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A board game is a tabletop game that involves counters or pieces moved or placed on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules. Some games are based on pure strategy, but many contain an element of chance; and some are purely chance, with no element of skill.
Games 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 opponents in terms of counters, winning a position, or accrual of points.
There are many varieties of board games. Their representation of real-life situations can range from having no inherent theme, like checkers, to having a specific theme and narrative, like Cluedo. Rules can range from the very simple, like Tic-tac-toe, to those describing a game universe in great detail, like 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, but is not necessarily correlated with the number or complexity of rules; games like chess or Go possess relatively simple rulesets but have great strategic depth.