Strategic Asymmetry in Board Games

I recently wrote about what I called fully asymmetric board games. Fully asymmetric games can be great fun, but design challenges abound. A vast amount of playtesting needs to be done to balance the factions; otherwise you end up with a game that’s “solved” pretty quickly by playing one particular faction. Games with limited asymmetry are much more common — I like to call this “strategic asymmetry” because the choice of faction or initial player setup tends to direct the […]

Full Asymmetry in Board Games

One of the interesting trends in board game mechanics is asymmetry. Asymmetry simply means the different players have substantially different capabilities. In extreme cases, the different sides even play by completely different rules. Asymmetric games require smart design effort and significant playtesting to ensure game balance. For players, though, asymmetry can be more fun, allowing individuals to pick factions which suit their play style. I classify asymmetry in competitive games as fully asymmetric, lightly asymmetric, and player-created asymmetric; this post […]