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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 | [+]
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This week I got to play #yardchores.   This rather rare game originated in Denton Texas and is a worker placement game with one worker to place similar to #Raiders of Scythia.  In Yard Work, your worker is assigned to a task, and similar to #Pendulum, you can leave that worker at the same task for an indeterminate amount of time.  If the worker completes a task (there a several types) then s/he scores bonus points with the spouse and earns end-game points.

Tasks include fixing the car, mowing the yard, building the chicken coop, creating a garden, etc.  Some tasks are easy and take very little time while other tasks are more arduous and gain lots of spousal bonus points but also cause negative "soreness" tokens to accrue.  

Sadly, the game is solo and the primary goal is to find a good balance between end-game objectives (drinking a beer and playing a game) and the accruing soreness tokens.

I did poorly this weekend scoring two beers and no games.  

Better luck next weekend perhaps...

I think I make it really clear up front that I'm a huge Dune fan, so bare that in mind, though I do try to address it from the perspective of someone who could care less about the property in the vid as well. Anyway, as always, I know some of you can't / don't want to / hate watching video reviews so here are the timestamps and a quick TL;DW (though you'll be missing out on dat pipe-cleaner sandworm).

00:00​ - Intro & synopsis

01:21​ - Game overview

02:37​ - Why is everyone so hype on this game?

03:45​ - Competing focus & specialization

05:30​ - What doesn't work?

06:40​ - Do you need to be a fan?

07:14​ - Solo mode & 2 player with automated house

08:15​ - Final (final) thoughts

What makes it cool?

-Integration of clean, simplified versions of deck building, area control & worker placement creates great tension

-Initially I was skeptical of automated opponent in 2p but it turned out really great

-Diverse strategies

-The signet ring as a card in the starter deck that activates an asymmetric power is a cool concept

-Overall evokes Dune pretty well

-Solo is challenging and fun

-My wife couldn't care less about Dune but LOVES this game (Lords of Waterdeep and Lewis & Clark are among her favorite games)

What doesn't work?

-Why oh why is there no inherent way to flush the face up cards in the market?

-Worker placement spaces on the board lose some of their luster after several plays, becoming just a way to obtain/exchange the games many resources

-I didn't really mention this in the review but the board focusses too much on the cold blackness of space and makes look barren like mars; this contrasts to how I envision it as a fan. Arrakis should be arid but brilliant, dangerous but beautiful. Some of the cards nail it, the board just kinda looks blah.

Overall

Really like it. I've played it 8 times at this point and just want to play more. It's not particularly innovative in any one department but super cohesive with it's disparate elements which makes it really compelling.

I agree it would be very hard to define the perfect game. I'd say Scythe is my #1 game, I think the player board mechanic of improving two things with each upgrade is the biggest stand out feature in a game that doesn't have any major weak point IMO. Several worker placements (Architects, tzolkien, anachrony) or deck/engine builders (clank, terraforming) are a close second, but that is definitely due to our preference. I'm certain the dungeon crawlers that we absolutely despise are some else's perfect version of a game.

For me it is pretty simple...If I enjoyed the base game enough to keep it, I'll get any expansion for it. Some don't turn out so great, but mostly, I've had great luck with expansions enhancing the fun!

Some of the best expansions I've bought have been:

  Just about every expansion for Carcassonne. Our favorite is the one that adds in The Builder that allows for a second tile draw/turn. On a down note though, The Tower is too brutal for our tastes.

  There a several different maps for Castles of Burgandy that we have REALLY enjoyed also. The down side has been the latest edition of CofB...it is a visual mess and it is collecting dust in the attic now.

  I can't think of the name of the expansion for Feudality (by Tom Wham!), but it is a ton of fun and well worth tracking down.

  There are 3 expansions for Tash Kalar and I consider them "essentials". The base game is top 10 material for abstract lovers and the expansions really add to the fun.

  I really enjoy Bunny Kingdom, but I would caution folks to cast a critical eye towards the expansion. It changes the tone of the game dramatically and I don't like it as much as the base game.

  Most of the expansion content for Alien Frontiers is worthy. Some of it is just 'ok', while most really improves on the choices availble...the core of a dice worker placement game!

  Ascension... I would NOT recommend any expansions for this game. The heavily dilute the game play and even start to unbalance things. Pick one version (most are very good), and stick with it.

  Same goes for Race for the Galaxy...every expansion diluted the game too much. We got rid of RftG after JumpDrive came out. Jump Drive is FAR superior to RftG and really gets to the (fast) heart of the game. Multiple strategies are viable for the win also (unlike RftG).

  Dice City... all the expansions are amazing and should be purchased!

  Garden Dice. There is a small expansion for this fun "filler" that pumps up the gamer factor. Highly recommended.

Innovation. Jury is still out on this one as I simply enjoy the base game soooo much, I've only dabbled with the expansions.

  I'm sure I could come up with a few more, but to end this with an answer to your "regret" portion...

7 Wonders Duel. One of my favorite games of all time and we play it often. BUT... the expansion "Pantheon" is amazingly horrible. I LOATHE this expansion and it ended up in the trash. I promise I gave it a fair shake with about a half dozen plays, but it just wrecks an otherwise stellar game. Avoid this at all costs UNTIL you get to play someone else's copy and evaluate it yourself.

Great topic and I'm curious to see what others have to say!

 

 

 

Got in #Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef at game night and I loved it! I'm a fan of worker placements anyway, but this one was a lot of fun. Great art, too. 

We played #Crokinole as a family a bunch as well.

My five-year-old has been asking to play #The Alpha, so we did on Sunday. Great fun, if a little broken by dice rolls haha

Later that evening my wife and I played 2-player #Tapestry, which she won by a landslide (her first time playing). Really love Tapestry.

Great unboxing! I love the mix of worker placement and auction of #Godspeed.

Today's recap is the latest game in the Dune universe, Dune Imperium. This one combines deck building and worker placement and mechanically is quite compelling. But is it a great Dune game? Find out

#Hallertau - played solo just to learn how the game works and it feels like a nice change for an Uwe game! Not sure where it sits for me compared to his other designs, but I am eagar to play it more.

#Underwater Cities - easily a top 5 game for me. So many satisfying and agonizing decisions here - and even without the expansion, there are SO many cards to keep each game different and fresh. I love the spatial puzzle of building up your cities and network. The combination of card play and worker placement is very interesting.

#Terraforming Mars - another top 5 for me. I know many have tried to compare this with Underwater Cities, which of course the card play has some similarities to it. This is a bit more streamlined and plays faster. I feel like in this game you are reacting a lot more to the cards you draw and developing a strategy on the fly. That isn't all bad, but it just feels different in that respect to Underwater Cities where you are planning a lot more based on the type (color) of cards you have. Excitied to finally try out some expansion content.

#Architects of the West Kingdom - fascinating take on worker placement. I think it is fun and hilarious that they main way you retrieve your workers back is by freeing them from prison/opponent who captured them. The worker invesment idea is really interesting and there is much more uncertaintiy in this compared to traditional worker placement games where you always place the same number of workers per round and always get them back at the end of the round. Excited to throw in the expansion for some added depth and strategy!

Todays recap is Lost Ruins of Arnak, a very lovely looking worker placement/Deck building game about pulp archeology. A lot to like here and i can see why this is a very popular title.