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Worker Placement: Game Mechanics 101

Updated: May 18, 2021

Welcome back to game mechanics 101! Today we are talking about worker placement games. I already shared a little about our experience with Agricola in our lesson introduction. It was our first worker placement game and only our second Euro/hobby game. It was difficult for us to learn and understand. Now, worker placement games are among our favorites.

Want to skip reading? Watch the video here!

Worker placement games are focused around your worker pieces and where you are going to place them. These games have a shared board with limited spaces to place workers. Each space will provide the player with resources or actions that they need to work toward victory.

In Agricola, only one player can be on each space on the board. This means that players can block each other easily. Spaces allow the player to gain resources, build, plant or gain animals for the farm you are building up. Viticulture has a limited number of slots open per action, but multiple workers can use each one. The number of available slots is dependent on the number of players. The game is about running a vineyard and also has some options for creating your own private placement spots on your vineyard board.

The Manhattan Project has a main board with actions as well. However, the players can also construct their own board of options to play on. This means that not every player will have the same options by the end of the game. Players can pay to use each other's boards and borrow neutral, one use, workers for more actions.

Are Dinosaur Island and Dice hospital worker placement games? We have had a number of discussions about this. They both use workers that are placed on limited spaces, but the spaces are on the players’ individual boards. There is no community board in which the players interact with each other. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us. Join us next week for tile placement games.

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