Asymmetrical Games: A Contest with Uneven Forces


  1. by Bruce Whitehill 


                                                 Fox and Geese

Think of the last board game you played. And the many before that. You and the other players were probably provided with your own playing pieces or all the components were divided evenly among you. Have you ever played a game where it’s your single piece against your opponent’s five? Or where it’s two against 12? How about a game in which you have 24 pieces but the other player has only two? Most games are contests in which all players are given the same materials and have access to the same resources but sometimes the competing forces are uneven – yet not necessarily unequal. These games, which we call asymmetrical games, have existed for centuries and come in a number of forms, mostly two-player, from the worldwide Fox and Geese to the international games of Siege, under their many names. Add to this some very new multi-player games such as Not Alone (for up to seven people) and the recent murder and zombie-themed social pastimes for as many as 68 players such as Ted Alspach’s Ultimate Werewolf (a considerable advancement of his 2012 Bezier Games original that was for up to only 30 players). For the purpose of this brief overview, I’ve broken asymmetrical games down into two primary categories:

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