Board Game Terminology Guide: Terms, Acronyms and More

Playing board games is a great way to spend time with friends, family, and kids. Not only does it provide fun for all involved but also the opportunity to learn some new words! This blog post will take you on a tour of common terms, acronyms, and phrases that are used when talking about board games. So read on if you want an easy introduction to the world of tabletop gaming!

Actions – The Actions in a game are the player’s decisions, and/or moves they will make throughout their turn.

Alpha Gamer – An Alpha Gamer is a player who always wants to play first, and they usually have the most knowledge about games.

Abstract Games – Abstract games are ones that do not look like traditional boardgames with pieces on boards; instead, these games use cards or other components to show how different game spaces should be arranged for gameplay.

Card Drafting – A style of drafting cards where players take turns picking from one large deck.

Conventions (game conventions) – Boardgames conventions typically have lectures on board games, booths to purchase games, and opportunities to play boardgames with others.

Boss Monster – A Boss Monster is a powerful enemy that the players must defeat in order to complete their quest.

Cooperative Games – Co-op games are team based; each player has an individual goal but they all work together for some larger victory condition.

Dice Tower Awards (or DTA’s) – Dice tower awards recognize excellence in game design by awarding them at conventions and other events like Essen Spieles or GenCon International Championships of Dice Towers – so it’s basically a really cool trophy you can win!

Expansions – An expansion adds more variety to a given game by adding new boards, cards, tokens etc. They can be purchased separately from the original game or they can complement an existing game.

Kickstarter – A crowdfunding website for creative projects, Kickstarter allows people to pledge any amount of money to a project as long as it is within the given funding goal.

OPEN POLICY – Board Game Geek’s open policy means that anyone can post anything about board games on their site even if you are not one of their staff members! This includes discussions, articles and reviews among other things which is so great because who doesn’t want more information.

Meeples (or Miniatures)- Meeple figurines represent players in the game world.

Tableau Builder – Players will sometimes build Tableaus when they only have one card left during their turn and want more options than just playing it again. So you place your last card down as if you were building something out of Lego’s! Then you get another turn where you can make any move you want.

Tile Laying – Tile laying games are always played on a set of tiles that have been gathered together in some way and then laid out to make the playing area for the game. Players will place their pieces onto these spaces until they complete whatever goal is needed to win!

Victory Points – Victory points are awarded at the end of each turn so players know who is ahead or behind, making this a great metric for comparing player’s skill level through gameplay.

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