So with the boom of online gaming it might seem that board games are a thing of the past. Think again though. If you really want to test your mind and its limits, maybe this is the best way to do it.

No longer reserved for nerds, these games will make your brain work hard. Play a couple of these and you gambling strategy might just improve. You’ve got to think out every possible outcome with these games to outsmart your opponent.

So check them out, or bear them in mind for the next time you find yourself without electricity.

1. The Campaign for North Africa

This legendary game from 1979 is a relic, and the level of complexity matches its antiquity. Don’t expect to complete it anytime soon after you start – estimated at 1,500 hours. That’s 62 days!

Based on the World War II campaign across Libya and Egypt of 1940-43 it might feel like you’re playing in real time. Great for those that love detail, every tiniest thing has to be thought of here.

2. Taikyoku Shogi

This variation on Chess comes from the mid 16th Century Japan and involves a whopping 804 pieces! Since it takes around 2,000 moves to complete a game, you’re looking at putting in 32 hours of play time.

3. Advanced Squad Leader (ASL)

Another World War II-themed strategy game, but this time from Avalon Hill. With a list of scenarios, players must use tactics to defeat the odds. Armed with three ring binders full of rules, it’ll take you just as long to work out how to play!

4. Go

This game stretches back to China over thousands of years ago, and is still going strong today. Likened to four games of Chess happening on one board, it requires players to be analytical and intuitive.

A game about territory, no computer program has yet been developed that can’t be beaten by an experienced player.

5. Star Fleet Battles

This space combat game is set in the 23rd century and sees you in charge of your own spaceship. Keep it running well, and there’s plenty to think about. There’s a hefty 400-page rulebook with it, as well as pages and pages of colourful charts.

6. World In Flames

Yet another game of tactics set in the brutality of World War II, this time spanning the whole period. Currently down as the biggest board game, World in Flames measures a staggering 2.27sq metres. Each player takes charge of a major fighting nation and can expect to be involved for about 150 hours.

7. Civilisation: The Board Game

With multiple eras to cover, this gem from Fantasy Flight Games challenges players to create the greatest civilisation. You all start out the same, with a city and little else, and you’ve got to work your way through the game building it up.


Looking at this list it seems that issues of territory reign as the most complex ‘game’ plans. Get your thinking caps on, these games will test you.