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Weekly Challenge #5: Player Board Unlockables

I love progression. In life, in games (video or board) and in so many other aspects of life! I think this is why I love play boards that give you abilities as you uncover differen portions of the board! I do not really care what other mechanics come along with this, I am a total sucker for this! Here are the games I have played that have this and I have enjoyed (some more than others, but still) and some games that I am interested in because of this!

Played games:

1. #Gaia Project - I talk about this game a ton, but I have not talked much about the player boards! This board is fairly unique though in that you can often loose the benefit that you just gained by upgrading another building. Ugrading a mine to a trading post? Oh you have to take back the mine and put it back on your player board covering up some Ore production. It really is so well done.

2. #Scythe - I have not had the best experiences playing this game. I may have just played with the wrong crowd BUT I really do enjoy the playerboard mechanics (my problems are with the players and the board state). I enjoy being able to move those cubes around the wonderful dual layered play board and get those building out onto the board. Very satisfying!

3. #Clans of Caledonia - I like this one for similar reasons as GP, the tension of placing a piece verses pulling it off the board is a juicy decision! Its about building an economy of your own that will benefit you the most!

Writing this list has made me realize I have not played many of these games...many of the games that got me interested in this are games I just know about!

Interested in: 

#Hansa Teutonica - The first game that did this! The more cubes and buildings you get out the there, the more efficient your actions are. Quick turns, simple rules, it is a win-win. 

#Barrage - This is a game that surprised me. I typically do not love games that just overwhelm a table with just stuff...but this game really does intrigue me. The opportunity to be in a symbiotic relationship with another player is unique and the different abilities unlocked on the board seem super interesting and game changing.

I am a sucker for this, so if you have other games that have player boards that function like this, send them my way! 

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Premium User5 months ago

I love this mechanic as well! #Scythe is a great example and cited #Paladins of the West Kingdom appropriately as this mechanic os one of the reason I like that game so much.  I feel like #Wingspan falls into this realm as well especially when your board does think counterintuitive to the action you are taking (ie. gaining food and triggering birds that give you eggs and let you draw cards).

#PARKS occasionaly does this if you get the right equipment that works together to help the player visit high point value parks for much less than normal.

I found that the assistants in #Maracaibo did this very well and the game that I put out the least number of assistents was the one that I struggled the most and lost.

Great choice!

5 months ago

Huh yeah this is a neat thing in games. I think the only games I've played that used it are Scythe,  Root, and Terraforming Mars.

5 months ago

All great games!

5 months ago

#Great Western Trail has a really enjoyable player board. As you get to unlock somethign every time you do a 'lap' but if you do laps slower you get more benefits, so there is a real feeling of trying to balance the two.

5 months ago

Ya I ahve looked into GWT, and I can recognize that it would be a game I would enjoy, just teaching the dang game though feels really overencumbering! There are sooooo many buildings you need to know! Of course I said this about Root at one time and loved my experience, but that is neither here nor there...

5 months ago

There are a bunch of buildings but you only generally need to look at 3-4 at a time as many of them you can't biuld at the start and then later wouldn't be worth building. That said the rulebook is a mess, so I would recommend having someone teach you first time.

5 months ago

That makes sense. I know how to play the game after watching a good amount of play throughs, the teach would fall on me if our group got it lol. 

Owner5 months ago

Ohh I'm totally with you on this one. I prefer this type of progression more than tabealu builders because it makes it feel more relatable than when it's just cards. The only games in my collection with something like this is #Clans of Caledonia and #Root to some degree. It's fun to place down more of your tokens from your player board to the map and to get bonuses in Root. And as the Woodland Alliance, you can place warriors on your board that will act as your "officers" that grant additional actions on your turn.

I remember reading that the designer of Clans was inspired by #Hansa Teutonica for the shipping, merchant, and tech upgrades. I'm pretty sure I won't have the opportunity to play that game with others, so I was glad that Clans is a bit of a mixed bag of great mechanics from multiple games (and it still works!)

By the way, have you seen this game yet? #Endless Winter: Paleoamericans. It seems to have a player board with "unlockables" as well. The art is done by The Mico (Mihajlo) who worked with Garphill Games for the North Sea and West Kingdom series. Apparently the design has been handled by those who've been involved with games like Rurik, Coloma, and Sierra West.

5 months ago

Oooooooo I am a suckker for not only player boards with unlockable elements but also dual layered player boards...there are not enough out there!!

I can recognize the benefit of a tableau builder, I am learning that cards do not always do it for me in a game. They have to be used really creatively rather than having a card in my hand, buying it, then putting it into my play area. It feels a little too "luck of the draw". With unlockable player boards, the designer is able to balance the differences in each character!

5 months ago

That is very pretty, I love his artwork! 

While moving cubes on boards is very satisfying, I do like the flexibility that tableau builders often give: you often have great choice over what you upgrade and often have more unique upgrades.

Supporter5 months ago

I too really enjoy this part of games.#Paladins of the West Kingdom is another good one that offers this. 

5 months ago

I do not think I knew that this is how paladins functioned! I will need to look more into that!

5 months ago

That's true, the player board in Paladins is basically the bulk of the game

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