Term Definition Example
4X eXplore, eXploit, eXpand, eXterminate Twilight Imperium
Abstract strategy game A game with little to no theme and usually without randomness Chess
Alpha player A player, usually in a cooperative game, who attempts to direct game play
Ameritrash American style boardgame, usually with heavy theme, random elements, and player conflict Axis & Allies
AP Analysis paralysis. Downtime in a game due to overanalysis.
Area control game A game where players win by having the most pieces in a portion of the board El Grande
Auction game A game where bidding is the main activity Modern Art
Balance Equalization of resources and chance of winning between players
Broken game A game with design elements or rules that contribute to poor playing experience
Card drafting A game mechanic where players choose from available cards to form a deck or hand to use in the game 7 Wonders
CCG Collectible card game Pokemon
Con Convention Origins Game Fair
Cooperative game A game where players cooperate together to beat the game system Pandemic
CRT Combat Result Table typically used in war games
D6 A dice with six sides
Deck builder A game where players play from their own deck and also select new cards for their deck over the course of the game A Few Acres of Snow
Dexterity game A game that requires physical skill such as flicking objects with a finger Crokinole
Dice game A game where rolling dice is the main activity Can’t Stop
DM Dungeon Master
Downtime Waiting between turns
Dudes on a map A game where players place pieces on a map board
Dungeon crawler A game where players move trough a cave or maze collecting treasure and battling monsters Mice and Mystics
Economic game A game that features an economic system, often using play money Monopoly
Eurogame Games from Europe/Germany that usually feature simpler rules, short play times, and less competition Carcassonne
Expansion Additional items for a game often sold separately from the main game
Family game A game suitable for family play, usually with few rules and high ineraction between players
Fiddly A game with many rules and items to keep in mind that detracts from enjoyable game play
Filler A simpler, short game used before or between longer, more complex games
FLGS Friendly local game store
Gamer Someone who plays a lot of games
Gateway game A simpler game that may introduce non-gamers into the broader boardgaming hobby Settlers of Catan
GM Game Master
Heavy game A game with complex rules and/or long play time
LARP Live Action Role-Playing game
LCG Living Card Game (a Fantasy Flight trademark). A collectable card game.
Legacy game A game where the results of previous play carry on into future games. It may also involve permanently altering some aspect of the game rules or components. Pandemic Legacy
Mass market game A game sold through large retailers like Walmart Scrabble
Mechanic A part of a game’s rules that dictate some aspect of game play Roll and move
Meeple “Miniature people”. A game pawn that often represents a person.
Miniatures game A wargame that uses small plastic figures, often called “models”
Party game A game desinged for large groups of people and with high player interaction Charades
PnP Print and Play. A game or expansion that is available to download, print out, and play.
Press your luck game A game where players can repeat actions until a negative outcome halts their advance Incan Gold
Race game A game whose main mechanism is for players to attempt to be first in some goal Candy Land
Roll and move A game whose main mechanism is for players to roll one or more dice and move pawns along a track according to the value of the roll Sorry!
RPG Role playing game Dungeons & Dragons
Scenario Startup conditions for a game that dictate player positions, maps, rules, etc.
Setup The initial conditions of a game before play starts
Simulation A game that attempts to recreate some aspect of history
Strategy Long-term planning by a player in a game, usually toward advancing a position over a number of turns
Tactics Short-term planning by a player in a game, based on current game state
TEC Terrain Effect Chart typically used in war games
Thematic game Games featuring a large degree of thematic element (story), conflict, and luck. Dune
Theme The story or topic that integrates with, and supports a game’s mechanics
Tile laying game A game where players build up the game map by playing tiles Carcassonne
Trick taking game A game where players place down cards and one takes all of them (the trick) Bridge
VP Victory point
WIP Work in Progress
Worker placement A game mechanic where players place “workers” (components) on the game board which then generate or collect resources Agricola

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