The Daily Worker Placement

Monday, May 20, 2024

Board Game Dictionary #1

by | published Thursday, January 1, 2015

Worker Placement
In a worker placement game you have a team to command to complete actions , acquire resources and score points. They can be family members, soldiers, ships, agents or any other number of different characters or objects. The point is that you send them out in the world to do your bidding and these loyal servants are only too happy to comply. Makes you feel kinda powerful, doesn’t it? When you put your work out on an action spot you can either immediately or down the road claim that reward. Often taking an action space means that no one else can do that action this round. Both choosing what’s best for you and considering how to block your opponents are important strategies to employ in this style of game.

Some examples of GREAT worker placement games: Caylus, Lords of Waterdeep, Alien Frontiers, Agricola.

Push Your Luck
A push your luck game engages a gambling element to it. You’ll be faced with a decision to keep going for the chance of greater reward or stop, save your 3 Little Pigsprogress and end your turn. Some games employ dice rolling or card drawing forcing you to consider your chances against a predetermined set of odds. Others employ a bidding and bluffing technique that pits you against the other players. These games can be torture! Victory can be within your reach just to have it stolen away from you with an unlucky roll of the die (This happens to me quite often). That’s what makes them fun! The chaotic unpredictability!

Some examples of GREAT push your luck games: Can’t Stop!, Skull, Fandooble, Incan Gold.

Deck BuildingDominion
A deck building game is a new twist on an old idea. Create an engine with your deck that is more powerful than your opponents. Deck builders are similar to living card games (LCGs) like Magic: The Gathering, but they tend to level the playing field. Everyone starts with the same cards and chooses from a set or rotating market of cards to strengthen their overall deck. As new cards are acquired they go to the discard pile. When the entire deck is exhausted the discard pile is shuffled and becomes the draw pile. In this way new cards get added to the your hand rotation. What cards you choose to buy and when they show up in your hand will determine your success.

Some examples of GREAT deck building games: Dominion, Ascension, Lord of the Rings Deck Building Game, Trains


  • Sean J.

    Sean is the Founder and Photographer for the DWP. He has been gaming all his life. From Monopoly and Clue at the cottage to Euchre tournaments with the family, tabletop games have taken up a lot of his free time. In his gaming career he has worked for Snakes & Lattes Board Game Cafe, Asmodee, and CMON. He is a contributor to The Dice Tower Podcast and has written for Games Trade Magazine and Meeple Monthly. He lives and works in Toronto.

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