Favorite Mechanic Rooted in the Theme

I was inspired by the Rococo Deluxe thread (pun intended) and was curious what is your favorite mechanic that is drenched in theme. 

I think of Vital Lacerda games for this mostly. Lisboa,  you are doing a lot of your maneuvering and building around being able to clear different damage cubes from the historical wreckage of Lisbon, Viticulture you have to go through the entire process of planting vines, harvesting them and letting them age before you can sell them. Just two examples of mechanics being driven by theme. 

What sticks out to you?

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Supporter10 months ago

Star Wars Rebellion- as the Empire you are trying to squash all these pesky little rebel cells and develop new super weapons to keep the galaxy ordered. As the  Rebels you spend your time building alliances and winning the support of the people of the galaxy. And hoping that the Empire doesn’t find your base before you are able to convince enough star systems to join. 

So many mechanisms rooted so strongly in the theme of the game. 

10 months ago

I have heard very positive things about Rebellion. I have a friend who owns it and want to get it to the table. Sounds like an awesome game of cat and mouse that really is heavy with theme!

Supporter10 months ago

Literally every mechanic of the game is dripping with theme. I don’t think you could find a more thematic game. 

10 months ago

Probably why it is so popular and highly rated!

10 months ago

I mention Vital Lacerda's Lisboa but basically all of his games just spill over with theme.

Vinhos Deluxe: certain value wines with score better and certain regions produce Port and the like. 

On Mars: Only certain actions you can do in space versus on Mars and everything just makes sense. You have to even take a ship to get off the planet or on the planet. Very unique mechanisms. 

Kanban: I mean you upgrade the parts of cars and test drive them and store them in garages. It really is excellent thematically. 

The Gallerist: You have patrons viewing and buying art which gives you money, you can increase the influence of an artist with marketing and social media. Super cool and unique theme that is integrated well.

Personally I think Lacerda is the king of theme integration. I have not done much research on Escape Plan or CO₂: Second Chance but I am sure they are rich with theme. 

Supporter10 months ago

Lacerda king of theme. That is why I want to try his games. 

10 months ago

Absolutely! They are just very pricey...

Which of his games would you want to try first?

Supporter10 months ago

Probably Lisboa or The Gallerist. Realistically most likely to try CO₂: Second Chance because it is cheaper. 

10 months ago

Wow, I had no idea CO2 was that cheap!

Supporter10 months ago

Yep, I keep thinking it would be an option if I would win a BGA GAW. realistically I'll probably go for something else. 

10 months ago

I have not watched a play through of it yet, but it is on the list, but the giveaway could make it possible!

Supporter10 months ago

I'm most curious about The Gallerist and Escape Plan. All of his game scare me a bit because I feel like explaining the rules will be tough, but I'd love to give it a try with my wife at some point. Highly thematic games are always a +++++ for me

10 months ago

I am right there with you in terms of being scared...but I love facing challenges that will kick my butt...That is how I choose the video games I will play lol. 

Supporter10 months ago

I think my favorite theme mechanic in Viticulture is the turn order being determined by the wake up chart.  You wake up early you go first, you sleep in you have a little more energy (bonus reward), but you’re late to the fields.

Supporter10 months ago

I like this a lot too and Tuscany takes it up a notch with how it completely changes up the dynamic/pacing of the years by making players who finish the winter season earlier to retire their workers and free up previously occupied action spaces for other players. Let's just say that my mind was properly blown in my first session of Tuscany lol.

Will be looking forward to expanding my horizons during 2020 and seeing how Viticulture measures up against other games afterward.

10 months ago

Are you planning to slowly introduce all of the different components of Tuscany?

Supporter10 months ago

Yeah and it's really cool because I've noticed in my plays there is a tendency for some people to try and go early and forego the bonuses.  (By some people I mean me, haha).  But it's also nice to be a in position to pick last and really decide to I want to try to move up or take what's left and get a lot of bonuses.

Tuscany is so awesome too.  But I haven't played with the buildings expansion yet, have you?  How was it?

Supporter10 months ago

@sdirrane @nealkfrank We haven't played yet (waiting for the weekend) but I'm only going to bring out the new board for our first time. I'll introduce one by one and I'll have to read up on the rules for each of them too since I've never tried them!

After we get through all of them, I am curious whether we'll end up wanting to play with all of the modules all the time or if we'll stick with the new board only. 

Supporter10 months ago

Viticulture is on my possible list for this weekend.  I'm having a 5 player game night so my options are...

Viticulture, Scythe, Imperial Assault, Raiders of the North Sea, or Western Legends.  

Supporter10 months ago

Yeah I've been waiting on the buildings until I have all seasoned players.  It seems like it would add quite a bit.  I'm not sure if I'd add buildings for casual gamers.  But... I really want to.

10 months ago

The new board adds quite a bit so it is probably good to start out slowly! There is a lot in that Tuscany box!

10 months ago

That really is a genius mechanic! Turn order manipulation is great in its own right but one that is drenched in theme is dope. 

Supporter10 months ago

Yes this is quite clever and very thematic. 

10 months ago

Oof this is good...

Well I love the overwhelming theme in Monopoly deal and how I feel like a real tycoon. JK haha 

I really like the bluffing in Sheriff of Nottingham. The pushing your luck in Quacks as you test potions. And the building of your farm in Agricola (still euro-y but theme is there).

Supporter10 months ago

I love the theme of Jenga. Construction workers hired to cut corners. The mechanisms just bleed seamlessly into the theme. 

10 months ago

HA! So good!

Not to mention Liars Dice. I feel like a liar.

10 months ago

Well I see we are going sarcastic in this little thread lol

10 months ago

Haha sorry it was my fault... I made @Skurvy5 do it...

10 months ago

Well I just wanted to add that I really feel like a king in checkers when I can stack my pieces!

Supporter10 months ago

Lol nice.