The Board Gamer’s Glossary

The world of board gaming comes with its own crazy lingo. The terminology can be confusing to newcomers and veterans alike—if not entirely ambiguous at times. This will serve as a living, breathing glossary where I will attempt to define board game related lingo and buzzwords.

This living glossary is a collaboration between Paul Shapiro and BoredGameTable. We will continue to add definitions.

There are currently 22 Board Game Terms in this directory
18xx
[Game Style]
18xx games is a genre of complex board games concerning 19th century railroad companies (18xx usually represent a year) involving route building, and stock buying/selling and market manipulation. The goal of the games is to earn as much money as possible, despite railroad companies having their own, separate wealth. Most 18xx game are either based on 1830 or 1846. In terms of rules, 18xx games are often distinguished by either being full or partial capitalization.
Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Abstract Game
[Game Style] Abstract games are strategy games that are usually without theme. Classic examples of abstract games include Chess, Backgammon, and Go. Modern examples include games like Santorini and Azul.
Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

BGG
BGG is shorthand for BoardGameGeek. See "BoardGameGeek".
Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

BoardGameGeek
[Game Website]

BoardGameGeek is a very prominent board game website that acts as both a community forum and board game database.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Brain Burner(s)
[Game Term]

A term to describe a game which requires deep, analytical thinking with complex decision trees. The decision are difficult and thus said to "burn your brain".

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

CDG Games (Card-Driven Games)
CDGs or Card-Driven Games refers specifically to a genre of wargames in which actions are taken by playing cards. Many of the cards you may play in a CDG represent historical events, permitting critical parts of history to unfold in a non-linear fashion and according to player decisions. Twilight Struggle and many games produce by GMT Games are examples of Card-Driven Wargames.
Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Component(s)
[Game Term]

Components make up the materials of the game, excluding the box. For instance, this may include pieces such as game boards, cards, dice, cubes, disks, and meeple.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Crunchy
[Game Term]

A game that requires significant thought or mental calculation of its moves, actions, or in determining how to apply its rules. Crunchy is likely derived from the term "number crunching".

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Cult of the New
[Game Phrase]

A term used to denote the tendency of certain hobby board gamers that fixate on new and/or unreleased games.

These gamers will tend to ignore classic and slightly older games in favor of these newer games, leaving the older ones unplayed.

The term is often used in a derogatory manner.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

D6-D20
[Game Term] This refers to various types of dice used in a game. "D" is a reference to a single die. The number after the "D" is a reference to the number of sides that the die has. For instance, a D6 is your standard 6-sided die. Sometimes, a number will precede the "D". This is a reference to a quantity of dice. For example, if you must roll 2D6 in a game, then you are rolling two 6-sided dice.
Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Eurogame(s)
[Game Style]

A style of strategy card and board games that are generally characterized by minimal luck, a lack of player elimination, and indirect conflict.

Eurogames are given their name, having originated in Germany before spreading to the rest of Europe and the world. They are stylistically and mechanically different than tradition American board games.

Eurogame designers are often regarded with prestige and as a result, their name is given prominence on the board game’s box. Although eurogames have distinct themes, they usually serve the purpose of making the rules easier to grasp and recall.

Eurogames are sometimes alternatively refereed to as "Designer Board Games" or "German-Style Board Games".

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Fiddly
[Game Term]

1. Used to denote a board game with small pieces that have to be manipulated and moved around, making it cumbersome to play.

2. Used to denote a board game where there are many little rules that are difficult to keep track of, aren't necessarily intuitive, and/or contains many edge cases.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

FLGS
[Game Term]

An acronym for "Friendly Local Game Shop/Store".

This represents a small business "brick and mortar" store focused on selling board games.

The term "Friendly" is included to denote a distinguishing feature. FLGS are known to provide extra assistance, customer service, and often offer board game demos and/or libraries.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Get it to the Table
[Game Phrase]

A phrase that board gamers will in reference to having the opportunity to play a game from their collection.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

GG
[Game Term]

Short for "Good Game". A sign of sportsmanship after playing a board game.

Submitted by: Brennon

Kallax
[Game Culture]

A style of shelf made by Swedish furniture company IKEA that is popularly used to store board games and board game collections.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Living Card Game (LCG)
Living Card Game is a branded term coined by Fantasy Flight Games. The model differs from Collectible Card Games (CCGs) in that the games are frequently expanded upon with new card content, but with each release containing known content and cards that extend and enhance gameplay. Examples include Arkham Horror: The Card Game, Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Game of Thrones: The Card Game, etc.
Submitted by: Karla and Paul Shapiro

OFLGS
[Game Term]

An acronym for "Online Friendly Local Game Shop/Store".

OFLGs are online board game stores. Much like the brick-and-mortar FLGS, they are typically small, independently businesses. Although they are primarily eCommerce businesses, it is not uncommon for an OFLGS to have brick-and-mortar counterpart. Some examples of OFLGS include CoolStuffInc, Miniature Market, and Game Nerdz.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Orthogonal
[Game Term]

A geometry term that is often used to describe a how pieces move in a board game. Esentially orthogonal movement, excludes diagonal movement, and permits a piece to move either vertically or horizontally. It is often used in the context of grid movement.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Shelf of Shame
[Game Term]

A term used to reference a collection of games that someone has amassed but hasn't yet had the opportunity to play. They are often placed on the same shelving unit.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Solo Game(s)
[Game Term]

Short for "Solitaire" Game. A solo game is a game or variant of a game that is intended to be played by oneself without other players.

Solo gameplay may take several forms with different objectives. For instance, it is very common to try and beat the score of an AI player or bot, sometimes referred to as an Automa. Another variant that is very common is where the solo player attempted to beat his or her own previous high score.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro

Victory Point(s)
[Game Term]

A term used to denote a collection of scoring units that are obtained and accumulated throughout a board game session by taking various actions. Victory points are typically added up at the end of the game and the player with the greatest quantity is declared the winner.

Although, victory points may be thought of as type of resource in some games, there is usually some distinction made between them and other resources due to their greater end game value.

Victory Points are sometimes referred to in their shorthand, VPs.

Submitted by: Paul Shapiro


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