On a freeform board, pieces are placed on the playing surface at the whim of the player, without being restricted to a particular pattern, but the planar distance of the pieces relative to each other is still significant. Players are completely free to place pieces anywhere, but the absolute physical location has significance to the game. For example, in Icehouse an attacking piece must be within a certain distance of the piece it is attacking; if the attacker is too far away while still pointing at the defender, the attack is meaningless.
This category is not to be confused with boardless or free-placement games.
Boardless games are where the pieces themselves, rather than the playing surface, merely serve as representational tokens. Examples include Homeworlds, Zendo, and IceTowers. Each star system, koan, or tower could be in a separate room and the game would still be playable. Players are free to place pieces anywhere, since piece location relative to the playing surface is mostly irrelevant. A board is not just undefined, but irrelevant to the game.
Other games, such as Rotationary and Martian Backgammon, use an imaginary board. Such games possess board-like qualities, such as organized rows and columns of pieces, even though no board is explicitly required. Locating a piece out of this pattern would significantly impact the ability to play the game. Thus a player is not entirely without limits on piece placement.
Pages in category "Freeform board"
The following 29 pages are in this category, out of 29 total.