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Popular Worker Placement Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Worker Placement mechanic.
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Game DesignWhy I like Raiders twist on Worker placement [Raiders of the North Sea]Like| 5 comments | [+]
10 Top Worker Placement Board Games as of 2021 image
10 Top Worker Placement Board Games as of 2021 [Caverna: The Cave Farmers, Raiders of the North Sea, Viticulture: Essential Edition, Everdell, Stone Age, Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar, Lords of Water...]Like| 29 comments | [+]
What's the Best Worker Placement Game? Like| 10 comments | [+]
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Yeah, I think that content creators tend to play more games in general than the average gamer, and by extension they probably play more bad ones, so they'll likely have more lower rated games. In addition to that, being exposed to more games makes you look at all games in a different light. If you've never played a worker placement game, #Lords of Waterdeep is the best one you've ever played when you try that. If you've played 30 different worker placement games, each one is held up to higher scrutiny.

And yeah, like you I try pretty hard not to play any games I think I won't like, and obviously avoid buying those completely. The majority of the games I own are rated at least 7/10, with the ones I've rated lower only being kept for specific reasons (i.e. my wife really likes it or it's good for certain groups).

Firstly, and most excitingly...my family gifted me #Coffee Traders last week (https://youtu.be/kZA1iJJSLvM) which I haven't been able to play yet as it arrived the day before we left for a weekend family trip.  But I am greatly looking forward to getting this one to the table :)

#Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef belongs to a friend who requested my services reading through the rules and teaching.  We played last night and I did a terrible job really as I had read through everything about a week prior and we were still recovering from getting back into town that same day.  Definitely an Ameri-trash style game with beautiful art and an array of dice throwing with simple mitigation and worker placement to obtain resources for what is ultimately a points race rally.  We had fun and I would play again but this is definitely not a game I'd pursue for my own collection.  The figurings are nicely done and the game is generally engaging and relatively easy to play.  

#Brass: Birmingham with my brother in Arkansas.  He had never played the game and he tends to like economic games.  This is just such a fantastic game.

#Kero was brought to the table by my brother and is an interesting two-player game involving timers kept inside of trucks that you use a real-time dice-rolling mechanic to refill and represents your 'fuel' for other actions in the game.  While I would not recommend this game I wil say that it was unique and I could see some of the mechanics used down the road in different ways.  For instance, when I want to 'refuel' my truck, I turn my truck-timer so that it starts refueling and simultaneously my opponent rolls eight dice until all faces show the same side (in real-time) and with one hand.  Once my opponent has all 8 die on the same side, I have to stop refueling.  

#Res Arcana was another game my brother brought and I found this game to be pretty interesting.  I'd really like to get it again and I might consider looking for a used copy as it was quite a lot of fun and strategy in a small box.

#Canvas with my mom.  Mostly to keep her busy while others were cooking.  She likes playing games but isn't terribly good at them.  Never-the-less, Canvas is a unique art-puzzle game.

#Rococo: Deluxe Edition with my family before we left for the weekend.  Had to leave out the Jewelery Box expansion the last two times due to teaching the game to new players.  This is a great game to play and I how to get the solo back to the table to finally get a win on Madame DuBerry!

#Teotihuacan: City of Gods - still have two games going on BoardGameArena and love playing this game.  

#Lost Ruins of Arnak - started a new game on BoardGameArena with a few friends.  Actually, they started it, but it is a fun game and I enjoy playing.  

Worker placement. Area Majority. Hidden Information. Awesomeness.

Join me as I pretty much teach you how to play 'Lock: A Roll Player Tale' -- as well as give you my unbiased thoughts on it. I also go through how the solo mode works, if you're interested.



0:00 Start

0:08 Opening Comments

0:38 Overview

1:00 How to Make Points

3:29 How to Play

5:50 Suspicion

6:20 How to Play (continued)

8:08 Library Cards

8:40 How to Play (continued)

14:21 Hidden Information!

15:38 End Game Scoring

16:30 Advanced Mode

18:30 Solo Mode

23:34 This is For You, If…

25:05 Is This a Family Game ?

27:51 This is NOT For You, If…

28:49 Best Player Count ?

29:49 Solo Mode Review

30:44 Bottom Line

31:20 End Gag


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I am a big fan of worker placement games and I have found that #Stone Age is a very easy one that almost everyone gets right away.

I am also going to throw a random one out there - #Battle Sheep, a super quick area control title that is part puzzle and part sheep aggression.

Would Robinson Crusoe be considered worker placement? If so, that'd get my vote.

Great week of gaming! In addition to the online gaming mentioned by , I got to play:

  • #Jinja - an interesting worker placement game with tight resources but a clever combination of area majority scoring at the end with engine building in the middle; 
  • #Whale Riders - my Kickstarter copy of this new Reiner Knizia game came in and it has gorgeous Vincent Dutrait art and simple to teach, but deep, game play. Typical of Knizia's best! My wife really enjoyed this one;
  • #Red Rising - this is my most played game this week, played at 3-4-5 player counts -- I think I like 3p best, because you have time to read the cards, affect your hand, and still keep an eye on what other players are doing. I liked this one a lot more than the rest of the Gumbo Krewe, but my sons really dug it;
  • #It's a Wonderful World - been on my list for a while, cause my nephews adore this 7W style drafting game. I was lost at first, but the second half of the game made a lot of sense. I'd play it again but not sure I need to own it;
  • #Stockpile - another one of my most played games over the years, it has long been a Gumbo fave since we learned it from the designer way back at Gen Con 2016 (maybe?) -- we played with EVERYTHING -- all the expansion goodness, and I am convinced that's the way to play; and
  • #Block Ness - very polarizing little 10-15 minute abstract game with cute Loch Ness monsters for pieces. My family adores it and the Gumbo krewe was bored. What to do! I'll just keep it at the house and introduce it to friends and non-gamers and family alike. It is fun for what it is and looks great on the table! 

Whew -- so nice to be playing in person again instead of just online, although I am thoroughly enjoying playing games with the Board Game Atlas krewe! 

Oh yeah I'd 100% classify this game as worker placement. The lack of meeples is the only departure from a standard worker placement game in my eyes. I really like how they paired the worker placement with card plays. That's a really neat mechanism and leads to really tough decisions.

I like this game, but I don't think I love it. I've been meaning to play it again with my wife to decide if we want to keep it around or trade/sell it. We haven't pulled it off the shelf in months, and I think that's pretty telling in itself, but of course games can grow on you over several plays, so I'd like to give it one more shot.

Me and my lovely wife act like idiots as we unbox Direwolf's 'Dune: Imperium' board game -- based on the upcoming movie directed by Quebec's own Denis Villeneuve.  Worker Placement meets Deck Building meets Combat and Hidden Information!!! Count us in!  But that box art, man... It looks like a game of bocce shot through a fish-eye lens...

0:00 Start
0:09 Opening Comments
1:09 Flavor Text - Box
2:06 Unboxing Begins
2:53 Flavor Text - Rulebook
3:45 Rulebook
5:37 Tokens & Stuff
7:27 Character Boards
10:41 Some of the Cards
14:00 Board & Game Overview
17:17 Comments
18:39 See ALL the Cards
23:44 End Comments
24:10 End Gag

Worker placement is the one mechanic where I'd have a very difficult time choosing a top 10 (this is our favorite mechanism, and I bet  quite a bit more than half our collection has worker placement as part of the mechanics)

#Empires: Age of Discovery .... my favorite game of all time. Not super well known, but a fantastic worker placement game. Probably one of the first to introduce the idea of specialized workers. Look into it!

Today's recap is one of the original dice worker placement games, 2010's Alien frontiers. How does this successful and popular game hold up today, and learn how it plays in 3 minutes here. 

Very slow week game-wise, but still got some fun in.

  • #Mint Works 1x @ 2p - played this with my wife. This is a neat little worker placement game, emphasis on the "little!" The game is stored in a mint tin (think Altoids but slightly thicker).
  • #War Chest 1x @ 2p - my friend and I got this in before heading to a movie. I started out dominating in terms of pieces taken (my Crossbow was doing work), but he was able to sneak in a victory using his Footmen!

I chose #Dune: Imperium and #Everdell a month ago. both games having a nice theme with top notch components. They are absolutely  must play if you are fan of worker placement mechanisms.

#Lost Ruins of Arnak and #Architects of the West Kingdom are the next two on my list.