Battleship was originally a pencil-and-paper public domain game known by different names, but Milton Bradley made it into the well known board game in 1967. The pencil and paper grids were changed to plastic grids with holes that could hold plastic pegs used to record the guesses.
XiangQi is one of the most played board games in the world. Translated loosely as “elephant game”, the name of XiangQi may have first been recorded in Songs of Chu during the 4th century BC of early China; in the state of Qi during the Warring State Period, the name “XiangQi” meant ivory Liubo pieces, not modern XiangQi played by Chinese. The modern Xiangqi set dates back to the Tang dynasty.
Chinese Checkers, or Stern-Halma, is a version of Halma supporting up to six players. Parenthetically, it is neither Chinese nor is it Checkers. In many countries, it’s known as Chinese Chess or China-Chess which is even less accurate and definitely shouldn’t be confused with Xiangqi which is the true Chess variant from China.
Backgammon is a classic abstract strategy game dating back thousands of years. Each player has a set of 15 “men” that must be moved from their starting positions, around, and then off the board. Dice are thrown each turn, and each player must decide which of his men to move based on the outcome of the roll. Players can capture each other’s men, forcing the captured men to restart their journey around the board. The winner is the first player to get all 15 men off the board. A more recent addition to the game is the “doubling cube”, which allows players to up the stakes of the game, as it is often played for money. Although the game relies on dice to determine movement, there is a large degree of strategy in deciding how to make the most effective moves given each dice roll as well as measuring the risk in terms of possible rolls the opponent may get.