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Board Games Mechanics (5/6)

Hello GiaBOXers!

After a few months without posting new mechanics we bring you today another eight types!  As always, we hope this post broadens your knowledge and perspective when you play board games, and hopefully it will let you choose your favourite one!

Remember, most games use several of these mechanics, and only a few are considered to fall into a single one.
Let’s start!

33. Hand Managment:

This is one of the most popular mechanics used in board games. Hand managment games use cards. The aim of the players is to manage the cards they have in their hands in an optimal sequence to win the game.
Players will need to make strategic decisions based on the board position, cards played by their opponents and cards held. Knowing when they need to discard a card or keep another one for the future, will make the difference between winning or losing the game .

An example of this category is Twilight Struggle:

Twilight Struggle Board Game

Twilight Struggle Board Game

34. Grid Movement.

In games where this mechanic is used, pawns, meeples, etc. move on the grid in many directions. Grids can be squares or hexagonals and there can be a pawn or lots of them.

Forbidden Island is a popular example of this category:

Forbidden Island Board Game

Forbidden Island Board Game

35. Dice Rolling:

In this mechanic, dice are used to make different things. They can be used to carry out an action or to provide a random pick. They can also be used as counters.
Another characteristic of this mechanic is dice can have pictures instead of numbers, like in our example here, King of Tokyo:

King of Tokyo Board Game

King of Tokyo Board Game

36. Deck/Pool Building:

In this type of games, players start with the same set of cards, meeples…Then, they will need to improve their pool/deck by managing their hand, following an strategy to get a better collection than their opponents. To achieve their objective, players will need to add or remove some cards, tokens, etc, during the game.

Some characteristics of this mechanics are:

    • Cards, tokens, meeples provide actions and/or resources.
    • A subset of those cards/tokens are randomly drawn each turn.

Valley of the Kings – Last Rites is one of our favourite games in this category:


37. Crayon Rail System :

This is one of the less used mechanics in board games and it is a subcategory of the Route/Network Building mechanic.

In this mechanic, routes are not permanents but often eraseable to draw better networks. Players can use crayons to mark on the board.

Empire builder is the most known board game in this category:

Empire Builder board game

Empire Builder board game

38. Commodity Speculation :

In these board games, players buy different products in hope that those products are the most valuable during the game. The value of the commodities will vary during the game and as a result, the player who has the most valuable products in each moment, will win the game. For that, they will be able to buy and sell commodities during the game, trying to make the best possible investment.

Players will have the control to manipulate the market, to “hurt” their opponents or for their own benefit.

An example of this mechanic is the board game Modern Art:

Modern Art Board Game

Modern Art Board Game

39. Cooperative Play:

In these games players play against the board. They will need to make a joint strategy by discussing the options they have in each moment to beat the board. Players win or lose the game together.

Sometimes you will find it is difficult to play this type of games with some people. They usually take the role of the leader and won´t allow you to make your own decisions (…a word to the wise). Take it easy! 🙂

One of the most popular games in this category is Pandemic:



40. Chit-Pull System:

This is a mechanic, not often used, you can find in some wargames. In these board games, the current player takes randomly a chit or counter identifying a group of units which may now be moved. We have never come across with any game with this mechanic…

A Victory Lost: Crisis in Ukraine 1942-1943 is a good example of this category:

A Victory Lost Board Game

A Victory Lost Board Game

We will bring you a few more mechanics in our next update! Keep tuned!


The GiaBOX Team.