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Popular Deck Building Board Games (Mechanic)

Deck Building is a mechanic where you start with a basic set of cards and over the course of the game modify the deck through various means to add or remove cards.
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ReviewBuild Me Up, Gamer! – Settler of the Boards (https://settleroftheboards.com/build-me-up-gamer/) [Builders!: The Building-Building Deck Building Game]Like| 0 comments | [+]
Kickstarter Ending (12/6 - 12/13) [Tombstone Crits: The Next Stage of an Amazing Journey, Super Quick Print Sci Fi Gothic 3d Printable Terrain, Plaid Pockets, Electric Bastionland RPG, ...]Like| 4 comments | [+]
Engine building, is it a mechanic? Like| 46 comments | [+]
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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.


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.

Played #APEX Theropod Deck Building Game: Collected Edition solo a couple of times last week.  Man that game is kicking my butt solo but I finally won one on Sunday only to play later that afternoon and got humbled. 

Played it against a couple of friends on Monday night when one guy couldn't make our Pandemic Legacy game and game took roughly an hour per player, but that included teach and first play for everyone.  Game was starting to really move along towards the end and I think if we played again could easily get down to 30-45 min a player, which feels like a pretty good game length.  I did end up winning the 3 player game by a score of 40 - 32 - 0 (would have had 60 but didn't beat his boss so wasn't eligible for victory). 

Played our 6th game of #Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated on Sunday night.  First game we had where one of us scored over 100 points and we had 3 of us do it.  I did a bunch of objective completing vs trying to get back to the HQ and that ended up costing me from "Winning" the game though I did get the Associate Spotlight for all of the objective completing I did.  While I'm excited to complete and play this, I'm not sure where it ranks among the legacy game experiences.  The downtime in the middle of a turn to read from the book of secerts, find stuff, add stuff, etc makes the game a little disjointed but its still a fun experience and can't wait to see where the story and our actions take us next.

Got to play #Aeon's End: Outcasts with a friend.  We played two games and lost the first but won the second.  I thought this was a fun game and I can see why folks like it though I did not feel it would find a good home in my own collection.  The luck factor was a bit too high for me personally and I didn't find the deck building mechanics to be as inspiring as I have heard.  That being said, I had fun and would play this one again down the road.

Finally got back to the proverbial #Gloomhaven table and now we have three!  Still working through the Aester Diviner quests while training up a fledgling Cragheart. 

 As usual, this is just such a great game to get back into again.

The goal is to get our new player up to speed before #Frosthaven is delivered around September.  

The surprise game of the weekend for me was #Barenpark .  This was really fun and I like the simple tetrisy puzzle is presents.  I might look to add this one to my collection in 2022.

Neat list...made me ponder about what our household would view as essential:

I suppose one could argue that every deckbuilder is enchanced by expansions... have nearly everything for #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, #Aeon's End, and #Thunderstone Quest.

BGQ mentioned #7 Wonders: Leaders, but I would also throw in #7 Wonders: Cities.

#Abyss: Leviathan. Makes the two player game better by removing the threat track and adding the leviathans.

#Ghost Stories: White Moon Expansion. This adds another layer of risk/reward.

#Village Inn and #Village Port Expansion.

#Fleet: Arctic Bounty Expansion. Adds gone fishing cards and improves the two-player game.  

  • #Obsession 1x @ 2p - I played this with my wife and we both loved it! I got the rare mid-game "I think I like this game" and the even more rare next-day "I want to play that game again". It was a hit, and she's already planning a day when she can introduce it to some friends who are into the theme!
  • #Inis @ 2p - this was a hard-fought game. I thought I had a victory, but my friend was able to stop me at the last second. He ended up winning in a later round by tying me with a victory condition, but taking the Brenn from me at the same time, which breaks ties. He took advantage of my blindness to his plan and it worked. I love this game. Easily shot up into my top 10 after about 2 plays, and I doubt it will leave any time soon.
  • #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game 1x @ 5p - my first time playing this game and it was fun! We played a pretty easy scenario and messed up a few rules at first that made it easier, so I'm interested to try it when we get all the rules right from the start and maybe play a more difficult villain or something.
  • #Dungeon Mayhem 2x 4p, 5p - this is a fun, quick game. Teaches in 2 minutes, plays in 10-15. It has a light DnD theme, but that doesn't make much difference to me.
  • #Wingspan @ 5p - came in 2nd, and my friend cracked 100 points! He built up a nice engine of tucking cards and laying eggs that got him lots of easy points.
  • #Tiny Towns @ 5p - always fun. I went with a strategy of only building cottages and fountains, since my monument gave me points for unfed cottages. It almost worked and I came in 2nd.
  • #Splendor @ 4p - this was my first time playing this, and I can confirm that #Century: Golem Edition is basically Splendor with better art, lol. The Century series of course has the added benefit of being able to mix and match the games to create other games.
  • #War Chest @ 4p - love this game at both player counts. This was a close game - my team lost 7-6. There was a frustrating moment when a friend was obscuring his played pieces by stacking them, inadvertently cheating. This caused me to make a move I otherwise would not have, and I sort of snapped and called him out on it, for which I later apologized, but man was it frustrating, haha. Still, fun game overall, and I'm glad we played.

I don't know a ton about it, but the recently released #Marvel United looks to be a bit simpler than something like #Marvel Champions: The Card Game or #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. It also has great looking miniatures, which I'm sure your son would love. It's also currently quite affordable on Amazon.

It's pretty obvious, but you can always try #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. I'd say that one and the games BoardGameHalv suggested are your best shots.

And there is also the new #Marvel United though I know nothing about it but it seems simpler than the others and comes with cute miniatures.

A more expensive than normal month for me.  Of course it helps that my bday was last month and a man needs to treat himself occassionally.


  1. #Dice Throne: Season Two - Cursed Pirate Vs Artificer
  2. #Dice Throne: Season 2 - Seraph vs. Vampire Lord
  3. #Dice Throne: Season One ReRolled (all 4 boxes)
  4. #PARKS: Nightfall Expansion
  5. #Flamme Rouge: Meteo
  6. #Bandido
  7. #The Estates
  8. #Tammany Hall
  9. #Planet
  10. #Flick 'em Up!
  11. #Blokus
  12. #Sagrada: Passion
  13. #Sagrada: The Great Facades – Life
  14. #APEX Theropod Deck Building Game: Collected Edition
  15. #Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition

I feel like i'm missing something but I can't think of it at the moment.  I'll update if i think of it.  I'm super excited about Apex - saw they had a small number of copies avaialble after the kickstarter last year.  Backed The Ares Expedition kickstarter

On my Radar:

  1. #SINS, an infernal deck-builder - I was looking at their new kickstarter and somehow managed to hold off
  2. #Theurgy: The Area Control Game of Monsters and Miracles - another kickstarter I'm considering
  3. The #Everdell: Newleaf, Mistwood, and The Complete Collection is something I'm considering.  I haven't backed yet and trying to tell myself that I should try the base game before I go all in and spend that much $.  Probably won't have that level of self control.
  4. #Death Valley
  5. #Stellaris Infinite Legacy - I was super excited about the prospects of this but the early kickstarter details, or rather lack their of, really put me off on this one
  6. #Foundations of Rome has a late pledge option that i'm considering.  So much plastic.  While I'm sure the game is going to look great on the table, I think I'd be more willing to purchase if all of the buildings were cardboard and the price was 1/2 what its currently listed as. 

Getting Rid Of

  1. #Catan Histories: Settlers of America Trails to Rails
  2. #Welcome Back to the Dungeon
  3. #Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
  4. #Neuroshima Convoy
  5. #DaVinci Challenge Game

1,3 and 5 were given to me by a co-worker who had a girlfriend who was into games and when they broke up he got rid of most of his games which i acquired.  The Catan game was still in shrink and I never opened it given my general distaste with the series.  WBttD is a game that I thought I would like but just never got it to the table and have found a couple of better games in the same area.

Considering purging:

  1. #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game w/ #Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game - World War Hulk expansion
  2. #Ethnos - I like it but it never hits the table
  3. #The Blood of an Englishman - got it for cheap 2nd hand but haven't gotten it to the table yet after a year.


Got a good variety of games in this week:

  • #Arctic Scavengers: Base Game + HQ + Recon (tts, multiplayer): I was thinking of trading of selling this one but after our multiplayer game I decided to hang on to it.The combat at the end of each round is super fun and adds something to the whole game. The official solo mode and variants I have tried aren't very good at least in my opinion. But multiplayer it shines!  Yup. I'll find space for this one!
  • #Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King (tts, multiplayer): And with this play my shelf of shame is empty.   I love tile laying games and this one has a great twist in how tiles are acquired during the buy phase. 
  • #Marvel Champions: The Card Game (physical, solo): played with Scarlet Witch and then Quicksilver vs Crossbones. My one game conclusions: Quicksilver has a lot of internal card synergy like Ant man. The Scarlet Witch needs a bit more deck building care like the Wasp. I look forward to figuring out some good decks in the future!
  • #Sword & Sorcery: Immortal Souls (tts, multiplayer):  First time playing this one.  I had quite a lot of fun!  I think we are going to play some more of the campaign. Fun dice checker although the rulebook needs a lot of work.
  • #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine (tts, multiplayer):  missions 22-24 accomplished. Things are getting tougher but once we shook the rust off we did quite well.
  • #Lorenzo il Magnifico with#Lorenzo il Magnifico: Houses of Renaissance Expansion (physical, solo): I found a really good variant that covers the expansion. This is probably my favourite dice style placement euro. The expansion is excellent and I can't wait to give it a whirl with the gang!


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

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.