Holiday Gift Guide: Strategy Games
Strategic games to challenge friends and family
Sometimes you want a real challenge for game night. Something that will allow you to make a plan and execute the perfect strategy to win! Work together strategically as a team in Pandemic Legacy or bluff and compete against your friends in Citadels. You'll find lots of exciting challenges with the games below!
Go undercover with secret aliases in Pandemic Legacy: Season 0, travel around the world looking for the cure in Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, or embark on an epic adventure to bring humanity back from the brink of extinction in Pandemic Legacy: Season 2. Each Pandemic Legacy game has an exciting story arc that takes place over a year, giving you at least 12 sessions of gaming as you play each month of that year. With new objectives, new challenges, new rules, and plenty of hidden surprises, these narrative games will challenge you and give you and your team a unique experience.
If this is your first time jumping into a Pandemic Legacy game, they do all go together but are separate experiences. We don't recommend starting with Season 2 but you can start with Season 1 or Season 0. Thematically Season 0 is set before Season 1 happens, but Season 1 was published first and is the most similar to base game Pandemic if that's an easier jumping in point for you.
If you want to try a free demo of Pandemic Legacy: Season 0, head on over to Tabletopia!
Pandemic Legacy: Season 0, $79.99 (USD)
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, $79.99 (USD)
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, $79.99 (USD)
To be selected for the coveted post of Master Builder, you must impress the monarchy by constructing a majestic medieval metropolis. In Citadels, players use the local citizens to acquire gold and build districts to complete their city. Players draft characters each round, looking for those who provide the desired special abilities to further develop their cities—or hinder their opponents' efforts.
A great social party game, Citadels will challenge up to 8 players to plot, scheme, and deceive your way to the top.
Citadels, $29.99 (USD)
Inspired by the medieval fortress in southern France of the same name, Carcassonne is a tile-laying game in which players fill in the countryside around the fortified city. Players choose from tiles that depict cities, roads, monasteries, and fields; each new tile placed creates an ever-expanding board on which players can then add their followers. Players score points by having followers on features as they're completed.
With lots of expansions and other standalone titles in the Carcassonne family, you'll find hours of gameplay.
Carcassonne, $39.99 (USD)
Aftermath: An Adventure Book Game
Created by Jerry Hawthorne, the designer of Stuffed Fables and Mice and Mystics, Aftermath is the latest addition to the Adventure Book Game line. In a world where all humans have mysteriously vanished, take on the role of a heroic rodent working to protect and provide for their colony. Complete a wide variety of exciting actions while completing missions using dynamic card play. Move quickly for the ruins of humankind are full of predators and calamity may arise at any moment!
Aftermath, $84.95 (USD)
Battlelands, $14.95 (USD)
History of the World
History of the World is a game of epic conquest set amid the rise and fall of mighty empires. Each game spans the dawn of civilization to the twentieth century as you take command of historical civilizations and spread your influence across the globe. The more territories you claim, the more points you’ll score, but you’ll have to drive your rivals out if you want to build the largest empire.
History of the World, $69.99 (USD)
Use the Condottieri, ambitious mercenary leaders, to strategically fight for control of desirable regions in Italy in this classic card game. Only the strongest can win the battle. From the lowly foot soldier with a strength of 1 to the booming canon with a strength of 10, the mercenary cards form the backbone of your army. Strategically choose which mercenaries to send out to the field to match your opponents’ strength. Think ahead and play the special effect cards at the right point in the battle to turn the tide in your favor.
Condottiere, $29.99 (USD)
The unexplored cosmos awaits you in Lift Off. Build your space agency and compete to claim the most glorious milestones of space travel. New research has refined techniques to send astronauts into space. Compete against other agencies to hire the best specialists in the field. Send up the first satellites, mine for asteroids, build a trading post, or land on a new planet. Will you win the race to the stars?
Lift Off, $59.99 (USD)
It's your chance to make history! Over three epochs, guide the growth of your civilization as new ideas emerge; take great strides forward in the many fields of human achievement to build an empire more glorious than any other! Skilled artisans, philosophers, warriors, and architects from different cultures will bring their genius to aid you in your endeavors, but it rests with you to choose the best allies to build your strength and prestige.
Hadara, $49.99 (USD)
Hadara: Nobles and Inventions Mini Expansion, $8.99 (USD)
Hadara: Marketplaces and Monuments Mini Expansion, $9.99 (USD)
The Voyages of Marco Polo
Embark on a voyage of discovery and trade as you retrace the steps of one of the world’s most famous travelers. At the end of the 13th Century, the Venetian merchants Niccolo and Matteo Polo set off on their second voyage to the East. Joining them is Niccolo’s young son, Marco. The journey will take the Polos across land and sea, through deserts and over mountains. In The Voyages of Marco Polo, players accompany the Polos on this journey, helping them earn money by fulfilling contracts. With shifting goals, special character abilities, and a unique dice mechanic, you'll need to rise to the challenge to claim your spot in history.
The Voyages of Marco Polo, $59.99 (USD)