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Board Games/A specific kind of cooperative games


Dear Dante,

I'm looking for cooperative games with certain characteristics. These games can help me to determine which elements might be useful for a set of rules I'm developing for (the process towards) setting moral priorities as a team. I would really appreciate receiving recommendations (and explanations/links) about games that have all of the following characteristics:
- They are cooperative games (without traitors) in which the team either loses or wins (like Pandemic). There may be several teams, but none of the teams lose (so either everyone wins or everyone loses).
- The games are either not solved yet (like chess and go) or solved, but too difficult to play perfectly (all the time) for humans (like draughts).
- The games are abstract board games or can be easily changed into abstract board games (by for example using pawns instead of wizards).
- I like games that take minutes to learn and a lifetime to master and I dislike dices and games where you have to draw a card when you land on certain squares (like the Chance cards in Monopoly).
- The games can be rarely played variants of more common games (like Kriegspiel chess).
- Team members have to set priorities (because there are limited resources of time/players/et cetera).
- You get better at the game by playing often, but if you win that doesn't guarantee that you win the next time (because the game might proceed in different ways).
- Communication between team members is allowed.
- The game isn't over in a minute, but doesn't take days to complete either.
- If the game would be solved, a best move could be determined.
- The game is designed in a way that it's unlikely that team members blame each other for failing as a team.
- The players have to take turns, it's not necessary that all of them take the same amount of turns, but players shouldn't be idle for a long time.
- There are clear rules that every participating player interprets in the same way.
- Fair Play / Sportsmanship is obligatory.
- Good players recognize common patterns in play.
- It is possible to practice or study the game on your own.   

I know that this is a difficult question so any help is highly appreciated. Thank you for reading my question, I hope to hear from you soon (but take your time if that helps you to give a better answer).    

Kind regards,


Well Rick, you're certainly not going easy on me, are you? You do have a tall order, but I think I've got a suggestion that may work for you.

The tricky part is the desire for the game to be represented as an abstract strategy. If you want to go in that direction, you can't really have a game that has cards in it. However, you also seem to want a game without dice... you're looking for a game with no random aspect to it, which makes it difficult to suggest a game that hasn't already been solved.

Plus, I don't quite understand the comment of "If the game would be solved, a best move could be determined."

BoardGameGeek has over 2000 games marked with the "Co-operative" tag, so there are plenty of options, but many of them aren't worth considering. The game I'd suggest you investigate is named "Flash Point". The game is one where players represent fire fighters trying to rescue people from a burning house.

The game itself is played on what is effectively a 6x8 grid. Naturally the building has walls, doors, windows, etc... At the beginning of the game, the firefighters know where the fire has started and the locations of three "Points of Interest". They are tasked, as a team, to save the victims (which may be located at the points of interest).

The game does use dice, and on each player's turn, they roll the dice to determine where some smoke is detected. The smoke, if ignored, can turn into a fire which needs to be put out.

Since each player rolls the dice for smoke on their turn, the player who rolls poorly MAY be accused of causing the game to fail, but that can be worked around by asking one player to do all the rolling for the fire, removing that aspect. The only other truly random aspect comes form the player with the firehose in the truck. That player relies on a bit of luck to target the fire.

With all the very specific requirements you've got, Flash Point is the only one I can think of that meets them. Most co-op games use cards to create dynamic situations that need to be dealt with, and to remove those makes the problem much trickier.

If you're willing to help me understand your needs a bit better, I may be able to refine my recommendation further. Otherwise, I'd suggest you give Flash Point a check.

Best of luck!

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My expertise is fairly broad on board games. I've been collecting board games since I was old enough to count and have over 700 games in my still growing collection. I spend my spare time playing and teaching games, including doing demonstrations at stores. I don't have much experience with wargames, but when it comes to American games and/or most Eurogames, I can offer advice of the concepts in a game, and what kinds of audiences it might appeal to.


I've been an avid board game player and collector for over 20 years. I own more then 700 board games personally, and spend a significant amount of time both teaching and playing these games.

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science/Math.

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