The best games with variable starting conditions 2024

Looking for a really good game with variable start conditions? Then we have just the thing for you: the list with the best variable start conditions games 2024.

What are games with variable start conditions?

In these games, the status of the starting conditions varies from game to game. This can be implemented by changes to common game components such as the game board and/or by changes to starting player order, resources, objectives, etc.

"Variable starting conditions" is called "variable setup".

Examples of games with variable start conditions

A good example of a game with variable start conditions is Dominion. Here you can be very flexible in determining the 10 supply card types that are used for this game round. Dominion lives from varying the different card types again and again and from increasing the combination possibilities by new Dominion-expansions.

Another game with variable starting conditions is for example Catan - here for example the hexagonal landscape tiles are newly assembled for each game.

list of best variable start-conditions-games 2024

This list was last updated on May 13, 2024. We compared 1044 board games for this list and selected the top 30. There's also a print version for this list.
  1. Cascadia

    All details for the board game Cascadia and similar games

    Cascadia is a tile-laying and token-drafting board game that features the rich habitats and diverse wildlife of the Pacific Northwest. It combines strategic tile placement with wildlife conservation themes.

    Nominated for 24 awards and won 12.

    ⭐️ Spiel des Jahres 2022

    More details for Cascadia
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  2. Sushi Go Party!

    All details for the board game Sushi Go Party! and similar games

    Sushi Go Party! is an expanded version of the popular card game Sushi Go!, offering more variety and accommodating more players for a larger, more dynamic game experience.

    Nominated for 6 awards and won 2.

    More details for Sushi Go Party!
    • 2 - 8 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  3. 7 Wonders Duel

    All details for the board game 7 Wonders Duel and similar games

    7 Wonders Duel takes the essence of the classic 7 Wonders and refines it for an intense two-player experience. It retains the thematic elements of building a civilization through acquiring various types of cards, but it introduces unique mechanics suited for a duel.

    Nominated for 16 awards and won 9.

    More details for 7 Wonders Duel
    • 2 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for 7 Wonders Duel

    • YouTube Review for the game "7 Wonders Duel" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  4. The Quacks of Quedlinburg

    All details for the board game The Quacks of Quedlinburg and similar games

    Become a cunning charlatan or a quack doctor in the whimsical world of The Quacks of Quedlinburg. In this quirky board game, each player concocts their own secret brew, one ingredient at a time. But beware, for a careless addition could spoil the entire mixture!

    Nominated for 17 awards and won 12.

    ⭐️ Kennerspiel des Jahres 2018

    More details for The Quacks of Quedlinburg
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 45 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for The Quacks of Quedlinburg

    • YouTube Review for the game "The Quacks of Quedlinburg" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  5. Heat: Pedal to the Metal

    All details for the board game Heat: Pedal to the Metal and similar games

    Heat: Pedal to the Metal is a dynamic and strategic racing board game that simulates the thrill and intricacies of car racing. It offers players a chance to experience the excitement of racing while managing crucial elements like speed, car upgrades, and varying track conditions.

    Nominated for 15 awards and won 6.

    More details for Heat: Pedal to the Metal
    • 1 - 6 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  6. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

    All details for the board game Deception: Murder in Hong Kong and similar games

    Deception: Murder in Hong Kong offers a riveting game of deduction and deception designed for 4-12 players, providing an immersive experience in approximately 20 minutes.

    More details for Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
    • 4 - 12 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  7. Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated

    All details for the board game Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated and similar games

    Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated is an innovative extension of the deck-building game Clank!, incorporating legacy-style elements. Players get the opportunity to establish and grow their own franchise of Acquisitions Incorporated, leading a team of intrepid adventurers on a quest for treasure and corporate fame. The game evolves uniquely across multiple play sessions, creating a personalized adventure campaign.

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 90 - 120 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  8. The Quest for El Dorado

    All details for the board game The Quest for El Dorado and similar games

    The Quest for El Dorado is a strategic and adventurous board game that immerses players in the exciting journey of discovering the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Set in the lush South American jungles, this game combines deck-building and racing elements, challenging players to be both cunning and quick.

    Nominated for 13 awards and won 6.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2017

    More details for The Quest for El Dorado
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for The Quest for El Dorado

    • YouTube Review for the game "The Quest for El Dorado" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  9. Cartographers

    All details for the board game Cartographers and similar games

    Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale transports players to a realm where they take on the roles of mapmakers, tasked by Queen Gimnax to chart the northern territories for the Kingdom of Nalos. This game combines elements of strategy and creativity, challenging players to create the most efficient and aesthetically pleasing maps.

    Nominated for 10 awards.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2020

    More details for Cartographers
    • 1 - 100 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  10. Dorfromantik: The Board Game

    All details for the board game Dorfromantik: The Board Game and similar games

    Dorfromantik: The Board Game transitions the charming and strategic essence of the beloved video game into a tactile family board game experience. Designed by Michael Palm and Lukas Zach, this game invites up to six players to collaboratively construct a picturesque landscape using hexagonal tiles. Players aim to satisfy community demands while strategically extending rivers and tracks, and optimizing points through clever area enclosure with flags.

    Nominated for 3 awards and won 1.

    ⭐️ Spiel des Jahres 2023

    More details for Dorfromantik: The Board Game
    • 1 - 6 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  11. Star Realms

    All details for the board game Star Realms and similar games

    Star Realms is a fast-paced, deck-building card game set in the vastness of space. Designed by renowned game creators, it combines the excitement of deck-building with the strategic depth of combat trading card games.

    Nominated for 10 awards and won 3.

    More details for Star Realms
    • 2 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  12. Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure

    All details for the board game Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure and similar games

    Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure is an exciting board game where players become daring thieves, sneaking into a dragon's lair to steal artifacts while avoiding making noise to prevent waking the dragon.

    Nominated for 11 awards and won 3.

    More details for Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  13. Sagrada

    All details for the board game Sagrada and similar games

    Sagrada is a visually striking board game where players draft dice to create beautiful stained glass windows, combining strategy and aesthetics.

    Nominated for 12 awards.

    More details for Sagrada
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  14. Horrified

    All details for the board game Horrified and similar games

    Horrified is a cooperative board game that plunges players into a classic horror movie scenario. Set in a town besieged by not one but seven iconic monsters, it's a race against time to save the day.

    Nominated for 5 awards.

    More details for Horrified
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 60 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Horrified

    • YouTube Review for the game "Horrified" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  15. PARKS

    All details for the board game PARKS and similar games

    PARKS is a visually stunning board game that celebrates the beauty and splendor of U.S. National Parks. With artwork from Fifty-Nine Parks, this game offers players a unique blend of strategy and adventure as they embark on a journey through nature.

    Nominated for 10 awards and won 2.

    More details for PARKS
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  16. The Castles of Burgundy

    All details for the board game The Castles of Burgundy and similar games

    The Castles of Burgundy is a strategy board game set in the Burgundy region of High Medieval France, where players assume the roles of aristocrats controlling small princedoms. The game combines tile placement and dice rolling mechanics to offer a rich and strategic experience.

    More details for The Castles of Burgundy
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 70 - 120 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  17. Cartographers Heroes

    All details for the board game Cartographers Heroes and similar games

    Cartographers Heroes embarks players on a new voyage through the storied Western Lands, enhancing the acclaimed formula of its predecessor with fresh challenges and dynamic elements. As royal cartographers, players are tasked with mapping these perilous territories, their efforts now intertwined with the valorous acts of heroes who stand against the encroaching Dragul forces. This sequel not only retains the beloved core mechanics of drawing and mapping but enriches the experience with innovative map sheets, scoring cards, and explore cards, all while introducing ambush cards that bring unique abilities into play.

    More details for Cartographers Heroes
    • 1 - 100 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  18. Camel Up

    All details for the board game Camel Up and similar games

    Camel Up is an exciting and unpredictable racing and betting game where players wager on camels competing in a zany race around a pyramid. With its unique mechanics and charming theme, it's a game that promises fun and laughter for up to eight players.

    Nominated for 13 awards and won 2.

    ⭐️ Spiel des Jahres 2014

    More details for Camel Up
    • 2 - 8 Players
    • 20 - 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  19. The Castles of Burgundy

    All details for the board game The Castles of Burgundy and similar games

    The Castles of Burgundy is set in the medieval Burgundy region of France, where players assume the roles of aristocrats seeking to expand their princedoms. The game revolves around building settlements, constructing castles, engaging in river trade, mining for silver, and utilizing travelers' knowledge.

    Nominated for 8 awards and won 2.

    More details for The Castles of Burgundy
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 90 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for The Castles of Burgundy

    • YouTube Review for the game "The Castles of Burgundy" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  20. Terraforming Mars

    All details for the board game Terraforming Mars and similar games

    Terraforming Mars is a strategic board game set in the 2400s, where players, representing giant corporations, embark on the colossal task of terraforming Mars. Sponsored by the World Government on Earth, each corporation competes to contribute most effectively to raising the planet's temperature, oxygen level, and ocean coverage to make Mars habitable. While players work together in the terraforming process, they also compete for victory points awarded for their contributions to terraforming, advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar system, and other notable achievements.

    Nominated for 27 awards and won 14.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2017

    More details for Terraforming Mars
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 120 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Terraforming Mars

    • YouTube Review for the game "Terraforming Mars" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  21. Everdell

    All details for the board game Everdell and similar games

    Everdell invites players to immerse themselves in the enchanting valley of Everdell, where a thriving civilization of forest critters seeks to expand their territories and establish new cities beneath towering trees, meandering streams, and mossy hollows. As the leader of a group of ambitious critters, you have a busy year ahead, filled with construction, character encounters, and hosting events. Can you ensure that the sun shines brightest on your city before the winter moon rises?

    Nominated for 16 awards and won 7.

    More details for Everdell
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 40 - 80 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Everdell

    • YouTube Review for the game "Everdell" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  22. Quacks & Co.: Quedlinburg Dash

    All details for the board game Quacks & Co.: Quedlinburg Dash and similar games

    Nominated for 8 awards and won 4.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2022

    More details for Quacks & Co.: Quedlinburg Dash
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 25 Minutes
    • 6+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  23. Dominion

    All details for the board game Dominion and similar games

    In Dominion, you step into the shoes of a monarch, much like your ancestors, ruling over a small, picturesque kingdom. However, your ambitions stretch far beyond the peaceful realm you've inherited. Your goal is to expand your territory, transforming these modest lands into a vast dominion filled with diverse landscapes and resources.

    Nominated for 32 awards and won 17.

    ⭐️ Spiel des Jahres 2009

    More details for Dominion
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  24. Spots

    All details for the board game Spots and similar games
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 25 - 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  25. Concordia

    All details for the board game Concordia and similar games

    Concordia is a peaceful yet strategic board game set in Roman times, focusing on economic development and expansion. It is designed for 2-5 players aged 13 and up.

    Nominated for 7 awards and won 2.

    ⭐️ Nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2014

    More details for Concordia
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 100 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Concordia

    • YouTube Review for the game "Concordia" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Concordia" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  26. Marvel Champions: The Card Game

    All details for the board game Marvel Champions: The Card Game and similar games

    In the immortal words of Stan Lee, "With great power, there must also come great responsibility." Enter the thrilling world of Marvel Champions: The Card Game, where Iron Man and Black Panther unite to thwart Rhino's rampage through New York, and Captain Marvel teams up with Spider-Man to face the looming threat of Ultron and global annihilation. Do you possess the mettle to stand alongside these legendary heroes and emerge as a true champion?

    Nominated for 11 awards and won 2.

    More details for Marvel Champions: The Card Game
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 45 - 90 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Marvel Champions: The Card Game

    • YouTube Review for the game "Marvel Champions: The Card Game" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  27. Memoir '44

    All details for the board game Memoir '44 and similar games

    Memoir '44 is a historical board game that recreates some of the most iconic battles of World War II, allowing players to engage in strategic warfare with a focus on simplicity and historical accuracy.

    Nominated for 4 awards and won 2.

    More details for Memoir '44
    • 2 - 8 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  28. Tyrants of the Underdark

    All details for the board game Tyrants of the Underdark and similar games

    Tyrants of the Underdark is a strategic board game that combines elements of territory control with deck-building. Set in the iconic Dungeons & Dragons setting of the Underdark, players lead Drow houses vying for power and influence beneath the Sword Coast. The game stands out for its integration of card-driven gameplay with spatial control on the board.

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Tyrants of the Underdark
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 60 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  29. Potion Explosion

    All details for the board game Potion Explosion and similar games

    Potion Explosion is a fun and engaging game for 2 to 4 players, created by Horrible Games and designed by Lorenzo Silva, Andrea Crespi, and Stefano Castelli. The game combines strategy and pattern recognition in a magical potion-brewing setting.

    Nominated for 5 awards and won 2.

    More details for Potion Explosion
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Potion Explosion

    • YouTube Review for the game "Potion Explosion" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  30. Valeria: Card Kingdoms

    All details for the board game Valeria: Card Kingdoms and similar games

    Valeria: Card Kingdoms is a tableau-building game set in the fantastical land of Valeria, besieged by monstrous hordes. Players take on the roles of Dukes, tasked with fortifying their kingdoms, recruiting citizens, and fighting off the encroaching enemies.

    More details for Valeria: Card Kingdoms
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Easy to learn

Didn't find the game you were looking for?

We're positive that you'll find it in one of our other lists! To make the search easier for you, we split our website into different categories. The following board game categories will help you find the right list: