Euro Board Games – What Are They and What Makes Them Different to Monopoly

Mention 'Board Games' to a group of people and the response you will get is "Oh you mean like Monopoly?"

Although many people still like Monopoly, game design has moved on greatly and now we have access to a wide variety of enthralling 'Euro' style games.

Euro Games are fun, engaging and accessible to everyone. They tend to be strategic in nature – players can develop plans to make progress in the game but will have to make many decisions on the way to winning.

If you are new to these types of games then read the rest of this article!

Euro games are characterised by having:

  • Theme – the action usually has an historical and geographical setting. Carcassonne, a superb 'entry level' game, is set in medieval southern France. Players strive to build roads, develop cities, establish cloisters and reap rewards from cultivating farms.

    The themes are hugely diverse – you may find yourself build castles and settlements, bringing exotic animals into your zoo, pioneering new rail roads, settling new islands, tackling a pandemic, digging for gold or re-living action on the Normandy beaches.

  • No Player Elimination – unlike board games that we may remember from our childhood, everyone is actively engaged in the play until the final turn.

    Only at this point will the winner be determined, ensuring tension throughout the game.

  • Simple Rules – Tough Decisions – the rules of Euro Games are simple and can often be learned in a few minutes with players launching into the action quickly.

    Although the rules may be easy, how you play can be much more difficult. At each turn you will have a variety of decisions to make, do you further your own cause or seek to undermine the progress of your foes!

    For example, Lost Cities (Designer: Reiner Knizia) is a great game to introduce people into the world of 'Euro' games.

    On each turn players simply play a card then draw a card. However, the decisions you face on each turn seem to get tougher and tougher as the game progresses.

    Should I meddle with my opponents progress by withholding cards early in the game or focus on my objectives?

    At what point should I commit to an expedition – do I wait for more investment or just get going in the hope that I will get far enough to score points?

    The tension rises as the deck reduces and time to complete your expeditions runs out.

  • Quality Components – opening a Euro Game box is always exciting. Solid game-boards with excellent artwork, wooden or plastic tokens of the highest quality representing people, trains, boats, animals or goods.

Overall, playing a Euro style game for the first time will undoubtedly be a thoroughly enjoyable experience – you will always want to play "just once more" to try out a new strategy or approach.

Euro games will have you, your friends and your family having great fun around the game table again and again!