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A Gamer's Glossary

This glossary is designed for the board gamer new to the hobby who want to expand their vocabulary. It can also serve as a nice refresher for those already in the board game hobby. This list is by no means complete but here are a few of the more common terms that you are more likely to come across.


An Amerithrash game is often considered the opposite of a Euro game. There is a more of a focus on storytelling and direct confrontation between players or between players and the board. An example is Risk.

Beer and Pretzels:

Beer and Pretzels is a catch all term for any game that does not require large amounts of thought and plays relatively quickly. An example is Cribbage.

Collectible Card Game:

A Collectible Card Game or CCG is a card game in which players buy a starter deck and then buy more cards through booster packs of ten cards or less. Cards are often arranged in order of rarity ranging from common to super rare. An example is Magic: The Gathering


A cooperative game is a game in which the players work together against the board itself instead of competing with each other. An example is Pandemic.

Deck Builder:

A deck builder is a kind of card game where players start off with a limited number of cards and use resources to buy more cards to improve their deck. An example is Dominion.

Dudes on a Map:

Dudes on a map game refers to any board game that contains many miniatures fighting over space on a board. An example is Risk.


A euro game is a catch all term for any kind of game that is less focused on direct player interaction and more about competing for resources and board space through economic means These games originally came from Europe but now come from everywhere in the world. An example is Catan.

Gateway Game:

A gateway game is kind of game that provides as a good introduction into certain mechanics or hobby gaming in general. They tend to be rules light but still have a good amount of depth and strategy. the two classic examples are Ticket to Ride and Catan.


A game is described as heavy when concerning how much strategy and deep thinking are required to play. Example: Twilight Imperium 3 is considered extremely heavy because it takes eight hours or more to play.

Hidden Movement:

Hidden Movement is a kind of game where some players keep their moves on the board hidden and instead track them using other methods such as pen and paper or cards. An example is Scotland Yard.

Hobby Game:

A hobby game is any board game or card game that is not as widely produced as a mass market game. They are more expensive in component quality and price. They range in complexity from simple to extremely complex. They are mostly sold online and in hobby and board game stores. An example is Ticket to Ride.


A game is described as light when concerning little or very little strategy and deep thinking to play. It is the opposite of a heavy game. Example: Farkle is considered a light game because rolling dice does not require much strategy or deep thinking.

Mass Market game:

A mass market game is any board game or card game that is widely produced and sold everywhere. They are often cheap in component quality and in price. An example is Uno.


a mechanic or mechanism is an aspect or feature of a board game. Example: I enjoy the trading mechanic in Monopoly.

Miniatures game:

A miniatures game is less focused on a board and more focused on tactics and strategy to defeat the other player. An example is Star Wars X-Wing.

Party Game:

A party game is any game that is designed to be played in a party setting. They are often simple games that can handle a very high player count. An example is Apples to Apples

Role Playing Game:

a Role Playing Game or an RPG is a kind of game in which there are players and a game master. the game master creates an adventure and plays as the adversary for the players. The players create characters and work together on the adventure. The adventure may include fighting enemies, solving puzzles, and other activities. Many of these actions are taken using dice rolls. An example is Dungeons and Dragons.

Set Collection:

Set collection is a kind of game where the object is collect sets of something, usually cards. An example is Gin Rummy or Phase Ten.

Social Deduction:

Social deduction is a kind of party game in which a group of players work together to figure out who among them is a hidden traitor. An example is Werewolf or The Resistance.

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