games with really simple rules, but decent depth
Will

Pensacola
Florida
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The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
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There are a lot of games that have such simple rules that they may be underestimated in what it takes to be good at them. They may be abstract or themed, but they involve more skill than the simplicity of the rules imply.
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1. Board Game: Othello [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:2392]
Will

Pensacola
Florida
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The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
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This is simply placing a disk to flip other disk to your color, but the game can shift back and forth quickly.
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2. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:127] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Will

Pensacola
Florida
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The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
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Do you grab the routes as soon as you can possibly tipping off your opponents or do you wait until you can get those 3 or 4 routes on consecutive turns? Is it worth spending a turn to block your opponent? Do you draw more tickets late in the game or just go for long routes that you don't really need for tickets?
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3. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:138] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Will

Pensacola
Florida
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The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
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It gets somewhat more complicated with the expansions, but is a rather simple rule set. It can be really challenging to decide whether to commit a meeple or hold back for something better?
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4. Board Game: Castellan [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2972]
Will

Pensacola
Florida
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The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
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Add the pieces on the cards you play to the structure, but be careful so you don't set up your opponent for an opportunity to close off a large area.
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5. Board Game: GIPF [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:732] [Average Rating:7.13 Unranked]
John Di Ponio
United States
Lake Orion
MI
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This pretty much goes for the whole series. Very easy to learn and teach but there is plenty of strategy involved.
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6. Board Game: Ta Yü [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1292]
Joe Salamone
United States
Billerica
Massachusetts
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Aggravating people worldwide since 1964
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Place tiles to build rivers from one side of the board to the other. Mess with your opponent by redirecting rivers away from his sides of the board.



EDIT: By the way, these tiles are placed illegally for game purposes, but they are arranged to spell Ta Yu.

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7. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:204]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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The game comes with 11 pieces per player. The goal and rules of the game are simple to understand. However, there are a lot of possibilities with regards to the placement and movement of each of the pieces. It is one of our favourite 2-player game.
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8. Board Game: Hex [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:2571]
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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No list like this is complete without this, the poster child for "simple rules, deep strategy"
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9. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:124]
David Gibbs
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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I think Go is the absolute classic of this genre. I've seen the rules reduced to something like 10 sentences, with another 10 sentences of interpretations/common agreements/comments.

But the depth... the depth is worthy of a lifetime of dedicated study.
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10. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:771]
Jordan S.
United States
Plano
Texas
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A test of your spatial-reasoning skills...and also your forward-thinking. Yes, sometimes you can draw a set of unfortunate tiles that force you to kill yourself but more often, the player that wins is the player that best managed to isolate his piece from the trecherous paths placed by his opponents.
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11. Board Game: Paris Connection [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1189]
Beyer
Denmark
Copenhagen
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If you take this game seriously, you will get a surprising amount of economic game out of it; if you treat it like a filler you get a filler... It's a peculiar game in that regard.
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12. Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1138]
Will

Pensacola
Florida
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The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
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This is only a little more complicated than regular Tsuro, but has another way to eliminate players.
 
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13. Board Game: Patchwork [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:58]
Joel Oakley
United States
Brandon
Mississippi
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This game is so simple to learn and teach, but finding the right balance of three variables -- buttons, quilt squares, and time -- makes for quite an interesting game, especially when you also have to consider what impact your choices will have on your opponent's options!
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14. Board Game: Trax [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:3188]
Life is a lamp-flame before a wind.
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A sadly forgotten game which I think is truly excellent for what it is. The rules can easily be printed on a postcard, but the game nevertheless has impressive depth.
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15. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:542]
Kevin Garnica
United States
West Covina
California
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The rules that govern the movement around the windmill are so straightforward (basically 3 rules). The rest is just up keep, really. I never tire of playing this, and I'm glad I got a copy way back when - before it went out of print.
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16. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:181]
Andrew Shegda
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Fun, simple strategic game.
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17. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:661]
Will

Pensacola
Florida
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The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
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Sometimes, you need to pass up obvious points to prevent someone from finishing a line, and scoring a lot more points.
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