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Popular Resource Management Board Games (Category)

These are the board games with the Resource Management category.
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Someone Call The Manager Like| 4 comments | [+]
ReviewThe Hungry Gamer Previews burncycle [Burncycle]Like| 6 comments | [+]
Obsession - Game with the charms of an "indie" image
ReviewObsession - Game with the charms of an "indie" [Obsession]Like| 24 comments | [+]
ReviewTwo Moms Game review Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization [Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization]Like| 0 comments | [+]
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Worker Placement: Dictorial satisfaction at seeing my commands completed in a timely manner

Deck Building: Hoarding satisfaction as I collect various types of cards that tend to gather in useless piles in my deck

Resource Management: A sense of capitalism as I exhaust and deplete options for other opponents

Asymmetry:  Pity on the fools taking actions that mean nothing to me!

Point Salad: No one wants salad! Get out of here salad!!

This is great and the "ideal player count and conditions" is what triggered me to do the same with my list with those two ideals in mind.  Your process and format are fantastic!  As I read through the games we've both played I note that we have similar thoughts which drive me to look at the games I haven't played on your list and seriously reconsider some games I've been so-so on.  Doing 20 games was tough but I hammered through and here's what I came up with:

20. #Marvel Champions: The Card Game - I thought this would be a little higher and to some degree it feels a little like #Firefly: The Game which I feel is a great game, tons of fun to play, but has a sort of "niche" spot on my shelf and tends to not rank among my top tier games.  Champions is still a great game, lots of fun, and very engaging.  In trying to consider why it gets bumped down I might argue that the length of play with the ideal play number (3-4?) is fairly long.  Even a two-player game takes a decent amount of time.

19. #Root - I finally got to play a three-player game the other night and the magic of this game came through for me.  I can see this moving up my list over time with more plays.  The "gotcha" aspect of this game is would keep it from being much higher as I tend to gravitate away from such games.  That Root makes this list at all is a testament to how much fun it is.

18. #Castles of Mad King Ludwig - has been in my collection for several years now and remains a staple.  4 players is the best to play with but the other player counts are well balanced and there is a solo option as well.  The market arrangement at the beginning of each round is one of my favorite aspects to this game.  

17. #Terraforming Mars - this was a tough one.  I enjoy this game and it remains an engaging experience when it hits the table.  The solo on this is quite fun as well.  It's been a while since I've played but still makes the top 20 with solid mechanics and gameplay.

16. #Everdell - this was a very very challenging game to place!  I'm not sure if it's the long setup or a slight untightness in gameplay that keep it from being higher.  I don't often have ideal options to play and there are a few "gotcha" cards that drive it down slightly.  The components and art are off the charts and this is one of the few heavier games my entire family will play.

15. #Viscounts of the West Kingdom - is a game that could rise as time goes on.  I taught Becky and she did well on her first game (beating me of course) and this might end up passing #Paladins of the West Kingdom at some point.  This is a deck-building game with lots of crunchy mechanics.

14. #Teotihuacan: City of Gods - was another challenge to rank as I have fewer plays but it has a very engaging rondel and the player interaction on the board is fun and the theme is well balanced with the mechanics.  This is a well-designed game.  The solo mode is quite nice.  If there is a knock on this game it might be the extra setup with dice when you have less than 4 players.  

13. #Tapestry - is very fun with one of the longest setups of any game I have (competing with Everdell) but the components and gameplay are creative and a five-player game is perhaps the most engaging.  I am looking forward to getting #Tapestry: Plans and Ploys and seeing how much that adds to the game.

12.  #PARKS - I wasn't 100% sure this would make the top 20 but with the #PARKS: Nightfall Expansion it moves up past other games and is a relaxing and enjoyable game that feels like a walk in the park.  The art is beautiful and the player interactions are easy going.

11. #Anachrony - Wow...I thought this would be higher but the setup probably shifts it down slightly.  Still, it has a fantastic time travel aspect, great engine building, and asynchronous player boards, make this an awesome game to play.  The solo mode is fun as well.  Takes up quite a bit of space.

10. #Paladins of the West Kingdom - gets the edge into the top 10.  Everything said was spot on.  The solo version is very well designed.

9. #Rococo: Deluxe Edition - I wasn't sure where this would land but it edged out Paladins as I liked the 5 player count and the art and gameplay I felt were the slightest bit better.  It too has a great automa.

8. #Maracaibo - I would not have thought this would have made my top 10 last year but I find myself wanting to play this more and I think a 4 player count with the campaign mode makes this a tantalizing game to play.  The colonialism theme could be a little edgy for some folks but doesn't standout as a focus and the theme is more set in an era than encouraging poor behaviors through gameplay.  

7. #Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island - this is another game I didn't think would make the top 10 but it is a great game with a very hard solo experience.  With four players this game is engaging and incredible to play and I think was years ahead of it's time when it came out with combined components, theme, and mechanics.

6. #Heaven & Ale I had to juggle to decide if this would beat out Robinson Crusoe and decided Heaven and Ale gets the edge.  Excellent euro-game that hits the mark on time, strategy, and intriguing player interaction around the rondel.

5. #Wingspan - is just great at 5 players and remains an amazing game with beautiful art, interactive gameplay, and still gets more plays than any other game in our home.  The solo mode is quite good as well.

4. #Clans of Caledonia - is a great economic resource management game with a nice tight game time and mechanics.  I could probably play this one over and over again using the different clans.

3. #Gloomhaven - such a great game and dollar for dollar you'll be hard-pressed to find a game that gives you more bang for your buck.  Solo or with others this is an amazing game.

2. #Viticulture: Essential Edition - this is a game that shines under the ideal conditions.  Worker-placement with some engine-building, this game is so much fun and the race to 25 points is engaging.

1. #Scythe - gets the top spot.  It checks all the boxes that a game can check for me and with 6-7 players is off the charts fun.  When I first bought this game I thought it would be moderately fun.  After multiple game nights now this game is the bar to beat.  


Games that might challenge for spots next year: #The Gallerist depending on set up and how brain-smashing the interlocking mechanics feel.  The solo might factor in as well. #Brass: Birmingham could sneak in there after a few game nights. #Raiders of Scythia feels like a game that could push for a 10-20 range spot. #Obsession feels like it has the best possibility to get into the top 10.  I can see it making a move this year for sure.

We were camping in our RV in at Crystal Springs in AR with my brother and his family.  There we played:

#In the Year of the Dragon which I think I may have played once before as it seemed familiar.  This is an action and resource management game with events occuring at the end of each round you can plan for.  Good and bad consequences impact your player area depending on your ability to plan accordingly.  Lots of player interaction required to game plan well with turn order being a significant factor.

#The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine was brought by my brother who haden't had the chance to play it and neither had I.  We played through the first 5-6 missions learning the game as we went.  I wasn't sure how I would like this game but after playing through a few scenarios I am excited to play this one again and love the complexity involved for a fairly simply designed game.  

#Viticulture: Essential Edition was our final game.  Becky bailed on us so we played three players which I don;t think I have played before at that player count.  I lost by two but love this game and look forward to playing again (I hve it set up for solo at my house now).  

I like your game choices here.  I would add #Marvel Champions: The Card Game to the list.  I think the hand/resource management is a great aspect to this game. 


Worker placement


Resource management


#Innovation - My wife and I are on 2 plays of this game and really love it.  Seems to be a lot of replayability with this one.

#Point Salad - Quick little time filler game to play.  I always seem to under draft point cards and end up with a low score.  Trying to put all your eggs in one basket doesn't work in this game.

#Florenza: The Card Game - Found this gem at the thrift store for a couple of bucks.  There's a lot of cards to manage in your hand but plenty of potential in this game. Resource management is one of my favorite mechanics.

Teachers? Classroom management? haha That one might be tough to impliment, but it could be a good educational tool if done well.

Antoher job could be social media manager. In this game, you would have to manage comments, reviews (good and bad), and use your resources to build an audience, appease irate customers, bring in sales, create content, etc. It could be a resource management game where time is a resource (i.e. be as effective as possible without working too much overtime, it takes x amount of hours to create a certain type of content). Could also be worker placement where you must assign a worker on a spot in order to fulfill that job requirement. For example, one spot could be to monitor comments on a live stream, write an article, or talk back and forth with the irate customer over DM about how you can't justify refunding the food they left on their counter for six months and now it's rotten and bad. You know, that kind of thing.

I think there could be a lot of fun games created based on "normal" jobs.

I generally agree that most mechanics are quite easy to fit into a more broadly appealing game in isolation. It is generally when you have multiple integrated mechanics that the learning difficulty skyrockets, when you have to balance resource management, with bidding on cards, with an area control aspect that suddenly there is so much that has to be learnt and understood from playing simpler games that it creates a high barrier for entry.

That said, I can imagine something like the delayed worker placement in #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar taking a long time before being successfully put into a mass market game. I think the fact that there is very little immediate gratification and it requires a tonne of long term planning that can be absolutely brutal if you mess it up might make it a hard sell. But who knows, I guess it isn't a huge jump from action planning/queue mechanics which I am sure feature in mass market games.

I would argue that #Everdell is a tableau builder that isn't a real engine builder. I would argue this because actions don't necesarily become more efficient.  As your tableau grows it gives you more in two seasons but not in a more efficient way.  I think an engine builder will make a given standard action in the game more efficient or productive across future instances of that action being taken in the game.

That being said, has a great point. #Teotihuacan: City of Gods doesn't feel like a true engine builder either, alchemy board aside, because you workers simply grow and the gameplay itself has a sort of optional engine in it but it's use and necessity in the game is marginal compared to a true "engine building" game.

Back to #Scythe. This feels like a game that I'd argue has a high degree of engine building because the efficiency with which you upgrade your board (or tableau...although I'd argue this is a play board and different from a tableau) means quite a lot over the coarse of gameplay.

#Wingspan is both a true tableau builder AND engine builder because you can build your tableau without really building your engine too much (yes, your actions get better with more birds but the engine are the bird powers and now the better actions....I think the Teotihuacan arguement applies here as well).  

#Paladins of the West Kingdom is somewhat unique in having what is essentially two separate engines that can work together.  The villagers recruited are one engine and make the actions you take produce more.  The development action upgrades your playerboard and makes the actions you take more efficient (using less workers).  The key to this game is getting both engines to sync together for maximum effect.  This is a worker placement game in generally with a dual engine building mechanic.

All that being said I would argue that engine building is often if not always a mechanism built off smaller mechanisms (a secondary mechanism if you will) like anger is a secondary emotion or green is a secondary color.  The Paladins engines are built off of worker placement, action selection, and tableau building actions.  The Wingspan engine is built off card choice and tableau building and resource management, Scythe off action selection and reasource managment and resource production.

Honestly, tableau building seems like a secondary mechanic in itself nine times out of ten build off of other "prime" mechanics.  

I think an intersting question might be, 'What do you see as 'prime mechanics' and what do you see as 'secondary mechanics' in boardgames?

Who else feels a certain sense of humorous irony at breaking down our beloved hobby into a philisophical discussion and what have I become now that I have done this thing?

Oh my goodness... depending on the price it's gonna be hard for me to not support this project (admittedly this is an initial reaction) but so many things look like they would hit the mark for me.  4x, Negative Player Interaction, Hand Management, Area Control, Resource Management, Sandbox.  Plus, I love alternate history and Steampunk.

The player count is not problematic for me as I almost never play at 2P.

Is the artwork the same artist that has done the North Sea and West Kingdom games?

I would not consider #Wingspan#PARKS, or #Root as worker placement games.  Wingspan is Tableau building with resource management, PARKS is sort of worker placement but it's like #Sierra West where it's more worker management combined with resource management.  Root is are control mostly.  

That's all for my  #Viticulture: Essential Edition I agree with and I think that deserves a spot at or near the top.  I haven't played #A Feast For Odin and can't speak to that one.  #Robinson Crusoe is pretty much worker placement and exceptionally challenging at that.  I think it earns a top 5 for me due to it's difficulty (but also great gameplay).  #Paladins of the West Kingdom competes for my top worker placement spot and it probably depends on my mood as to whether I'd place they one first or Viticulture.  

#Architects of the West Kingdom is a great game and I think a lot of folks would consider it high on their lists if they;ve play'd it.  It's more interactive than #Paladins of the West Kingdom.  The next one gets left off become it may be considered tableau building rather than worker placement but #Everdell has a significant worker placement component to it's gameplay.  #Lewis & Clark is similar in that it's more of a deck builder but worker placement is quite significant.  

The aches and pains are setting in as I recover from my 2nd COVID shot.  But that gives me time to type a little and dive into this "perfect game" idea.

has touched on two things that I think are significant.  One being the upgrading of two things for one action, or, I think in broader terms, this would be getting a lot for a little, or each action feeling it has some weight to it.  The second thing is the game not having any major weak points.  This could fall into that subjective category but I think, to some degree, an avid gamer can appreciate even a game they don't really enjoy playing based on it being well designed.  I think of this in terms of judging a beer style I don't prefer but still being able to look at it objectively without taking points away just because of my style preferences.

So let's dive a bit deeper into this rabbit hole, shall we...

I touched on #Gloomhaven and #Scythe has been touched on starting things off with a few "perfect game" features...

1. Game progression that allows each game to feel a little different or have a twist of some sort and matches experience (Gloomhaven)

2. The feeling of accomplishment from turn to turn and no weak areas (Scythe).  Or a higher payout in points or resources than investment (Wingspan).

3. Natural gameplay interactions between players that match well with the theme and don't feel forced.  Even in competition, players must interact successfully with opponents.

4. A pleasant tension (or difficulty) that creates enough challenge to breed stories and memories over the course of multiple games.

5. Art that is captivating, blends smoothly into theme and gameplay and draws the players in further.

#Wingspan has shot up the charts since it came out and has maintained a high ranking despite a theme that might have caught a few folks off guard when it came out.  I think the theme is actually quite approachable and may contribute to its success to some degree.  However, the gameplay seems to be what keeps people coming back to the table.  I think the engine building aspect of this game is its magic with there being several different types of engines that one can build.   I'm not sure it's the engine-building in and of itself that hits the right notes but maybe the same bit from #Scythe in which players can see how their actions pay off and may get a good payout from one action.  I simply added to 2 on this one.

I think with #Brass: Birmingham it comes down to the tight interweaving of interactions that influence point games and resource management.  This likely falls into the lack of a real weak area as in Scythe but also feels like something more social.  I'd add a social factor to the "perfect game" that allows space for self-deterministic gameplay (as in Brass, I can interact with others or try to create my own space on the board to some degree)

#Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is rated very highly and while I have not played it I know there is a glorious tension with this game that draws players back to the table over and over again.  I think I would enjoy playing this but have a feeling that Gloomhaven gives me the same experience with a pit more autonomy of character.  One aspect of Pandemic and other games like #Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island and #Spirit Island is the challenge and difficulty.  These are all co-op games as well and I am not sure that the "perfect game" would be co-op, but I do think it will be quite challenging and force players to make difficult decisions over the course of gameplay (Do I move and hit the monster with a huge swing or sit here and heal my ally who is down to two health?)

#Terraforming Mars brings my thinking back to Scythe or Brass and the idea that some form of player collaboration is important in the perfect game.  You should have to pay attention to what other players are doing to one degree or another. #Castles of Mad King Ludwig uses this well with the auction mechanic to make income and determine room prices each round.  

#Everdell #Scythe #Brass: Birmingham all have great art.  The "perfect game" would have the absolute best art.  It should be aesthetically pleasing in every way possible.  I would argue that the "perfect" game would use art in a meaningful way in the game.  Something like #Canvas but even better. #The Gallerist has a unique feature the allows the tiles players' place of the art they purchased to blend in with their player board.  Something along these lines should be incorporated.  


I could likely go on for a while down the game list.  I will stop here with these five takeaways and a few questions:

1. Game progression that allows each game to feel a little different or have a twist of some sort and matches experience (Gloomhaven)

2. The feeling of accomplishment from turn to turn and no weak areas (Scythe).  Or a higher payout in points or resources than investment (Wingspan).

3. Natural gameplay interactions between players that match well with the theme and don't feel forced.  Even in competition, players must interact successfully with opponents.

4. A pleasant tension (or difficulty) that creates enough challenge to breed stories and memories over the course of multiple games.

5. Art that is captivating, blends smoothly into theme and gameplay and draws the players in further.


What game aspect do you think I have missed that would be in the "perfect" game?

Do you think the perfect game already exists, and if so, what is it?

What game falls outside your normal game choices but you have found it is very good despite being outside your preferences?