Power to the Meeple!

Save Money and Have Fun "Pirating" Popular Abstract Strategy Games

This is a short and incomplete list of "Officially Available" rules sets for newer games of the "Abstract Strategy" genre. Most games of this type have simple components that a clever person can easily improvise from items sitting around their flat. No mollycoddling here. You're a clever Anarchist. You'll be able to figure this out for yourself!

With just a few legos, chips, beads, or bottle caps you can be playing some of the newest and cleverest board games without spending a penny. Enjoy!

To win a game of TAK, a player must be the first to create a “road” of stones connecting opposite sides of the board. Stones can be laid flat or stood on end. When played flat, they are called “flat stones.” In this orientation, other stones can be stacked on them. If they are stood on end, they are called “standing stones” or “walls.” Nothing can be stacked atop a standing stone, but these do not count as part of a player’s road. Depending on the size of the game, players may also have capstones, which can can come in many decorative shapes. Capstones serve as both a flat stone and a wall, and can also flatten standing walls.

Pentago is a fun, challenging and multiple award winning strategy game for kids and adults, that is both simple and sophisticated at the same time. This is a two-player game in which the object is to create a row of five marbles, in any direction, before your opponent does, but with a twist. Each move consists of placing a marble and then twisting one of the four game blocks. Children will gain spatial orientation, eye-hand coordination, logic and problem-solving abilities with this mind-twisting game. Each game is handcrafted with solid wood, aluminum and glass marbles.

Cannon is an abstract war game where each player first places a city on the back row, then pieces move trying to capture the opposing city or shoot it with a cannon, which is a special arrangement of three pieces in a row. The rules for Cannon may be learned quickly yet it is a game that takes time to explore fully.

Game of the Amazons
One of the greatest abstract games invented in the past few decades. Simple rules and very deep play. A huge number of possible moves per turn means that strategy dominates over tactics.

A checkers-like game implementing stacks of pieces.

This post will be a growing list of games suitable for the DIYer. If you love a game that you feel is appropriate to add, leave a comment and I'll include it. Cheers!


  • Check out this blog on Boardgamegeek about newly released "Print & Play" games. Thanks @guardthebananas for the great tip!