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56

Go Go is an ancient game; at least 2500 years old, and possibly as old as 4500 or more. Originally from China, it is now most popular, and professionally played, in China, Japan, and Korea, though there are strong and growing amateur communities in Europe and the Americas. Go is a simple, pure abstract strategy game, with no element of luck or hidden ...


48

Chess Is an obvious and longstanding game of skill alone.


23

Blokus A personal favourite, You could try it online here.


22

Stratego Stratego may seem like a slightly strange choice since each game involves a completely a hidden setup, but it's a setup entirely devised by the opponent with distinct strategies, counter-strategies and bluffs available. If there's an element of luck it's in trying to guess your opponent's approach to a setup, but there are no dice rolls for combat ...


13

Reversi/Othello The initial board position is fixed, pieces to be played are controlled, and the object is to have more of your color upright than the other player.


12

There's a style of game that Chess belongs to, as Jon already suggested, to which Go and Shogi and Checkers and Halma also belong. Modern family members are Khet and ZÈRTZ and I think most other members of the GIPF project. These games have in common that, other than in Diplomacy where you have the written orders, all information is openly visible - except ...


12

Chinese Checkers In the same vein as Checkers, but popular and distinct enough I felt it warranted its own post.


12

Puerto Rico I can't say that there is no luck element at all in Puerto Rico, but it is definitely extremely low. The game involves selecting roles to perform actions. Each person will perform the chosen action, but the actual chooser gets a bonus for it. The main theme is developing plantations to grow crops, and then shipping these goods off for victory ...


10

Connect Four The object is to get four of your color in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. No luck - just pure skill against the other player.


10

Set No luck at all, just plain skill.


10

Caylus The only random element within Caylus is the initial 6 buildings setup order. The rest of the game is pure skill. As with the Endeavor answer, there is a very very small advantage that may be had by going first with order of the buildings, but I think this adds more variety and skill to the game rather than luck.


8

Homeworlds Homeworlds is an Icehouse game about space conquest. In the multi-player game, there is hidden information about who is good and who is evil, and thus there is a certain element of luck in your guess about who is who. In the two player game, however, there is no luck; it is a pure abstract strategy game. To quote Andy Looney on Homeworlds: I ...


8

A list of categories of board game skills isn't something I've ever seen. To actually come up with one, I think you have to first start by looking at research from the psychology field in relation to the different forms of IQ. The theory of multiple intelligences that was created in 1983 by Howard Gardner breaks out different types of intelligence. ...


7

Mastermind I suppose it could be argued that a first guess that is "right" would be lucky, but it should be a game of logic based upon guesses leading to a pattern match against the hidden sequence of pegs setup by the other player.


7

Icehouse Seeing as Brian added Go, I'll get ahead of him on Icehouse for once. A turnless game of pure skill and diplomacy. (Also consider IceTowers and Zendo, which use the same pieces.)


7

Think about the Elo Rating System used to measure the relative skill of Chess players. This is essentially an equation that takes a series of wins and losses and produces a number that can be used to predict the chances of one player winning a game against another player. One of the inputs to the equation is a "distribution" that describes how much a ...


7

There's a modicum of skill involved. You can do some things to increase the odds that random draws will go your way. Any or all of these could be used to augment Basic Player's behavior. Recognize that some keepers appear more often in goals. Prioritize The Brain and generally anything to do with food. Playing keepers toward the current goal is usually ...


5

Rumis (aka Blokus 3D) Like Blokus, no luck; an advantage to going first (more so than in Blokus), but a great game of strategy with simple rules but very interesting consequences.


5

A Game of Thrones To my knowledge the game has only 1 random event - flipping the Westeros cards. This randomness can be nearly entlrely removed via the optional "Westeros Phase" rule variant in the A Clash of Kings expansion (which allows you to see the results of the random card flip several turns in advance). Aside from the Westeros cards, everything ...


4

Steam The only luck element is the initial distribution of goods, but it's shared by everybody equally and I think it helps replayability. Also the initial turn order used to auction the real first turn order. After that it's all there on the table, no more luck! Age of Steam has much more luck, with semi-random goods going to the cities during the game.


4

Endeavor I also prefer games that have little to no randomness. One of the best ones I've come across lately is Endeavor. Other than the initial tile distribution (which isn't tremendously significant, just changes it up a bit), there's no randomness at all. One of my favorite games right now.


3

Besides the ones already mentioned: The rest of the Project Gipf Games: (besides Dvonn) Gipf, Tzaar, Zertz, Punct, and Yinsh (all awesome, by the way) Hive Abalone Did someone say Mancala yet?


3

Arimaa I've never played it myself, but it's supposedly more complex than chess is, though it probably suffers from the first turn advantage issue.


3

I do not have a full answer to this question but I have the beginnings of an answer, which I hope is supplanted by a better one. This answer assumes that game rules are strictly followed, with no cheating or imperfect components. (In other words, no loaded dice, or imperfect dice whose imperfections can be observed after many thousands of rolls, etc.) The ...


3

First, there is a quite elusive difference between chance and luck, but it is worth noticing before analysing either concept deeper. Any non-deterministic event during the game is necessarily a chance component; but its effect on a given game situation may be exactly neutral (either in practical terms in a unique situation, or in some general, ...


2


2

There are many games that have just a tiny bit of luck, but zero-luck games are hard to come by (most are probably already listed here). I wouldn't be so quick to label games as no-luck just because they have no dice or cards though. If a game is more than 2 players, one player could wind up benefiting greatly if the actions of other players are not focused ...


1

No Dice has no luck as one of it's selling points.


1

DVONN I haven't played the other Project GIPF games, but DVONN reminds me of a variation of chinese checkers -- but each time you move a piece, you affect how it can later move. You also sometimes sacrifice some of your pieces to take out the opponents pieces by disconnecting from the red DVONN pieces. Um ... this explanation is probably more confusing ...



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