10 Best Abstract Strategy Board Games

Azul Board Game Tile Factory
Copyright © 2019 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

Here is your list of the 10 best abstract strategy board games. Defining this category is tough because it is, well, abstract. You must overtake your opponent using the strategic information of the situation or putting complex puzzles together using that same information. These games are usually themeless but that is by no means a hard rule. Ancient games like Chess and Go are the ultimate abstract strategy games. We generally leave the ancient classics off these lists but they deserve a shout out.

OTHER ARTICLES LIKE THIS: 10 Best Board Games Based On Books | 10 Best Animal Board Games | 10 Best Board Games About Trees | 10 Best Paranormal Board Games


Torres Board Game Castle Stacks
Copyright © 2020 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

#10 | Torres

Torres is the oldest title on the list of the best abstract strategy board games (1999) and has inspired many. There have been many great games since, but this historic gem is still worth a play. This is an abstract game of resource management and tactical pawn movement. You need to build up castles and position your knights to score the most points each turn. You have limited resources to work with. Torres won the coveted Spiel des Jahres award for its release. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 1 hour each.

FOR MORE: Games Like Torres | Buy Torres on Amazon on Amazon


Battle Sheep Board Game Gameplay Overview
Copyright © 2020 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

#09 | Battle Sheep

Battle Sheep makes the list of the best abstract strategy board games because it is a ton of game in a very quick amount of time. After a board is formed of pasture tiles, players put their stack of angry sheep tokens on a remote space of the outskirts of the board. Their goal is to move across as many of the pastures spaces as possible before your opponents can do the same. The key to winning one of these quick showdowns is to pin your fellow players in so their sheep are stuck and cannot move. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 15 minutes.

FOR MORE: Battle Sheep Page | How To Play Battle Sheep | Battle Sheep Review | Games Like Battle Sheep | Buy Battle Sheep on Amazon on Amazon


Photosynthesis Board Game Overview
Copyright © 2020 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

#08 | Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis makes the list of the best abstract strategy board games because it uses its nature theme to fuel a very interesting light/shade puzzle and it fuels it with an ingenious engine builder. As the sun turns, you need to plant and nourish trees on a quest to get as much light as possible. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 30 – 60 minutes.

FOR MORE: Photosynthesis Page | How To Play Photosynthesis | Photosynthesis Review | Games Like Photosynthesis | Buy Photosynthesis on Amazon on Amazon


Tiny Towns Board Game

#07 | Tiny Towns

Tiny Towns makes the list of the best abstract strategy board games because it is an ingenious game that blends resource management and civ building with Tetris like puzzle solving. You are the mayor of a small village and have a 4×4 grid to build up. Fill up the correct configurations and combo up to get big points. For 1 – 6 players, games run about 45 – 60 minutes.

FOR MORE: Tiny Towns Page | How To Play Tiny Towns | Tiny Towns Review | Games Like Tiny Towns | Buy Tiny Towns on Amazon on Amazon


Hive Board Game Overview
Copyright © 2020 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

#06 | Hive

This addition to the list of the best abstract strategy board games is probably one of the simplest titles here. In Hive, you have different insect tiles to place on the table. Your limited actions either help you or hurt your opponent. You need to quickly make the many decisions to get your tokens to surround the queen. For 2 players, games run 20 minutes.

FOR MORE: Hive Page | Games Like Hive | Buy Hive on Amazon on Amazon



Onitama Board Game Goal Cards
Copyright © 2020 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

#05 | Onitama

Onitama makes the list of the best abstract strategy board games because it is a very simple but strategic blend of grid and hand management. You and your opponent have two open cards that each display a possible move (and a neutral 5th). On a player’s turn, they choose one of their cards, does it and then switches that with the neutral card. Not much to it but runs deep. For 2 players, games run 15 – 20 minutes.

FOR MORE: Onitama Page | Games Like Onitama | Buy Onitama on Amazon


#04 | Yinsh

This is a top tier pattern building and grid movement game. It is not just on the list of the best abstract strategy board games, it is a top game across all categories. In Yinsh, you start with five rings on the board. Every time a ring is moved, it leaves a marker behind. Markers are white on one side and black on the other. When markers are jumped over by a ring they must be flipped, so their color is constantly changing. For 2 players, games run about 45 minutes.

FOR MORE: Buy Yinsh on Amazon


Santorini Board Game Tower Build
Copyright © 2020 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

#03 | Santorini

Santorini makes the list of the best abstract strategy board games because it is many little ingenious mechanics working together is very light but robust game. You are builder of a small town in Greece where you need to build up beautiful towers. This 3d movement game has quick and impactful choices to be the first to 3 levels. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 20 minutes.

FOR MORE: Santorini Page | Games Like Santorini | Buy Santorini on Amazon


Patchwork Board Game Player Board
Copyright © 2020 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

#02 | Patchwork

The top 2-player showdown game on the list of the best abstract strategy board games goes to one about quilting. You get your own quilt to make and you need to draft Tetris like patch pieces against your opponent to build the best one and create the right clusters to get big points. The 1-on-1 game lasts about 15 – 30 minutes.

FOR MORE: Patchwork Page | Games Like Patchwork | Buy Patchwork on Amazon


Azul Board Game

#01 | Azul

The game that tops the list of the best abstract strategy board games is about helping the king decorate with Portuguese tiles. Azul is a well crafted set collection and pattern building game. You draft tiles against other players in order to create strategic clusters that are going to get you big points. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 30 – 45 minutes.

FOR MORE: Azul Page | How To Play Azul | Azul Review | Games Like Azul | Buy Azul on Amazon


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Do you agree with this list of the best abstract strategy board games!? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our BGH Facebook Page.

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