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What are tabletop games

tabletop games

Nowadays, tabletop games are becoming more and more popular. We can clearly notice an increase in the number of people playing a tabletop game. Proof of that is a large number of events and tournaments dedicated to this kind of hobby. And yes, some fans take it as a hobby, while others take it a little bit more serious or even make money on it. In this article, we will go through the history of the games and point out some important information and differences. Some of the games are not meant for kids, even though they are still games. We could compare them to gambling, where the machines or games should be operated only by adults. However, this does not mean that minors are excluded from the professional world of tabletop games.

History in a nutshell

We have to start from an explanation that tabletop games are a form of RPG (role-playing game). They probably evolved from ancient strategic games, such as chess that later became the basis of the modern type of wargames. 1971 was the year of releasing Chainmail that gave the beginning of what we today know as tabletop game. A huge turn happened in 1974 when Dungeons & Dragons got launched (check our Dungeons and dragons carrying case). Another game that was found in the same year is called Empire of the Petal Throne. Because of the huge success of D&D, it has been used as a generic term for other fantasy-like role-playing games since then. In the early 80’s hard times showed up for D&D’s producers. Some people claimed that the wargame causes negative and harmful psychological effects on its gamers. Thankfully, board gaming also had its proponents who would promote tabletop gaming as a good activity to get together and associate with others. Today in a day, it is an industry worth millions of dollars and is getting a quite serious meaning. The board games’ fans expand all over the world to share their passion.

What is the difference between a tabletop game and a board game?

A lot of people tend to use these terms interchangeably but not in every case that would be a correct word matching. Let’s have a look at what the real differences between them are. They might seem a bit confusing at first sight, but even the gamers are mostly not aware of the differences that may occur between those two words.

In general, board games are previously pre-packaged and they come with a board, rules and pieces or pawns, while tabletop games consist of a collection of minis and rules.

Board games – usually are finished during one meeting or sitting. The games, components, and all the applicable rules are packed in a box. Players cannot influence the course of events of the games. They can only use their experience and barely known mechanics, Card games are included in this type of gaming.

RPGs (role-playing games) – the games are usually not finished in one sitting and actually, it is all about rules that are to be applied. Upcoming rules are treated as an expansion to the games. There are no winners or losers. The fans roleplay without using any secret tricks or mechanics.

Wargames – This kind of the games is most closely associated to board games and the majority of them happens to have similar if the not the same looking package. The most important value is a history-related theme of the games. Some rules have more advantages than others. Getting deeper into wargaming, we could split it into miniature games and historical games.

What are the most popular tabletop games?

The most popular tabletop games depending on regions, cities, countries and up to personal preferences. However, there is a very generalised list of probably the best board games that u might find helpful.

  1. Arkham Horror (Third Edition) – takes about 4 hours or more to play it. It is third edition and a fantasy version of Arkham Horror
  2. Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles- based on Star Wars’ spaceship theme
  3. Betrayal Legacy- themed to D&D
  4. Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – full option of Warhammer 40k with some additional minis
  5. Detective: A modern crime board game- Ambience of Sherlock Holmes
  6. Keyforge: Call of the archons- said to be “world’s first Unique Deck Game”
  7. My little scythe- originally meant to look like My Little Pony. Designed by a 5 years old kid and her father
  8. Root: A game of woodland might and right- styled as Night in the Woods
  9. Rising sun- earned more than 4 million dollars on Kickstarter in 2018
  10. Shadows in the forest – a modern version of an old-school game

Why do people play tabletop games?

In a world full of technology, smartphones, tablets and interactive machines, people try to remain “human-being” in their everyday life. What does it actually mean? All the kinds of board and tabletop games played by their players require real interaction with others. It is a way of communication that slowly gets forgotten. We tend to communicate through online communicators, social media tools that’s why face-to-face communication gets unconsciously disappeared. Getting together in one place with your community (people that share the same passion) to fall into a game battle makes the players improve their mental health and arises the level of endorphins. Eventually, we are happier and feel more satisfied in life. There also are some elements of competition. As human beings, we like to compete with others. This need might be fulfilled by taking part in an event or a miniature tournament where just a single played battle could be more than enough to feel the positive energy coming out. Besides, some people make a living out of tabletop gaming. How does it work? Artists sculpt and paint miniatures and sell miniatures to their enthusiasts. Game designers create new board games to attract new gamers. Event managers use the opportunity to organize competitions and tournaments, where one plays against another person or a community. There are many other examples, such as complementary products manufacturers who design cases for miniatures, brushes to paint them, etc. Since there are business affairs involved, it can be called an industry. In the numerous society of the gamers and among the competitors, we can differentiate enthusiasts. These guys usually are just observators and collect miniatures but they are not meant to participate in the battles of wargames.

Is D&D a tabletop game?

Formerly, Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most popular tabletop games and was designed Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. It has been published Wizards of the Coast (now Hasbro) since 1997. The game was the one to follow when other board games started being releasing. In 1977 it got split into two sets of the board game. It can be assigned to tabletop games because there is a role-playing taking place. Every person performs and controls a single character. When there is a group involved, it is called a “party”. It is all about verbal improvisation combining other skills, such as logical thinking and Maths. It usually takes several meetings to finish an adventure and even longer to finish a series of adventures that are called “campaigns”. The Dungeon Master (DM), according to their interpretation of the rules, determines the results of the parties.

To start playing the game, you only need the rulebooks, some polyhedral dices and a role sheet for every gamer. Most of the players use a miniature figure to help themselves visualise the game. DnD evolved from the wargames that use minis to add a visual value. Dungeons & Dragons has become even more popular over the last years. Day by day it earns more and more fans. It is a millions-worth kind of business and even more, it seems to fully satisfy the needs of their clients (gamers). Its management clearly responds to the changing world and trends. Moreover, as a game, it brings fun and joy to thousands of people all over the world. Moreover, it is supposed to note an increase in the sales since the wargaming world attracts new proponents. If you are a wargamer, there is no option that you do not know Dungeons & Dragons.

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