The 5 best long-distance strategy board games


Don’t let the distance stop you from snapping board games off the shelf to play with family and friends. Check out these five games via video calling.

Remote gaming is ideal for family and friends who cannot play together in person or who are not interested in the digital board game format. Craps or guessing games can be a quick stop on video calls, but don’t feel limited to games that are lacking many components. As funny as Yahtzee or Portrait Maybe they don’t have very complex mechanics.

Playing strategy board games over video calls may seem counterintuitive, but many actually do well for the format with minimal sacrifice in gameplay. As long as each participating household has a physical copy of the game, everyone can play almost as if they were together in person. This article introduces five of the best strategy games that are great to play on video calls. Many are considered saddle stitchers and could likely be found in a local library that stocks board games. The games are ranked by complexity, starting with those that are suitable for children and ending with hardcore games that are ideal for adults.

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Kingdomino components are displayed.

Kingdomino is the winner of the Spiehl of the year 2017 by designer Bruno Cathala and artist Cyril Bouquet. This placement game is ideal for the whole family and offers space for two to four players. Each player takes turns choosing tiles and placing them in his kingdom according to tile type. These tiles are drawn from a random pile at the end of each round. In long distance play, only one household should have a random deck. This household announces the tile numbers drawn for each new round. The other households should keep their piles of tokens in numerical order so that they can easily find the next tokens.

Kingdomino is a fast-paced game and should not take longer than 30 minutes. Should players feel adventurous, the Age of Giants also works well over video calls. Age of Giants contains new tiles and giants that prevent someone from collecting points.

Machi Koro

Display of Machi Koro game box and components.

Masao Suganuma’s dice card collector Machi Koro is another ideal family game. Each card represents one aspect of a city and corresponds to one die roll. When the number of a card is rolled, players earn money to buy new cards or develop sights. The aim of the game is to first develop all of the city’s landmarks.

When playing with the base game, all the households have to do is remove the cards that other players take from their piles of cards during their turn. Only one household should randomize the deck when playing one of the expansions and using the variant game. This household then announces which cards come into play.

Machi Koro is designed for two to four players, although more players can participate in a long distance game. Machi Koro can last an hour or two, depending on how many are participating, what extensions are being used, and how well the dice are rolled.

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Structure and components of the Catan circuit board.

Klaus Teuber’s classic resource management game Catan requires coordination in its setup and game as it has a number of components. Players can either use the standard island setup or randomize the board. If the board is randomized, a household should determine the board layout for everyone else to copy. During the game, players simply tell what action they are taking. The terrain witches in Catan are numbered and correspond to a specific resource; This creates a grid that makes it easy to replicate the placement of streets or settlements on any game board.

CatanVarious extensions also work remotely. base Catan Simply offers the easiest set up and play with fewer components or game mechanics that change boards. Catan is ideal for older children and adults, and two to six people can play. Expect to spend an hour or two finishing a game.

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Display of viticulture components.

Viticulture is an adorable Euro Worker Placement game where players tend their vineyards and place wine orders to earn points. Ideal for older children and adults, Viticulture is for one to six people and takes up most of the afternoon to play.

While each player has numerous components for his board, all players have to do is keep an eye on the workers, taps and point markers for other households. When you play this Tuscany Extension, also include the stars. The players can tell their move and indicate which board action their workers will take. Viticulture contains cards that offer special promotions, so the trade-off for long distance gaming is that potential duplicates can be drawn across the different households. In some cases, players are asked to swap cards. In this case, pulling from the top of the appropriate stack is the best solution.


Display of Scythe board and components.

Engine builder Scythe may have the steepest learning curve of any game on this list, but it’s well worth it. Scythe is a great worker placement and resource management game for one to five players. Rounds are made up of workers who produce resources that are then used to unlock skills on a player’s faction board. Scythe is administration-intensive, so count on a few hours per game.

Scythe works over video calls as most of the action takes place on each player’s faction board. Households only need to keep track of progress markers, workers and characters on the main game board. Players do not need to keep track of production supplies. If someone loses resources during the game, that player can simply tell which resources are being given up. Scythe also depends on card drawing, but duplicates don’t ruin the gaming experience.

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