Specifically in the context of abstract or combinatorial games.

As an example, Go and Reversi are both placement games. Although mathematically distinct (Reversi requires placement in the center at the start, and carries a constraint that new tokens must connect,) they share the core mechanic of token placement.

Both games involve surround-and-capture, however Go utilizes a "takeaway" mechanic, where in Reversi, no tokens are removed from the gameboard.

The result of this difference is that Go can become "loopy", requiring the imposition of the Ko rule, where Reversi is natively finite, and designated as "loop free".

Domineering is another basic form of loop-free, "pure placement" games, but is distinct in terms of token size to board cells (i.e. uses dominos, which take up two board positions.)

  • Is there a formal term for games that utilize placement but not takeaway?
  • 2
    I'll add Connect4, Gomoku and TicTacToe as potential games that match your definition of pure placement
    – Kii
    Apr 10, 2018 at 16:42
  • @kii really, any m,n,k-game. Thanks for the adds! (It may seem like an unnecessary distinction, but not all games that are natively finite are placement games. I find I even have to specify "natively", because Chess is rendered finite by the addition of special endgame conditions.)
    – DukeZhou
    Apr 10, 2018 at 22:36
  • 1
    Thinking about it, a game like Dots and Boxes would also fit IMO the pure placement category. Would Peg solitaire also fit ? The difference being that Peg solitaire starts with an almost full board and ends when the board is almost empty.
    – Kii
    Apr 11, 2018 at 9:16
  • @Kii Under this definition of pure placement, tokens cannot be removed from the board. Dots and Boxes is technically a "connection game", with a surround and control mechanic, so sort of a gray area. (The came can be played by placing tokens instead of drawing, and it is nativel finite.)
    – DukeZhou
    Apr 13, 2018 at 3:45
  • 1
    I'll add Cinco (5 in a row on a hexagon board) boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=cinco and KingDomino (placing domino tiles on 7x7 boards) boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=kingdomino
    – Cohensius
    Feb 10, 2020 at 6:43


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