A board game is a game that involves counters or pieces moved or placed on a pre-marked surface or “board”, according to a set of rules. Games can be based on pure strategy, chance (e.g. rolling dice) or a mixture of the two, and usually have a goal which a player aims to achieve. Early board games represented a battle between two armies, and most current board games are still based on defeating opposing players in terms of counters, winning position or accrual of points (often expressed as in-game currency).
There are many different types and styles of board games. Their representation of real-life situations can range from having no inherent theme, as with checkers, to having a specific theme and narrative, as with Cluedo. Rules can range from the very simple, as in tic-tac-toe, to those describing a game universe in great detail, as in Dungeons & Dragons (although most of the latter are role-playing games where the board is secondary to the game, helping to visualize the game scenario).
The amount of time required to learn to play or master a game varies greatly from game to game. Learning time does not necessarily correlate with the number or complexity of rules; some games, such as chess or Go, have simple rule sets while possessing profound strategies.