4CF Stranger FuturesⓇ

Strategic Board Game

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.

It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
Mark Twain (not necessarily)

4CF Stranger Futures is a serious board game. It was designed specifically for professional foresight applications in which the collective intelligence of participants is needed to question assumptions regarding the future of a given area and to identify disruptive changes. The game, partially inspired by RAND’s Assumption-Based Planning (ABP) methodological framework and the Delphi method, is unique in combining playfulness with a focus on the validity and usefulness of insights.

The rules of 4CF Stranger Futures are flexible so that the game can be played in a variety of modes: The simplest mode is most useful whenever the goals of the workshop are focused on enhancing the assumption-questioning skills of participants and their ability to come up with alternative futures. More complex game modes are available whenever well analysed, actionable insights are needed. In such cases a deeper assessment of the validity of insights is incorporated into the game, providing the possibility of producing an analytical report based directly on the results.  

4CF Stranger Futures has proven highly useful in a variety of topics and applications, ranging from the future of climate change resilience, through cybersecurity, to the future of the payments industry.

Goals of the game:

  • Use the collective intelligence of participants to challenge assumptions about the future in order to uncover alternative futures, disruptions and/or unexpectedly vulnerable assumptions
  • Enhance the participants ability to “use the future” – consciously de-bias their reasoning, consider various scenarios and disruptive events, challenge their assumptions and avoid naive trend extrapolations

Who and why should play it?

  • If you, your team, or the experts you involve in your projects are trying to cope with the complexity of the future, the speed of change and uncertainty – 4CF Stranger Futures is meant for you. Whether you’re trying to come up with solutions to one of the world’s most complex challenges, an innovative new product or marketing plan, an out-of-the box idea, or a winning strategy, it’s definitely worth making sure early-on that your assumptions aren’t misleading you and that the future won’t be stranger than you have ever imagined (because it probably will!).

The future of payments – a 4CF Stranger Futures workshop organised for First Data in 2017, involving almost 100 banking experts and executives. Workshop results have been described in the payments industry AntiTrendbook available here.

Photo courtesy of First Data Poland.

An internal 4CF Stranger Futures workshop at 4CF headquarters at an early stage of “The unexpected future of cybersecurity” project, prepared for the European Cyber Security Month 2018; more information here.

A 4CF Stranger Futures workshop during the Resilience Frontiers conference organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during Korea Global Adaptation Week 2019.

Photo courtesy of UNFCCC.

Key characteristics:

  • Suitable both for high-stakes/high-expertise projects and for more casual, playful events
  • Highly praised by participants for its unique ability to bring very valuable, actionable insights, in an effortless, playful way.
  • Highly flexible rules and many game modes, able to accommodate a variety of needs and goals for a workshop.
  • Tested in a wide range of applications, topics, expertise-levels and cultural settings.
  • Never gets outdated and can easily accommodate all topics imaginable.
  • Highly scalable. Number of players in one group: 3-9. Number of players in a workshop: unlimited (if needed the participants can collectively exchange insights and assessments between the groups within the course of the game).
  • Official game set produced with sustainability in mind: All plastic tokens used in 4CF Stranger Futures are made of old, recycled fishing nets and all game cards are printed on paper made with 100% recycled fiber sourced from certified forests and other controlled sources.




Main benefits:

  • The results can be used as an input for analytical reports if needed, even straight from the works.
  • Now even better than ever – we have gathered feedback from years of using the game and developed an enhanced and more flexible 2.0 version, so you can use the most advanced version in your workshop.
  • Adjustable gameplay time: you can play the game in as little as 1 hour or scale it up to a whole day of in-depth gamified discussions guided by critical thinking. Some users of the game decide to incorporate it in their strategic planning or ideation and use it on an ongoing, cyclical basis. What a great idea!
  • Downloadable free of charge under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License for non-commercial purposes.


  • If you are interested in using 4CF Stranger Futures for commercial purposes or need assistance in organising a non-commercial event, we will be more than happy to learn about your needs and goals and assist you in design, production, implementation and reporting. Our extensive experience in professional foresight for major institutions and corporations around the world will help you get new results from this innovative foresight game. 4CF Stranger Futures has been used both in exclusive small-scale expert settings and at large scale events, with IT supported information flow between workgroups and other highly engaging enhancements of the experience. Please contact us to learn more, we’d love to hear about your interest in 4CF Stranger Futures!
  • If, instead of printing your own game, you would like to purchase an official 4CF Stranger Futures game set made of sustainable materials, please let us know. All official 4CF Stranger Futures game sets come with a license for commercial use (as opposed to the freely downloadable version, which can only be used for non-commercial applications) and cost 250 EUR each.


If you wish to download a free version of the game for non-commercial purposes, please log in or register below.

I have read the Terms and Conditions, accept their contents and undertake to abide by their provisions.

In accordance with Article 13 of the General Data Protection Regulation of 27 April 2016. (GDPR) we inform you that:

  1. The administrator of your personal data is 4CF Spółka z o.o., based at 9 Górskiego Street, 00-033 Warsaw, NIP: 5252542950, e-mail: info@4cf.pl.
  2. Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of execution and performance of the contract – on the basis of Article 6(1)(b).
  3. Provision of personal data is necessary to perform the provisions of the aforementioned agreement.
  4. Recipients of your personal data will be entities participating in the execution of the contract, and may also be provided to entities entitled under the provisions of law.
  5. Your personal data will be processed for the duration of the contract. The data processing period may be extended each time by the period of the statute of limitations for claims, if the processing of personal data is necessary for the establishment or assertion of possible claims or defence against such claims. After this period, the data will only be processed for the time and to the extent required by law.
  6. You have the right to access the content of your data and to receive a copy of it, as well as the right to rectification, erasure or restriction of processing. In addition, you have the right to object to the processing of this personal data and the right to data portability.
  7. You have the right to lodge a complaint with the President of the Data Protection Authority or if you consider that the processing of your personal data violates the provisions of the GDPR.

Simplified game rules

This content has been restricted to logged in users only. Please login to view this content.

Standard game rules

This content has been restricted to logged in users only. Please login to view this content.

Printable single-use game elements

This content has been restricted to logged in users only. Please login to view this content.