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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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Lots of different games played last week!  Might be a review or two in the works!

  • #Marvel Champions: The Card Game (physical, solo) x13:  Yup. 13 plays. Really enjoying this one solo!  Already picked up some expansions for it. I’m enjoying the deck building without spending tons of cash like I did on #Magic: The Gathering when I was younger. Without kids.  Or a mortgage!
  • #Caylus (boardgame arena, multiplayer): Second time playing this. I can see why it’s a classic. I quite enjoy the provost that adds a dollop of mean in to worker placement. Might have to pick this one up at some point!  
  • #Hadara (yucata, multiplayer):  Played this one a few times now and I enjoy it for what it is: a quick drafting game with a fun theme on it.  
  • #Civilization: A New Dawn (TTS, multiplayer): Really enjoy this version of the beloved game franchise.  We had to play without the new expansion as one player was having trouble getting textures to load. He’s got it fixed and we’re on again next weekend!
  • #Heroes of Land, Air, & Sea (physical, solo): Picked this game up for a song at a christmas sale. I’ve played it online several times but nothing is as nice as handling the bits and pieces. Unfortunately solo mode was a bit easy against one opponent so I’m going to try it against a couple next weekend.  Fun to play though and was quite quick too!

Good week!


#Lost Ruins of Arnak is high up on my list of games I am interested in.  I was looking for a worker placement game with deck building woven in and struggled to find one and this hints at the type of game I was looking for. #Root I have and look forward to playing more in 2021 hopefully.  

#Calico seems like a game my family might enjoy and while it is not on my 'hit list' it is one I think I would play.

#Praga Caput Regni looks interesting and seems like a game that would fit nicely.  The others I either have or don't know enough about to know.  

1) I am moderately interested in Glory to Rome.  I know it's infamously hard to get a hold of.  I have only once spent more than $250 on a game and I regretted that decision.

2) We finished out playthrough of #Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles Expansion a the beginning of the year and the final boss was pretty memorable.  It took us 3 attempts before we finally completed it.

3) The only games I played from 2020 are #Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Change Is Constant, #Iwari, and #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine.  I expected The Crew to be good but I wasn't expecting to enjoy TMNT as much as I did.

4) My top 5 haven't changed from last year:

  1. #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
    This is my favorite gaming experience, probably because it was my first legacy game.  It feels little weird to call this my favorite game though because I will probably never play it again.

  2. #Gloomhaven
    My friends and I played through this game along with the expansion over a 2.5 year period.  I have a lot of good memories with this one.  I doubt I will ever play this again either but we can't wait for #Frosthaven!

  3. #Arkham Horror: The Card Game
    I love the feeling of dread this game invokes in me.  I haven't played it yet this year but I need to get it back to the table.

  4. #War of the Ring: Second Edition
    I play this with my brother once or twice a year.  I finally won as the Free Peoples this year!

  5. #Viticulture: Essential Edition
    Just a classic worker placement game.  I love how smooth this game feels.


I had a great weekend of gaming, mostly online, but still! 

#Endless Winter: Paleoamericans - this was as good as advertised -- worker placement + deck building + some spatial puzzles and area control? Count me in! 

#Wingspan: Oceania Expansion - more plays of this expansion, which so far has some of the most fun cards I've seen. Love the 'wild' nectar mechanic and the tension / fun that it brings. 

#Lorenzo il Magnifico - I finally one a game of Lorenzo playing on Yucata! It was a two player game against a friend, and we played it as if it were real-time, so I could see the flow through of decisions. I really, really like this game the more I play it. 

Three Sisters -- the spiritual successor to #Fleet: The Dice Game by Motor City Gameworks. It is coming to Kickstarter in a couple of months, and I was lucky enough to snag a review copy. Yes, it is a 'thinky' randeauxwriter, but the back half of the game has so many combos that you feel like you are popping bubble wrap. Plus, it has a fun theme of gardening in your backyard. 

Teachers? Classroom management? haha That one might be tough to impliment, but it could be a good educational tool if done well.

Antoher job could be social media manager. In this game, you would have to manage comments, reviews (good and bad), and use your resources to build an audience, appease irate customers, bring in sales, create content, etc. It could be a resource management game where time is a resource (i.e. be as effective as possible without working too much overtime, it takes x amount of hours to create a certain type of content). Could also be worker placement where you must assign a worker on a spot in order to fulfill that job requirement. For example, one spot could be to monitor comments on a live stream, write an article, or talk back and forth with the irate customer over DM about how you can't justify refunding the food they left on their counter for six months and now it's rotten and bad. You know, that kind of thing.

I think there could be a lot of fun games created based on "normal" jobs.

I got to play Dune Imperium a couple of weeks ago at 3 players and loved it! I played a solo game last week and enjoyed that, and will try to get another solo play in the next week or so. One thing is that while it does have deck-building, I think it leans more heavily toward worker placement, as far as the hybrid nature is concerned. You don't add too many cards over the course of the game, and it's quite possible you never see a card you add in later rounds of the game. Of course there are spaces and cards that give you more card draws, but of course there's an opportunity cost to going to one of those spaces.

Great point - I played this weekend, and it is definitely a hybrid. You may not see many of the cards you purchase in the back half -- especially if you do like me and bloat your deck!  That being said, it felt more like a deck builder than Lost Ruins of Arnak, akin to Clank! because the cards are what drives the worker placement and combat aspects of the game. 


We didn't like this one at all. Great theme, (the cards) but it's very random. We went into this as two people who enjoyed downton abbey and even my wife was bored. The set up is a total pain with the removal of certain tiles and is not explained well. Rule book needs a complete rewrite. Excess information, Wrongly placed information. I had first edition and this was a common complaint. 

The massive amount of user 'variants' trying to fix the random luck of draw tiles as well as other faults points to the main problem: it's built by a one man team and one man cannot do everything. I talked to Dan quite a bit and he's a great guy but the game is half baked, If you go heavy in theme, you sacrifice gameplay. We also found the theme completely lacking on the tiles as they had no illustrations, yet a few like 'boar's head trophy' still do. Very inconsistent. The marriage or dating mechanic was also poor. We always tied. Variants released to fix that as well. Needs to be worked on by a decent developer to iron out the sheer amount of randomness and luck for a game of this length that mostly revolves around repetitive and boring worker placement. It seems to be in a third edition rewrite at this point, so you can see it's a work in progress. I cannot understand the high ratings this gets. We just played 8 games vastly superior to this in every way: dune imperium, lost ruins of arnak, beyond the sun, Babylonia, Caylus 1303, brass Lancashire, watergate, underwater cities. Most of these are also very thematic, but also excellent games that work very well two player. 


  1. What's your interest level on Glory to Rome? Would you ever spend $250 for your "grail game"?   I'm very interested! I've not played, but it looks to be right in my wheelhouse. And yes, I must admit that I would probably pay that for a grail game. 
  2. Which game did you enjoy playing the most this year and why? It's an old one, but Carcassonne. The online versions are easy to play and cross platform. The scoring always scares me in live games. Also Root was great this year, but I'm so terrible at it!
  3. Which game surprised you the most this year and why? Root. The app version is so fantastic and really helped me learn all the factions. I didn't like it live, but think I will now. 
  4. As we end 2020, what are your current Top 5 games and why?  1 SET- still my favorite. 2 Fleet the Dice Game- just got it and while I've not figured out good strategies, I like the potential. 3 Ex Libris- looks beautiful on the table and is a great solo puzzle. 4 Viticulture- my current worker placement of choice. 5 Mystic Vale- love me some card crafting. It's like deck building inception. 

#Twilight Struggle - I love the Pax series of card-driven games. I also really enjoy tense 2P experiences. There's enough geopolitical flavour here that I feel I would enjoy this immensely. 

#Power Grid - I enjoy auction games, I am not very good at economic games. I would like to at least give this a shot once.

#Caylus - I have the 1303 version but I haven't played it yet. Being the OG worker placement game, and in true classic euro design can also be very interactive with the potential to make some mean moves. Would love to play this.


1.  I would love Glory to Rome. I've played Innovation and liked it enough to want to try GtR.

2. The Kings Dilemma - this was an amazing experience.  It created many great table moments, I'm looking forward to seeing if that design team has something similar up their sleeve.

3.  The biggest surprise for a game released in 2020 might be Calico for me. Although not my favorite game from 2020, it came from nowhere and has become a family favorite.

4. Gaia Project - I've played 40+ times and am still figuring out how to play well, Spirit Island - immense replayability with all of the Spirits and expansions, love this game!  Everdell - figuring out a path towards victory with your hand, and what's in the meadow, with the different worker placement spots is great fun!  And the art is fantastic! Mansions of Madness 2E - I love how the game tells a different story, even when playing the same scenario, based on the cards you've gotten and decisions you e made. Love exploring new scenarios and the paranoia that happens when someone goes insane.  Kings Dilemma - a bit of a cheat with a legacy game, but I've played 4 legacy games (Charterstone, PLS1 & Clank!) and I had the most fun playing this.

1. Yes! I would spend $200 on a board game. I find the art design to be great and mechanics different enough from other games.

2. #Scythe. It provides many aspects of mechanics that I enjoy. Card drafting, worker placement, and character abilities.

3. #Horrified Best cooperative game I have this year. My son loves this game. The characters are balanced and design well thoughtout. 

4. Top 5 Games: 1. #Mage Knight 2. #Scythe 3. #Inis 4. #Cyclades 5. #Everdell

They all have long play time and strategic maneuvering keeping you engaged and constatly thinking throughout the game.