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 that a player aims to achieve. Early board games represented a battle between two armies, and most modern 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 varieties of board games. Their representation of real-life situations can range from having no inherent theme (e.g. checkers), to having a specific theme and narrative (e.g. Cluedo). Rules can range from the very simple (e.g. Tic-tac-toe), to those describing a game universe in great detail (e.g. Dungeons & Dragons) – although most of the latter are role-playing games where the board is secondary to the game, serving to help visualize the game scenario.
The 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 having profound strategies (e.g. chess or Go) possess relatively simple rulesets.