Worker-Placement -- are you sure?
Friedemann Friese
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Here at bgg under browse/mechanics there is the following definition of worker-placement:

"This mechanic requires players to draft individual actions from a set that is available to all players. Drafting is done one-at-a-time and in turn order. There is a limit on the number of times a single action may be drafted each round. Once that limit is reached, an action can no longer be taken until a subsequent turn or until the action space is no longer occupied by a worker.

Usually, each player has a limited number of pieces with which to participate in the process. In other words, they "place workers" to show which actions have been drafted by which players."

My question here: Are there games in the database with "mechanic = worker placement", but you think they are not
or games not having worker placement as mechanic but should.

Feel free to add a game, you think have worker-placement for no reason (or the wrong reason) or need the mechanic worker-placement (but has not now).

PLEASE: Do not add games where you think, they are worker-plecement and you just want to tell us that this is right e.g. "Agricola is worker placement" (not helpful)

I had a research meeting last weekend and we discussed what worker-placement really is. I'm searching now for more opinions.

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1. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:15]
Friedemann Friese
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First I want to start with a general question:

Poll
What do you think is needed for a mechanic to be worker placement?
Please choose all the items you think that are needed to be a "worker placement" mechanic.
What is true for the worker-placement mechanic?
The set of actions must be available for ALL players
The actions you can draft from must be individual actions (only affect one player)
Drafting must be done one-at-a-time
For the drafting there is a turn order (not simultanious)
There must be a limit on the number of times a single action can be drafted from
This limit is ONE (1)
ALL actions must be limited (no unlimited actions)
The action space must be empty to be chosen again
ALL workers will be removed at the same time (getting back the workers phase)
The actions must be thematically be something that can be interpreted as „work“
The workers have to be persons (from the theme)
The workers must „belong“ to the players (no neutral workers)
You only place your own workers (no placement of other player‘s workers)
At least two workers per player (to have turns)
ALL workers are identical (not different types of workers)
The number of workers is limited
      575 answers
Poll created by friedemann


If you think I forgot an item, please leave a comment.
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2. Board Game: Fauna [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:614] [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked]
Friedemann Friese
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When I was thinking about the definition of worker placement, I found out that Fauna is a worker-placement game and I still believe it. But what do you think?

Poll: Is Fauna a worker-placement game?
Fauna is using (in abstract) the worker-placement mechanic in all details, but do you think this is enough for a worker-placement game (there are no "real" workers and on the spaces there is not really work to be done, only VPs to be collected)?
What do you think?
Yes, absolutely!!!
Yes, but only because of the definition.
Maybe
No, but the definition says "Yes".
No, not at all!!!
      137 answers
Poll created by friedemann
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3. Board Game: Fresco [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:228] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Friedemann Friese
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Poll: Why Fresko?
I was always unsure when somebody told me that Fresko is a worker-placemetn game. It is true that you place workers in this game but is this enough.

You place one worker on the turn order track (and you get disadvantages for being early), but you are not really choosing action and you do it only one time (one worker). For me it is only a mechanic for turn order.

The other workers are placed on individual spaces simultaniously. No worker placement mechanic for me, sorry.
Is Fresko a worker-placement game?
Yes, absolutely!!!
Yes, but it's not clear from the definition
Maybe
No, but only because of the definition
No, not at all!!!
      278 answers
Poll created by friedemann
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4. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:188]
brenton t vallade
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wyandotte
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This one has worker placement listed on it and I never understood why. You have actions to choose from and markers as reminders of the actions you took. You cannot repeat the same action twice in a turn (unless rolled on die.....not the point). The only "workers" are the panda and the gardner, who only do something if you have chosen the action to use them.

How did this get "worker placement" as a mechanic?

Dont get me wrong this is not a knock on Takenoko, I own this game and enjoy playing it with my family. But a worker placement game it is not.
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5. Board Game: Glen More [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:237]
brenton t vallade
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I am not sure I buy into this being a worker placement game. You have one "worker" used to select wich tile you would like to purchase on a "rondel" and the placement of that tile activates other tiles. So wich one is the worker the marker used to show wich tile I have purchased or the tile that actived other tiles?

Again, not a knock, I love this game. Its just not a worker placement.
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6. Board Game: Cargo Noir [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1466]
brenton t vallade
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Flat out NO. Placement of boats is only to show who owns the stack of money that is bid on a location. When I searched my own collection for worker placement games this is the one that surprised me the most.
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7. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:253]
brenton t vallade
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Of all the games in my collection that are listed as worker placement I think this one gave me the most pause. If this is a worker placement then my workers are of fluctuating value and I can not come to terms with that as a worker placement. I always saw the placement of my dice as a fluctuation level of influence, where I see worker placement as I have a worker, the action I want is open and available to me so that is the action I would like to take. Not my worker didnt roll high enough to use them on certain actions at this time.

And again I feel like I am downing a game that I actually really enjoy.
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8. Board Game: Ninjato [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:585]
Bill Mort
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Chicago
Illinois
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What's the public opinion on whether this is worker placement? Personally, I don't think so. Just as Mr Friese said, one of the most interesting (and defining, to me) aspects of a worker placement is that when you place a worker, it blocks the other workers from taking that space. However, that is almost entirely non-existent in Ninjato. In fact, the only thing that seems like worker placement is the symbolic gesture of placing a ninja star next to what action you choose, a move that easily could be replaced with card selection and not change the game one bit.

Yet it is listed as a worker placement...
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9. Board Game: Village [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:104]
Martin G
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Bristol
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There's an enormous debate about whether or not Village is WP here: No guys, it really is a worker placement game.

It covers a lot of the issues raised in this geeklist.
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10. Board Game: WarCraft: The Board Game [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:2546]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
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Well, this is neat. Warcraft actually has "worker placement" listed as one of its mechanisms.

I guess that's because the game has workers that you place - for collecting resources from the board. You can use those workers for collecting resources from gold mine and forest spaces.

But those workers are units, like all your wooden bits, and they move around on the board, pick up stuff (gold and wood), then move back into bases to drop it off. Placing those workers actually is achieved by spending resources to build workers in your bases. And your workers can be fought and killed by combat-capable units.

Rather ... interesting.

Poll: Is WarCraft: The Board Game a worker-placement game?
Yes, absolutely!!!
Yes, but it's not clear from the definition
Maybe
No, but only because of the definition
No, not at all!!!
      61 answers
Poll created by haslo
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11. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:131] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Jay Volk
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Ohio
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Is Carcassonne worker placement?

With the exception of the farmer, you place your meeples to perform a task for a finite period of time. After that time, they return to your supply and can be repurposed.

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12. Board Game: De Vulgari Eloquentia [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:730]
Einmal ist keinmal
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Andover
Massachusetts
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Action Point Allowance seems to be often mistaken for worker placement.
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13. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:14]
TJ
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Burbank
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I've always felt that Puerto Rico is a worker placement game:

* You take turns drafting actions
* Once you draft an action, nobody else can draft it for that round
* You could replace the role cards with meeples and an action board, and the game would work exactly the same
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14. Board Game: Luna [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:372]
Mathue Faulkner
United States
Austin
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Poll: Is Luna a Worker-Placement game?
Luna is often described as Feld's take on worker placement, but is it really a worker placement game? Workers are distributed around several island spaces which each have corresponding actions. The workers can travel from island to island and take the corresponding actions. The same action can be taken several times in a round, whether it be the same player each time or different players.

So, the question is whether the lack of direct blocking excludes Luna as a worker placement. Alternatively, does the lack of action limit exclude it?
Yes, absolutely!!!
Yes, but only because of the definition
Maybe
No, but the definition says "Yes"
No, not at all!!!
      70 answers
Poll created by mfaulk80
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15. Board Game: Bora Bora [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:133]
Mathue Faulkner
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Austin
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Poll
Or is this Feld's real take on the genre? I personally think of it as a worker placement game, but it does have a few things going against it which were brought up in the initial poll and/or latter discussion.

- First, it violates the proposed qualifier: The action space must be empty to be chosen again.

There are a set # of actions available, and each player rolls their dice. Players select their actions by placing a die on the Action Card, but the pip # must be lower than any other previously placed dice. In that way, the # of actions are limited in a given round, but it clearly violates the proposed qualifier of the space being empty.

- Second, similar to Kingsburg above, it uses dice as workers which some feel is different than worker placement.

- Third, there is not an absolute limit to the # of times an action can be taken. It is arbitrary based on the actions of the players. There is, however, a limit, but it varies according to gameplay.

Yes, absolutely!!!
Yes, but only because of the definition
Maybe
No, but the definition says "Yes"
No, not at all!!
      58 answers
Poll created by mfaulk80
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16. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:152]
Travis Worthington
United States
California
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This one is not classified as a worker placement game, but maybe it should be. Players are assigned to do a task - but is it not worker placement because that task is not absolute, or because its a person to whom the task is given or because only on player is assigning the workers at a time.

"This mechanic requires players to draft individual actions from a set that is available to all players." - All the players have the same choice of actions (whom to choose)

"Drafting is done one-at-a-time and in turn order." - absolutely with an intermittent step that determines if the action resolves.

"There is a limit on the number of times a single action may be drafted each round." - yes, a individual action (player) can only be chosen at most 5 times per round, and the action (player going on a mission) only happens at most once per round.

"Once that limit is reached, an action can no longer be taken until a subsequent turn or until the action space is no longer occupied by a worker." - Yes, as long as a player has been chosen to go on the mission they can not be chosen to go on another mission until the mission resolves.

I think that by changing

"There is a limit on the number of times a single action may be drafted each round."

to

"There is a limit on the number of times a single action may be drafted each round such that not all actions can be taken by all players."

you would put in place the definition that makes blocking a key attribute of the worker placement definition. Merely having a limit to actions isn't enough, the limit has be to defined in a way that is impactful to the action selection process.

I love semantic arguments on BGG - lets see what this post can stir up!
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17. Board Game: Yedo [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:426]
Thomas Vande Ginste
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yes I'm sure ( untill someone persuades me of the opposite )

Think this is a worker placement game.
The game also has a lot of other mechanisms, but the core is worker placement.

You have a certain limited amount of disciples which you have to place in limited spots on the map in order to acquire things or to do missions.
TBoth workers and places are limited, so tactics are important to get you disciples on the right spot before other take your place.

In my humble opinion that is a 100% workerplacement with extra's
Still I had some reactions that since it has a lot of mechanisms together it's no real workerplacement...
Should a workerplacement game be a gmae with only one mechanic? I don't think so;... in my opinion, if the workerplacement mechanism is in the game, it is a workerplacement...not?

greets,


Thomas
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18. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:513]
Julien Robert
France
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Would you consider this as a worker placement ?
When it comes to describe the game to people who don't know it, i sometimes describe it as a worker placement even if it doesn't have all the requirements stated on BGG.
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19. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:46]
Konrad Gill
Austria
Vienna
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I mean seriously is God a worker? Intelligent design, Evolution who knows.
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20. Board Game: Aladdin's Dragons [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:789]
Mike Adams
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Brigham City
Utah
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Aladdin's Dragons is the one game that most makes me ponder the definition of worker placement. It is listed in the BGG database as Worker Placement. It is also listed as Auction/Bidding. Both feel applicable to the same actions.

To me it feels like a worker placement game, a good one. I really enjoy the way it is implemented. You do place tokens (which I see as workers) on different spaces one at a time and ultimately they are exclusionary, but you don't know who is blocked and who gets to take the action until the values are revealed. This could be seen as blind bidding, but is also could be seen as similar to the worker placement in Leonardo da Vinci but with hidden values for individual workers rather than knowing how many workers have been placed at the time they are placed.

I like the idea of variable strength workers thanks to Aladdin's Dragons and think it has potential. I consider it worker placement, but can see where others would say no and consider it just blind bidding.
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21. Board Game: Stronghold [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:511]
Jan Bazynski
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Warsaw
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Really? This is Worker Placement? I am not even sure why this mechanic was added to the description.

The invader has monsters which he can exchange for wood. Is that supposed to be WP?
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22. Board Game: Tammany Hall [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:539]
Moe45673
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One of the comments calls this game a worker placement game. I vehemently disagree. Someone placing a "worker" in a ward does not preclude other players from doing the same thing. This game is more akin to an abstract wargame where by election time, the players battle it out for each ward
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23. Board Game: Confucius [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1848]
Jeff Huter
United States
McCordsville
Indiana
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In Confucius, you receive a variable number of action cubes (based on number of gifts given/received) each Game Turn. You can spend the action cubes to take various actions on a display. You physically place the cube(s) on the display box for the action you want to take. Most actions cost 1 cube.

Thus, the cubes are very similar to workers in many worker placement games. The major difference is that your placement of a cube doesn't deny your competitors from placing a cube, but instead increases the cost of you repeating the action to 2 cubes. However, since you only have 3-5 action cubes in a Game Turn (consisting of multiple rounds), most of the time your placement effectively blocks you from placing there again. Basically the reverse of the typical worker placement blocking.

It's not currently listed as a worker placement game. I'm fine with that because it's not your classical worker placement. Instead, it's listed as an Action Point Allowance game which I also think is a stretch. I personally think of Action Point Allowance as I have a certain number of action points to spend before the next person takes there turn. In Confucius, players take actions in turn paying cubes as they go. You only take a single action before the next player takes their turn. It's just the number of actions you can take during a single Game Turn (max of 9 Game Turns) depends upon how many action cubes you received at the start of the Game Turn and how you elect to spend them.

But, I do think the main mechanic is closer to classic worker-placement than it's to classic Action Point Allowance.
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24. Board Game: Keythedral [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:630]
W M
United Kingdom
Rugby
Warwickshire
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You have workers and they block resource giving spaces (equivalent to drafting), but all actions are equivalent (gain a resource). Thoughts?
 
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25. Board Game: Al Rashid [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:3155]
James Torr
United States
Torrance
California
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Al-Rashid is labeled as worker placement on BGG, but the game it most reminds me of is Vanuatu, which is not labeled worker placement, and I think rightly so. I feel that both are not worker placement because placing a piece on a space/action does not guarantee that you will get to “use” that space/action. So I think of them as “contested action selection.”

In both games, there’s a phase in which players take turns placing pieces on spaces on the board, in the hope of getting to take the action associated with that space. But multiple players can place pieces on the same space, and the amount of pieces places with determine at least the order in which players will take the action, and often there’s the possibility that one or more players who “selected” the action will not get to take it at all.

An interesting early game in this regard is Carson City, in which some spaces may be contested (contested action selection) but others may not (worker placement, which I now think of as a specific type of action selection, in which once you a claim a space/action, it's yours).

Edit: Also in this vein, Lancaster. I'm surprised no one has added that one yet.
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