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Games with the Acting mechanic require players to use some form of mime or mimicry to communicate with the other players.

Action & Dexterity

Action/Dexterity games often compete players' physical reflexes and co-ordination as a determinant of overall success.

Action Drafting

Players select from an assortment of Actions in a shared pool. The available Actions are limited in quantity, and once a player has chosen an Action it may not be chosen again.

Action Points

A player receives a number of Action Points or Operation Points on their turn. They may spend them on a variety of Actions.

Action Queue

Players create Action Queues and perform them in sequence. Queues can either be "Batch" queues, where all actions are executed in sequence, or "Rolling" queues where actions are added to the end of the Queue, and the first action is then executed. Players may each have their own queue of actions, or there may be a shared action queue.

Action Retrieval

Each player has a set of Actions available to them, embodied in cards, tokens, or some other affordance. Once performed, they are spent and may not be performed again until retrieved. Action Retrieval typically is itself an Action, or may take an entire turn.

Action or Event

On their turn, the player plays a card that shows Action Points and an Event. They must choose to either use the Action Points or perform the Event. If they choose to use Action Points, typically the Event may be performed by another player.


Players have formal relationships that may change over the course of the game.

Area Majority

Multiple players may occupy a space and gain benefits based on their proportional presence in the space.

Area Movement

The game board is divided into irregularly shaped areas to determine adjacency and movement.


Players subdivide turns into impulses alternating between players which repeat until both players pass (or in some cases a sunset die roll ends the impulses catching one or both players off guard). In those impulses a group of units is once activated or gets to act collectively before being marked spent. However instead of the activated units being grouped by a certain radius from a leader the units activated are in an area (and thus the need for the impulse system to have areas, not hexes). The areas exist to define scope of activation on an impulse (as well as restrict what can be done on that impulse with respect to attack and movement range). Thus each of a players groups of units each acts once by means of small alternating impulses instead of the traditional all my units then all your units. Finally before the next turn of impulses spent units are reset regaining the ability to act.

Auction & Bidding

This mechanic requires you to place a bid, usually monetary, on items in an auction of goods in order to enhance your position in the game. These goods allow players future actions or improve a position. The auction consists of taking turns placing bids on a given item until one winner is established, allowing the winner to take control of the item being bid on

Auction: Sealed Bid

Players secretly make a bid. All bids are revealed simultaneously, and the high bidder wins.

Auction: Turn Order Until Pass

Starting with one player and going in turn order, players may raise the current bid or pass. When all players but one have passed, the player remaining in the auction is the winner.

Automatic Resource Growth

The automatic increase of a resource triggered by a particular, conditional, deterministic (not random) game state.


Players commit a stake of currency or resources to purchase a chance of winning everyone’s stake, based on some random outcome like being dealt a superior set of cards or rolling a higher number. Players typically have partial information about the overall game state, and may “bluff,” by representing through their in-game actions that they hold a stronger position than they do. Conversely, players may “fold,” or quit the contest, and limit their losses to whatever they had already staked.


Pieces automatically move in a certain direction, or it is easier to move in a certain direction, or some directional/environmental vector has game play effects.


Items are selected at random, and each player needs to use the items for their own player boards.


Players offer bribes to other players to get them to perform specific actions.

Campaign or Battle Card Driven

The Campaign/Battle Card Driven mechanic is a relatively recent development in wargames that focuses the players' actions on cards they have in their hand. Performing a single action uses a single card; cards will often be multi-purpose.

Card Play Conflict Resolution

Each player simultaneously or sequentially plays one or more cards. These modify the base outcome of a conflict and allow various special abilities to apply.

Catch the Leader

The game systems advantage players that are behind or disadvantage players that are ahead.

Chit-Pull System

Used in wargames to address the problem of simulating simultaneous action on the battlefield and issues of "Command and Control". In such a system the current player randomly draws a chit or counter identifying a group of units which may now be moved. Schemes include moving any units commanded by a particular leader, moving units of a particular quality or activating units not for movement but for fighting.

Closed Drafting

Closed Drafting (or 'Card Drafting') is a means of distributing cards or other game elements to players through an ordered, closed selection process - typically "select and pass". A typical implementation involves each player being dealt the same number of cards. Players then select one (or more) card(s) to keep, and pass the rest to their left. This continues until all cards are selected or discarded. 7 Wonders implements this type of draft. An alternative is that only one player is dealt cards, and they take one and pass it until all players have cards. This obviously is strongly biased towards the first player, and needs to be supported thematically and balance-wise. Citadels implements this type of draft.

Commodity Speculation

A subcategory of Investment in which players buy and sell commodities of various types and quantities as they change value throughout the game.

Communication Limits

Games may limit players from communicating with one another openly. These restrictions can be absolute as they relate to certain specific pieces of information, or they may restrict certain types of communication, such as speaking.


Players are trying to form connections between different points on the board. Essentially, this is a specialized kind of set collection in which the sets collected represent ties between nodes, often represented as routes between destinations.


Players fulfill Contracts to earn rewards. These take the form of special goals requiring coordination and planning beyond simply being "first past the post". These can be either public, where all players compete to be the first to complete them, or private, where only the owning player may fulfill them.

Critical Hits and Failures

Dice are rolled, and those exceeding a target number generate a success. Certain rolls (typically the highest and/or lowest on the die) generate additional success or extreme failure.

Deck Construction

As the first step, or prior to playing the game, players create the deck they will use.
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