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How are board games generally classified?

Hello GiaBOXers!

Today we would like to show you the different categories of board games based on their general characteristics.

They are divided in three different groups: Eurogames, Ameritrash and Hybrids.


Eurogames or in short Euro, are also known as “German” games, European Games or designer games. They usually have the following characteristics:

  • These board games rely on its mechanics to get you in the game. They are very well designed and well balanced, so it is never too obvious who is winning the game.
  • They usually follow a no-confrontation policy, and players win based on their “victory points”. Inside Euros you can also find co-operation board games, where everyone tries to “defeat” the board, all rowing to reach the same goal.
  • The theme, although important on the visual aspect, is not their main appeal.
  • Luck is generally not involved, and when it is, it tends to be quite balance so it affects everyone.
  • The playing time doesn´t usually exceed 2-3 hours when players know the mechanics of the board game.
  • Their components are usually more abstract like meeples or cubes instead of detailed plastic miniatures.

Good examples of eurogames are Puerto Rico, Catan or Ticket to Ride.

Puerto Rico Board Game

Puerto Rico Board Game


Ameritrash was used as a derogatory term for American style board games, in contrast to the Eurogames style, but it has evolved and now it is a widely used term. You can also find them as “thematic board games”. They usually have the following characteristics:

  • The theme is the main appeal to attract players. There are a whole variety of very well-developed themes you can find in these games which are usually based directly on comics, novels, movies…
  • Luck is usually very representative of these games. Dices or cards (as example) are often used to add uncertainty to the game.
  • Players can be eliminated and sometimes players who lead the game can be rewarded. Also, there will often be players interaction through combats.
  • These games tend to be more complex to play. They usually have more difficult rules, with a lot of details to be considered and also some exceptions depending on different circumstances.
  • Their components are usually detailed plastic miniatures.

Good examples of this category are Twilight Imperium, Battlestar Galactica or Spartacus: A Game Of Blood And Treachery.

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery


These are board games that sit in the middle, with characteristics from both categories. They  usually combine confrontations between players, some luck involved and great scenarios with well-developed themes.

Some examples of this category are Blood Rage, Cyclades or Eclipse.

Eclipse Board Game

Eclipse Board Game

Although our favourites ones are Eurogames (we prefer board games where luck is not involved) we have also found amazing thematic and hybrids board games.

Our advice is not to judge a board game by their characteristics, or you could be missing your next favourite one ;).

This is the broadest board games classification, but you can also categorise them based on their mechanics.

We are currently working on an expanded post to explore all different mechanics. We will get back to you soon!

The GiaBOX Team.