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Popular Income Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Income mechanic.
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Rule QuestionEyrie Collapse Income [Root]Like| 2 comments | [+]
ReviewAn Oldie But Goodie - Suburbia Thoughts After 2 Plays [Suburbia]Like| 57 comments | [+]
Is Tapestry a good solo game? - First Impressions image
Is Tapestry a good solo game? - First Impressions [Tapestry]Like| 20 comments | [+]
Jump Drive: a 20-min card game of building an empire in space image
ReviewJump Drive: a 20-min card game of building an empire in space [Jump Drive]Like| 6 comments | [+]
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Pretty good week for me!

#Barrage - As one of my heaviest picks for our 10 x 5 challenge, it takes a lot to get it to the table. Finally broke it out last Monday and it was an interesting experience to say the least. I fully anticipated more plays would showcase that it is in fact too mean for us, but I don't think I found it to play that way this time. 3/5ths of the way through the game, I felt like I was doing absolutely nothing, but over the last 2 turns, I managed to set myself up for some big power generation at the end. It made me want to play it more which is totally not what I was going for lol. Sarah won 87-81 and still doesn't like it lol. Go figure.

#Kingdom Builder - Finished up yet another game of this on BGA. I did better than I have been but still get crushed. I still have a lot of fun playing though!

#Tapestry - Picked this up in my most recent trade with BoardGameCo (along with #Junk Art which I mentioned in last week's post). Gave it a try solo this past Thursday. I was mildly confused as to how the Automa's income turns worked. It seemed to be totally luck based on whether or not you happened to draw the income symbol in the middle of their 2 cards. They ended up skipping their entire first round based on the luck of the draw, and would have honestly skipped more if not for me rearranging how I oriented their cards a couple of times. I ended up winning 152-86 so it wasn't much of a challenge. I'm looking forward to trying this out again and going down some other tracks to see if it helps me score higher.

#Splendor - Finished up a game of this on BGA that seemed to end rather quickly. was able to swoop in with the win with a big last turn. Lots of fun and would be down for a rematch.

#Lorenzo il Magnifico - and myself have been playing this one for awhile over on Yucata and finally ended our game a couple days ago. It was my first time playing it at 4 and boy was it difficult. All my plans kept getting thwarted by people playing in the columns I wanted to go and simply not having enough resources to pay to go there anyway. I'll have to get in some more practice haha.

#The Castles of Burgundy - Also finished this one with the same group over on Yucata. All of us were really close yet again, all within striking distance of winning. Always expect this one to be among my favorites that I can't see myself parting with.

#Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game - Season One - Played the final case of this with Sarah last night. It was probably my least favorite of the cases, and that's saying a lot as I barely remember the first case lol. It seemed a little too cliché to the point where we didn't really get any solid evidence, but were able to sort out what happened fairly easily. We only missed one question, but in retrospect, we probably could have thought about it for a few minutes more and figured it out. Adding this one to the trade/sell pile.

1- Found the Website through a mention in Reddit in one of the boardgame community.

2- About 20 years ago when I was 12, had lots of Axis and Allies night + Hero Quest with the family of one of my childhood friend. Boardgame fever came back about 5 years ago along with steady income hehe

3- Tough to say with the lockdown it's been a while since we could do a gamenight. Before the Lockdown I'd say it was Too Many Bones, Detectives City of Angel and Baseball/Football Highlights 20XX head to head with a friend.

I'm also a sucker for any Ian O'Toole illustrated games, especially teamed up with Vital Lacerda.

Didn't get a lot of plays in last week until yesterday.

#Kingdom Builder - I keep playing this poorly on BGA against the usual crew. I think the game we're currently in I'll score a little better, but I think that almost every time I play so we'll see lol.

#Lost Ruins of Arnak - Finished up a game with and last Monday. I continue to enjoy this game so I used my MM giftcard that I won in a giveaway I posted about to pick it up. Wade and I played another game on Friday where I tried a different strategy that didn't seem to work out so well. Looking forward to this showing up and if I can't convince Sarah to play, I'll just try it solo for now :P

#Suburbia - Sarah and I continued our 10 x 5 challenge with a play of this Saturday. Life has gotten in the way of our breakneck pace we set getting it done in April, but I think we're still ahead of schedule. As far as the game goes, it's a lot of fun. This play in particular I think was the first time I cracked 100 points. Definitely very luck based as far as what tiles come out, but focusing on getting your income up before your population seems to be the strategy.

Yesterday we went over to my brother's place to celebrate his wife's birthday. Got in quite a few plays there which made this otherwise uninspiring week better for me lol.

#Junk Art - Snagged this in a trade with BoardGameCo sometime after the latest "State of Your Board Game Collection" posted. There were 7 of us so Sarah decided to sit out, but I think she still had a good time watching us struggle to keep things balanced. Everyone had a good time so I think it's a hit!

#Werewords Deluxe Edition - We hadn't played this is a really long time and I think I understand why. For some reason, it seems to be a hard concept for people to play as the werewolf and intentionally try to throw off the other players. It did give us a few laughs when my 7 year old nephew asked as if he didn't peek when he wasn't supposed to "is it a hula hoop?" LOL

#Codenames: Pictures - Another fun one where everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Both games ended when one team picked the assassin card.

After failing miserably on my 20X5 goal for last year, I didn't make any resolutions to start the year. 

However, I have the following goals for this year:

1. Puchase 10+ Games this year...this is more than usual but my fun income is projected to be a little higher than normal.  I have been playing #Carnegie on BGA and its peaked my interest.  I've got #Frosthaven coming hopefully later this year.  Bought #Blokus over the weekend on a whim.

2. Play 75+ unique games this year (physical only - no digital).  I pulled my play stats from 2019 to 1/26 and I've played 180  unique games with 850+ total plays...so this doesn't seem un-doable. 

3. My 10X10 List

  1. #Mechs vs. Minions
  2. #GKR Heavy Hitters
  3. West Kingdom Games (Any/All of them)
  4. #PARKS
  5. #Ethnos
  6. #Adrenaline
  7. #Just One
  8. #Blood Rage
  9. #Bunny Kingdom
  10. #Beyond the Sun

Interesting post and certainly a lot worth reflecting on.

I think whatever level you are at with this hobby, there is always someone doing it more luxuriously than you, and sometimes it can be jealousy-making. Like, when I see the obligatory Reddit post to the effect of "wife and I just moved into our new home and built the board game den of our dreams!" it's hard not to be jealous because I live in a small flat with precious little space to store games (hence why I cut up so many boxes to size!). But by that same token, there will be plenty of people who could be jealous that I rent my own flat and have storage space at all. It helps to just be grateful that I have disposable income for games, that Sarah enjoys playing them with me and that we have a safe and comfortable space to play them in. 

That said, I do wonder if this definition of luxury might be diluting the term a little. Almost everyone I know has time and money for hobbies, they just choose different ones. In theory, they are all indulging in luxury, depending on where you draw the line. 

Got my 2nd play of #Viscounts of the West Kingdom in on Sunday w/ 3 players.  Scores went up pretty dramatically from first play.  I won the first game 74/72 to 57.  This game ended 92/92/112 so it appears we all figured out how to increase our point totals.  Not sure if I like it more or less than #Paladins of the West Kingdom.  I think I still prefer Paladins.

On Monday played

  1. 2 Games of #Planet w/3 players.  Really quick and easy game.  I think this is going to stay in the collection for a while. 
  2. #Space Base w/3 players.  I won going away.  I had managed to get my income up early which is such an advantage.  I also loaded up on the 1 and 3 dice spots and was able to rack up some serious VPs on the other two players turns.  a Double 1 roll earned me 8 points and $6. 
  3. #Qwixx - it was a fine roll n write.  I think I prefer #That's Pretty Clever which has a better combo strategy. 
  4. #Abandon All Artichokes w/ #Abandon All Artichokes: Rhubarb Promo which was a clever little card game.  I managed to win this on first time playing. 

It ruffled my feathers just reading about that combo system lol. The fun is in building up to a monster turn that makes everyone at the table go, "damn... nice". it doesn't work as well in slow motion!

The biggest disappointment for me was probably #Machi Koro. I was so ready to have a cute engine builder in my collection with dice rolling (my fav thing to do in life). If the games played out in 20-30 minutes it would have been perfect, but they just dragged on and on. Other people's rolls impact your income, but I just reached a point where I couldn't be bothered to keep up with what was going on, and wanted the game to end. We tweaked the rules to play the "turbo" variant a fan created, but it didn't help much.

It also has some take that elements which I didn't mind, but in one of our playthroughs it reached a point where one player was just getting robbed constantly and started to get upset that he couldn't get his engine going. I was quite glad to see the back of this game, and I flipped it after about 5 plays or so.    

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?