Heavy Strategy Games Worth Investing In!

Everdell (1-4) $99

This board game boasts some amazing art on its cover and cards. In Everdell you play as animals preparing for a year of harvest. A meaty worker placement game, you must balance collecting wood, resin, pebbles, and berries as the four commodities in order to fill your town with buildings and inhabitants. Each animal has an associated building and combos may be formed. But plan each seasons carefully as it’s a race to achieve global objectives and snatch available cards from the central area called ‘The Meadow’. This game starts quick and easy and sprawls out to be a very satisfying and strategic board game. Gorgeous components make this an easy 10 out of 10.


Scythe (1-5) $105

Military games don’t get much better than Scythe. This Stonemaier game has players vying for control of a war-torn eastern Europe. The 1st world war never ended and instead went on and on into a steam punk era of Mechs and Airships. You must use your faction’s unique bonus to be the first to collect 6 stars achieved through nearly a dozen different methods. But these stars just determine game end, in order to win you must complete secret objectives, earn coins, and control the most territories. Thematic encounter cards will give your heroes unique choices on what kind of a ruler you’ll be remembered as. Tyrant or benevolent. Just remember that by the end of the game, how popular you are with the masses will act as a multiplier for your score. No dice, only strategy.


Wingspan (1-5) $84

If you’ve been shopping around or playing games in the last 3 years you’ve probably heard of this one. It’s in short supply all the time, but the Stonemaier title has earned its place among the top 25 games of all time. Wingspan is gorgeous, educational, a puzzling card engine creator, and above all really addictive and fun. Laying birds in 3 different habitats is easily accomplished by picking up resources in the forms of worms, wheat, cherries, fish, and rodents. Each bird eats what they’d actually eat in the wild and have interesting facts. An ornithologist’s dream, this game even charts their wingspan, types of nests, and includes random tidbits of fluff info at the bottom of each card. To get really good at wingspan you need to balance getting different types of birds including high point cards, cheap egg layers, at least one resource generator, and above all extra bonus card birds.


Terraforming Mars (1-5) $99

While Terraforming Mars doesn’t have the pretty art of some of these earlier games it more than makes up for it with its high replay-ability, satisfying engine construction, and meaty feel. This game is almost always ranked in the top 5 in the world on Board Game Geek! You’re a CEO of a company trying to make Mars habitable. You cooperate in creating the planet, but compete for resources. You’ll acquire unique project cards from a deck of over 200 different choices so each game will be different from the last you played. Juggling a research, action, and production phase, Terraforming is likely to be one of those titles you just keep revisiting for another crack at getting those megacredits.


Paladins of the West Kingdom (1-4) $83

If you’ve played other Renegade titles like Raiders of the North Sea or Architects you’ll recognize the theme and art style right away. But paladins is it’s own heavier style of game. Picking from three paladins each turn you’ll give yourself additional military, economic, or religious power based on which of the three you choose to play. Using these skills and developing your player mat your workers will earn you points in these categories while you venture outside on the game board to secure the wilderness from rampaging mercenaries. Just seven rounds and this one is over. Sounds short? It definitely isn’t. Be ready for a real analysis paralysis type of match every time you play.

Strategy Games for 3+ Players


A few of our staff-approved best sellers!
Splendor (2-4)

One of the best selling strategy games out on the market, Splendor is a wonderful balance between easy to learn while still being surprisingly tactical. Players will collect gem tokens in order to purchase cards. These cards will then act as permanent gems and victory points for the rest of the game. The object is simple, be the first to acquire 15 points, but beware, your opponents can see which gems you’re collecting and you can only ever have a total of 10 gems in hand. You’re going to need to plan ahead, reserve some cards, and try to see if you can attract some nobles to your cause.


Villainous (2-6)

This game is brilliant even if you aren’t a fan of disney movies, but if you grew up on them and always wanted a really fun board game then Villainous is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Each player takes on the role of a unique disney villain. Jafar from Alladin, King John from Robin Hood, The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Ursula from the Little Mermaid, Hook from Peter Pan, or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. Each plays completely different from the other, but each has their own win scenario. You’ll play minions from the movies to aid your cause and you can hinder your opponents by causing them to draw from their fate deck where all of the movie’s heroes are waiting to come thwart their plans. This is a medium to difficult weight game but is very managable in smaller groups. For 5+ players some experience with Euro-games is recommended!


El Dorado (2-4)

If you’ve heard of the card game Dominion then you’re going to love El Dorado. This game features a card engine in much the same way where you draw a hand of 5 cards, play them out to add cards to your hand, and then discard. Shuffling when you run out of cards. The difference and what games like El Dorado have improved on since Dominion is that now your card engine DOES something. You use your cards to race through the jungles, mountains and waterways to be the first explorer to discover the lost city of Gold. Buy machetes, ditch prop planes, and hire navigators to give you that edge you need to be the speediest explorer of the bunch.


7 Wonders (3-7)

Larger Euro-games can be hard to find as most cap out at 4 or 5 players. 7 Wonders, as the name suggests, can accommodate up to 7. Each player will get one of the 7 wonders of the world and gather resources to advance their civilization. There are many ways to score points and ultimately win the game, such as advancing your science, building up more military might than the players you’re adjacent to at the table, and constructing blue cards as city improvements. And don’t forget more points for completing your wonder by the end of the 3rd age. Each age is a drafting phase where players will get a chance to pick cards and compete for the title of most advanced nation.


Azul (2-4)

This game is quick, fun, and gorgeous. Amazingly simple in its design while still offering a lot to players who like a spatial brainteaser. Players will pick coloured tiles to place within their palace. In order to score points players are trying to complete vertical lines, horizontal lines, or collect all 5 tiles in a colour. The trick isn’t just in acquiring them though, thoughtful placement and timing will result in more points as players will score points for each tile making up a line orthogonally as each tile is placed. Careful, if you wind up with tiles you can’t place on your grid you’ll get slapped with hefty negatives so it’s worth checking which your opponents are collecting so you can snag them first.

Great Games for 2 Players

Minotaur Games Gifts Crafts Kingston Ontario 2player strategy patchwork
Patchwork

Players compete to collect fabric tiles to fill up their board. Every tile has both a cost in buttons AND in time so plan carefully otherwise your opponent might get back-to-back turns. At the end of the game any squares that remain unfilled in your ‘quilt’ grid are counted as -2 minus points. Once you lay a tile its position is permanent, Tetris style, so plan ahead before you run out of pieces that fit! Careful button management and generation is also key as these too are worth points!


Codenames Duet

In this 2 player twist on the popular party game, Codenames, you and your team mate will be helping one another to guess which words are secret codes while avoiding any enemy spies in the form of wrong words. Just like the original game players will give one word as their clue, and then a number which refers to how many words the clue is about. But be quick, you may not be racing against another team anymore, but there are a finite number of turns as the new time tokens tick down. Quick thinking and efficient clues are key to success.


Lost Cities

This classic game for two is a wonderful mix of predicting, bluffing, and plain old luck. In lost cities players compete to excavate 5 ‘dig sites’ portrayed by 5 sets of coloured cards numbered 1-10. To score points players must commit cards in ascending order (so starting with 1’s and working up) and try to get a total of 20 or higher in the colour or suit. Careful though, if you don’t pass that thresh hold then you’ll get slapped with negatives. Get only 12 total for instance in the red cards? Well that’d be -8 points. Which colours is your opponent in? Should you just play the next card you have, or wait for the perfect one? You can only stall for so long and maybe that discard was just a bluff. 


Fox in the Forest

An elegant twist to typical trump taking games, this card game has major fairy tale vibes. Fox in the Forest is unique in that it only has 3 suits and that every uneven card had a special ability. Change trump, make yourself lead the next trick even if you lose this round, force your opponent to play their best card in a suit. Moons, bells, and keys are the three unique suits and boy is this game gorgeous. Compete to win the most tricks, but don’t get greedy, just like all the classic fairy tale villians if you reach too far you’ll ultimately score nothing at all. A healthy balance is best!


7 Wonders Duel

Everyone who has played 7 wonders will appreciate just how great this 2player version is! All the best parts of the original, collecting resources, racing to build up a military, and competing over scientific advancements. Now streamlined for just 2 players. You’ll pick cards from a pyramid style formation where cards are revealed turn by turn. Pick up what you need in the moment to upgrade your four unique wonders, but be ever mindful of what you might turn up for your opponent!


Jaipur

Camels camels camels. These critters are the name of the game in Jaipur. Over the course of three rounds you and your opponent will duke it out, collecting the most of certain valuable commodities. Silver, gold, gems, silks, leather, and spices. Turning in sets first is key, but only with a health hand of camels can you snag more than a single good. Trade now, or trade later? That’s the question because when you turn in all your camels you know your opponent is going to scoop them up.