The BGG Glossary: Illustrated Edition
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BoardGameGeek provides a thorough glossary of gaming terms for users. It is accessible from the Home tab at the top of the screen. And while this tool is quite nice, its lack of full-colour examples left room for a list such as this. As a handy reference for myself ( and fellow gamers), I have decided to attach game faces to these terms, based on my own gaming experiences and mostly from my own collection (Game experience of others may differ. Past performance is not indicative of future success).

The definitions used come directly from the BGG source page. I hope I'm not infringing on anybody's copyrights. This list is for illustration purposes only. Any slights that may occur over disagreements with said list are entirely accidental, except in the case of any and all Caylus/Tempus references. Feel free to add game examples from your own experiences. My apologies if not all entries are interesting and/or amusing.

NOTE: Some entries have been editted since the list was first posted due to input and suggestions from other users (mainly pointing out errors and idiocy on my part). I have tried to credit the helpers, but I have also - for the sake of clarity, not to cover my own butt - had to delete the comments that lead to the corrections because they no longer made any sense in the context of the list. I'm sorry if anyone is slightest by these deletions, but it seems that people here would like to see this glossary be fairly accurate. Thanks again for all of your input.

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1. Board Game: GIPF [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:687] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
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Abstract

adj. Having greatly simplified concepts and actions, rather than strict attention to detail, in order to facilitate game play. Often used as opposite of thematic.

see also: checkers, YINSH, TAMSK, Blokus, Ingenious
 
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2. Board Game: Tikal [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:195]
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Analysis Paralysis

n. When overanalysis and mini/maxing increase the downtime in a game beyond a desirable level. (See also overanalyze)

see also: Caylus (original entry), Java, Age Of Steam, Tigris & Euphrates, Torres
 
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3. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:217]
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Auction Game

n. A game that features players bidding on resources as the main mechanism. Modern Art is a prime example of an auction game. Also called a bidding game.

see also (editted to include added input): Ra, Traumfabrik, For Sale, Vegas Showdown, Medici

also removed questionable auction games Evo and Power Grid

thanks for input from daw65 and rri1
 
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4. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:23]
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Balance

n. The way in which elements of a game are equalized relative to each player. Often balance is established by giving all players similar starting positions and maintained by using mechanisms to hurt the apparent leader or help the likely loser. (See also mechanism)

see also: Hansa
 
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5. Board Game: Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:14374] [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
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Beer & Pretzels Game


n. A game so random that long-term strategies are nearly impossible, and with such a goofy theme that it is played as a humorous diversion rather than a real competition. Frequently these games feature several mechanisms that can interact with each other in surprising ways. Wiz War is an example of a beer & pretzels game. (See also light)

see also: the Chez Games, Nuclear War, Apples to Apples, Guillotine (removed Bohnanza and Funny Friends due to many complaints)

thanks for input from many, esp. deacondave and compman
 
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6. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:128]
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Bidding Game

n. See auction game.

some games include bidding exclusive of auctions, such as Age Of Steam's (and many others, i'm sure) bidding for turn order mechanic.
 
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7. Board Game: Tic-Tac-Toe [Average Rating:2.59 Overall Rank:14655]
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Broken

adj. (usually applied to a game) Having problems that result in a disappointing play experience. A game might be considered broken if even poor play can lead to a victory, if it frequently ends in a stalemate, or if one strategy invariably wins. (See also solvable)

removed Puerto Rico, seems only I think its broken. thanks to the many who wished to correct me
 
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8. Board Game: Pokémon Trading Card Game [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2438] [Average Rating:6.15 Unranked]
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CCG

n. Abbreviation for Collectable Card Game, this type of game uses a basic rule structure and a large assortment of cards which each have characteristics that contradict or supplement the basic rules. Each player brings a customized set of cards to the game, which allows players to predetermine their strategies. Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon are examples of CCGs.

 
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9. Board Game: Formula Dé [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:552]
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Chrome

n. A mechanic or mechanics added to a game to support the theme or make it feel more realistic.

see also: Shadows Over Camelot, Twilight Imperium
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10. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:131] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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Closer

n. A game with very simple rules and strategies that does not require deep thought and can be used at the end of a gaming session, when everyone’s brain is worn out. (See also light)
 
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11. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:41]
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Computational

adj. Overtly using mathematics to determine victory conditions. (See also dry)

see also: Power Grid, The Scepter of Zavandor, Lost Cities
 
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12. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:13647]
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Dice Fest

n. 1. A game that uses a whole bunch of dice to determine game outcomes. 2. A game that has a very random nature because of die results.

see also: Axis & Allies
 
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13. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:98]
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Downtime

n. The time that a player spends doing nothing while waiting for other players to complete their turns. (See also player interaction)

see also: Princes Of Florence, Tikal, History of the World, pretty much any wargame, Runebound
 
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14. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:63]
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Dry

adj. Overly mechanical or lacking in thematic elements.

see also: anything else by Knizia
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15. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:189]
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Economic Game

n. A game that features money management as the main mechanism. Monopoly and 1830 are examples of this genre. Note that although many games use money as a move-limiting factor or as a way to track performance such games are not necessarily economic.
 
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16. Board Game: Tempus [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1403]
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Endgame

n. The final time period in a game, which will usually determine the victor. Strategies during this period often vary slightly from strategies used during the earlier portion of the game.
 
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17. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:356]
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Family Game

n. A game that typically has simple rules, a short playing time, relatively high levels of abstraction and player interaction, and requires three or more players. A large percentage of these games originate in Germany. (See also German games)

see also: Settler Of Catan, Carcassone, Wyatt Earp
 
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18. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:240]
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Fart Factor

n. This refers to the apparent ‘fart’ sound when a game box is closed. This usually occurs with games that have a significant number of components. (See also components)

title changed to reflect that I may have the only farting copy of Heroscape
 
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19. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:23]
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Fiddly

adj. Requiring lots of turn-by-turn maintenance which tends to bog down the ebb and flow of the game.

see also: Die Macher, Civilization, Age of Renaissance, Antiquity, Arkhamn Horror

thanks to deacondave, asperamanca & caesermom
 
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20. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:600]
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Filler

n. A game with very simple rules, strategies that do not require deep thought, and an extremely short playing-time. This type of game is frequently used between heavier games. (See also light)

see also: Guillotine, For Sale, Diamant, Cloud 9, Trendy, No Thanks, 6 Nimmt, Fluxx

removed Citadels from list. all additions were suggestions. I don't know my fillers from a hole in the ground.
 
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21. Board Game: Chez Geek [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:5323]
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Gamer

n. A person that likes to spend a most of his free time playing games.
 
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22. Board Game: Tempus [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1403]
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Gamey

adj. (usually applied to a mechanism) Seeming contrived and unrelated to the theme. Often mechanisms described this way have been added to preserve the game’s balance. (See also dry)
 
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23. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:150] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
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Geek

n. A person that tends to have keen interest in alter-reality pursuits (science fiction, fantasy, etc.), almost to the point of distraction. Often these people may lack certain social graces because of an inability (or unwillingness) to separate fantasy from reality. (See also nerd and Neil’s treatise)

{or alternately}

n. A person that tends to have a keen, sometimes obsessive interest in a specific topic or pursuit.

I had originally intended to merely reproduce the glossary definitions as provided by BGG. I have made an exception on this one to make us all feel better. Thanks to Sinister Dexter for his lovingly worded definition.
 
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24. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:263] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
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German Game

n. A game from Germany. Such games typically have relatively simple rules, short playing times, fairly high levels of abstraction and player interaction, and attractive physical components. Games not from Germany that otherwise meet the criteria are occasionally included in this group, but are more frequently described as ‘German-like’ (See also family games)
 
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25. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:13647]
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Going Nuclear

v. Deciding to disregard one’s personal standing in the game and simply destroy or harm other players’ chances of winning. Generally, this is done in response to another player’s actions. (See also metagame)

Main game was changed from Diplomacy as a result of suggestions. Other games mentioned included Nuclear War and Supremacy.
 
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