeckBuilder

    Players begin with identical decks of cards, but slowly draft cards to build unique decks using an in-game resource.

  • Dexterity

    Players must engage in a real-world physical challenge requiring skill, balance, or a steady hand. This may or may not require interacting with game components.

  • DieRolling

    Players roll one or more dice to move their components, generate resources, score points, or achieve another game goal.

  • Drafting

    As the game progresses, the players gain control of cards, dice, figures, or other resources. These components change the play of the game for each player.

  • DrawingArt

    The players draw, sculpt, or otherwise create pictures to communicate, score points, record information, or simply create something beautiful.

  • EngineBuilding

    The players use a limited pool of starting resources to build a feedback loop, generating more and more resources toward a goal.

  • HandManagement

    Players work to carefully control which cards are available in their hand. This could mean adding cards, emptying their hand, creating patterns, and more.

  • HandRanks

    Players compete to collect cards where some cards or categories are worth more than others; this may include a "trump" or supreme suit.

  • Legacy

    Legacy games change permanently over time, allowing players to add or remove components, write on the board, and even destroy pieces.

  • LogicPuzzle

    Players collect information, then use deductive reasoning and creativity to reach a predetermined solution. Also includes physical puzzles.

  • Memory

    Players must memorize and recall actions or information in order to score points or to collect resources.

  • Negotiation

    Players haggle, argue, and compete in order to trade resources or to establish their common value in the game.

  • NoTurns

    Rather than taking turns, all players take actions simultaneously. This may or may not require keeping pace with each other.

  • OneVersusAll

    One player takes on a unique role as a hero or villain, and all of the other players must compete against them together.

  • PatternRecognition

    Players look at or draw a seemingly random collection of shapes, colors, or other information and must create or discover a pattern.

  • PhysicalFeats

    Players must run, jump, sing, balance, or otherwise perform acts of strength or balance, alone or together.

  • PickupDeliver

    Players must move to a component on the board, then move to a destination, via the fastest, shortest, or most efficient path.

  • PlayerElimination

    Players are removed from the game one by one, until only one remains and is declared the winner.

  • PlayerPowers

    Each of the players operates using a slightly different set of mechanics or actions, carefully balanced against the others.

  • PointSalad

    The game has a wide variety of options for earning points, offering many alternative paths to victory.

  • PressYourLuck

    Players decide how far to push their turns, bids, or other resources, with increasing risks corresponding to increasing rewards.

  • RandomizedBoard

    The board, map, or other components are constructed randomly each time to maximize replayability.

  • RealTime

    Actions in-game correspond directly to time in the real world, with seconds and minutes equaling actual seconds and minutes.

  • ResourceBudget

    Players must carefully manage a finite amount of in-game resources in order to score or retain points.

  • RockPaperScissors

    Each action or choice in a game beats, and is beaten by, other specific actions in the game.

  • RolePlaying

    Players take on a particular character and play using that character's personality, skills, goals, and abilities.

  • RollAndMove

    A simple mechanic where dice or cards determine how far a player's marker moves around the board.

  • RouteBuilding

    Players must make their way from one point on the map or board to another, attempting to make the most efficient or effective path.

  • SetCollection

    Players attempt to collect cards, dice, or other valued components corresponding to a specific pattern or grouping.

  • SocialDeduction

    Players must use evidence, information, hints, and behavior to reach conclusions about the other players or their role in-game; this may include a secret traitor.

  • SoloMode

    The game may be played by one person without any competitors.

  • Storytelling

    Players, individually or collectively, work to tell a story. This may be multiple different threads, or a single unified narrative.

  • TakeThat

    Players compete against each other by direct confrontation and attacks, often taking resources and points from each other.

  • TilePlacement

    Players put down tiles in order to make shapes, create a path, complete a pattern, control an area, or achieve another in-game goal.

  • TimeBomb

    Players must act quickly and steadily until a sudden end reached by the expiration of a timer.

  • Timer

    The game has a timer (usually a sandglass) that restricts their actions.

  • TowerDefense

    A number of different factions or teams collectively attack a central point. Players may play the central point, the factions, or both.

  • Trading

    Players exchange various resources and components either at predetermined rates or as they negotiate.

  • TrickWinning

    Each player contributes a single card from their hand, and the player with the highest-value card retains them all.

  • Trivia

    Players earn points or resources by showing mastery of random collections of knowledge, often organized into categories.

  • TwoPlayerOnly

    Game is playable only by two players in a versus format; no more, and there is no solo mode available.

  • VariableDifficulty

    The game's difficulty can be adjusted by adding, removing, or changing components, without changing the play style of the players.

  • Voting

    Each of the players receives a vote in selecting who receives points or other resources throughout the game.

  • Words

    A game driven by puns, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and other wordplay.

  • WorkerPlacement

    Players use components (usually "meeples") to claim specific areas of the board representing particular actions, resources, or options each round.

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