BGP007 Our Top 5 Tile Placement Games
Brad Scaggs
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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We love games where we start with little to nothing and build it up over the course of the game. Games that use the tile placement mechanism really shine in that department as we slowly build and grow a few pieces into bigger things like parks and cities. There’s just something we love about playing small pieces and then looking down on a large picture at the end of the game.
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1. Board Game: Between Two Cities [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:474]
Brad Scaggs
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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#1 Between Two Cities - Since we have family game night once a week, we are always looking out for games that can handle 6 players easily. Between Two Cities does that wonderfully without increasing the game time to a crazy amount. Players are tasked with working with the city designers on their left to build a wonderful city that will be better than all others. They’re also working with the city designers on their right to build a wonderful city that will be better than all others. This has each player working on a city to their right and left. Players are doing their actions simultaneously which really makes this game go quickly so long as AP prone players don’t bog down the cog.

There are several types of tiles in the games that score points in different ways. Parks are great but only up to a certain adjacent number. Factories are great so long as you’re one of the top few cities with them because they really hurt the points awarded by homes. Homes score points based on having different types of tiles in your city. There’s also education and entertainment tiles that also have their own special scoring.

What’s really interesting about the scoring in Between Two Cities comes from the various way points are awarded but also on how the winner is determined. First, players look to see which city has the most points on the scoreboard. The two city designers that worked on this project then must see who has the higher score on their secondary city and that person is the victor. This means you can’t just front load the points on one of your cities and have to play a somewhat balanced game between the two cities.
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2. Board Game: Bärenpark [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:388]
Brad Scaggs
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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#2 Barepark - This is the newest game on our list and plays 2-4 players in about thirty minutes. The main goal of the game is to build and expand your park by placing tiles and gaining new tiles based on what you cover up on your board. For us, this one will most likely replace Patchwork when we’re looking to grab a quick and easy tile placement game that we can play at 2 players. The setup is a bit long due to the number of tiles that can be purchased, but I really enjoy having the variety.

This game was on our Radar after hearing Rahdo talk about it on his anticipation list and we were pleasantly surprised when we saw the game on the shelf at our FLGS. Having pandas in the game only helped to make sure we picked it up. I really like the strategy in this game to fill up each of your tiles as quickly as possible to score bigger points bonuses the earlier you accomplish this. I also really like that you need to cover up certain icons in order to gain tiles from certain spots in the market.
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3. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Brad Scaggs
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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#3 Kingdomino - This is a very simple 2-4 player domino placement game. The dominoes are nice thick cardboard pieces with really cute art and a high gloss finish. The quality was actually pretty surprising when we first opened the box which only made the lower price point that much sweeter.

The goal of the game is to draft terrain pieces and add them to your little kingdom. Each side of the domino has a terrain: wasteland, forest, water, etc.. Your first tile will be placed against your castle which is a wild piece and can touch any other type. Tiles will then need to be placed making sure to not exceed the 5x5 allowed in the normal version while also making sure the tile has a matching end to the tile you’re placing it against. It’s a really easy game to teach and play and you’ll quickly be enjoying the full suit of special rules like bonus points for having the castle in the center of your 5x5 and fully completing the 5x5 grid. While we enjoy the game at 4, this game really shines when playing the 2p 7x7 variant that uses every tile in the game. It’s a blast.
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4. Board Game: Lanterns: The Harvest Festival [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:566]
Brad Scaggs
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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#4 Lanterns The Harvest Festival - This one plays 2-4 players and lasts about 30 minutes. What I really like about this one is how beautiful the game looks once completed. The goal is to score sets of cards that grant you victory points at the end of the game. Players play a tile from their hand and are awarded cards based on the color on the tile that is facing them. This means that every turn, you’ll be getting cards while also giving your opponents cards. Once a deck runs out, cards of that color can’t be given. This allows players to give their opponents colors that aren’t available. To combat the hoarding of cards, there’s a rule that requires players to play a set at the start of their turn if they exceed the threshold. There are special tiles with platforms that can be played and grant special tokens that provide players with special options as well.
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Brad Scaggs
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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#5 Carcasonne - This is one of the oldest games in our collecting and was released in 2000. It plays a pretty wide range of players 2-8 with the expansions so we picked up the Big Box when we found it at our FLGS. We have played it a lot at 2 players and really enjoyed how quickly it plays as well as how “friendly” the game can be with both players working on their own objectives. Once players start really learning the game, there’s the possibilities of players being very aggressive to limit the scores of other players by playing pieces that can thwart the opponent's’ goals. We haven’t tried out the expansions yet besides The River which gives the players a nice foundation to start their tile placements.
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6. Board Game: Quadropolis [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:245]
Brad Scaggs
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Honorable Mention

This is a really interesting game about adding structure tiles to a grid and scoring points based off of spatial/proximity scoring. Players select pieces from a main board with an interesting architect selection process causing rows/columns to become possibly blocked later in the round. It was a lot of fun, but we haven’t played it enough to really get a good feel especially at various player counts.
 
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7. Board Game: Patchwork [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:56]
Brad Scaggs
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Honorable Mention

This is a wonderful 2 player game that came from the design of A Feast for Odin. Players are competing to build the best quilt and gaining buttons along the way to purchase polyominoes that are spread in a large circle around the scoring board. This game is super easy to teach and can be somewhat difficult to excel at. I’m not sure I’ve ever scored more than 5 points in this game but I still really enjoy the challenge of trying to fill in your whole board with only a few options per turn.
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8. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:771]
Brad Scaggs
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Honorable Mention

Tile Placement is at the heart of Tsuro where players will play a tile in front of their dragon and move their dragon along the path on the tile. The goal is to not fly off the board or hit another dragon. The player that can stay on the board the longest wins. This is a great game that works with a wide range of player counts and is really easy to teach to players of all levels. It plays really quick as well so the player elimination doesn’t cause a player to be out of the action for too long.
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