A River Runs Through It >> The Influence of a River on a Game
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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The concept for this GeekList is fairly straightforward, as opposed to some of my more glitzy or philosophic lists...

The goal: To list games where a river plays a major part of the game's movement, mechanics or strategies. I'm looking for actual integration and significance -- not just rivers represented in the art/aesthetics (like Mystery on the Nile -- the "river" itself has no impact on the game whatsoever). I'm also not including wargames with rivers on the map simply as one of several "terrain types" which impact movement or combat abilities.

So what I am looking for are big, significant, singularly integral rivers in gaming, or games where the whole experience revolves around the rivers involved -- their location, their impact on decisions, etc.

What other games feature rivers prominently in the gameplay?
What impact does the river's location/structure have on the gameplay?
How important is the river's presence to the gameplay experience?
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26. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:862]
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United States
Columbus
Ohio
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The impact of the rivers in Clans is insignificant during gameplay so you might reject this game as inappropriate. However, the rivers play an integral part during game setup to ensure an even, yet random, distribution of huts.
 
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27. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:697]
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Rivers cost twice as many actions to cross.
 
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28. Board Game: Battle Cry [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:378]
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Gotta stop when you try to cross the river. This can be deadly if your opponent is waiting for you on the other side.
 
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29. Board Game: Dixie: Bull Run [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:2999]
Steve Wagner
United States
Wood River
Nebraska
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The river in this game slows down movement. It can be rather annoying when your best troops are on the side with the river.
 
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30. Board Game: Elfenland [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:566]
United States
Houston
Texas
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The river is essentially another road in this game, but it can't be hindered by placing a log. Also, the number of raft cards needed changes depending on which direction you're going.
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31. Board Game: King of the Elves [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:1886]
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During the journeying phase, you need "raft" travel cards to travel to
villages established on rivers.

Sea Monster obstacle cards can only be played on villages established
on rivers [or lakes].
 
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32. Board Game: Fishing [Average Rating:4.25 Unranked]
pronoblem baalberith
United States
Pleasantville
Massachusetts
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It's got a river that appears to have varied characteristics based on grid / color. Nice looking board.
 
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33. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:185]
Rune
Denmark
Engesvang
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Rivers have always been obstacles on the battlefield and their defensive value has often saved the day for various commanders both in real human history as well as for the 'commanders' gathered around a boardgame.

A Game of Thrones holds a few rivers on the map, but each of them holds great strategic importance, blocking attacks from certain areas. On this image it is a river blocking access to Greywater Watch that provides House Lannister an advantageous position in relation to House Stark.
 
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34. Board Game: Breakout: Normandy [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:542]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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As one of the previous posters pointed out, many wargames have rivers in them and they are treated like any other terrain type, usually granting some sort of bonus to the defender or slowing down an attacker. In this game however, the rivers (and bridges crossing them) are crucial for both sides and their status really defines how this game will play out. For the Germans, control of the bridges (usually through their desruction) limits the Allies advance and keeps them bottled up on the beaches. The Allies need to find ways into the interior, to the areas with more victory points. There is almost an abstract, area control game going on within this game as most regions are divided by a river and a variety of bridges connect the regions. The other thing about the rivers in this game is that the description of their effects in the rules is rather difficult to follow.
 
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35. Board Game: 1870 [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:707]
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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Some special river rules including:

Great River Shipping Company
No Special Attributes.

Mississippi River Bridge Company
Until this company is sold to a public company or closed, no company may bridge the Mississippi River.

A public company owning this company gets a $40 discount on the cost of building on one Mississippi River hex.
 
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36. Board Game: Fische Fluppen Frikadellen [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1382]
Ed Ronan
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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The river allows you take a ferry to the next empty harbor.
 
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37. Board Game: River Dragons [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1207]
Preston Fuller
United States
Ashland
New Hampshire
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Delta's are part of a river system and its all about getting around and over it. This is a fun game with five and six people. Steal those planks and play those dragons!
 
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38. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (Deluxe Edition) [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:158]
John Mitchell
United Kingdom
Enfield
Middlesex
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I'll add this rather than its earlier incarnation (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/3201), since that one is already in the 'Cry me a River' Geeklist mentioned in the List Comments.

The Anduin runs across the board, and gives the good guys a special move.
 
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39. Board Game: L'Attaque [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:8229]
John Mitchell
United Kingdom
Enfield
Middlesex
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The edition pictured here of this Stratego variant shows a river across the board with bridges. Other editions were more abstract, but also used water areas to limit crossings of the centre of the board.
 
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40. Board Game: Dragonland [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1911]
John Mitchell
United Kingdom
Enfield
Middlesex
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The Drachenland/Dragonland board shows volcanoes connected by paths and rivers. Most movement is by the former, with distance determined by dice, but under certain circumstances pawns may move by the latter, directly from one volcano to another. Timed right, this can be very advantageous.
 
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41. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:175]
Mark Saya
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Rivers can play a big role in Roads & Boats. Note that goods are being shipped at the bottom of this picture.
 
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42. Board Game: The Ironclads [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:2152]
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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Unlike most naval games, which take place on the open sea, many of the battle scenarios in Ironclads take place on rivers -- some of them quite narrow.
 
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43. Board Game: Candamir: The First Settlers [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:1986]
Matthew M Monin
United States
Branford
Connecticut
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The river in this game does nothing...unless you know how to swim...

-MMM
 
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44. Board Game: Cairo [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:4972]
Jonathan Bruton
United Kingdom
Bordon
Hampshire
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You move up and down the river and flick your blocks from your boat. Any blocks landing in the river are lost. Is completely integral to the game.
 
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45. Board Game: Wacky Wacky West [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1674]
A river is one of the things which you can use to demolish your opponents buildings - so long as you don't simultaneously knock-down a public lavatory, to do that, you need to win a vote!
 
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46. Board Game: Crescendo of Doom [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
John Vasilakos
United States
Annandale
Virginia
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Part of the Squad Leader series, it was the first wargame (I think) which simulated the tactics of attacking across a river. Includes the neceassary river board, different kinds of boats etc,
 
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47. Board Game: Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648 [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:715]
Mathijs Booden
Netherlands
Leiden
Unspecified
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Influence markers can migrate between provinces along the rivers, unless they meet a town controlled by a rival faction. It hardly ever happens though.
 
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48. Board Game: Scotland Yard [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:846]
Vince Londini
Canada
London
Ontario
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Here Mr. X can use the river to escape on the ferry via the black tickets. This is an important tactical option that is denied to the detectives chasing him.
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49. Board Game: Source of the Nile [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2191]
Sam Miller
United States
Williamsburg
Virginia
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Explorers can discover rivers as part of the new terrain they enter. Following a river downstream greatly reduces your chance of getting lost, and if you have a canoe expedition, you can move twice as fast...at the risk of abruptly discovering Victorial Falls the hard way.
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50. Board Game: Die Weinhändler [Average Rating:5.06 Overall Rank:9564]
 
Hieke R.
Netherlands
Unspecified
Unspecified
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You travel up and down the Loire with your wheel steamer. By transporting passengers and wine barrels, you fill your cash register with Louis d'Or, the currency of the time. The more stokers you hire, the further your ship travels. The more boatswains you have, the better you can assert yourself against your rivals if you head for a mooring at the shore.

The goal of the game is, by transporting passengers and wine barrels, to acquire the most Louis d'Or.
 
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