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Subject: Other Economic Engine Games? rss

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Stephen Keller
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I just recently picked up St. Petersburg and was blown away how to it's core it's an economic engine game. I've heard that term before but nothing to this point has screamed economic engine like this game has.

So, can anyone recommend any other games that have the same prominent EE feel that this game has?
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michael dorazio
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Le Havre
Zavandor games

I think.
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Clement Tey
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I'm a huge fan of EE games too!

Definite EE Games:
Dominion
London
Magnum Sal

Not really sure:
Caylus
Age of Empires 3
Race for the Galaxy

Honorable Mentions:
Age of Industry
Power Grid
Steam
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Chris Pierce
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SP is a recent addition to my collection as well. It seems like the perfect gateway game for introducing people to the economic engine concept. The engine-building is stripped to the bare essentials; it is simple without being simplistic. My mom caught on to SP right away, where as she has struggled to comprehend San Juan, even over multiple plays.

I don't really have any suggestions of other games, but I wondered if you also noticed, since this game has caught your interest, that there is no English Language review video of Saint Petersburg. Seems like someone should do something about that. Hint Hint.
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Chris Linneman
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Synnical77 wrote:
I just recently picked up St. Petersburg and was blown away how to it's core it's an economic engine game. I've heard that term before but nothing to this point has screamed economic engine like this game has.

So, can anyone recommend any other games that have the same prominent EE feel that this game has?


I assume by economic engine you mean a game where your primary goal is to increase your income early in the game so that you can later use that income to buy victory points and win the game.

There are a tonne of Euros that fit this category, some more snugly than others. The most pure are:

Outpost
The Scepter of Zavandor
Phoenicia

Sceptre is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding of the three. Phoenicia is quick, but hard to play well. It can be quite punishing to first-time players. It has the lowest replay value due to its narrower scope. Outpost is extremely arithmetic-heavy in the endgame, but the rules are quite easy to pick up and remember. Being 20 years old, it is not as polished as Sceptre, but is a good game in its own right. If you were only to get one I would pick Sceptre.
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Stephen Keller
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cjp0605 wrote:
Seems like someone should do something about that. Hint Hint.


I noticed and it's planned . I'm on a hiatus of sorts so I'm not making any new content until the fourth week of March me thinks.

cradleofmilk wrote:
Le Havre
Zavandor games


Le Havre (or any worker placement games I've played thus far) doesn't give me the same sort of vibe. I'll explain in a moment..

princemousey wrote:
I'm a huge fan of EE games too!

Definite EE Games:
Dominion,London, Magnum Sal

Not really sure:
Caylus, Age of Empires 3, Race for the Galaxy

Honorable Mentions:
Age of Industry, Power Grid, Steam


Hmm, unsure. Magnum Sal maybe but I can't find anywhere to buy that. Power Grid might sorta qualify but it has a different feel. As does Age of Steam.

QBert80 wrote:


Looking over those Phonicia may be the closest fit.

Guh! It's hard to put into words the specific feel that I get from St. Petersburg. I really like the whole idea of buying stuff that continually snowballs and allows for building more and more. Most worker placement games don't really qualify because although you may secure buildings in some (for games like Le Havre) they don't auto-fire as they usually require workers to be designated to them. Deck Builders also feel off in this context because the cards that you buy only occasionally show up through the rounds. I like how in SP you can buy a shepherd at the beginning of the game and he'll always generate income for you throughout the entire game.

I guess that outpost has somewhat of the same idea but it appears to play too long for that kind of game. The trapping of the economic engine/snowballing game that I'm envisioning is that runaway leaders are completely possible and that sort of thing is only really palatable for shorter length games - primarily so that you can start up again and test your new engine theory in the same session.

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Chris Linneman
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Synnical77 wrote:

I guess that outpost has somewhat of the same idea but it appears to play too long for that kind of game. The trapping of the economic engine/snowballing game that I'm envisioning is that runaway leaders are completely possible and that sort of thing is only really palatable for shorter length games - primarily so that you can start up again and test your new engine theory in the same session.


Phoenicia is definitely what you're looking for, then. Economic snowball pared down to its absolute minimal essence.

However, runaway leaders are exacerbated. Because the game is so short, the decisions you make have a very immediate effect, and the game just isn't long enough to recover from mistakes. Its distilled nature makes each decision more important, and the game as a whole is punishing as a result.

Another interesting game that is not quite a snowball game, but that also involves building factories that generate income in order to build more factories, is Planet Steam. It's not as short as Phoenicia, but is also not quite as punishing.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Homesteaders might fit. Some buildings require workers and others don't, but workers are another resource you can buy more of at any time. It's not a "worker placement" game, because you only put workers on your own buildings, not into a common space.

On the lighter side, I think The City would qualify. It sounds kind of like SP without 4 separate types of cards and rounds. Cash income means you get more cards, and VP income is recorded on paper rather than with cardboard chits.
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The Other Tom
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+1 Le Havre

+1 Homesteaders

Possibly Glen More.
 
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M T
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Through the Ages is the ultimate snowball game.
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Chris Linneman
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NBAfan wrote:
Through the Ages is the ultimate snowball game.


How could I forget Through the Ages?

 
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John Farrell
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Domaine
Roads & Boats
San Juan
Puerto Rico
Cuba
Agricola
Key Harvest
Peloponnes
Amazonas
Yspahan
Tales of the Arabian Nights
Navegador
Firenze
Primordial Soup
Evo
Jambo
The City
Mesopotamia
Caylus
Caylus Magna Carta
The Princes of Machu Picchu
Dominion
Thunderstone
Kings of Mithril
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
Luna

and that's just the ones I rate 8 or more.
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Robert Zaleski
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It's funny to me that you don't feel that some of these are the same. Navegador and Antike both activate most everything, you just choose when, instead of it being fixed as in St. Petersburg. Antike you're activating 3 different types of regions separately, but all regions of that type activate. It's also fun that you're fighting over the regions, so you have to protect them, especially if you put a temple on it that 3x's the output.

It's funny, but does Settlers have the same feel? I mean you can use the cards to lessen the randomness of the dice, but as you build out you increase your production. Cities and Knights also adds an interesting tech tree to this. Funnest part of Catan is always looking at the opening board and trying to figure out what will be short, and hence you want to focus on producing yourself. Or what will be plentiful and so you plan on locking up a 2:1

The thing I like the most with some of these like Age of Steam, Puerto Rico, or Agricola is the system you build up. I remember Brass having some build up like Petersburg, but I haven't played it enough, so it's pretty vague in my mind.

Isn't there a game where you have a sequence you build up that executes every time in order? Seems like that may have the same feel.
 
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Robert Zaleski
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Just remembered Masters of Venice too. You're collecting more stocks to increase your income, and watching a market. My group can't figure it out so my copy is actually just collecting dust . It can be a bit long and fiddly too, where St. Petersburg is the opposite.
 
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Stephen Keller
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Just played Phoenicia last night. Quite enjoyed it. Definitely like generating more and more money each round.
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Andre Lucato
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There's also the great San Juan, which gives you this sense of generating income satisfaction.
 
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Lacombe
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NBAfan wrote:
Through the Ages is the ultimate snowball game.


This. It's like Saint Petersburg Squared.
 
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