Tabletop games Wargaming

Tabletop game

Chess has been a popular board game for centuries

Tabletop game is a general term used to refer to board games, card games, dice games, miniatures wargames, tile-based games and other games that are normally played on a table or other flat surface.

The term is used to distinguish these types of games from sports and video games. The term is also used to distinguish role-playing games from role-playing video games and LARPs, although role-playing games may not necessarily require a wide playing surface. Another related term is a hobby game.

Classification according to equipment used

Tabletop games can be classified according to the general form, or equipment utilized:

Game category Game examples
Board games Backgammon, Chess, German-style board games, Go, Reversi
Card games Card Solitaire, Collectible card games, Hanafuda, Tarot card games
Dice games Bunco, Craps, Farkle, Generala, Poker dice, Sic bo, Yahtzee, Zombie Dice
Paper and pencil games Battleships, Connect 5, Dots and Boxes, Hangman, Sprouts, Sudoku
Role-playing games Call of Cthulhu, Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
Strategy games Board wargames, Government simulation games, Miniature wargames
Tile-based games 15 puzzle, Anagrams, Dominoes, Mahjong, Mahjong solitaire, Tangrams

Games like chess and draughts are examples of games belonging to the board game category. Other games, however, use various attributes and cannot be classified unambiguously (e.g. Monopoly utilises a board as well as dice and cards).

For several of these categories there are sub-categories and even sub-sub-categories or genres. For instance, German-style board games, board wargames, and Roll-and-move games are all types of board games that differ markedly in style and general interest.

Classification according to elements of chance

As an alternative to classifying games by equipment, they can also be classified according to the elements of chance involved. In game theory, two fundamentally different elements of chance can play a role:

Examples of the chance classification for some well-known tabletop games are given in the table below.

Full/perfect information Partial/imperfect information
Deterministic
Stochastic

Organizations

List of organizations that sponsor events featuring tabletop games:

Numerous independent, local groups run by gamers exist to play tabletop games. Additionally, many colleges have student run organizations pertaining solely to table top gaming. The Collegiate Association of Table Top Gamers is one such organization that has a few chapters at different schools.

In culture

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Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy