What’s up, friends? Today, I’m so happy to share with you my top 3 favorite games of all time! All three of these picks have a special place in my heart and they all bring me so much joy when they hit the table. I’ll be giving some insight on game design as well as why the core mechanics of each of these games put them at the top of my list! Let’s go!
“Raja’s” is actually a newer obsession of mine and it didn’t make it’s way into my collection until last year. Worker placement has always been a top mechanic of mine and I wanted to find something off the beaten path. Not only did I find a solid worker placement game, I found a worker placement with a mix of juicy mechanics. The first time it hit my table was like finding a diamond in the rough!
In “Raja’s of the Ganges” you use workers to gain a multitude of actions in an attempt to get your fame and money track to cross. Once the tracks cross, the game is over. What an incredibly unique end game trigger! I don’t know any other worker placements that use this kind of end game trigger but I absolutely love this design. Most actions you take will lead you to strategies that either push you down the path of gaining money or fame, so as the game progresses you start seeing where you can balance out both tracks with your actions or go super heavy on one and hope that leads you to victory!
The economic use of the dice is a great addition to this game as well and I love how they are used! Throughout the game you will use workers to gain dice which become your primary resource in the game. Dice can buy tiles that allow you to expand your province, allowing you to build palaces that give you fame and gain resources to sell at the market for money. It’s such a good feeling when you start manipulating the dice and trading for those routes that fit perfectly in your strategy! As you continue to build your province, you start to see the deeper connection of your strategy start clicking and how important it is to pick up the exact dice you need.
All in all, “Raja’s of the Ganges” is a super underrated game that I love introducing worker placement fans to!
Who doesn’t love a game about wine!?! For real though, so many people enjoy “Viticulture” and it deserves the attention it has gotten over the years!
“Viticulture” is a worker placement game where players use workers in four different seasons to plant grapes, make wine, construct buildings, welcome guests, fill wine orders for points, and so much more. The worker placement mechanic is very straight forward in this game but “Viticulture” is by far one of the most streamlined games I have ever played. I want to start by talking about choices of actions!
“Viticulture’s” design allows players a plethora of action however, each season only allows a certain amount of actions to be taken. Incredibly smart game design right here. Some worker placements get really out of hand with what the amount of actions you can take causing a lot of player paralysis. However, splitting up the choices of actions, like in “viticulture”, is a design choice I really can get behind. With each season only having a certain amount of actions and only a certain amount of spots for workers, the game design really ushers you in a direction of strategy that helps you narrow down what you should and should not do.
The overall thematic design for “Viticulture” is incredibly strong in my book as well. Each action you take has to do with the process of wine making and running your own personal vineyard. I love when game designers really take into consideration the relationship of game design and theme! You really get that tabletop experience of making wie and running your own business as you pave your way to an endgame win!
If you’re looking for an incredibly smooth and well designed worker placement, get yourself a copy of “Viticulture’ and pour yourself a glass!
Yup, I said it, “Root”! I adore this game and it will always be welcomed at my gaming table anytime, anyday. In, “Root'' each player plays as an asymmetrical faction of woodland creatures battling it out to gain control of the vast forest.
Everytime I play “Root” I am reminded why games with asymmetrical factions have a huge appeal to me. After you learn the rules of the game which for the most part applies to everyone, you end up having an incredibly different gaming experience every time you switch to a different faction. The Marquise de Cat has a huge engine building theme that allows you to trigger building multiple times where as the Eyrie are very programming heavy and you have to plan far ahead how you want to piece the plan together, These are just two examples of the multitude of factions that have come out so far for the series.
I love finding games that have a great base foundation of rules but everytime you play, your experience is so different because of how your faction is built. Having games like “Root” with these asymmetrical factions make games so incredibly replayable in my book and makes me want to come back to them constantly.
As more expansions and factions continue to drop for “Root”, I become more enticed to learn the ins and outs of each faction and how they work in the world of the game. “Root” will always be one of those games that continues to hit my table and I’m so glad when it does!