Ratings: Top 10 Worker Placement Games – with Ryan and Bethany

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#10 (Bethany). Harry Potter: House Cup Competition

Welcome to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! The House Cup calls for the brightest students to compete in this worker-placement strategy game. In Harry Potter: House Cup Competition, use gained knowledge and magic to learn lessons and complete challenges. Players send iconic characters like Harry Potter, Cedric Diggory, Cho Chang, and Draco Malfoy out on the game board to enhance their skills. The player who earns the most points for their House will be named the House Cup Champion!

—description from the publisher

7.0
2-4 Players
75 Min
Age: 11+
Complexity: 2.0

Welcome to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! The House Cup calls for the brightest students to compete in this worker-placement strategy game. In Harry Potter: House Cup Competition, use gained knowledge and magic to learn lessons and complete challenges. Players send iconic characters like Harry Potter, Cedric Diggory, Cho Chang, and Draco Malfoy out on the game board to enhance their skills. The player who earns the most points for their House will be named the House Cup Champion!

—description from the publisher

7.0
2-4 Players
75 Min
Age: 11+
Complexity: 2.0
Not available
at the moment
#10 (Ryan). Tidal Blades

Welcome Heroes! Many magnificent contestants have signed up for the tournament but only a handful will be chosen to join the the Tidal Blades, the elite guards of our island realm. To succeed in the Tournament and be chosen as a Tidal Blade, you must compete in Challenges held in the 3 Arenas, rise to the top of the Champion’s Board, and protect the realm from the ever increasing threat of the Monsters from the mysterious Fold.

It has been fifteen years since the Great Battle; 15 years since the Arcanists from the Citadel of Time made their terrible choice and created the Fold; 15 years since the last assemblage of Tidal Blades. The Arcanists folded space and time to stop the onslaught of creatures from the depths, but now new Monsters have appeared, the hard-earned days of peace are coming to a close and the islands need protection. A tournament has been called, the Arenas are ready, the inhabitants of all the islands are gathering, and young heroes from across the realm are showing up to compete to be named a Tidal Blade: Hero of the Reef.

In Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef, each player takes the role of a young hero competing to be named a Tidal Blade. The tournament takes place over 5 Days and Nights. By gathering the needed resources, signing up to compete in Challenges and timing your arrival at different islands you can make the most of your Hero’s turns and rise in the ranks of the contestants.

Each day you will send your hero to take actions on the different Locations and to undertake Challenges. Each action will gain you the resource or effect listed on the action space as well as the Location bonus. At the Arenas you may then attempt a Challenge that matches your Location, and at the Fold you may battle a monster. Completing Challenges and fighting monsters will advance your character in the four traits of Focus, Spirit, Resilience and Synergy.

Each Tidal Blade will be judged at the end of the 5 rounds based on the Challenges they have completed, the level of each of their Traits, their standing on the Champions Board, and the monsters they have fought.

7.9
1-4 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.9

Welcome Heroes! Many magnificent contestants have signed up for the tournament but only a handful will be chosen to join the the Tidal Blades, the elite guards of our island realm. To succeed in the Tournament and be chosen as a Tidal Blade, you must compete in Challenges held in the 3 Arenas, rise to the top of the Champion’s Board, and protect the realm from the ever increasing threat of the Monsters from the mysterious Fold.

It has been fifteen years since the Great Battle; 15 years since the Arcanists from the Citadel of Time made their terrible choice and created the Fold; 15 years since the last assemblage of Tidal Blades. The Arcanists folded space and time to stop the onslaught of creatures from the depths, but now new Monsters have appeared, the hard-earned days of peace are coming to a close and the islands need protection. A tournament has been called, the Arenas are ready, the inhabitants of all the islands are gathering, and young heroes from across the realm are showing up to compete to be named a Tidal Blade: Hero of the Reef.

In Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef, each player takes the role of a young hero competing to be named a Tidal Blade. The tournament takes place over 5 Days and Nights. By gathering the needed resources, signing up to compete in Challenges and timing your arrival at different islands you can make the most of your Hero’s turns and rise in the ranks of the contestants.

Each day you will send your hero to take actions on the different Locations and to undertake Challenges. Each action will gain you the resource or effect listed on the action space as well as the Location bonus. At the Arenas you may then attempt a Challenge that matches your Location, and at the Fold you may battle a monster. Completing Challenges and fighting monsters will advance your character in the four traits of Focus, Spirit, Resilience and Synergy.

Each Tidal Blade will be judged at the end of the 5 rounds based on the Challenges they have completed, the level of each of their Traits, their standing on the Champions Board, and the monsters they have fought.

7.9
1-4 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.9
Not available
at the moment
#9 (Bethany). Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar presents a new game mechanism: dynamic worker placement. Players representing different Mayan tribes place their workers on giant connected gears, and as the gears rotate they take the workers to different action spots.

During a turn, players can either (a) place one or more workers on the lowest visible spot of the gears or (b) pick up one or more workers. When placing workers, they must pay corn, which is used as a currency in the game. When they pick up a worker, they perform certain actions depending on the position of the worker. Actions located "later" on the gears are more valuable, so it's wise to let the time work for you – but players cannot skip their turn; if they have all their workers on the gears, they have to pick some up. 

The game ends after one full revolution of the central Tzolkin gear. There are many paths to victory. Pleasing the gods by placing crystal skulls in deep caves or building many temples are just two of those many paths...

7.9
2-4 Players
90 Min
Age: 13+
Complexity: 3.7
Language: 1.0

Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar presents a new game mechanism: dynamic worker placement. Players representing different Mayan tribes place their workers on giant connected gears, and as the gears rotate they take the workers to different action spots.

During a turn, players can either (a) place one or more workers on the lowest visible spot of the gears or (b) pick up one or more workers. When placing workers, they must pay corn, which is used as a currency in the game. When they pick up a worker, they perform certain actions depending on the position of the worker. Actions located "later" on the gears are more valuable, so it's wise to let the time work for you – but players cannot skip their turn; if they have all their workers on the gears, they have to pick some up. 

The game ends after one full revolution of the central Tzolkin gear. There are many paths to victory. Pleasing the gods by placing crystal skulls in deep caves or building many temples are just two of those many paths...

7.9
2-4 Players
90 Min
Age: 13+
Complexity: 3.7
Language: 1.0
Not available
at the moment
#9 (Ryan). Russian Railroads

In Russian Railroads, players compete in an exciting race to build the largest and most advanced railway network. In order to do so, the players appoint their workers to various important tasks.

The development of simple tracks will quickly bring the players to important places, while the modernization of their railway network will improve the efficiency of their machinery. Newer locomotives cover greater distances and factories churn out improved technology. Engineers, when used effectively, can be the extra boost that an empire needs to race past the competition.

There are many paths to victory: Who will ride into the future full steam ahead and who will be run off the rails? Whose empire will overcome the challenges ahead and emerge victorious?

Game Summary

Each player has their own board, with space for factories, and 3 rail tracks (to 3 different cities). On each track, use a track token to mark the progression of your rails (different colored marker for each type or rail). Some interesting twists:

- The different track types must be built in a specific order (black, gray, brown, natural, white). Later tracks may never be advanced further on the track than the earlier tracks.

- On each track, as the track head advances, you cross several thresholds that provide awards: the ability to start a new color of track, victory points, bonus tiles, etc.

- Each track line can have one (two for the first rail) engine(s) associated with it; the size of the loco(s) determines how far down the track you actually score VP.

The central board has (almost) all the locations for placing workers. Each location requires 1-3 workers (of one player; played all together). Players, who start the game with 5 workers (or 6 workers, in 2-3 player games), will take turns using a location. These provide a variety of abilities, for example:

- advance 1 or more track heads by 1-3 spaces

- acquire an engine or factory; engines are allocated to rail lines, while factories (the reverse side of the tile) are placed on your factory line.

- earn 2 coins

- take 2 temporary workers

- jump ahead in turn order

- acquire an engineer, which has a unique power and becomes a worker-placement location only for you

Each round ends when all players have passed on placing/using workers. Then, score VP for each track and factory line. On each track line, only spaces as far down the track as the loco level will score. Each track type scores VP for every space from its track head back to where the next color of track starts. Track types built earlier (e.g. black) score less/space than later tracks (e.g., white). On each factory line the position of the purple industry marker(s) show how many VP are scored.

After 7 rounds (or 6 rounds, in 2-3 player games), the game ends; most VP wins!

7.8
2-4 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.4
Language: 1.0

In Russian Railroads, players compete in an exciting race to build the largest and most advanced railway network. In order to do so, the players appoint their workers to various important tasks.

The development of simple tracks will quickly bring the players to important places, while the modernization of their railway network will improve the efficiency of their machinery. Newer locomotives cover greater distances and factories churn out improved technology. Engineers, when used effectively, can be the extra boost that an empire needs to race past the competition.

There are many paths to victory: Who will ride into the future full steam ahead and who will be run off the rails? Whose empire will overcome the challenges ahead and emerge victorious?

Game Summary

Each player has their own board, with space for factories, and 3 rail tracks (to 3 different cities). On each track, use a track token to mark the progression of your rails (different colored marker for each type or rail). Some interesting twists:

- The different track types must be built in a specific order (black, gray, brown, natural, white). Later tracks may never be advanced further on the track than the earlier tracks.

- On each track, as the track head advances, you cross several thresholds that provide awards: the ability to start a new color of track, victory points, bonus tiles, etc.

- Each track line can have one (two for the first rail) engine(s) associated with it; the size of the loco(s) determines how far down the track you actually score VP.

The central board has (almost) all the locations for placing workers. Each location requires 1-3 workers (of one player; played all together). Players, who start the game with 5 workers (or 6 workers, in 2-3 player games), will take turns using a location. These provide a variety of abilities, for example:

- advance 1 or more track heads by 1-3 spaces

- acquire an engine or factory; engines are allocated to rail lines, while factories (the reverse side of the tile) are placed on your factory line.

- earn 2 coins

- take 2 temporary workers

- jump ahead in turn order

- acquire an engineer, which has a unique power and becomes a worker-placement location only for you

Each round ends when all players have passed on placing/using workers. Then, score VP for each track and factory line. On each track line, only spaces as far down the track as the loco level will score. Each track type scores VP for every space from its track head back to where the next color of track starts. Track types built earlier (e.g. black) score less/space than later tracks (e.g., white). On each factory line the position of the purple industry marker(s) show how many VP are scored.

After 7 rounds (or 6 rounds, in 2-3 player games), the game ends; most VP wins!

7.8
2-4 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.4
Language: 1.0
Not available
at the moment
#8 (Bethany). Pendulum

In Pendulum, each player is a powerful, unique noble vying to succeed the Timeless King as the true ruler of Dünya. Players command their workers, execute stratagems, and expand the provinces in their domain in real time to gain resources and move up the four victory tracks: power, prestige, popularity, and legendary achievement.

Players must use actual time as a resource in managing their strategy to best their opponents, using time on different action types and balancing it with time spent planning and analyzing. The winner will be the player who manages and invests their time most effectively and who builds the best engine, not the player who acts the quickest.

Pendulum is the highest-rated protoype in the history of the Stonemaier Games Design Day.

—description from the publisher

6.7
1-5 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 2.9

In Pendulum, each player is a powerful, unique noble vying to succeed the Timeless King as the true ruler of Dünya. Players command their workers, execute stratagems, and expand the provinces in their domain in real time to gain resources and move up the four victory tracks: power, prestige, popularity, and legendary achievement.

Players must use actual time as a resource in managing their strategy to best their opponents, using time on different action types and balancing it with time spent planning and analyzing. The winner will be the player who manages and invests their time most effectively and who builds the best engine, not the player who acts the quickest.

Pendulum is the highest-rated protoype in the history of the Stonemaier Games Design Day.

—description from the publisher

6.7
1-5 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 2.9
Not available
at the moment
#8 (Ryan). Kingsburg (Second Edition)

The realm of Kingsburg is under attack! Monstrous invaders are gathering at the borders, aiming to invade and plunder the realm! Your king has chosen you to take charge of a province on the border; you will manage your province and help defend the realm. To accomplish this, you must influence the King's advisors and the Royal Family to obtain gold, wood, stones, and soldiers to expand and defend your lands. But you are not the only governor seeking the aid of the advisers! The other players also seek to collect the best resources for their own territories.

King Tritus is waiting for you. Will you be able to be the most influent and powerful governor of the realm?

The game of Kingsburg takes place over five years, a total of 20 turns. In every year, there are three production seasons for collecting resources, building structures, and training troops. Every fourth turn is the winter, in which all the players must fight an invading army. Each player must face the invaders, so this is not a cooperative game.

The resources to build structures and train troops are collected by influencing the advisers in the King's Council. Players place their influence dice on members of the Council, and each adviser awards different resources or allocate soldiers, victory points, and other advantages to the player who was able to influence that adviser for the current turn. The player with the lowest influence dice sum is the first to choose where to spend their influence; this acts as a way of balancing poor dice rolling. Even with a very unlucky roll, a clever player can still come out from the Council with a good number of resources and/or soldiers.

At the end of five years, the player who best developed their assigned territory and most pleased the King through the Council wins.

Kingsburg (Second Edition) includes six expansion modules for use with the base game.

The new expansion contained in this edition, Kingsburg: Expansion Module #6 – Alternate Advisor Rewards, was available by itself for those who have the first edition of Kingsburg.

7.5
2-5 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 10+
Complexity: 2.5

The realm of Kingsburg is under attack! Monstrous invaders are gathering at the borders, aiming to invade and plunder the realm! Your king has chosen you to take charge of a province on the border; you will manage your province and help defend the realm. To accomplish this, you must influence the King's advisors and the Royal Family to obtain gold, wood, stones, and soldiers to expand and defend your lands. But you are not the only governor seeking the aid of the advisers! The other players also seek to collect the best resources for their own territories.

King Tritus is waiting for you. Will you be able to be the most influent and powerful governor of the realm?

The game of Kingsburg takes place over five years, a total of 20 turns. In every year, there are three production seasons for collecting resources, building structures, and training troops. Every fourth turn is the winter, in which all the players must fight an invading army. Each player must face the invaders, so this is not a cooperative game.

The resources to build structures and train troops are collected by influencing the advisers in the King's Council. Players place their influence dice on members of the Council, and each adviser awards different resources or allocate soldiers, victory points, and other advantages to the player who was able to influence that adviser for the current turn. The player with the lowest influence dice sum is the first to choose where to spend their influence; this acts as a way of balancing poor dice rolling. Even with a very unlucky roll, a clever player can still come out from the Council with a good number of resources and/or soldiers.

At the end of five years, the player who best developed their assigned territory and most pleased the King through the Council wins.

Kingsburg (Second Edition) includes six expansion modules for use with the base game.

The new expansion contained in this edition, Kingsburg: Expansion Module #6 – Alternate Advisor Rewards, was available by itself for those who have the first edition of Kingsburg.

7.5
2-5 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 10+
Complexity: 2.5
Not available
at the moment
#7 (Bethany). Chai: Tea for 2

As countries look for their next cuppa tea, set sail your most delicious brews in Chai: Tea for 2! Facing off as tea merchants, both players will secure tea clipper contracts while improving their tea plantations. Producing green, white, oolong, yellow, black, and the dark pu'ers, it's a race!

As a standalone two player game in the Chai series, you'll be using dice worker placement to build your field's tableau. Navigate tea through different production steps with five unique action boards. Each round signals a new season of harvesting new teas as you specialize in matcha, bergamot, sweet teas and more.

At the start of the game, players set the end game condition to 3, 4 or 5 completed tea clipper contracts. Victory points are also gained by completing tea crates, collecting blooming teas, tableau bonuses, and each merchant's unique speciali-tea.

—description from the publisher

8.7
1-2 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 3.0
#7 (Bethany). Chai: Tea for 2

As countries look for their next cuppa tea, set sail your most delicious brews in Chai: Tea for 2! Facing off as tea merchants, both players will secure tea clipper contracts while improving their tea plantations. Producing green, white, oolong, yellow, black, and the dark pu'ers, it's a race!

As a standalone two player game in the Chai series, you'll be using dice worker placement to build your field's tableau. Navigate tea through different production steps with five unique action boards. Each round signals a new season of harvesting new teas as you specialize in matcha, bergamot, sweet teas and more.

At the start of the game, players set the end game condition to 3, 4 or 5 completed tea clipper contracts. Victory points are also gained by completing tea crates, collecting blooming teas, tableau bonuses, and each merchant's unique speciali-tea.

—description from the publisher

8.7
1-2 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 3.0
Not available
at the moment
#7 (Ryan). Crisis

Axia — a land with a glorious past, a most uncertain present, and an even more unpredictable future. Populated by what has been described as a fervent and warm-blooded people, Axia is in crisis – economic, social, and political: the longest-running recession in its modern history, the highest inequality in years, and a political system teetering on the brink of collapse.

In more ways than one, Axia is fighting against itself. Old divisions of the past have given way to new ones, and this generation – along with the next ones – has the most to lose.

Will you, along with your fellow industrialists, do your part to help Axia? Will you sacrifice short-term gain in the present for a brighter future? Can you do that, and survive? Perhaps you can, and perhaps you can even thrive – and you will, if you see opportunity where others only see crisis!

CRISIS is a turn-based game for 1-5 players who assume the roles of businessmen, trying to rebuild their businesses and create value at a particularly challenging time. By skillfully placing their managers in a position to invest in companies, trade resources, and navigate the local bureaucracy and regulations, they can thrive and prosper in a time when others might struggle and decline.

7.6
1-5 Players
45-120 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 3.1

Axia — a land with a glorious past, a most uncertain present, and an even more unpredictable future. Populated by what has been described as a fervent and warm-blooded people, Axia is in crisis – economic, social, and political: the longest-running recession in its modern history, the highest inequality in years, and a political system teetering on the brink of collapse.

In more ways than one, Axia is fighting against itself. Old divisions of the past have given way to new ones, and this generation – along with the next ones – has the most to lose.

Will you, along with your fellow industrialists, do your part to help Axia? Will you sacrifice short-term gain in the present for a brighter future? Can you do that, and survive? Perhaps you can, and perhaps you can even thrive – and you will, if you see opportunity where others only see crisis!

CRISIS is a turn-based game for 1-5 players who assume the roles of businessmen, trying to rebuild their businesses and create value at a particularly challenging time. By skillfully placing their managers in a position to invest in companies, trade resources, and navigate the local bureaucracy and regulations, they can thrive and prosper in a time when others might struggle and decline.

7.6
1-5 Players
45-120 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 3.1
Not available
at the moment
#6 (Bethany). Paladins of the West Kingdom

Paladins of the West Kingdom is set at a turbulent time of West Francia's story, circa 900 AD. Despite recent efforts to develop the city, outlying townships are still under threat from outsiders. Saracens scout the borders, while Vikings plunder wealth and livestock. Even the Byzantines from the east have shown their darker side. As noble men and women, players must gather workers from the city to defend against enemies, build fortifications and spread faith throughout the land. Fortunately you are not alone. In his great wisdom, the King has sent his finest knights to help aid in our efforts. So ready the horses and sharpen the swords. The Paladins are approaching.

The aim of Paladins of the West Kingdom is to be the player with the most victory points (VP) at game's end. Points are gained by building outposts and fortifications, commissioning monks and confronting outsiders. Each round, players will enlist the help of a specific Paladin and gather workers to carry out tasks. As the game progresses, players will slowly increase their faith, strength and influence. Not only will these affect their final score, but they will also determine the significance of their actions. The game is concluded at the end of the seventh round.

—description from the publisher

8.1
1-4 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.7

Paladins of the West Kingdom is set at a turbulent time of West Francia's story, circa 900 AD. Despite recent efforts to develop the city, outlying townships are still under threat from outsiders. Saracens scout the borders, while Vikings plunder wealth and livestock. Even the Byzantines from the east have shown their darker side. As noble men and women, players must gather workers from the city to defend against enemies, build fortifications and spread faith throughout the land. Fortunately you are not alone. In his great wisdom, the King has sent his finest knights to help aid in our efforts. So ready the horses and sharpen the swords. The Paladins are approaching.

The aim of Paladins of the West Kingdom is to be the player with the most victory points (VP) at game's end. Points are gained by building outposts and fortifications, commissioning monks and confronting outsiders. Each round, players will enlist the help of a specific Paladin and gather workers to carry out tasks. As the game progresses, players will slowly increase their faith, strength and influence. Not only will these affect their final score, but they will also determine the significance of their actions. The game is concluded at the end of the seventh round.

—description from the publisher

8.1
1-4 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.7
Not available
at the moment
#6 (Ryan). Lords of Waterdeep

Game description from the publisher:

Waterdeep, the City of Splendors – the most resplendent jewel in the Forgotten Realms, and a den of political intrigue and shady back-alley dealings. In this game, the players are powerful lords vying for control of this great city. Its treasures and resources are ripe for the taking, and that which cannot be gained through trickery and negotiation must be taken by force!

In Lords of Waterdeep, a strategy board game for 2-5 players, you take on the role of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, secret rulers of the city. Through your agents, you recruit adventurers to go on quests on your behalf, earning rewards and increasing your influence over the city. Expand the city by purchasing new buildings that open up new actions on the board, and hinder – or help – the other lords by playing Intrigue cards to enact your carefully laid plans.

During the course of play, you may gain points or resources through completing quests, constructing buildings, playing intrigue cards or having other players utilize the buildings you have constructed. At the end of 8 rounds of play, the player who has accrued the most points wins the game.

7.8
2-5 Players
60-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 2.5
Language: 3.1

Game description from the publisher:

Waterdeep, the City of Splendors – the most resplendent jewel in the Forgotten Realms, and a den of political intrigue and shady back-alley dealings. In this game, the players are powerful lords vying for control of this great city. Its treasures and resources are ripe for the taking, and that which cannot be gained through trickery and negotiation must be taken by force!

In Lords of Waterdeep, a strategy board game for 2-5 players, you take on the role of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, secret rulers of the city. Through your agents, you recruit adventurers to go on quests on your behalf, earning rewards and increasing your influence over the city. Expand the city by purchasing new buildings that open up new actions on the board, and hinder – or help – the other lords by playing Intrigue cards to enact your carefully laid plans.

During the course of play, you may gain points or resources through completing quests, constructing buildings, playing intrigue cards or having other players utilize the buildings you have constructed. At the end of 8 rounds of play, the player who has accrued the most points wins the game.

7.8
2-5 Players
60-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 2.5
Language: 3.1
Not available
at the moment
#5 (Bethany). Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy

It is 1729 in pre-revolution France, a time when the aristocracy has all the power and the means to rule the country. As a wealthy, well-educated aristocrat, you have travelled the world and had the fortune to enjoy your life to the fullest – but you see that history is about to change course and you know that in order to stay strong, your family must prepare well. You need to find new allies. You must absorb smaller families and use their potency to strengthen your kin. You have to arrange wise marriages, nurture strong connections at court, obtain titles, build mansions, and find the right spouses for your daughters and sons...

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy enables you to build a powerful dynasty in 18th century France as you step into the shoes of a French noble and compete for lasting honor. Over three generations, you – a resourceful patriarch or matriarch – will attempt to create a lasting legacy by establishing a house with ties to many different wealthy and powerful families from France and abroad (Spain, Italy, Russia and other countries).

This card game offers endless possibilities. Each time you build a family, you write a unique story, bringing to life the diverse relationships between parents and their children, between cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces. Whether you are looking for the best husband for your only daughter or a suitable wife for one of your two sons, whether you are looking to add new blood to your family by marrying into foreign nobility – you will be working to make your family rise in status through prestige and wealth, new skills and abilities.

In Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy – known previously as Nobles of Paris and winner of Ducosim Spelontwerp in 2009 – you will find 75 spouse cards with unique traits, more than twenty secret missions, nine titles, and nine "contribution to the family" cards. This all culminates in a highly thematic card game that will satisfy players who enjoy exploring many different paths to victory.

Legacy is a worker placement game in which you take actions to improve the standing and/or wealth of your family. You will expand your family, creating an ever-growing tableau, the family tree. You will need to balance the three 'currencies' in the game, Prestige (converts to Honor points at the end of each generation, of which there are three), Income (your income which converts to hard cash at the end of each round, of which there are 9), and Friend cards (which are actual connections/friends, and are the only way to marry into wealthy/famous families, and can only be received through actions, such as marrying a woman who brings some of her social contacts with her).

Prestige, Income and Friend cards can be gained and lost. You can, for example, lose some prestige by marrying someone infamous or lose some Honor points (i.e. reputation) by asking friends for money. There are also numerous actions you can take that will affect one of the three 'currencies' detrimentally, such as bribing someone to get a title (for which you need to pay, but also in the loss of friends who felt they deserved that title, and not you), or the maintenance of a beautiful new park you have built for the people (losing you income). Finally, you can also take actions that result in the loss of some of your social contacts (friends), due to jealousy, or people simply no longer wanting to be associated with you.

These currencies are carefully balanced by the male and female friend cards in the game. Generally men will give you income and possibly prestige, but will cost you a dowry/wedding costs. Women, on the other hand, will give you connections (new friends you can choose from the current socialites (cards lying open on the table) and possibly prestige, and will sometimes even earn you a dowry!

The card interactions allow for multiple different paths to success, but you must choose your road strategically, planning out where you want to be headed, else you will be left behind in the dust by those with greater and more successful plans than yours.

7.2
1-4 Players
60 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 2.7
Language: 3.2

It is 1729 in pre-revolution France, a time when the aristocracy has all the power and the means to rule the country. As a wealthy, well-educated aristocrat, you have travelled the world and had the fortune to enjoy your life to the fullest – but you see that history is about to change course and you know that in order to stay strong, your family must prepare well. You need to find new allies. You must absorb smaller families and use their potency to strengthen your kin. You have to arrange wise marriages, nurture strong connections at court, obtain titles, build mansions, and find the right spouses for your daughters and sons...

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy enables you to build a powerful dynasty in 18th century France as you step into the shoes of a French noble and compete for lasting honor. Over three generations, you – a resourceful patriarch or matriarch – will attempt to create a lasting legacy by establishing a house with ties to many different wealthy and powerful families from France and abroad (Spain, Italy, Russia and other countries).

This card game offers endless possibilities. Each time you build a family, you write a unique story, bringing to life the diverse relationships between parents and their children, between cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces. Whether you are looking for the best husband for your only daughter or a suitable wife for one of your two sons, whether you are looking to add new blood to your family by marrying into foreign nobility – you will be working to make your family rise in status through prestige and wealth, new skills and abilities.

In Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy – known previously as Nobles of Paris and winner of Ducosim Spelontwerp in 2009 – you will find 75 spouse cards with unique traits, more than twenty secret missions, nine titles, and nine "contribution to the family" cards. This all culminates in a highly thematic card game that will satisfy players who enjoy exploring many different paths to victory.

Legacy is a worker placement game in which you take actions to improve the standing and/or wealth of your family. You will expand your family, creating an ever-growing tableau, the family tree. You will need to balance the three 'currencies' in the game, Prestige (converts to Honor points at the end of each generation, of which there are three), Income (your income which converts to hard cash at the end of each round, of which there are 9), and Friend cards (which are actual connections/friends, and are the only way to marry into wealthy/famous families, and can only be received through actions, such as marrying a woman who brings some of her social contacts with her).

Prestige, Income and Friend cards can be gained and lost. You can, for example, lose some prestige by marrying someone infamous or lose some Honor points (i.e. reputation) by asking friends for money. There are also numerous actions you can take that will affect one of the three 'currencies' detrimentally, such as bribing someone to get a title (for which you need to pay, but also in the loss of friends who felt they deserved that title, and not you), or the maintenance of a beautiful new park you have built for the people (losing you income). Finally, you can also take actions that result in the loss of some of your social contacts (friends), due to jealousy, or people simply no longer wanting to be associated with you.

These currencies are carefully balanced by the male and female friend cards in the game. Generally men will give you income and possibly prestige, but will cost you a dowry/wedding costs. Women, on the other hand, will give you connections (new friends you can choose from the current socialites (cards lying open on the table) and possibly prestige, and will sometimes even earn you a dowry!

The card interactions allow for multiple different paths to success, but you must choose your road strategically, planning out where you want to be headed, else you will be left behind in the dust by those with greater and more successful plans than yours.

7.2
1-4 Players
60 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 2.7
Language: 3.2
Not available
at the moment
#5 (Ryan). The Colonists

Description from the publisher:

In The Colonists, a.k.a. Die Kolonisten, each player is a mayor of a village and must develop their environment to gain room for new farmers, craftsmen, and citizens. The main goal of the game is full employment, so players must create new jobs, educate the people, and build new houses to increase their population. But resources are limited, and their storage leads to problems that players must deal with, while also not forgetting to upgrade their buildings. Players select actions by moving their mayor on a central board.

The Colonists is designed in different levels and scenarios, and even includes something akin to a tutorial, with the playing time varying between 30 minutes (for beginners) and 180 minutes (experts).

The Colonists FAQ

7.7
1-4 Players
30-360 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 4.1

Description from the publisher:

In The Colonists, a.k.a. Die Kolonisten, each player is a mayor of a village and must develop their environment to gain room for new farmers, craftsmen, and citizens. The main goal of the game is full employment, so players must create new jobs, educate the people, and build new houses to increase their population. But resources are limited, and their storage leads to problems that players must deal with, while also not forgetting to upgrade their buildings. Players select actions by moving their mayor on a central board.

The Colonists is designed in different levels and scenarios, and even includes something akin to a tutorial, with the playing time varying between 30 minutes (for beginners) and 180 minutes (experts).

The Colonists FAQ

7.7
1-4 Players
30-360 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 4.1
Not available
at the moment
#4 (Bethany). Buru

In Buru, you are a noble of the 14th century Majapahit empire, a powerful thalassocracy (maritime kingdom) that presides over the Indonesian archipelago. At the orders of the king Hayam Waruk and his vizier, the great Gajah Mada, you have set out across the sea to expand the great mandala of Majapahit through commerce and diplomacy. You and your fellow nobles have recently arrived at the remote island of Buru, eager to earn your place in history. Here, you will dispatch your parties to the island to explore, trade, and pay your respects as you compete to win the over Buru’s residents, and ultimately the favor of the King himself.

Buru is a mid-weight, Euro-style boardgame for 1-4 players. Over 5 game rounds, you and your fellow players will secretly deploy Explorers to the 4 different regions of the island in order to gather resources, recruit Islanders, set them to tasks, and to pay tribute to the spirits revered there.

The object of the game is to win the islanders’ Esteem (victory points). You can earn Esteem in many ways, primarily by paying tribute, but also by pleasing Elders, tasking local Nobles, fulfilling the king’s Decrees, and for holding a totem when any player pays tribute to that spirit.

At the end of the game, the player with the most Esteem wins, and is declared the new governor of Buru!

-description from designer

9.3
1-4 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 0.0
#4 (Bethany). Buru

In Buru, you are a noble of the 14th century Majapahit empire, a powerful thalassocracy (maritime kingdom) that presides over the Indonesian archipelago. At the orders of the king Hayam Waruk and his vizier, the great Gajah Mada, you have set out across the sea to expand the great mandala of Majapahit through commerce and diplomacy. You and your fellow nobles have recently arrived at the remote island of Buru, eager to earn your place in history. Here, you will dispatch your parties to the island to explore, trade, and pay your respects as you compete to win the over Buru’s residents, and ultimately the favor of the King himself.

Buru is a mid-weight, Euro-style boardgame for 1-4 players. Over 5 game rounds, you and your fellow players will secretly deploy Explorers to the 4 different regions of the island in order to gather resources, recruit Islanders, set them to tasks, and to pay tribute to the spirits revered there.

The object of the game is to win the islanders’ Esteem (victory points). You can earn Esteem in many ways, primarily by paying tribute, but also by pleasing Elders, tasking local Nobles, fulfilling the king’s Decrees, and for holding a totem when any player pays tribute to that spirit.

At the end of the game, the player with the most Esteem wins, and is declared the new governor of Buru!

-description from designer

9.3
1-4 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 0.0
Not available
at the moment
#4 (Ryan). Raiders of the North Sea

Raiders of the North Sea is set in the central years of the Viking Age. As Viking warriors, players seek to impress the Chieftain by raiding unsuspecting settlements. To do so, players need to assemble a crew, collect provisions, and journey north to plunder gold, iron and livestock. Glory can be found in battle, even at the hands of the Valkyrie, so gather your warriors because it's raiding season!

To impress the Chieftain, you need victory points (VPs), with those being acquired primarily by raiding settlements, taking plunder, and making offerings to the Chieftain. How you use your plunder is also vital to your success. Players take turns in clockwise order, and on a turn you place a worker and resolve its action, then pick up a different worker and resolve its action. Broadly speaking, those actions fall in one of two categories:

Work: Having a good crew and enough provisions are vital to successful raiding, so before making any raids, players need to do some work to prepare their crew and collect supplies. This is all done in the village at the bottom of the game board, with eight buildings offering various actions. You must first place your worker in an available building where no other worker is present, then pick up a different worker from a different building.

Raid: Once players have hired enough crew and collected provisions, you may choose to raid on your turn. To raid a settlement — whether a harbor, outpost, monastery or fortress — you need to meet three requirements: Having a large enough crew, having enough provisions (along with gold for monasteries and fortresses, and having a worker of the right color. Raiding offers various ways of scoring, such as military strength, plunder, and Valkyries, which is how grey and white workers enter the game.

The game ends when only one fortress raid remains, all Valkyrie have been removed, or all offerings have been made, then players tally their scores.

7.8
2-4 Players
60-80 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 2.5
Language: 2.8

Raiders of the North Sea is set in the central years of the Viking Age. As Viking warriors, players seek to impress the Chieftain by raiding unsuspecting settlements. To do so, players need to assemble a crew, collect provisions, and journey north to plunder gold, iron and livestock. Glory can be found in battle, even at the hands of the Valkyrie, so gather your warriors because it's raiding season!

To impress the Chieftain, you need victory points (VPs), with those being acquired primarily by raiding settlements, taking plunder, and making offerings to the Chieftain. How you use your plunder is also vital to your success. Players take turns in clockwise order, and on a turn you place a worker and resolve its action, then pick up a different worker and resolve its action. Broadly speaking, those actions fall in one of two categories:

Work: Having a good crew and enough provisions are vital to successful raiding, so before making any raids, players need to do some work to prepare their crew and collect supplies. This is all done in the village at the bottom of the game board, with eight buildings offering various actions. You must first place your worker in an available building where no other worker is present, then pick up a different worker from a different building.

Raid: Once players have hired enough crew and collected provisions, you may choose to raid on your turn. To raid a settlement — whether a harbor, outpost, monastery or fortress — you need to meet three requirements: Having a large enough crew, having enough provisions (along with gold for monasteries and fortresses, and having a worker of the right color. Raiding offers various ways of scoring, such as military strength, plunder, and Valkyries, which is how grey and white workers enter the game.

The game ends when only one fortress raid remains, all Valkyrie have been removed, or all offerings have been made, then players tally their scores.

7.8
2-4 Players
60-80 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 2.5
Language: 2.8
Not available
at the moment
#3 (Bethany). Tidal Blades

Welcome Heroes! Many magnificent contestants have signed up for the tournament but only a handful will be chosen to join the the Tidal Blades, the elite guards of our island realm. To succeed in the Tournament and be chosen as a Tidal Blade, you must compete in Challenges held in the 3 Arenas, rise to the top of the Champion’s Board, and protect the realm from the ever increasing threat of the Monsters from the mysterious Fold.

It has been fifteen years since the Great Battle; 15 years since the Arcanists from the Citadel of Time made their terrible choice and created the Fold; 15 years since the last assemblage of Tidal Blades. The Arcanists folded space and time to stop the onslaught of creatures from the depths, but now new Monsters have appeared, the hard-earned days of peace are coming to a close and the islands need protection. A tournament has been called, the Arenas are ready, the inhabitants of all the islands are gathering, and young heroes from across the realm are showing up to compete to be named a Tidal Blade: Hero of the Reef.

In Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef, each player takes the role of a young hero competing to be named a Tidal Blade. The tournament takes place over 5 Days and Nights. By gathering the needed resources, signing up to compete in Challenges and timing your arrival at different islands you can make the most of your Hero’s turns and rise in the ranks of the contestants.

Each day you will send your hero to take actions on the different Locations and to undertake Challenges. Each action will gain you the resource or effect listed on the action space as well as the Location bonus. At the Arenas you may then attempt a Challenge that matches your Location, and at the Fold you may battle a monster. Completing Challenges and fighting monsters will advance your character in the four traits of Focus, Spirit, Resilience and Synergy.

Each Tidal Blade will be judged at the end of the 5 rounds based on the Challenges they have completed, the level of each of their Traits, their standing on the Champions Board, and the monsters they have fought.

7.9
1-4 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.9

Welcome Heroes! Many magnificent contestants have signed up for the tournament but only a handful will be chosen to join the the Tidal Blades, the elite guards of our island realm. To succeed in the Tournament and be chosen as a Tidal Blade, you must compete in Challenges held in the 3 Arenas, rise to the top of the Champion’s Board, and protect the realm from the ever increasing threat of the Monsters from the mysterious Fold.

It has been fifteen years since the Great Battle; 15 years since the Arcanists from the Citadel of Time made their terrible choice and created the Fold; 15 years since the last assemblage of Tidal Blades. The Arcanists folded space and time to stop the onslaught of creatures from the depths, but now new Monsters have appeared, the hard-earned days of peace are coming to a close and the islands need protection. A tournament has been called, the Arenas are ready, the inhabitants of all the islands are gathering, and young heroes from across the realm are showing up to compete to be named a Tidal Blade: Hero of the Reef.

In Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef, each player takes the role of a young hero competing to be named a Tidal Blade. The tournament takes place over 5 Days and Nights. By gathering the needed resources, signing up to compete in Challenges and timing your arrival at different islands you can make the most of your Hero’s turns and rise in the ranks of the contestants.

Each day you will send your hero to take actions on the different Locations and to undertake Challenges. Each action will gain you the resource or effect listed on the action space as well as the Location bonus. At the Arenas you may then attempt a Challenge that matches your Location, and at the Fold you may battle a monster. Completing Challenges and fighting monsters will advance your character in the four traits of Focus, Spirit, Resilience and Synergy.

Each Tidal Blade will be judged at the end of the 5 rounds based on the Challenges they have completed, the level of each of their Traits, their standing on the Champions Board, and the monsters they have fought.

7.9
1-4 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.9
Not available
at the moment
#3 (Ryan). Agricola - Revised Edition

Updated and streamlined for a new generation of players, Agricola, the award-winning and highly acclaimed game by Uwe Rosenberg, features a revised rulebook and gameplay, along with wood pieces and components for up to four players.

The 17th Century Was Not an Easy Time to be a Farmer. A game for 1-4 players ages 12 and up; play time is 30 minutes per player. Amazing replay value. The Agricola base game is a revised edition of Uwe Rosenberg’s celebrated classic. The game is designed for 1-4 players, features improved all-wood components and a card selection from the base game as well as its expansions, revised and updated for this edition. Players begin the game with two family members and can grow their families over the course of the game. This allows them more actions but remember you have to grow more food to feed your family as it grows! Feeding your family is a special kind of challenge and players will plant grain and vegetables while supplementing their food supply with sheep, wild boar and cattle. Guide your family to wealth, health and prosperity and you will win the game.

8.0
1-4 Players
30-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.5

Updated and streamlined for a new generation of players, Agricola, the award-winning and highly acclaimed game by Uwe Rosenberg, features a revised rulebook and gameplay, along with wood pieces and components for up to four players.

The 17th Century Was Not an Easy Time to be a Farmer. A game for 1-4 players ages 12 and up; play time is 30 minutes per player. Amazing replay value. The Agricola base game is a revised edition of Uwe Rosenberg’s celebrated classic. The game is designed for 1-4 players, features improved all-wood components and a card selection from the base game as well as its expansions, revised and updated for this edition. Players begin the game with two family members and can grow their families over the course of the game. This allows them more actions but remember you have to grow more food to feed your family as it grows! Feeding your family is a special kind of challenge and players will plant grain and vegetables while supplementing their food supply with sheep, wild boar and cattle. Guide your family to wealth, health and prosperity and you will win the game.

8.0
1-4 Players
30-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.5
Not available
at the moment
#2 (Bethany). Kanban EV

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become more common since 2014 and are the future of the automobile industry. They are superior vehicles due to them being more efficient, easier to maintain, cleaner, and cheaper to run. They are computerized machines that use AI to improve safety and in the near future will provide autonomous driving. They receive software upgrades during their lifetime and are constantly improving, unlike their traditional combustion-engine counterparts, which start to become obsolete as soon as you start using them.

You will be overseeing the production of these vehicles in Kanban EV, with "kanban" (看板) being the name for a scheduling system that supports an efficient assembly line, just-in-time production, and a smooth workflow process. Over the course of the game, players take on the role of rookie employees who are trying to secure their career. You need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve and innovate automobile parts, and get your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production and impress the factory manager.

You must make shrewd use of the recycling facilities and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate parts when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn't wait for you or for mistakes. Sandra, the factory manager, will review your performance and keep the factory on tempo.

Kanban EV is a game that focuses on resource and time management that puts you in the driver's seat of an entire production facility, racing for factory goals and the highest level of promotion. You earn production points (PP) for performing various actions in the game, and the player with the most PP at the end of the game wins.

—description from publisher

Includes solo mode by Dávid Turczi

8.8
1-4 Players
60-180 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 4.4

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become more common since 2014 and are the future of the automobile industry. They are superior vehicles due to them being more efficient, easier to maintain, cleaner, and cheaper to run. They are computerized machines that use AI to improve safety and in the near future will provide autonomous driving. They receive software upgrades during their lifetime and are constantly improving, unlike their traditional combustion-engine counterparts, which start to become obsolete as soon as you start using them.

You will be overseeing the production of these vehicles in Kanban EV, with "kanban" (看板) being the name for a scheduling system that supports an efficient assembly line, just-in-time production, and a smooth workflow process. Over the course of the game, players take on the role of rookie employees who are trying to secure their career. You need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve and innovate automobile parts, and get your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production and impress the factory manager.

You must make shrewd use of the recycling facilities and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate parts when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn't wait for you or for mistakes. Sandra, the factory manager, will review your performance and keep the factory on tempo.

Kanban EV is a game that focuses on resource and time management that puts you in the driver's seat of an entire production facility, racing for factory goals and the highest level of promotion. You earn production points (PP) for performing various actions in the game, and the player with the most PP at the end of the game wins.

—description from publisher

Includes solo mode by Dávid Turczi

8.8
1-4 Players
60-180 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 4.4
Not available
at the moment
#2 (Ryan). Francis Drake

Game description from the publisher:

Return to a bustling Plymouth Harbor in 1572 as an aspiring Elizabethan captain making preparations for three exciting voyages to the Spanish Main in search of fame and fortune! As captains, players will have to plan their missions and provision their ships accordingly.

Francis Drake is a race to see who can set sail and reach the Spanish Main first. The riches of the Aztec and Inca Empires await these swashbuckling captains. Many tough decisions must be made before each voyage:

How many crew members, guns, and trade goods will be needed?

What supplies will be needed to reach deep into the Caribbean?

Will a stronger galleon be needed to attack the treasure fleets?

Can special charts from the Spanish Admiral and Governor help?

Will the Queen or rich investors back the voyage?

What information can the informer give?

Will Drake himself be available to guide the voyage?

Who will get the use of the Golden Hind?

Each new voyage has its own challenges to overcome, but the captured gold, silver, and jewels should greatly please the Queen. Get ready for the voyage of a lifetime!

7.4
3-5 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.9

Game description from the publisher:

Return to a bustling Plymouth Harbor in 1572 as an aspiring Elizabethan captain making preparations for three exciting voyages to the Spanish Main in search of fame and fortune! As captains, players will have to plan their missions and provision their ships accordingly.

Francis Drake is a race to see who can set sail and reach the Spanish Main first. The riches of the Aztec and Inca Empires await these swashbuckling captains. Many tough decisions must be made before each voyage:

How many crew members, guns, and trade goods will be needed?

What supplies will be needed to reach deep into the Caribbean?

Will a stronger galleon be needed to attack the treasure fleets?

Can special charts from the Spanish Admiral and Governor help?

Will the Queen or rich investors back the voyage?

What information can the informer give?

Will Drake himself be available to guide the voyage?

Who will get the use of the Golden Hind?

Each new voyage has its own challenges to overcome, but the captured gold, silver, and jewels should greatly please the Queen. Get ready for the voyage of a lifetime!

7.4
3-5 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.9
Not available
at the moment
#1 (Bethany). Genotype: A Mendelian Genetics Game

Gregor Mendel is the 19th Century Augustinian Friar credited with the discovery of modern genetics. In Genotype, you play as his assistants, competing to collect experimental data on pea plants by trying to control how the plants inherit key Traits from their parents: seed shape, flower color, stem color, and plant height. The observable Traits of a Pea Plant (its Phenotype) are determined by its genetic makeup (its Genotype). The relationship between Genotype and Phenotype and the nature of genetic inheritance are at the heart of Genotype: A Mendelian Genetics Game.

During the game, players get Pea Plant Cards which show a set of Phenotype Traits they hope to produce and collect (such as pink flowers and tall height) in order to score points. Each round, Dice are rolled to represent Plant breeding, which may result in the Traits players are looking for. After the Dice Roll, players take turns drafting Dice towards completing their Pea Plant Cards or advancing their Research. The Traits produced during the Dice Roll come through the science of Punnett Squares, which show how the parent genes combine, one from each parent plant. By changing the genes of these parent plants, players can influence the likelihood of rolling the Traits they need. The completion of Pea Plant Cards via the Dice Draft is the main way players score points.

Each round consists of 3 phases: Worker Placement, Dice Drafting, and Upgrades.

1) During Worker Placement, players take actions to get more Plant Cards, change the genes of a parent plant, Garden, Research, stake Phenotype claims, gather new Tools, or even position themselves ahead of other players for the Dice Drafting Phase in a couple of ways.

2) Dice Drafting features a couple of interest steps, including the possibility to get first pick of dice, but only for one type of Trait (like plant height), or the possibility to get a pick of any dice, but only after those first picks have happened. De Novo Mutation Dice allow players to change the Trait of other Dice or gain additional Research.

3) The Upgrades phase lets players spend their Research to gain upgrades that let them work on more Plant Cards, draft more Dice each round, or gain additional Workers to be used during the Worker Placement Phase of each round.

Players work to match their Pea Plant Cards to the outcome of the Dice Draft and complete the cards for points. If they've placed a Phenotype marker, they will earn bonus points for every completed card that matches their claim. At the end of 5 rounds, the player with the most points wins.

-description from designer

8.1
1-5 Players
45-90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.5

Gregor Mendel is the 19th Century Augustinian Friar credited with the discovery of modern genetics. In Genotype, you play as his assistants, competing to collect experimental data on pea plants by trying to control how the plants inherit key Traits from their parents: seed shape, flower color, stem color, and plant height. The observable Traits of a Pea Plant (its Phenotype) are determined by its genetic makeup (its Genotype). The relationship between Genotype and Phenotype and the nature of genetic inheritance are at the heart of Genotype: A Mendelian Genetics Game.

During the game, players get Pea Plant Cards which show a set of Phenotype Traits they hope to produce and collect (such as pink flowers and tall height) in order to score points. Each round, Dice are rolled to represent Plant breeding, which may result in the Traits players are looking for. After the Dice Roll, players take turns drafting Dice towards completing their Pea Plant Cards or advancing their Research. The Traits produced during the Dice Roll come through the science of Punnett Squares, which show how the parent genes combine, one from each parent plant. By changing the genes of these parent plants, players can influence the likelihood of rolling the Traits they need. The completion of Pea Plant Cards via the Dice Draft is the main way players score points.

Each round consists of 3 phases: Worker Placement, Dice Drafting, and Upgrades.

1) During Worker Placement, players take actions to get more Plant Cards, change the genes of a parent plant, Garden, Research, stake Phenotype claims, gather new Tools, or even position themselves ahead of other players for the Dice Drafting Phase in a couple of ways.

2) Dice Drafting features a couple of interest steps, including the possibility to get first pick of dice, but only for one type of Trait (like plant height), or the possibility to get a pick of any dice, but only after those first picks have happened. De Novo Mutation Dice allow players to change the Trait of other Dice or gain additional Research.

3) The Upgrades phase lets players spend their Research to gain upgrades that let them work on more Plant Cards, draft more Dice each round, or gain additional Workers to be used during the Worker Placement Phase of each round.

Players work to match their Pea Plant Cards to the outcome of the Dice Draft and complete the cards for points. If they've placed a Phenotype marker, they will earn bonus points for every completed card that matches their claim. At the end of 5 rounds, the player with the most points wins.

-description from designer

8.1
1-5 Players
45-90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.5
Not available
at the moment
#1 (Ryan). Kanban EV

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become more common since 2014 and are the future of the automobile industry. They are superior vehicles due to them being more efficient, easier to maintain, cleaner, and cheaper to run. They are computerized machines that use AI to improve safety and in the near future will provide autonomous driving. They receive software upgrades during their lifetime and are constantly improving, unlike their traditional combustion-engine counterparts, which start to become obsolete as soon as you start using them.

You will be overseeing the production of these vehicles in Kanban EV, with "kanban" (看板) being the name for a scheduling system that supports an efficient assembly line, just-in-time production, and a smooth workflow process. Over the course of the game, players take on the role of rookie employees who are trying to secure their career. You need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve and innovate automobile parts, and get your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production and impress the factory manager.

You must make shrewd use of the recycling facilities and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate parts when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn't wait for you or for mistakes. Sandra, the factory manager, will review your performance and keep the factory on tempo.

Kanban EV is a game that focuses on resource and time management that puts you in the driver's seat of an entire production facility, racing for factory goals and the highest level of promotion. You earn production points (PP) for performing various actions in the game, and the player with the most PP at the end of the game wins.

—description from publisher

Includes solo mode by Dávid Turczi

8.8
1-4 Players
60-180 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 4.4

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become more common since 2014 and are the future of the automobile industry. They are superior vehicles due to them being more efficient, easier to maintain, cleaner, and cheaper to run. They are computerized machines that use AI to improve safety and in the near future will provide autonomous driving. They receive software upgrades during their lifetime and are constantly improving, unlike their traditional combustion-engine counterparts, which start to become obsolete as soon as you start using them.

You will be overseeing the production of these vehicles in Kanban EV, with "kanban" (看板) being the name for a scheduling system that supports an efficient assembly line, just-in-time production, and a smooth workflow process. Over the course of the game, players take on the role of rookie employees who are trying to secure their career. You need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve and innovate automobile parts, and get your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production and impress the factory manager.

You must make shrewd use of the recycling facilities and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate parts when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn't wait for you or for mistakes. Sandra, the factory manager, will review your performance and keep the factory on tempo.

Kanban EV is a game that focuses on resource and time management that puts you in the driver's seat of an entire production facility, racing for factory goals and the highest level of promotion. You earn production points (PP) for performing various actions in the game, and the player with the most PP at the end of the game wins.

—description from publisher

Includes solo mode by Dávid Turczi

8.8
1-4 Players
60-180 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 4.4
Not available
at the moment

Ratings: Top 10 Worker Placement Games – with Ryan and Bethany

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#10 (Bethany). Harry Potter: House Cup Competition

Welcome to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! The House Cup calls for the brightest students to compete in this worker-placement strategy game. In Harry Potter: House Cup Competition, use gained knowledge and magic to learn lessons and complete challenges. Players send iconic characters like Harry Potter, Cedric Diggory, Cho Chang, and Draco Malfoy out on the game board to enhance their skills. The player who earns the most points for their House will be named the House Cup Champion!

—description from the publisher

7.0
2-4 Players
75 Min
Age: 11+
Complexity: 2.0
#10 (Ryan). Tidal Blades

Welcome Heroes! Many magnificent contestants have signed up for the tournament but only a handful will be chosen to join the the Tidal Blades, the elite guards of our island realm. To succeed in the Tournament and be chosen as a Tidal Blade, you must compete in Challenges held in the 3 Arenas, rise to the top of the Champion’s Board, and protect the realm from the ever increasing threat of the Monsters from the mysterious Fold.

It has been fifteen years since the Great Battle; 15 years since the Arcanists from the Citadel of Time made their terrible choice and created the Fold; 15 years since the last assemblage of Tidal Blades. The Arcanists folded space and time to stop the onslaught of creatures from the depths, but now new Monsters have appeared, the hard-earned days of peace are coming to a close and the islands need protection. A tournament has been called, the Arenas are ready, the inhabitants of all the islands are gathering, and young heroes from across the realm are showing up to compete to be named a Tidal Blade: Hero of the Reef.

In Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef, each player takes the role of a young hero competing to be named a Tidal Blade. The tournament takes place over 5 Days and Nights. By gathering the needed resources, signing up to compete in Challenges and timing your arrival at different islands you can make the most of your Hero’s turns and rise in the ranks of the contestants.

Each day you will send your hero to take actions on the different Locations and to undertake Challenges. Each action will gain you the resource or effect listed on the action space as well as the Location bonus. At the Arenas you may then attempt a Challenge that matches your Location, and at the Fold you may battle a monster. Completing Challenges and fighting monsters will advance your character in the four traits of Focus, Spirit, Resilience and Synergy.

Each Tidal Blade will be judged at the end of the 5 rounds based on the Challenges they have completed, the level of each of their Traits, their standing on the Champions Board, and the monsters they have fought.

7.9
1-4 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.9
#9 (Bethany). Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar presents a new game mechanism: dynamic worker placement. Players representing different Mayan tribes place their workers on giant connected gears, and as the gears rotate they take the workers to different action spots.

During a turn, players can either (a) place one or more workers on the lowest visible spot of the gears or (b) pick up one or more workers. When placing workers, they must pay corn, which is used as a currency in the game. When they pick up a worker, they perform certain actions depending on the position of the worker. Actions located "later" on the gears are more valuable, so it's wise to let the time work for you – but players cannot skip their turn; if they have all their workers on the gears, they have to pick some up. 

The game ends after one full revolution of the central Tzolkin gear. There are many paths to victory. Pleasing the gods by placing crystal skulls in deep caves or building many temples are just two of those many paths...

7.9
2-4 Players
90 Min
Age: 13+
Complexity: 3.7
Language: 1.0
#9 (Ryan). Russian Railroads

In Russian Railroads, players compete in an exciting race to build the largest and most advanced railway network. In order to do so, the players appoint their workers to various important tasks.

The development of simple tracks will quickly bring the players to important places, while the modernization of their railway network will improve the efficiency of their machinery. Newer locomotives cover greater distances and factories churn out improved technology. Engineers, when used effectively, can be the extra boost that an empire needs to race past the competition.

There are many paths to victory: Who will ride into the future full steam ahead and who will be run off the rails? Whose empire will overcome the challenges ahead and emerge victorious?

Game Summary

Each player has their own board, with space for factories, and 3 rail tracks (to 3 different cities). On each track, use a track token to mark the progression of your rails (different colored marker for each type or rail). Some interesting twists:

- The different track types must be built in a specific order (black, gray, brown, natural, white). Later tracks may never be advanced further on the track than the earlier tracks.

- On each track, as the track head advances, you cross several thresholds that provide awards: the ability to start a new color of track, victory points, bonus tiles, etc.

- Each track line can have one (two for the first rail) engine(s) associated with it; the size of the loco(s) determines how far down the track you actually score VP.

The central board has (almost) all the locations for placing workers. Each location requires 1-3 workers (of one player; played all together). Players, who start the game with 5 workers (or 6 workers, in 2-3 player games), will take turns using a location. These provide a variety of abilities, for example:

- advance 1 or more track heads by 1-3 spaces

- acquire an engine or factory; engines are allocated to rail lines, while factories (the reverse side of the tile) are placed on your factory line.

- earn 2 coins

- take 2 temporary workers

- jump ahead in turn order

- acquire an engineer, which has a unique power and becomes a worker-placement location only for you

Each round ends when all players have passed on placing/using workers. Then, score VP for each track and factory line. On each track line, only spaces as far down the track as the loco level will score. Each track type scores VP for every space from its track head back to where the next color of track starts. Track types built earlier (e.g. black) score less/space than later tracks (e.g., white). On each factory line the position of the purple industry marker(s) show how many VP are scored.

After 7 rounds (or 6 rounds, in 2-3 player games), the game ends; most VP wins!

7.8
2-4 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.4
Language: 1.0
#8 (Bethany). Pendulum

In Pendulum, each player is a powerful, unique noble vying to succeed the Timeless King as the true ruler of Dünya. Players command their workers, execute stratagems, and expand the provinces in their domain in real time to gain resources and move up the four victory tracks: power, prestige, popularity, and legendary achievement.

Players must use actual time as a resource in managing their strategy to best their opponents, using time on different action types and balancing it with time spent planning and analyzing. The winner will be the player who manages and invests their time most effectively and who builds the best engine, not the player who acts the quickest.

Pendulum is the highest-rated protoype in the history of the Stonemaier Games Design Day.

—description from the publisher

6.7
1-5 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 2.9
#8 (Ryan). Kingsburg (Second Edition)

The realm of Kingsburg is under attack! Monstrous invaders are gathering at the borders, aiming to invade and plunder the realm! Your king has chosen you to take charge of a province on the border; you will manage your province and help defend the realm. To accomplish this, you must influence the King's advisors and the Royal Family to obtain gold, wood, stones, and soldiers to expand and defend your lands. But you are not the only governor seeking the aid of the advisers! The other players also seek to collect the best resources for their own territories.

King Tritus is waiting for you. Will you be able to be the most influent and powerful governor of the realm?

The game of Kingsburg takes place over five years, a total of 20 turns. In every year, there are three production seasons for collecting resources, building structures, and training troops. Every fourth turn is the winter, in which all the players must fight an invading army. Each player must face the invaders, so this is not a cooperative game.

The resources to build structures and train troops are collected by influencing the advisers in the King's Council. Players place their influence dice on members of the Council, and each adviser awards different resources or allocate soldiers, victory points, and other advantages to the player who was able to influence that adviser for the current turn. The player with the lowest influence dice sum is the first to choose where to spend their influence; this acts as a way of balancing poor dice rolling. Even with a very unlucky roll, a clever player can still come out from the Council with a good number of resources and/or soldiers.

At the end of five years, the player who best developed their assigned territory and most pleased the King through the Council wins.

Kingsburg (Second Edition) includes six expansion modules for use with the base game.

The new expansion contained in this edition, Kingsburg: Expansion Module #6 – Alternate Advisor Rewards, was available by itself for those who have the first edition of Kingsburg.

7.5
2-5 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 10+
Complexity: 2.5
#7 (Bethany). Chai: Tea for 2

As countries look for their next cuppa tea, set sail your most delicious brews in Chai: Tea for 2! Facing off as tea merchants, both players will secure tea clipper contracts while improving their tea plantations. Producing green, white, oolong, yellow, black, and the dark pu'ers, it's a race!

As a standalone two player game in the Chai series, you'll be using dice worker placement to build your field's tableau. Navigate tea through different production steps with five unique action boards. Each round signals a new season of harvesting new teas as you specialize in matcha, bergamot, sweet teas and more.

At the start of the game, players set the end game condition to 3, 4 or 5 completed tea clipper contracts. Victory points are also gained by completing tea crates, collecting blooming teas, tableau bonuses, and each merchant's unique speciali-tea.

—description from the publisher

8.7
1-2 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 3.0
#7 (Ryan). Crisis

Axia — a land with a glorious past, a most uncertain present, and an even more unpredictable future. Populated by what has been described as a fervent and warm-blooded people, Axia is in crisis – economic, social, and political: the longest-running recession in its modern history, the highest inequality in years, and a political system teetering on the brink of collapse.

In more ways than one, Axia is fighting against itself. Old divisions of the past have given way to new ones, and this generation – along with the next ones – has the most to lose.

Will you, along with your fellow industrialists, do your part to help Axia? Will you sacrifice short-term gain in the present for a brighter future? Can you do that, and survive? Perhaps you can, and perhaps you can even thrive – and you will, if you see opportunity where others only see crisis!

CRISIS is a turn-based game for 1-5 players who assume the roles of businessmen, trying to rebuild their businesses and create value at a particularly challenging time. By skillfully placing their managers in a position to invest in companies, trade resources, and navigate the local bureaucracy and regulations, they can thrive and prosper in a time when others might struggle and decline.

7.6
1-5 Players
45-120 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 3.1
#6 (Bethany). Paladins of the West Kingdom

Paladins of the West Kingdom is set at a turbulent time of West Francia's story, circa 900 AD. Despite recent efforts to develop the city, outlying townships are still under threat from outsiders. Saracens scout the borders, while Vikings plunder wealth and livestock. Even the Byzantines from the east have shown their darker side. As noble men and women, players must gather workers from the city to defend against enemies, build fortifications and spread faith throughout the land. Fortunately you are not alone. In his great wisdom, the King has sent his finest knights to help aid in our efforts. So ready the horses and sharpen the swords. The Paladins are approaching.

The aim of Paladins of the West Kingdom is to be the player with the most victory points (VP) at game's end. Points are gained by building outposts and fortifications, commissioning monks and confronting outsiders. Each round, players will enlist the help of a specific Paladin and gather workers to carry out tasks. As the game progresses, players will slowly increase their faith, strength and influence. Not only will these affect their final score, but they will also determine the significance of their actions. The game is concluded at the end of the seventh round.

—description from the publisher

8.1
1-4 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.7
#6 (Ryan). Lords of Waterdeep

Game description from the publisher:

Waterdeep, the City of Splendors – the most resplendent jewel in the Forgotten Realms, and a den of political intrigue and shady back-alley dealings. In this game, the players are powerful lords vying for control of this great city. Its treasures and resources are ripe for the taking, and that which cannot be gained through trickery and negotiation must be taken by force!

In Lords of Waterdeep, a strategy board game for 2-5 players, you take on the role of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, secret rulers of the city. Through your agents, you recruit adventurers to go on quests on your behalf, earning rewards and increasing your influence over the city. Expand the city by purchasing new buildings that open up new actions on the board, and hinder – or help – the other lords by playing Intrigue cards to enact your carefully laid plans.

During the course of play, you may gain points or resources through completing quests, constructing buildings, playing intrigue cards or having other players utilize the buildings you have constructed. At the end of 8 rounds of play, the player who has accrued the most points wins the game.

7.8
2-5 Players
60-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 2.5
Language: 3.1
#5 (Bethany). Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy

It is 1729 in pre-revolution France, a time when the aristocracy has all the power and the means to rule the country. As a wealthy, well-educated aristocrat, you have travelled the world and had the fortune to enjoy your life to the fullest – but you see that history is about to change course and you know that in order to stay strong, your family must prepare well. You need to find new allies. You must absorb smaller families and use their potency to strengthen your kin. You have to arrange wise marriages, nurture strong connections at court, obtain titles, build mansions, and find the right spouses for your daughters and sons...

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy enables you to build a powerful dynasty in 18th century France as you step into the shoes of a French noble and compete for lasting honor. Over three generations, you – a resourceful patriarch or matriarch – will attempt to create a lasting legacy by establishing a house with ties to many different wealthy and powerful families from France and abroad (Spain, Italy, Russia and other countries).

This card game offers endless possibilities. Each time you build a family, you write a unique story, bringing to life the diverse relationships between parents and their children, between cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces. Whether you are looking for the best husband for your only daughter or a suitable wife for one of your two sons, whether you are looking to add new blood to your family by marrying into foreign nobility – you will be working to make your family rise in status through prestige and wealth, new skills and abilities.

In Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy – known previously as Nobles of Paris and winner of Ducosim Spelontwerp in 2009 – you will find 75 spouse cards with unique traits, more than twenty secret missions, nine titles, and nine "contribution to the family" cards. This all culminates in a highly thematic card game that will satisfy players who enjoy exploring many different paths to victory.

Legacy is a worker placement game in which you take actions to improve the standing and/or wealth of your family. You will expand your family, creating an ever-growing tableau, the family tree. You will need to balance the three 'currencies' in the game, Prestige (converts to Honor points at the end of each generation, of which there are three), Income (your income which converts to hard cash at the end of each round, of which there are 9), and Friend cards (which are actual connections/friends, and are the only way to marry into wealthy/famous families, and can only be received through actions, such as marrying a woman who brings some of her social contacts with her).

Prestige, Income and Friend cards can be gained and lost. You can, for example, lose some prestige by marrying someone infamous or lose some Honor points (i.e. reputation) by asking friends for money. There are also numerous actions you can take that will affect one of the three 'currencies' detrimentally, such as bribing someone to get a title (for which you need to pay, but also in the loss of friends who felt they deserved that title, and not you), or the maintenance of a beautiful new park you have built for the people (losing you income). Finally, you can also take actions that result in the loss of some of your social contacts (friends), due to jealousy, or people simply no longer wanting to be associated with you.

These currencies are carefully balanced by the male and female friend cards in the game. Generally men will give you income and possibly prestige, but will cost you a dowry/wedding costs. Women, on the other hand, will give you connections (new friends you can choose from the current socialites (cards lying open on the table) and possibly prestige, and will sometimes even earn you a dowry!

The card interactions allow for multiple different paths to success, but you must choose your road strategically, planning out where you want to be headed, else you will be left behind in the dust by those with greater and more successful plans than yours.

7.2
1-4 Players
60 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 2.7
Language: 3.2
#5 (Ryan). The Colonists

Description from the publisher:

In The Colonists, a.k.a. Die Kolonisten, each player is a mayor of a village and must develop their environment to gain room for new farmers, craftsmen, and citizens. The main goal of the game is full employment, so players must create new jobs, educate the people, and build new houses to increase their population. But resources are limited, and their storage leads to problems that players must deal with, while also not forgetting to upgrade their buildings. Players select actions by moving their mayor on a central board.

The Colonists is designed in different levels and scenarios, and even includes something akin to a tutorial, with the playing time varying between 30 minutes (for beginners) and 180 minutes (experts).

The Colonists FAQ

7.7
1-4 Players
30-360 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 4.1
#4 (Bethany). Buru

In Buru, you are a noble of the 14th century Majapahit empire, a powerful thalassocracy (maritime kingdom) that presides over the Indonesian archipelago. At the orders of the king Hayam Waruk and his vizier, the great Gajah Mada, you have set out across the sea to expand the great mandala of Majapahit through commerce and diplomacy. You and your fellow nobles have recently arrived at the remote island of Buru, eager to earn your place in history. Here, you will dispatch your parties to the island to explore, trade, and pay your respects as you compete to win the over Buru’s residents, and ultimately the favor of the King himself.

Buru is a mid-weight, Euro-style boardgame for 1-4 players. Over 5 game rounds, you and your fellow players will secretly deploy Explorers to the 4 different regions of the island in order to gather resources, recruit Islanders, set them to tasks, and to pay tribute to the spirits revered there.

The object of the game is to win the islanders’ Esteem (victory points). You can earn Esteem in many ways, primarily by paying tribute, but also by pleasing Elders, tasking local Nobles, fulfilling the king’s Decrees, and for holding a totem when any player pays tribute to that spirit.

At the end of the game, the player with the most Esteem wins, and is declared the new governor of Buru!

-description from designer

9.3
1-4 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 0.0
#4 (Ryan). Raiders of the North Sea

Raiders of the North Sea is set in the central years of the Viking Age. As Viking warriors, players seek to impress the Chieftain by raiding unsuspecting settlements. To do so, players need to assemble a crew, collect provisions, and journey north to plunder gold, iron and livestock. Glory can be found in battle, even at the hands of the Valkyrie, so gather your warriors because it's raiding season!

To impress the Chieftain, you need victory points (VPs), with those being acquired primarily by raiding settlements, taking plunder, and making offerings to the Chieftain. How you use your plunder is also vital to your success. Players take turns in clockwise order, and on a turn you place a worker and resolve its action, then pick up a different worker and resolve its action. Broadly speaking, those actions fall in one of two categories:

Work: Having a good crew and enough provisions are vital to successful raiding, so before making any raids, players need to do some work to prepare their crew and collect supplies. This is all done in the village at the bottom of the game board, with eight buildings offering various actions. You must first place your worker in an available building where no other worker is present, then pick up a different worker from a different building.

Raid: Once players have hired enough crew and collected provisions, you may choose to raid on your turn. To raid a settlement — whether a harbor, outpost, monastery or fortress — you need to meet three requirements: Having a large enough crew, having enough provisions (along with gold for monasteries and fortresses, and having a worker of the right color. Raiding offers various ways of scoring, such as military strength, plunder, and Valkyries, which is how grey and white workers enter the game.

The game ends when only one fortress raid remains, all Valkyrie have been removed, or all offerings have been made, then players tally their scores.

7.8
2-4 Players
60-80 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 2.5
Language: 2.8
#3 (Bethany). Tidal Blades

Welcome Heroes! Many magnificent contestants have signed up for the tournament but only a handful will be chosen to join the the Tidal Blades, the elite guards of our island realm. To succeed in the Tournament and be chosen as a Tidal Blade, you must compete in Challenges held in the 3 Arenas, rise to the top of the Champion’s Board, and protect the realm from the ever increasing threat of the Monsters from the mysterious Fold.

It has been fifteen years since the Great Battle; 15 years since the Arcanists from the Citadel of Time made their terrible choice and created the Fold; 15 years since the last assemblage of Tidal Blades. The Arcanists folded space and time to stop the onslaught of creatures from the depths, but now new Monsters have appeared, the hard-earned days of peace are coming to a close and the islands need protection. A tournament has been called, the Arenas are ready, the inhabitants of all the islands are gathering, and young heroes from across the realm are showing up to compete to be named a Tidal Blade: Hero of the Reef.

In Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef, each player takes the role of a young hero competing to be named a Tidal Blade. The tournament takes place over 5 Days and Nights. By gathering the needed resources, signing up to compete in Challenges and timing your arrival at different islands you can make the most of your Hero’s turns and rise in the ranks of the contestants.

Each day you will send your hero to take actions on the different Locations and to undertake Challenges. Each action will gain you the resource or effect listed on the action space as well as the Location bonus. At the Arenas you may then attempt a Challenge that matches your Location, and at the Fold you may battle a monster. Completing Challenges and fighting monsters will advance your character in the four traits of Focus, Spirit, Resilience and Synergy.

Each Tidal Blade will be judged at the end of the 5 rounds based on the Challenges they have completed, the level of each of their Traits, their standing on the Champions Board, and the monsters they have fought.

7.9
1-4 Players
60-90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.9
#3 (Ryan). Agricola - Revised Edition

Updated and streamlined for a new generation of players, Agricola, the award-winning and highly acclaimed game by Uwe Rosenberg, features a revised rulebook and gameplay, along with wood pieces and components for up to four players.

The 17th Century Was Not an Easy Time to be a Farmer. A game for 1-4 players ages 12 and up; play time is 30 minutes per player. Amazing replay value. The Agricola base game is a revised edition of Uwe Rosenberg’s celebrated classic. The game is designed for 1-4 players, features improved all-wood components and a card selection from the base game as well as its expansions, revised and updated for this edition. Players begin the game with two family members and can grow their families over the course of the game. This allows them more actions but remember you have to grow more food to feed your family as it grows! Feeding your family is a special kind of challenge and players will plant grain and vegetables while supplementing their food supply with sheep, wild boar and cattle. Guide your family to wealth, health and prosperity and you will win the game.

8.0
1-4 Players
30-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.5
#2 (Bethany). Kanban EV

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become more common since 2014 and are the future of the automobile industry. They are superior vehicles due to them being more efficient, easier to maintain, cleaner, and cheaper to run. They are computerized machines that use AI to improve safety and in the near future will provide autonomous driving. They receive software upgrades during their lifetime and are constantly improving, unlike their traditional combustion-engine counterparts, which start to become obsolete as soon as you start using them.

You will be overseeing the production of these vehicles in Kanban EV, with "kanban" (看板) being the name for a scheduling system that supports an efficient assembly line, just-in-time production, and a smooth workflow process. Over the course of the game, players take on the role of rookie employees who are trying to secure their career. You need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve and innovate automobile parts, and get your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production and impress the factory manager.

You must make shrewd use of the recycling facilities and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate parts when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn't wait for you or for mistakes. Sandra, the factory manager, will review your performance and keep the factory on tempo.

Kanban EV is a game that focuses on resource and time management that puts you in the driver's seat of an entire production facility, racing for factory goals and the highest level of promotion. You earn production points (PP) for performing various actions in the game, and the player with the most PP at the end of the game wins.

—description from publisher

Includes solo mode by Dávid Turczi

8.8
1-4 Players
60-180 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 4.4
#2 (Ryan). Francis Drake

Game description from the publisher:

Return to a bustling Plymouth Harbor in 1572 as an aspiring Elizabethan captain making preparations for three exciting voyages to the Spanish Main in search of fame and fortune! As captains, players will have to plan their missions and provision their ships accordingly.

Francis Drake is a race to see who can set sail and reach the Spanish Main first. The riches of the Aztec and Inca Empires await these swashbuckling captains. Many tough decisions must be made before each voyage:

How many crew members, guns, and trade goods will be needed?

What supplies will be needed to reach deep into the Caribbean?

Will a stronger galleon be needed to attack the treasure fleets?

Can special charts from the Spanish Admiral and Governor help?

Will the Queen or rich investors back the voyage?

What information can the informer give?

Will Drake himself be available to guide the voyage?

Who will get the use of the Golden Hind?

Each new voyage has its own challenges to overcome, but the captured gold, silver, and jewels should greatly please the Queen. Get ready for the voyage of a lifetime!

7.4
3-5 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.9
#1 (Bethany). Genotype: A Mendelian Genetics Game

Gregor Mendel is the 19th Century Augustinian Friar credited with the discovery of modern genetics. In Genotype, you play as his assistants, competing to collect experimental data on pea plants by trying to control how the plants inherit key Traits from their parents: seed shape, flower color, stem color, and plant height. The observable Traits of a Pea Plant (its Phenotype) are determined by its genetic makeup (its Genotype). The relationship between Genotype and Phenotype and the nature of genetic inheritance are at the heart of Genotype: A Mendelian Genetics Game.

During the game, players get Pea Plant Cards which show a set of Phenotype Traits they hope to produce and collect (such as pink flowers and tall height) in order to score points. Each round, Dice are rolled to represent Plant breeding, which may result in the Traits players are looking for. After the Dice Roll, players take turns drafting Dice towards completing their Pea Plant Cards or advancing their Research. The Traits produced during the Dice Roll come through the science of Punnett Squares, which show how the parent genes combine, one from each parent plant. By changing the genes of these parent plants, players can influence the likelihood of rolling the Traits they need. The completion of Pea Plant Cards via the Dice Draft is the main way players score points.

Each round consists of 3 phases: Worker Placement, Dice Drafting, and Upgrades.

1) During Worker Placement, players take actions to get more Plant Cards, change the genes of a parent plant, Garden, Research, stake Phenotype claims, gather new Tools, or even position themselves ahead of other players for the Dice Drafting Phase in a couple of ways.

2) Dice Drafting features a couple of interest steps, including the possibility to get first pick of dice, but only for one type of Trait (like plant height), or the possibility to get a pick of any dice, but only after those first picks have happened. De Novo Mutation Dice allow players to change the Trait of other Dice or gain additional Research.

3) The Upgrades phase lets players spend their Research to gain upgrades that let them work on more Plant Cards, draft more Dice each round, or gain additional Workers to be used during the Worker Placement Phase of each round.

Players work to match their Pea Plant Cards to the outcome of the Dice Draft and complete the cards for points. If they've placed a Phenotype marker, they will earn bonus points for every completed card that matches their claim. At the end of 5 rounds, the player with the most points wins.

-description from designer

8.1
1-5 Players
45-90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 2.5
#1 (Ryan). Kanban EV

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become more common since 2014 and are the future of the automobile industry. They are superior vehicles due to them being more efficient, easier to maintain, cleaner, and cheaper to run. They are computerized machines that use AI to improve safety and in the near future will provide autonomous driving. They receive software upgrades during their lifetime and are constantly improving, unlike their traditional combustion-engine counterparts, which start to become obsolete as soon as you start using them.

You will be overseeing the production of these vehicles in Kanban EV, with "kanban" (看板) being the name for a scheduling system that supports an efficient assembly line, just-in-time production, and a smooth workflow process. Over the course of the game, players take on the role of rookie employees who are trying to secure their career. You need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve and innovate automobile parts, and get your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production and impress the factory manager.

You must make shrewd use of the recycling facilities and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate parts when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn't wait for you or for mistakes. Sandra, the factory manager, will review your performance and keep the factory on tempo.

Kanban EV is a game that focuses on resource and time management that puts you in the driver's seat of an entire production facility, racing for factory goals and the highest level of promotion. You earn production points (PP) for performing various actions in the game, and the player with the most PP at the end of the game wins.

—description from publisher

Includes solo mode by Dávid Turczi

8.8
1-4 Players
60-180 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 4.4