When it comes to strategy games, particularly those involving fantasy, many people have visions of large modeled playing landscapes and hand painted characters. If you peek through the misted fuggy windows in many a games outlet up and down the country, you will still see many people playing this kind of game. For those of us that find this kind of social engagement a little unusual, there is (thankfully) another, more modern alternative.
Playing With Cards
In recent years, we have seen the invention of the card based strategy game. Instead of having to build a large piece of countryside in your spare bedroom – you can now create a temporary playing field on your dining room table.
Typically, cards are placed in the playing area to create the landscape. Different cards depict different types of land use eg, farm, grass, hills, roads or rivers etc These cards then become the game board which players then use to place and move their characters around.
Because of the card based nature and playing style, this also means that the playing area is different every single time you play. On top of this, many of these games also have expansion packs available to give you more cards to create larger areas. More commonly though, the expansion sets contain different sets of cards so you can introduce more types of land into the game ‘map’.
Many of the best strategy board games have taken this approach to some degree. They are without doubt becoming more and more popular – and much more mainstream. The speed of set up, small storage space, changing game map and simple play style all contribute to make these games incredibly appealing.
While there are many very successful and popular card based strategy games out there. There are a small handful that have gained certain level of notoriety amongst gamers. One of the most popular is the award winning carcassonne (read more in this carcassonne game review). Carcassonne has been around for a few years now, but in that time has also released several expansion packs to help keep more experienced players interested. It is a much more accessible game to play than many of its other counterparts and really is incredibly easy to play – this is why it has become so popular and successful.
While we see many other games of this type being released, often themed with films or fantasy/sci-fi TV shows – the basic play style usually remains the same. Create the play area using cards then position your characters on the map to conquer or take over your opposition. This conquering aspect does appeal more to males than females – but it really shouldn’t put anyone off playing. These games promote creative thinking, imagination, puzzle solving and strategies – these are all aspects that anyone will benefit from elsewhere in their lives!
We love card based strategy games & think they will be around for years to come – we can’t wait to see what new games the designers can come up with!