What is worker placement? + My top 10 games with worker placement! | BOARD GAME 101
02:08 what is worker placement?
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Also, I did a similar video on my channel and am doing a series on various mechanics called Game Mechanic Monday in my channel if you want to check them out.
My list of games (usually around 5) is more focused on games I feel do the mechanic well (the mechanic shines in the game) than an actual top 5 or so. Some games I like better might not make the list due to the mechanic itself not being at the forefront of the game. Likewise a game lower on my list may make the list because the mechanic really stands out or is done in a unique way, even if the overall game is lower on my list than others.
I'll have to check out Seize the Bean. Sounds interesting.
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small is an excellent starting point for getting into worker placement (and its quite quick, easy to explain and its for 2 players). It takes out all the complicated stuff out of agricola and caverna and just focuses on the animal-breeding-side of things)
Just ordered Viticulture because of your top review!
Hmm … not a big Eurogamer, but I have a few worker placement games. If I should pick a few which stands out: Caylus and Barrage.
Great job Jenna!
Viticulture is also my #1 worker placement game. Others on my list include most of yours. Lost Ruins Of Arnak, Everdell, Fabled Fruit, Anachrony, Parks, Tokaido, and Architects of the West Kingdom.
I love Lost Ruins of Arnak for worker placement. Also Trickerion, Genotype, and of course…Everdell.
In no particular order, I would say the worker placement games I enjoy the most are: Bus, by Jeroen Doumen & Joris Wiersinga. Snowdonia, by Tony Boydell. Tribune: Primus Inter Pares, by Karl-Heinz Schmiel. Lancaster, by Matthias Cramer. I could see Russian Railroads, by Helmut Ohley & Lonny Orgler, but I have only played it about half a dozen times since it was released so harder to judge for me. I think tracking the score is a bit tedious, although I believe it is on BGA so that should be taken care of.
Nice list, Caverns and Viticulture are two on my wishlist. I can recommend a couple of oldie but goodies for you if you are really liking worker placement. My top 3 that I have are Caylus, Village and Rococo. Three really solid euros.
Viticulture is my favorite WP game too, and it was before I got the Tuscany expansion. After I got Tuscany…I will never play Viticulture without Tuscany. Single most essential expansion I own. Get it Tuscany…it will change Viticulture for you soooo much for the better!
I love worker placement as a mechanism in boardgaming. My favorite so far remaining Parks. I also enjoy any other placement mechanisms such as with dice.
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Taverns of Tiefenthal combines dice worker placement and deck building in a great and fun way. If you haven't tried it you should give it a look. It was an instant keeper for us. I like your content. Just subscribed.
Whistle Mountain is an excellent worker placement game. Another instant keeper for us.
I'm going to look into Seize The Bean.
Viticulture is a lovely worker placement game that I have played just a few times. I won once and barely lost during another playthrough. My favorites so far are Honey Buzz, Creature Comforts [which utilizes dice worker placement] and Viticulture. I haven't played a lot of worker placement games, although I have quite a few that are waiting to make it to my table someday soon.
2:46 Traditionally, you going to a worker placement spot blocks others from going there, but there can be twists – such as you can still go to the spot, but you have to pay more/pay the player that is currently there. In another instance, you can go to a spot where (one of) your opponent(s), but you will be helping “bump” there worker out of that spot and giving their worker back to them.
Great video, so many good worker placement games on your list.
My current top 10:
10. Stone Age
9. Raider's of the North Sea
8. Robinson Crusoe
7. Architect's of the West Kingdom
6. My Father's Work (will likely climb when the final version of the app is released).
5. Lost Ruins of Arnak
3. A Feast for Odin
I just received Caverna, and can't wait to give it a go…I know it'll definitely make my top ten.
Seize the Bean was only available in 2 stores in all of Canada, so totally missed out. Didn't realize I should have jumped on it. Hope they publish again. My top woker placement is little known: Robin Hood and the Merrymen (The Mico art). I just love the theme so much and the mechanics. Once the rulebook bump is over, you can have so much fun. Even made cardboard meeples cause I couldn't find the Deluxe edition with the added 5 extra characters.
3:15 I have seen 2 different ways for the structure of the actual worker placement:
1) You place your worker, one at a time – and IMMEDIATELY take the action which the spot allows you to do. That ends your turn – and then your opponent(s) take their turn(s) in the same matter. This is more traditional.
2) Players place all of their workers onto the board first and only after placing ALL of the workers out do players take their actions. This style of worker placement is more likely to occur in heavier games, because players have to plan out their turns more, thinking out their entire turn ahead of time, without having the luxury of seeing what the result of their going to X worker placement spot to get 2 fruit (resource) is, for example.
This worker placement style can still involve players placing one worker at a time and rotating until it comes back to their turn, OR it could involve each player placing all of their workers at a given time.
Also, there are worker placement games, which involve different worker types – which typically give you different benefits/ability[abilities] for using that type of worker. Because of this, those types of workers usually cost more for you to get them/get them in play.
I just played Viticulture for the first time this evening and OH MAN I get the hype now! Belated to the party haha. I love worker placement too, definitely my favorite mechanism! I think my faves are: Everdell, Honey Buzz, and Parks, so quite a big overlap with your list. I can definitely see Viticulture climbing to the top of the list too!!
1. If one use sure about liking Tokaido, I would suggest getting the Crossroads expansion with it (or get the Deluxe edition that has it included). What Crossroads does is gave a plyer an alternate action at each location. This is great if one has already completed a panorama, since it makes stops at that scenic spot useful again.
2. I think one of the most elegant and easiest-to-teach worker placement games is Raiders of Scythia. This game is a reworking of Raiders of the North Sea. It takes Raiders of the North Sea with both expansions, then streamlines it. In this game everybody shares the workers, and everyone has one in hand. On his turn, the player places the worker in an available spot,, taking the action, and then takes a worker from a different spot, taking the action. A lot of this is for the purposes of gathering resources needed to raid nearby kingdoms. For a raid, one places the worker on the spot to be raided, and takes the worker that was on that spot at the start of the game back in hand. There are 3 levels of workers, and the more distance raids will require getting a better worker either from an earlier raid, or from an opponent's raid. Or, one could play Raiders of the North Sea with one of, both of, or none of the expansions.
3. If one wants a heavier worker placement game that is not talked about often, one might try Argent: The Consortium. The theme is fun; each player is a professor at a university of magic trying to get enough support to become the next dean – Hogwarts office politics. To do this one sends out ones apprentice wizards to gather resources and research spells. All of this is to ultimately win the vote of the faculty committee; however, who is on the committee can vary by game to game, and they start the game unrevealed (there is an action that allows a player to peak). The board is made up of tiles selected from a poor of double-sided tiles, representing the rooms at the university where the actions will take place. The game lasts 5 rounds, and at the end of the game, whoever has met the criteria of the most people on the committee wins. Also, each player's wizards have a unique special ability. This game has a lot of replay vale since the rooms (and therefore available actions) and committee members (criteria for winning) can change from game to game. Just remember that this is a pretty heavy Eurogame, even though it has a cool/funny theme.
7:40 It seems like PARKS did something similar.
22:20 The designer’s name, Jamey Stegmaier is soelled incorrectly… You have it spelled “Stagmaier” and not “Stegmaier”.
I just don't understand the love for arnak. It's seriously just average resource conversion with a tacked on theme. You don't even see half of you cards more than once. Is it just the art/ components?
I had not heard of Seize the Bean before but now I am very interested! Thanks for the tip. Also, Alchemists is my favorite game of all time and you are definitely correct about it being a worker placement game.
Video Request: Could you please do a similar style video for Engine-Building Games, which includes your top games involving the mechanism? I have a hard time answering the question: “What is engine-building?” Thank you! 🙂
Have you played Dune imperium?
Argent The Consortium is my favorite worker placement/ probably top 3 game for me! It is like Harry Potter extreme
Nice list! I learned from your presentation about several of the games mentioned, including that they are in the “ worker placement” category. I think you will enjoy the “Nightfall” expansion for your #9. I find the end game goal cards in the expansion more attainable, plus you gain more beautiful cards and the “ tent” variant is easy to integrate too.
Love this channel and the topics you cover.
I own LROA and only played it once (solo) and enjoyed it. Would you say the expansion is an absolute must to enhance the solo experience?
Great list Jenna! Everdell is my favorite worker-placement game and my current favorite game! Great entry worker-placement games that come to mind for me are Tokaido (which you had on your list), Lords of Waterdeep (one that helped get me into the hobby), Champions of Midgard (Dice Placement), Honga (very kid-friendly Haba game), Targi (good for 2), Imhotep: The Duel (also good for 2), and maybe Kingsburg (though I remember when I first played it, preparing for Winter was a little tricky). However, I do know for some people any game can be their entry game (Besides Lords of Waterdeep, Agricola was another entry game into the hobby that blew my mind on how thinky board games could be and how to balance out negative scoring!). I know some people whose first games were Vinhos and Brass: Lancashire!
Good list. I imagine in next year or two this will be a world different. For me top worker Placement is Stone Age. I have not played a ton of this type of game myself.
11:35 I will not ignore Penny, she is amazing. #1PennyFan
Fascinating list! I never thought of Tokaido or Parks as worker placement; I only recently heard a term to describe it (time track? worker track? I can't remember for sure… think it was Alex on BoardGameCo who said it), but I think the difference comes down to whether the worker starts on the board or not, and how the placement of the worker advances the game (ie. in Tokaido and Parks, you can choose to alter the pace of the game by where you place the worker, whereas in typical worker placement you generally all get the same number of turns regardless)—at least, those seem to be the primary differences to my eye. Regardless, both are fantastic games!
I should try and play Arnak with the Expedition Leaders; the base game alone didn't do it for me, unfortunately. Everdell and Viticulture are both on my shelf and need to be tabled, so very excited about those! And of course, I have to recommend Dune Imperium as the best worker placement game I own.
So many games that I want to try. I've only played Lost Ruins of Arnak.
I really want to try honey buzz, Everdell and Parks.
Hello hello! I'll start by saying the quality of your production has improved!! I love seeing you grow with your board game content!
I would love to hear about some of your current favourite filler games since I've been playing an awful lot of point salad as of late!
Excellent video! You helped me get into board games. I just started in June and have since purchased 12 games! Lol. Thank you for the great videos.
Great list! Will be playing Honey Buzz soon, didn’t realize it was worker placement. Seeing Caverna so high was delightful 🙂
Worker placement games are easily my favorite style of multiplayer game and the ones I’ve played the most. I know you asked for a top 3 but it’s so hard to pick just three..so I’ll do tiers instead haha.
Favorites: Caverna, A Feast for Odin, Dune Imperium: Rise of Ix.
Excellent: Viticulture: Tuscany Essential, Lost Ruins of Arnak: Expedition Leaders, Robinson Crusoe, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small.
Very good: Rajas of the Ganges, Everdell, Raiders of the North Sea w/ expansions, Targi.
Likely trying Underwater Cities soon as well, very excited for it!
My list at the top of my head. There's probably a few more I can't remember atm. But the #1 was pretty easy for me.
1: A Feast for Odin
3: Hadrian's Wall
5: Dune Imperium
7: Robinson Crusoe
8: Atlantis Rising
Great list, thanks for sharing! My top 3 worker placement games:
1. Bruxelles 1893
I really love Alchemists, but damn it is so difficult to learn and teach. Never really played it properly 🙁
Wait until you play Underwater Cities. It will shoot up this list.
My top Three;
Lorenzo IL Magnifico
I have to admit, I have not played many worker placement games. We have Arnak, and both Parks and Everdell have been on my wishlist for a while. You mentioned Creature Comforts at the end, and I was thinking of suggesting it (it's one of my wife's favorites), but it is dice worker placement, rather than meeples. Still, very fun!
Was surprised to not see Dune: Imperium here, maybe you have not played it (if not – you should definitely try!)? Anyways – nice list and video! I can't wait to try Honey Buzz.
For Intro worker placement games I recommend:
1.) Lords of Waterdeep
2.) Stone Age
3.) Champions of Midgard
4.) Raiders of the North Sea
5.) Pan Am
Champions of Midgard and Raiders of the North Sea are super fun!