Board Games 101: What is an Engine Builder game? - cutlassboardgame.com

Board Games 101: What is an Engine Builder game?

Nights Around a Table
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Professor Ryan shows you how “engine builder” board games work with a simple demonstration, and recommends a few exemplars for new and experienced players alike.

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37 Comments

  1. Thank you. Now I understand what I don't like about Catan. The game ends before my engine is even finished while the other players all have fully functioning machines.

  2. I really agree with the final point of end the game while everyone is still having fun! That is critical and makes people want to play again.

  3. I would think steampunk punk rally is an engine builder game. You especially try to build to most efficient car to win a race.

  4. Great video! My wife and I play a lot of engine building – our favorites are dominion and century – never gets old

  5. Thanks for this! I've heard the term slung around before; nice to have a better appreciation of what it's referring to.

  6. Food chain magnate is also arguably a good engine building game. Concordia has a bit of engine building component to the scoring system.

  7. Currently my favorite engine building game is Wingspan.

  8. Wingspan is a great engine builder. Didn’t think of century spice road or splendor or as one but it defiantly is. Great video.

  9. Terraforming Mars does engine building to perfection. Very satisfying ramping up in later rounds and plenty of card synergies to choose from.

  10. The best engine building game by far is Le Havre

  11. I’m curious if there’s much of a difference between deck/bag building games and engine building games. In both, you slowly accrue stuff that work for you and help you accrue more stuff and get more done as the game goes on. But maybe the main difference is, in bag and deck builders, you have to draw out your resources instead of using all of them every turn? Maybe they are a specific type of engine builder?

    I was thinking Orleans and Mystic Vale were my favorite engine builders, hence my question…. But I do love Splendor, as well. It was one of my gateway games, and my best friend loves it! We have a great time.

  12. Race for the Galaxy is best!

    Gizmos is a pretty good choice for newer players.

  13. Gaia Project is my favorite "engine builder", though It is not a classic version of that mechanic. Race for the Galaxy, Everdell, and Terraforming Mars are three of my favorite more typicall engine builders.

  14. But, does the jacket have elbow patches? That’s a surefire giveaway of professor status!

  15. Gizmos killed Splendor for me. It's got some really satisfying combos.
    And while a lot of folks will say Terraforming Mars as a great medium-weight engine-builder, I'm going to say that my favorite is Suburbia. And that's a little bit hilarious since the theme is blah and the original art is blah (the collectors edition is *chef's kiss*) and its basically "bookkeeping, the board game!" Still, I find Suburbia deeply satisfying and it's one that I'll always want to play.

  16. I lose engine building games Every. Single. Time! Lol I’m so bad at it!!!!

  17. Lions of Lydia, coming out later this year, looks to be another fun and approachable engine-building game. I'm really looking forward to it.

  18. "Oooh, I just bought Century Spide Road and this youtube video mentions it" -> Kalm
    "Oh no! I didn't know the Golem edition existed!" -> PANIK
    "Oh the golem edition is sold out on uk amazon" -> Kalm

  19. Great explanation! We love engine building games like splendor and gizmos! Understanding the base of this idea really helps us learn new games with this mechanic quickly!

  20. I think Scythe is the perfect example of a game that ends just as you're starting to have fun… and it does have engine building elements in it. Anyway, another great video, as always. Thank you. 🙂

  21. Res Arcana is my favourite engine builder. Easy and fast to play with only 8 cards in your deck. Along with your different mage abilities, magic items and places of power every game will never be the same!

  22. If you like an engine builder that ends just as it is getting going then I highly recommend Pipeline.

  23. Everdell! Thanks to this video, now I see Everdell is an Engine builder.

  24. I absolutely loved this video!!! Thank you so much . You are awesome

  25. I never expected anyone in the modern board game world to mention "This game is bonkers!"! I agree its debatable as an engine builder, as you aren't building a personal engine. Its a shared engine in a competitive, chance driven game. My favorite engine builder is Clank, and I really enjoy Gizmos.

  26. Does Imperial Settlers count as an Engine Builder? It amazes me how close this game got to the old The Settlers feeling, translated into a board game

  27. Great 101 videos, thanks for the explanation, new to board games and having a blast.

  28. I prefer it when you must sacrifice your engine in order to score points, like in Dominion and Imperial Settlers. That avoids the 'running your engine for too long' problem by giving players who enter the VP race a bit late, a glimmer of hope that their slightly more developed engines would outpace ones that go for VP too early

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