Most board games are designed to fit onto a square or rectangular board that measures around 16 to 20 inches on each side when unfolded. This standard size allows the game to be easily set up on a table or other flat surface while still providing enough space for players to move their game pieces around the board.
The History of Board Game Size
|Board Game Size
Board game sizes have varied throughout history. In ancient times and the medieval period, board game sizes were not standardized and varied based on the game being played. The 18th century also saw varied board game sizes. However, in the 19th century, a standard board game size of 16-20 inches emerged, and this size continued into the 20th and 21st centuries. While some board games may deviate from this standard size, it has become the norm for most board games produced today.
Types of Board Game Size
Board games come in a variety of sizes, with each size serving a different purpose. Here are some of the types of board game sizes:
- Standard Size: The standard board game size is between 16-20 inches, which is the most common size for board games. This size is convenient because it can accommodate multiple players while still fitting on most tabletops.
- Large Size: Some board games require a larger board to accommodate more players or more complex game mechanics. These games may have boards that are 24 inches or larger, which can be a challenge to set up on smaller tables.
- Small Size: Compact and portable board games are designed to be taken on the go, and these games may have boards that are as small as 6-8 inches. These games are perfect for travel or for playing in confined spaces, such as on an airplane or in a car.
- Custom Size: Some board games have unique board sizes that are designed specifically for the game. For example, some games may have a circular board or a hexagonal board that is not the standard square or rectangular shape.
- Jumbo Size: Jumbo-sized board games are typically designed for outdoor play or for events and parties. These games can have boards that are several feet in size and are meant to be played on the ground.
Factors Affecting Board Game Size
The size of a board game is influenced by several factors. Here are some of the factors that affect board game size:
- Number of Players: The size of a board game can be affected by the number of players it’s designed for. Games that accommodate more players may require a larger board to provide enough space for everyone to play comfortably.
- The complexity of Game Mechanics: The complexity of a game’s mechanics can also influence its size. Games with more complex rules and game mechanics may require a larger board to provide enough space for all the components and to allow players to visualize the game’s progress.
- Type of Playing Surface: The type of surface on which the game will be played can also affect the board game size. For example, games played on a table or flat surface may have a smaller board size, while games played on the ground may require a larger board to accommodate players.
- Portability: Board games that are designed to be portable, such as travel games or pocket games, often have smaller board sizes. This makes them easy to pack and transport.
- Manufacturing Constraints: The manufacturing process can also influence board game size. For example, larger boards may be more expensive to produce, while smaller boards may not provide enough space for all the necessary game components.
- Design Aesthetics: The design aesthetics of the game can also affect the board game size. Some games may have a specific aesthetic that requires a certain board size, such as a circular board or a board with unique shapes and features.
Common Board Game Types and Their Sizes
There are many types of board games available, each with its own unique size and design. Here are some of the most common board game types and their corresponding sizes:
- Classic Board Games: Classic board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Clue typically have a standard board size of 16-20 inches. These games are designed for 2-6 players and are often played on a tabletop.
- Strategy Board Games: Strategy board games like Settlers of Catan and Risk may have a slightly larger board size to accommodate more players and game mechanics. These games may have a board size of up to 24 inches.
- Eurogames: Eurogames like Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride often have a standard board size of 12-16 inches. These games are typically designed for 2-5 players and focus on strategy and resource management.
- Party Games: Party games like Cards Against Humanity and Telestrations often come in a compact size for portability and ease of use. These games may have a board size of 6-8 inches and are designed for 3 or more players.
- Cooperative Games: Cooperative games like Pandemic and Forbidden Island may have a larger board size to accommodate more players and game mechanics. These games may have a board size of up to 24 inches and are designed for 2-4 players.
- Deck-Building Games: Deck-building games like Dominion and Ascension typically do not have a board, but instead use cards and other game components to build decks and strategize. These games are often compact in size and can be played on a tabletop.
Custom Board Game Sizes
Custom board game sizes are becoming increasingly popular as more people create and design their own board games. The size of a custom board game can vary depending on the designer’s preferences and the specific needs of the game. Here are some common reasons why someone might choose to create a custom board game size:
- Unique Game Mechanics: If a board game has unique game mechanics that require a specific board size, a custom board game size may be necessary. For example, a game that involves a circular board may require a custom size to accommodate the shape.
- Artistic Design: Board games that have unique artistic designs may benefit from a custom board game size. This allows the designer to showcase their art in a way that’s not limited by standard board sizes.
- Portability: Custom board game sizes can be created to be more portable than standard sizes. For example, a designer may choose to create a smaller board game size for easy transportation and storage.
- Player Count: The number of players a game is designed for can also affect the board game size. If a game is designed for a larger group, a custom board game size may be necessary to provide enough space for everyone to play comfortably.
- Manufacturing Constraints: Custom board game sizes can also be created to accommodate manufacturing constraints. For example, a designer may choose a specific size to ensure that the game fits within a specific box size for easy distribution.
Popular Board Game Manufacturers and Their Standard Sizes
Here are some popular board game manufacturers and the standard sizes they typically use:
- Hasbro: Hasbro produces many classic board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Clue. These games typically have a board size of 16-20 inches and are designed for 2-6 players.
- Fantasy Flight Games: Fantasy Flight Games produces many popular strategy board games like Twilight Imperium and Game of Thrones: The Board Game. These games often have a larger board size to accommodate more players and game mechanics. Some of their games may have a board size of up to 24 inches.
- Days of Wonder: Days of Wonder produces many Eurogames like Ticket to Ride and Small World. These games often have a standard board size of 12-16 inches and are designed for 2-5 players.
- Mattel: Mattel produces many classic board games like Uno and Pictionary. These games typically have a standard board size of 16-20 inches and are designed for 2-6 players.
- Z-Man Games: Z-Man Games produces many popular strategy and cooperative board games like Pandemic and Carcassonne. These games may have a larger board size to accommodate more players and game mechanics. Some of their games may have a board size of up to 24 inches.
- Asmodee: Asmodee produces many popular board games like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride. These games often have a standard board size of 12-16 inches and are designed for 2-5 players.
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