->'''[[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Homsar]]:''' Oh no! You shanked my Jengaship!
->'''Strong Sad:''' I shanked your Jengaship? We're playing Connect Four!
-->-- ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'', "[[http://www.homestarrunner.com/whereis.html Where's the Cheat?]]"

Classic games of skill and chance, often used in fiction to illuminate characters' personalities. There are many board games, but those listed in this index are pretty much the only [[SmallReferencePools ones you will see in fiction]]. Often, the trademarked ones will have an in-world BrandX equivalent. In the last decade, [[http://www.piecepack.org/ piecepacks]] have become popular as a means of devising new board games.

For a brief overview, there are four general categories of board games: Abstracts like chess; Party Games, which have a penchant for randomness and fun over hard strategy; [[WarGaming Wargames]], which typically feature maps full of troops duking it out at varying levels of realism, and {{Eurogame}}s, which focus on gaining victory points through economic competition over game resources rather than direct combat (the most famous of these is "The Settlers of Catan" - the Germans have a particular love of these and they can sometimes be called "German Games"). A fifth category not well known outside of Boardgaming circles is "Ameritrash" which focuses on the theme of the game and aggressive gameplay which mixes strategy and luck. (Named as a contrast to Eurogames which are perceived as very skill-based). It should be said that AmeritrashGames aren't always made in or are exclusive to America - games such as the Avalon Hill line of board games for many years reached international audiences but were cut from the shortlist of games to preserve in print because of Hasbro's MoneyDearBoy.
Many games float among these categories.

Some board games - especially of the war variety - are so complicated they become the trope GuideDangIt in that they are near impossible to play without the rule book in hand. Many review series and podcast series help gamers to understand new games and rate them, series like Tom Vassel's [[http://www.dicetower.com/ The Dice Tower]] and Paul & Quinn's [[http://www.shutupshow.com/ Shut up and Sit Down]]

Since the 90s there's been a major revival of boardgames, and sites like [[http://boardgamegeek.com boardgamegeek]] (which lists all existing games - yes, ''all of them'') have many hundreds of thousands of members. Not to mention game conferences like Spiel (in Essen, Germany), which draws 150,000 people each year. Also, recent board games [[PinkProductPloy have been colored pink]] hoping more girls would buy them.

Recently, WilWheaton has promoted the board game hobby with his [[WebVideo/{{Tabletop}} web series]], [[http://tabletop.geekandsundry.com/ Tabletop]], where he and several 'geek celebrities' play a variety of board games. Additionally, webcomics like [[http://www.dorktower.com/ Dork Tower]] and [[http://overboard-comic.com/ Going OverBoard]] detail the adventures of your average Board Game Geeks.

A MassiveMultiplayerCrossover homage to board games lies [[http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1816855 here]]. Also, a weird online game with lots of board games can be found at [[http://www.boardgame-online.com/index.php Boardgame Online]].

A subset of TabletopGames.
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* [=18XX=]: A variety of games on building railroads in the 1800s, with emphasis on designing quick routes and manipulating the stock market.
* 7 Wonders: A card based board game in which the goal is to make your wonder better than the other players', by building structures, winning wars, and researching science.
* Abalone: A curious combination of Chinese checkers and sumo wrestling. Hails from France.
[[index]]
* TabletopGame/AdvancedSquadLeader: A WWII war game.
* TabletopGame/{{Agricola}}: A farming-themed game.
* TabletopGame/{{Arimaa}}: A chess variant involving animals attempting to shove each other into pits.
* TabletopGame/ArkhamHorror: A story based game based on the roleplaying game ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu''.
* TabletopGame/{{Backgammon}}: Not as popular a game anymore, but the rules involve moving your pieces across the boards to your "safe zone" while doing everything possible to stop or outrun your opponent. Often seen masked as a briefcase for long train trips.
* TabletopGame/{{Battleship}}: Naval warfare game originally created for pencil and paper play, but successfully adapted into a commercial form by Milton Bradley. If characters are seen playing this, it usually indicates they've had ''way'' too much idle time to kill. Due to the deeply embedded memories of MB's marketing campaigns, nobody ''ever'' is depicted destroying a cruiser or carrier, but within 3 turns one player ''will'' finally announce "You sank my battleship!" This is more often than not done ironically, or with a [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] on it, at least recently. It received a loose (and rather unsuccessful) film adaption in 2012.
* TabletopGame/{{Bingo}}: Gambling for for old people, at least in North America.
* TabletopGame/CandyLand: The stock example of a childish game. Children are enthralled by the [[SugarBowl colorful world]], while anyone over the age of 10 will only play in order to spend time with someone under the age of 10. This treatment is very much TruthInTelevision: Candy Land is totally unaffected by any player choice nor is the flow of the game at all suitable for gambling.
* ''{{TabletopGame/Carcassonne}}'': A EuroGame in which players compete to control and complete cities, roads and fields. Famous for having over 20 [[ExpansionPack Expansions]] which add everything from simple things like extra tiles to entirely new game mechanics and pieces.
* TabletopGame/{{Checkers}}[[/index]] (also known as Draughts): The archetypical game of casual minds; e.g., young children and leisurely seniors. While definitely a simpler game than chess, checkers may be treated as if it were barely above the level of tic-tac-toe (noughts and crosses). Extra bathos points for a character using a chess set and board to play checkers. Almost invariably, one character will be looking supremely confident until the other player reaches out and ''click-click-click-click-click'' takes most of their pieces in a single move, often with a smug "King me!" at the end when they make it to the last row (even though they made backwards jumps that would be illegal if the piece were not ''already'' a king.
** Unless it's Russian Draughts, where men attack both forward and back, and kings move much like chess bishops, just like in Polish Draughts (the most commonly played variant worldwide, which in contrast to the Russian variant is played on a 10x10 board, and almost certainly did not originate from Poland).
*** Note that in real life checkers or draughts is an easier game than chess for beginning players and computers, but about as hard as chess for seasoned players, who in both games see an average of two valid moves in every situation. When played blind, 10x10 checkers variants are even harder to play than chess, because there are more pieces, and they're all the same.
** Also, Chinese checkers is neither checkers nor Chinese -- it's more of a race to move your army from one point on the board (usually in the shape of a Star of David) to the other. It's a derivative of a 19th century American game called Halma.
[[index]]
* TabletopGame/{{Chess}}: The supreme Western test of intellect. TheSpock, TheProfessor and [[TheChessmaster cunning villains]] will all [[SmartPeoplePlayChess play this superbly]], because SmartPeoplePlayChess. Show them a game in progress, and they will confidently announce, 'Mate in three/five/seventeen.' In practice, even the world's best professional chess players would not be able to consistently do this well. (Spock, at least, has the excuse that he's an alien.) Sometimes, as in ''Series/{{House}}'' and Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/SixthColumn'', it's just a bluff. Chess, in turn, comes from the Persian Shatranj (below), which in turn came from the Indian Chaturanga.
* [[TabletopGame/{{Clue}} Cluedo]] (''Clue'' [[MarketBasedTitle to Americans]]): A popular party game in which the players pretend to solve a murder by guessing the perpetrator, the location of the crime, and the murder weapon ("Colonel Mustard in the conservatory with the candlestick!"). [[Film/{{Clue}} The game inspired a comedy film in the '80s starring Tim Curry and several other stars of the era.]] (There is also an inversion/parody of the game called [[http://www.cheapass.com/freegames/kdl Kill Doctor Lucky.]] It is exactly what you imagine it is, but with more [[IncrediblyLamePun backstabbing]] and frequent random failures.)
[[/index]]
* Connect Four: A vertical checkers game that requires you to put four checkers in a row. It bears significant similarities to tic-tac-toe, and in turn may have been an inspiration for Tetris.
[[index]]
* TheCreatureThatAteSheboygan
[[/index]]
* Cribbage: A rare combination of a card game and a board game, players advance pegs on a peg board to race to the end of a track based on rounds of card play. Utterly incomprehensible to the uninitiated, but undeniably popular.
[[index]]
* TabletopGame/{{Diplomacy}}: A game of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin diplomacy]], war, and treachery for up to seven players. Players move their armies and fleets in simultaneous turns, with hidden written orders. You may end the game with fewer friends than you had at the start, as ThereCanBeOnlyOne ruler of Europe, while the rest can enjoy having ornate daggers jammed into their backs.
* ''TabletopGame/FlashPointFireRescue'': A cooperative game about firefighters struggling to save as many people as they can from a burning building.
* TabletopGame/FormulaD: A tabletop game about vehicular racing with many complicated rules, thankfully, the game is divided into basic and advanced.
* TabletopGame/GameOfLife: America's first popular parlor game.
* TabletopGame/{{Ghosts}}: A two-player game taking place on a 6-by-6 grid representing a haunted castle, each player has eight ghosts, with four of them being good and four of them being evil. If one player gets all the opponent's good ghosts, s/he wins. If one player gets all the opponent's evil ghosts, s/he loses.
* TabletopGame/{{Go}}: The supreme Eastern test of intellect. The aura of inscrutable Asian wisdom doesn't hurt either, though in reality playing either game at world championship level is equally difficult. And then, in the other direction, there's... (See the Shogi entry much lower.)
[[/index]]
* Hangman: Guess the word or phrase letter by letter. Each time you guess wrong adds a new piece to the gibbet, noose, and hanged man. This game, of course is the spiritual ancestor of ''WheelOfFortune''.
* Hnefatafl (King's Table): Scandinavian chess known at least from IV century A.D. -- that is, Vikings played this. Mentioned in the Literature/{{Edda}}s and [[Literature/TheIcelandicSagas sagas]] both as a noteworthy skill and used for ChessMotifs: in Fridthjof's saga the King's man came with a war-related request to Fridthof and Bjorn who played the game, and they answered in game strategy terms, looking at the board.
[[index]]
* TabletopGame/{{Icehouse}}: A boardless board game played with pyramidal pieces pointing at each other. Something like a cross between Go and vector arithmetic; more than four hundred games using the pyramidal pieces are listed on one site alone [[http://www.icehousegames.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page here]]. [[note]]And created by Andrew Looney, inventor of TabletopGame/{{Fluxx}}.[[/note]]
* TabletopGame/{{Janggi}}: Korean Chess.
[[/index]]
* Jenga: As mentioned in the page quote. Jenga isn't exactly a board game per se; it's a game where you try to deconstruct a stack of wooden or plastic rods without it falling over. It was created by an African-raised Brit, and the name is Swahili (and trademarked by Hasbro).
[[index]]
* ''TabletopGame/LupinIII'' is a semi-cooperative game based on the adult cartoon of Lupin the 3rd and his gang, {{Gentleman Thie|f}}ves, attempting to steal a treasure protected by Zenigata, an ImplacableMan with an army of policemen to support him. Fujiko, the lone woman on the team, makes the game more interesting as she may betray her fellow thieves at any point.
* TabletopGame/{{Mahjong}}: The quintessential East Asian gambling game, where 4 players try to form 14-tile hands by drawing and discarding a tile per turn, in a manner vaguely similar to gin rummy. It could be considered the Eastern analogue to poker, being part luck and part skill and having many variants and HouseRules. Commonly (but not always) played for cash stakes, converting points to money, although more recent trends have seen a shift towards playing for sport and bragging rights, especially with the Japanese Riichi variant. Not to be confused with Shanghai, which is a matching game played (usually on a computer) with an enormous pile of mahjong tiles.
* TabletopGame/{{Makruk}} Thai Chess, with short-assize pawns (i.e. starting on the third rank) that promote on the sixth, Bishops that move like Silver Generals in Shogi, etc.
[[/index]]
* Mancala: A family of "sowing games" where stones are distributed around a circuit of cups, frequently capturing the contents of the cup opposite where the sowing stops. It seemingly originated somewhere in east Africa and is fairly popular in the USA and parts of Europe. Some of the most recognized variants are Kalah (created in the US), Bohnenspiel (German-Persian), and Awari (Ghanaian).
[[index]]
* TabletopGame/{{Mastermind}}: Guess the code of the other guy, using the clues he or she gives you from wrong guesses.
* TabletopGame/{{Monopoly}}: A game for the whole family (so long as the whole family understands real estate, mortgages, land development, and math of at least a fifth grade level). Expect lots of squabbling, convenient luck and complicated trades, often [[{{Metagame}} extending outside the game]].
[[/index]]
* Operation: Removing various punny pathologies from a patient who reacts to mistakes and slips of the hand with a buzzing red nose.
* Pachisi (and relations like Ludo and Sorry): A series of games, originally from India, that involves racing pieces around a track and trying to be the first to get all of them to a home space.
[[index]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pandemic}}'': A daring team of researchers and doctors out to stop the eponymous disaster.
[[/index]]
* Reversi (including the commercialized ''Othello''): A vaguely Go-like game where surrounded pieces change color instead of being captured. Reversi can be very difficult to keep track of, since one piece placement can drastically alter the entire board, at least on traditional boards - computer-based versions take care of this on their own. Reversi variations have appeared in some PartyGame series, including ''PointBlank'', ''MarioParty'', and ''WarioWare'', with the caveat that a player must win a minigame to claim a square.
[[index]]
* TabletopGame/RedDragonInn : A board/card game where adventurers cheat each other out of loot.
* TabletopGame/{{Risk}}: A game for two to six players, featuring a full world map and hundreds of tiny pieces representing armies, in which the goal is to take over the world. This game often takes several hours to play out. A common strategy is to take over Australia as quickly as possible, since it's the hardest continent to attack. In Risk, every player tends to suffer from ChronicBackstabbingDisorder, as alliances between players are made and broken on a whim.
* TabletopGame/ScotlandYard: A eurogame where up to six police officers must work together to track down the criminal Mister X (controlled by a seventh player) through a map of London.
* TabletopGame/{{Scrabble}}: A game for people who know lots of words [[SpellingNazi and how to spell them]]. Having a big vocabulary is a plus, but [[YouKeepUsingThatWord actually knowing the definition isn't important to the game so long as it is an actual word]]. TheMagicPokerEquation applies here. The winner always has just the right letters for a long, high-scoring, but recognisable word, and there's somewhere on the board that it'll fit. They rarely resort to kind of obscure words common in professional Scrabble: ''aa'', ''cwm'', ''etui''. (Although one can occasionally expect ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''-esque arguments over the legitimacy of such words as "[[TheSimpsons kwyjibo]]," "xrbtt", "jozxyqk" or "zqfmgb.") Further, even though short words are common in professional Scrabble, anyone who plays a word less than four letters will be seen as a dummy. Another common Scrabble trope is when people playing the game all have and play words relating to the situation.
[[/index]]
* Senet: The oldest known board game, dating as far back as predynastic Egypt. The rules aren't known with any certainty, but [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senet approximate reconstructions]] exist.
[[index]]
* TabletopGame/SettlersOfCatan: The original EuroGame. Players exploit the resources of an island to see who builds the most powerful colony.
* ''TabletopGame/ShadowsOverCamelot'': The players are [[KingArthur Knights of the Round Table]] defending (or secretly betraying) Camelot.
* TabletopGame/{{Shatranj}} Persian chess, and the direct ancestor to western chess. As pointed out above, Shatranj is the root of the western branch of the Chaturanga family, which originated in India.
* TabletopGame/{{Shogi}}: The Japanese variant of chess. Typically used in anime as an excuse for old men to sit on porches of rice-paper houses, above the stone lanterns and TheThingThatGoesDoink, and discuss in slow grunts the vagaries of life. It's also notable for the "drop rule", in which captured pieces can be [[OhCrap put back into action]] [[FaceHeelTurn by the owner's opponent.]]
* TabletopGame/{{Sittuyin}}: Burmese Chess, where moves 1-8 are devoted to mustering your forces.
* TabletopGame/SmallWorld: A {{Risk}}-like world conquest game with fantasy flavor and an emphasis on individual racial powers in combat over dice rolling.
[[/index]]
* Snakes and Ladders, including the Americanized Hasbro version ''Chutes and Ladders'': A kid's game, originally from India meant to teach moral lessons. Good deeds get you a ladder to the top of the board, bad deeds get you dragged down by a snake.
[[index]]
* TabletopGame/SpaceHulk: Man versus Alien in Desperate Battle.
* TabletopGame/{{Stratego}}: War board game where red and blue pieces go into battle blindly, with the goal of capturing the other team's flag. As the name might imply, there is a fair bit of strategy involved.
* TabletopGame/{{Talisman}}: A fantasy RPG-themed board game originally published by Games Workshop.
* TabletopGame/ThroughTheAges: A civilization-building game.
* TabletopGame/TicTacToe (also known as Noughts and Droughts): First player to get three in a row wins.
* TabletopGame/TicketToRide: Family game in which you build railroads. Published by Days of Wonder.
* TabletopGame/TrivialPursuit: A combination of luck and knowledge. Entire books have detailed not only strategies for choosing categories and both asking and answering questions, but also the game's inaccuracies and ambiguities.
* TabletopGame/TwilightImperium: A space board/tabletop game that incorporates not just war strategy, but politics and trade as well.
* TabletopGame/TwilightStruggle: A popular card-driven board game about the Cold War.
[[/index]]
* Twister: Well, yes, there's a board, and yes, it's a game, although the players are the pieces. The aim of the game is to contort the players into shapes that don't collapse into a people pile. Or at least that's the ostensible aim; in practice the point is more to create embarrassing juxtapositions of body parts. It's sometimes used as a punchline for jokes, especially involving teenagers and an OverProtectiveDad, suggesting that they are not playing so much as using the game as an excuse to feel each other up.
[[index]]
* TabletopGame/{{Xiangqi}}: Two housebound Generals send Chess-like armies after each other. The name literally means "elephant game", and it was what happened when chaturanga went east from India.
* TabletopGame/{{Yahtzee}}: Where players roll five dice, trying to get as many matching numbers as possible. If they succeed in getting all five to match they get a "Yahtzee" and a large point bonus. Bonuses are also awarded for poker hand-esque combinations, such as a pair of twos and three threes making a full house.
[[/index]]
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