Hardest Two-Player Turn-Based Strategy Board Games to Master

The Top TenXW


5 minutes to learn but a lifetime to master. It might not be as well known in the western world as the other games on this list but it is far and above in its own realm of complexity and depth. Most people think Chess is the king of board games but Go has been around much, much longer and is more wide spread. At one point it was considered a game of chance because the true depth of this wonderful and beautiful game couldn't be comprehended.

Originated in China, spreads to Japan and Korean, and the rest of the world. Simple to play; extremely hard to master. A person can simply win in as few moves as 7 or last as long as 8 hours to finish.

The rules seem simple. But I've played this game many times over, done a good amount of research, and I'm still struggling. Extremely difficult.


With more possibilities in a single game than atoms in the universe, I believe chess to be the hardest game ever. Go playing computers have not reached the elite level of play because no serious work is being done on the game. Checkers has already been solved by computers.

Probably the most famous strategy game. Mass amounts of nerds; somewhat easy to understand, and hard to master.

Chess is... there is no better game... chess is perfect, it is a game that reached the limits of balance.

V1 Comment
3Checkers (English Draughts)

A simple to understand board game; how to master? Don't be the first to attack.

4Chinese Chess

Tactical-style gameplay. Each piece have weird movements and their own sets of rules for offense, thus making it hard.


If you consume too many pieces; you lose. If you fail to race for the corners; you lose. Simple as that. Your opponents won't let you get the corners no matter what, deal with it.


This is far more complex than chess, as pieces that are captured return to the game. Also, most pieces promote to completely different units.

It's clear that it is not a easy game since every piece can promote except the king and gold general


It's a board game. It takes long to complete (even with two players). Luck dependence makes it especially hard.


Gotta have a good memory, gotta be good with strategies and you're set.

A strategy game like chess but with vastly more pieces and worst of all, they all are cloaked until they attack! which one is bomb? which one is spy? how am I supposed to find the flag?!


ZOMFG. Gotta be god to actually win a game against a true pro since both players can force a draw right away.

Who doesn't like Tic-Tac-Toe? Seriously, who doesn't? I DARE YOU TO NAME ONE PERSON WHO DOESN'T LIKE TIC-TAC-TOE!


The Contenders


Challenging game yet really fun addicting

Gotta take advantage of probability.

14Summoner Wars

Easy to learn with just the right amount of luck, but the better player will almost always win.

16Connect Four

Hard game to learn many rules

19Hasami Shogi

It is really easy to learn how to play, but good luck winning. I can tell you I have never won a game of this. One of the easiest games to learn, but it kicks in when you start to actually play.

20M, N, K GameV1 Comment
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