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Abstract Games

An abstract strategy game is a strategy game, aiming to minimise luck and without a theme.

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  2. Android: Mainframe

    Android: Mainframe

    Android: Mainframe differs from its predecessor Bauhaus in a number of ways, such as each player having a hand of cards and the game including six runners who each have five distinctive programs.

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  3. Flock

    Flock

    When the "Dominance" card is activated, the dominant player adjusts their pecking order on the initiative track, then everyone else flies their birds from that card to the other action cards. When "Competition" is activated, which is possible only when enough birds have landed on it, each player spends a nest and worm for each of their birds (removing them if this isn't possible), then flies their birds to other action cards. Players then score points for having the most or secondmost birds on a card and for the birds left in their pool.

    After three rounds, the player with the most points wins!

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  4. Polarity

    Polarity

    Once rare and mysterious, Polarity is a 2- or 4-player game using plastic coated pieces that look like Reversi/Othello discs, with black and white faces. Each piece contains a magnet, with the black side being North and the white side being South. Each player gets a stack - one plays black, one plays white. A neutral red piece goes in the center of the game cloth and players start by place five each of their stack around the cloth. These flat pieces are the foundations.

    On your turn, you take one piece from your stack into your hand, then bring it to bear against one of your foundations. You keep your color face up, so the opposing polarity bears against your foundation piece. This way, you can very carefully balance your new piece in the air against the foundation stone! This is just fantastic to see. The board fills up with lots of discs teetering at 45 degrees, ready to fly about if the balances are upset.

    Get it right and your stack is one piece smaller. Make a mistake and your turn ends. Either a piece falls flat somewhere (becoming a new foundation) or pieces jump together (making towers) or into your hand. Your opponent takes the tower you accidentally made and places it their side up where they like. Towers get you points at the game end. If a piece jumps to the stone in your hand, they both go back on your stack. The game ends when one player finishes their stack and points are calculated based upon towers and discs remaining. Causing the red piece to jump to another loses you the game outright.

    If you want a strange fun game to amaze your friends and family, Polarity is hard to beat!

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  5. Stranded (Talicor)

    Stranded (Talicor)

    Stranded is a fast-paced light strategy game for 2-4 players where being last will make you first. Players remove randomly placed game pieces from the platform in hopes of trapping their opponents. But beware - each piece that is removed changes the game surface, creating new moves for some and different strategies for others. Suspense will mount with every move or remove you make - just remember not to fall into your own trap.

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  6. 5th Gear

    5th Gear

    Roll your dice and place your gears!

    The rules for Fifth Gear are simple: interlock five of your color gears with the white gear and keep others from doing the same. Players roll 2 twelve-sided dice on their turn to determine their gear placement and get the option to: place 2 gears, one on each number rolled OR place 1 gear on the sum of the roll. But here comes the monkey wrench - players can bump opponents off peg(s) that match their roll and replace it with their own. The family fun factor: No two games are ever the same! The unique game board allows players to randomly place number tokens at the start of each game which results in fun new challenges and endless playability. Family game night will never get old!

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  7. Tile Chess

    Tile Chess

    In Tile Chess, the board isn't used and the pieces are represented by tiles. The pieces move in the traditional fashion, including capturing, and the game (and the pieces for that matter) is held together by the restriction that each piece must always be connected to another piece, with that piece being connected to another, etc. Thanks to this requirement, the board and the grid that the pieces move on is formed by the pieces themselves (or lack thereof). You cannot make moves that would orphan pieces, which adds an interesting wrinkle to the game and to make matters worse (in a good way), you might have to defend yourself against more than just one opponent...

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  8. The Bridges of Shangri-La

    The Bridges of Shangri-La

    In Shangri-La, the mysterious and isolated utopia nestled high in the mountains, a strange struggle for dominance has begun. Once peaceful and neighborly, the Masters of the competing mountain-folk train their students and send them out across bridges to control neighboring villages. To take control of a village, the students must come together in uncomfortable alliances, regardless of their tribal origin. Eventually students become Masters themselves, train new students and expand to other villages.

    There is one thing each student must keep in mind as they travel from village to village -- the mystical powers of Shangri-La mysteriously cause the bridges to collapse, separating villages forever. One crucial question will decide the winner: who will control the most Masters of Shangri-La?

    Players take on the roles of leaders of a specific tribe. There is a battle raging over the empty villages of the land and players must quickly fill those villages with their tribal leaders. As players migrate tribal leaders from one village to the next, they must not become too weak or they risk losing leaders to opposing tribes. The ultimate object of the game is to have the most leaders on the board at the end of the game.
    It is an abstract game with many options and tense until the end.

    2004 Mensa Select

    Thematically, players are adding masters and students, and trying to have the students migrate to nearby villages to become masters. Functionally, this is essentially a military game. Players either spend their turn reinforcing a village (adding more tokens there) or invading a neighboring village (expanding influence if you have more total tokens than the victim). The unique twist is that, after each invasion, the connecting bridge is removed. So over the course of the game, attack options become more and more limited, until the game naturally comes to a conclusion.

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  9. Stranded

    Stranded

    A 2-player abstract game in which players move their pawn around a large triangulated pathway. Each space in the path has a linking piece and one link is taken away after you move. You can jump any number of places, but only over links. You cannot end your move in a direct linked line to your opponent (which also makes leapfrogging impossible). As the links are removed, your options reduce and the player who cannot move first loses.

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  10. Blindside

    Blindside

    Blindside is a pure strategy game for two players, with each trying to capture the opponent's movement arrows.

    Each player starts the game with seven hexagonal pieces, with 2-5 movement arrows on each piece (23 total movement arrows). On a turn, a player moves one piece in a direction matching one of the movement arrows on that piece, with the maximum distance moved being equal to the number of arrows on that piece.

    The blue pivot spaces on the game board allow for tricky plays. If a player moves a piece onto one of these spaces, he can rotate that piece, allowing it to move in any direction for the remainder of its movement. For example, if you're one space away from a pivot with a piece that has three arrows (and is pointing at the pivot), you can move one space onto the pivot, rotate your piece, then move the remaining one or two spaces in any direction now indicated by the piece's arrows.

    You capture movement arrows two ways:

    ? Land on an opponent's piece, and you remove a movement arrow of your choice, then place that piece on an unoccupied blue pivot space in any direction you wish.
    ? Jump an opponent's piece, then remove the one or two arrows on that piece that are parallel to your direction of movement.

    You win by being the first player to capture 17 of your opponent's movement arrows.

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