Gaming Terms

For day 25 of #Blogmas 2020. Happy Christmas!!!

Did you ever read an article or the back of a box to find out about a game and all you get are some ‘gaming buzzwords’ that mean not a lot to you. Here’s a handy glossary of some terms to save you the thirty seconds to look it up on google.

Worker Placement: Where players take turns placing their counters on a shared board to perform a certain action or to block other players from doing so. Stone Age and Agricola have little more to it that this and Five Tribes introduces an interesting spin to the idea.

Card Drafting: Players are dealt cards then choose one card each. Keeping it, the rest are passed on to the next player and receive the cards from the player on the other side. Repeat until all cards have been picked out. Sushi Go and 7 Wonders do this as the entirety of the game whereas Terraforming Mars and Seasons use it as only part of the main game.

Deck Builder: Where players start with a small deck of basic cards. Each turn they draw a hand and use the cards they hold to ‘buy’ better cards from the middle of the table. All cards ‘purchased’ and ‘spent’ go into a player’s discard pile. Once they’re out of cards, they shuffle their discard pile, and start again, with a bigger deck with potentially better cards. Dominion sees players trying to fill their decks with point cards, Star Reams adds combat cards in order to reduce an opponent’s health, Legendary has players playing cooperatively against the game and Quarriors uses dice instead.

Push Your Luck: Where dice are rolled or cards are drawn resulting in bigger and bigger rewards – unless there’s one draw or roll too many and the wrong thing comes up and all is lost! Zombie Dice is very travel friendly, Jungle Temple is a handy filler and Abyss uses it as only one of its many elements.

Bluffing: Honesty will only get you so far, which is why we invented lying. Perudo (Liar’s Dice) and Sheriff of Nottingham see players trying to catch each other out and getting stumped by the occasional bit of honesty.

Dungeon Crawler: Corridors, doors, battling monsters, upping stats and gaining loot, the battle mechanics may be anything from die rolls to holding more cards. These games are about gaining more stuff and killing more things than anyone else. They range from epics like Mice and Mystics to not even bothering with a board in Munchkins.

Tile Placement: It is most likely you have played the game of Dominoes where players take turns placing their tiles according to the game rules. Carcassonne, Gingerbread House and Patchwork do this in different ways.

Point Salad: Where everything done gives points but the trick is to do enough of everything or a lot of the right thing to gain the advantage. Pulsar 2849 and Dinosaur Island are good examples of this.

Betrayal: A cooperative game where one or more players are secretly playing against the rest.

Dice chucker: Games where you roll dice a lot.

Of course games may only utilise one gaming mechanic or many.