The definitive 2020 ranked list of the best rock paper scissors board games. For those who are not familiar, rock paper scissors is a game you start playing as a kid where you can make a symbol for one of those three things with your hand. You throw this at the same time as opponent and you win based on the rules of this balanced triangle. Rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper and paper beats rock. is the act of properly handle the game space that is your hand. Games in this space utilize that core idea of it all being about how to read your opponent and predict what they are going to do. These are the top 10 best rock paper scissors board games.
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#10 | Lagoon: Land of Druids
Lagoon: Land of Druids makes the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because it is your classic balanced triangle game. At the end of the day, any side can win because it is all so equally align, but it is how you play against your opponent and anticipate their moves that will win the game. That is the core, but it has a wonderous fantasy theme on top of it feeling like there is so much to it.
You lead a circle of druids to shape the fantastical world of Lagoon by harnessing the power of its magical lands to bend destiny. Every player action alters the balance of power among three divine energies. Double-sided hexagonal tiles represent different mystical sites offering a unique magical power and enchantment of one of three energies. Sides are different giving you options. Players also strategically deploy their druids to unravel sites aligned with an energy, pushing this core triangular balance. For 1 – 4 players, games last about 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Lagoon: Land of Druids
#09 | Fantastiqa: The Rucksack Edition
Fantastiqa makes the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because that is a huge component of how these great battles go down. The enchantress can overcome the knight, the knight can overcome the dragon and, you guessed it, the dragon takes down the enchantress. It is another fun take on the mechanic that is not just a theme thrown on top, but its own thing.
The game is set in a fantastical landscape of dark forests, mist-shrouded highlands, and frozen wastes. As you and your foes journey around the board, you will subdue strange creatures and fulfill fabulous quests. Each creature you encounter has both an ability and a vulnerability. By playing card symbols to which a creature is vulnerable, you can subdue it and recruit it. Each creature you defeat is added to your expanding deck of cards, making its usable. Putting together combos is how you complete quests. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 45 – 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Fantastiqa: The Rucksack Edition
#08 | Yomi
Yomi makes the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because is a classic fighting archetype in the same zone. Just like in a good balanced fighting game, you have to know your character, know the matchup, and know your opponent. This is a fighting game in card form in which physical dexterity is replaced by hand management skills. It’s designed for high level play to be as interesting as possible and as balanced as possible.
Each player has a deck that follows the same conventions as deck of playing cards. This makes it easy to learn the contents of your deck: numbered cards are normal moves, face cards are special moves, and aces are super moves. It takes these and uses a system of Valuation. Valuation refers to your ability to judge the relative value of moves (or cards) as they change over the course of the game. Yomi, the game’s title, refers to your ability to “read” the patterns that your opponent unconsciously falls into. For 1 – 4 players, games last roughly 20 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Yomi
#07 | Warhammer: Diskwars
Warhammer: Diskwars makes the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because it has this whole ferocious, fast-paced tabletop battle with dice, space and hand management at its core, but then the way battles resolve in this who different “know-your-opponent” manner. Set amid the constant warfare of the Old World, the theme brings this mechanic to life in a way that only the Warhammer brand could.
At the heart of the game’s conflicts are its disks, which represent heroes and units from across the Old World. During the game, you activate these disks, flipping them end over end to move them across the battlefield, position them to attack, and interact with terrain and other disks it overlaps. When one disk covers another disk, the disk on top is considered to be “pinning” the disk below it; this prevents the pinned disk from activating, and at the end of the round, overlapping disks must fight one another. For 2 – 4 players, games last 45 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Warhammer: Diskwars
#06 | Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game
Civilization: The Board Game makes the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because it has some RPS types of strategies among its many many things that you have to do. Rock paper scissors isn’t as prevalent as it is as in other games here, but it is made up for by being a phenomenal game and a unique application.
As leaders of competing nations, players must expand their domains, gain new technologies, and build wonders to rise above all others and shape the world to their own vision. By balancing their nation’s pursuits, leaders can build a new society greater than any that has come before and guarantee that their people will not only survive, but thrive. For 2 – 4 players, games run 2 – 4 hours each.
#05 | Crystal Clans
Crystal Clans makes the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because it takes the idea of something beats something, but loses to something else, and expands that to six different aspects instead of three. If you love rock paper scissors but are looking for a big extension to it, this is a good option for you.
In every game, you go to battle with unique armies, seeking to outmaneuver your opponent and lead your squad to victory. Six clans stand ready to battle for dominance, including the adaptable Water Clan, the peaceful Flower Clan, the relentless Skull Clan, the innumerable Blood Clan, the wise Meteor Clan, and the unyielding Stone Clan. Each clan’s cards can be used in multiple ways, giving you more options and adding surprise to each battle. The first clan to claim four crystals wins the game and fulfills their destiny to dominate the world. For 2 players, games last 30 – 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Crystal Clans
#04 | Village Pillage
Village Pillage makes the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because it is another fantastic example of building on that great mechanic. The theme is a fantastic medieval one on top of a game with elements of hand management, simultaneous action selection and take that.
Protect your borders, attack your neighbors, and be the first to collect three turnip relics! Players simultaneously choose two cards from their hand and play one against each neighbor. All cards are revealed at once, then resolved in order. Farmers produce turnips, Walls block Raiders, Raiders steal turnips, and Merchants either add new cards to your hand or help you purchase a relic. All cards return to hand, and the next round begins! Getting all three royal relics wins. For 2 – 5 players, games last about 20 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Village Pillage
#03 | DungeonQuest
DungeonQuest, an update of the 80s classic, makes the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because it is a fun dungeon crawler where the decision mechanism is backed by the same type of thing. Take in the information you know and make a decision about what you think is going to come.
Set in the vibrant fantasy realm of Terrinoth, you will experience great peril, tension, and brutality. Players take on the roles of courageous heroes willing to brave the legendary dangers of Dragonfire Dungeon. Players must guide their heroes through the twisting halls in pursuit of unimaginable riches. Whoever can amass the most wealth and make it out of the dungeon before the closing of the doors seals their doom will emerge victoriously. For 1 – 4 players, games last around 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy DungeonQuest
#02 | BattleCON: War of Indines
BattleCON: War of Indines makes the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because it is the classic, but this lets you take control of 18 different characters, from a fire elemental, an ocean guardian and her panda familiar, a space-bending trapper, a shadowy assassin, and more. Each character’s play style requires new strategies, but uses the same foundational tactics, making a new character easy to learn, but challenging to master.
Players choose characters with unique abilities and powers to test against one another in a battle of tactics, strategy, and intuition. BattleCON: War of Indines is a standalone dueling card game designed for head-to-head play. Each player selects a character who uses a unique gameplay mechanism to give them an edge in combat. Players move along a board, trading blows and attempting to strike the opponent, using attacks formed by combining a character’s unique styles and abilities with a set of basic cards that all characters share. For 2 players, games run 30 – 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy BattleCON: War of Indines
#01 | Hoity Toity
Hoity Toity takes the top spot on the list of the best rock paper scissors board games because not only is it a winner of the Spiel des Jahres award, you have only a few options each turn and it is all about guessing what your opponent is going to do. This is one of the purest iterations of the game on the list, but it still has enough unique elements to be its own. That is probably why it was named the best board game of the year 1990.
Players buy or steal various pieces of junk in the form of cards, trying to form the largest and oldest collection. Built on a ‘rock-paper-scissors’ mechanism, this game gives all players a couple of choices each turn. The trick is in guessing what your opponents are likely to do, and planning your choice accordingly—only after everyone’s decision is revealed do you know for certain whether you made the right one. For 2 – 6 players, games run 45 minutes.