Abstract Resources - Buying Stuff With Intangibles
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Karate Chop!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
Again, I found myself gazing longingly on my game collection, trying to decide what to play... They want something different... Something that doesn't just use money to track wealth... So that got me thinking.

What games use abstract or intangible resources to purchase things? Plenty of games have money (be they dollars, rubles, koku or whatnot) or other physical goods (sheep, bricks, gems, carbon) -- but I'm looking for games where the resources are a bit "fuzzier" in definition.

Can you help me list more games with abstract resource management?
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: mr [+] design_features [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Starship Catan [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:810]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Karate Chop!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Abstract Resource: Science

This is the first game I thought of, and actually the one that got me thinking. While you manage Carbon, Ore, Wheat and Fuel like Starfarers of Catan, the inclusion of Science to build upgraded versions of your gear is a neat wrinkle. Science is hard to qualify or quantify -- other than "look, I've got three, um, units of Science" (whatever that means).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Ideology: The War of Ideas [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3500]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Karate Chop!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Abstract Resource: Influence - Military, Economic and Social

Fast becoming a crowd favorite, Ideology allows players to purchase a variety of advancements for their player power by expending Influence, which represents Military, Economic and Cultural sway. Purchasing a higher level of Patriotism, for example (which protects your interests from Cultural conflict) "costs" 2 Cultural Influence card. The economic influence could very well contain tangible components, but Military and Cultural allow plenty of imagination for both tangible and intangible aspects.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Karate Chop!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Abstract Resource: Ego Gratification/Pampering

I really don't know the best way to describe it, other than catering to an artist's tastes and preferences. Aside from using money to purchase physical things like Parks or Studios, I think that attracting the artisans to come to your palazzo to create works is another type of purchase.

By catering to the artist's preferences in working conditions, freedoms, recreation and other factors, you can improve your "purchase" by virtue of producing a more magnificent work of art (ie, VPs).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Dante's Inferno [Average Rating:4.70 Overall Rank:15182]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Karate Chop!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Abstract Resource: Deadly Sins

I can't comment on the gameplay, but Dante's Inferno fits the bill... I've heard it referred to as "Settlers of Hell" but instead of managing sheep, brick or wood, you're dealing with Lust, Violence, Gluttony and Hypocrisy... I wonder what the exchange rate is for Dollars > Gluttony...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:756]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Karate Chop!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Abstract Resource: Mutation Genepool

Some games which use VPs to purchase other advantages (like Vinci) simply have too abstract a definition of what the VPs stand for. In Evo, though, your VPs are your evolutionary progress, your mutation genepool -- which is enough flavor and keeps the theme to make the list.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:698]
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Abstract Resource: Life Tokens
Abstract Resource: Corruption
Abstract resource: Friendship, Traveling, Hiding, Fighting

Sometimes we forget how innovative this game is. It takes many of the perils and rewards of a RPG and instead of "lumping it all as experience" it turns them into intangible commodities that can be exchanged and used to purchase things.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Vanished Planet [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:6159]
Brian Newman
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Five basic resources: ore, money, colonists, energy, and research. With those, you purchase scientists and engineers, and they together with resources produce technological advancements.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Age of Mythology: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2483]
Brian Newman
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Your four resources for development: wood, gold, food, and *divine favor*.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Star Wars Customizable Card Game [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1533]
Andrew Parks
United States
Somerset
New Jersey
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Quixotic Games: www.quixoticgames.com
badge
Dungeon Alliance: Available Now!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Abstract Resource: The Force

One of the most popular aspects of the SWCCG system is the use of your deck to represent your "personal Force". Players use the cards in their Force Pile to pay for card costs, movement, battles, and so on.

My wife and I used to play this game... a lot!

Andrew
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:48]
Camo Coffey
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
While the predominate resource in the game -- called simply "Resources" -- is possibly less than wholly abstract (and more especially their concrete equivalent, "Trade Goods"), the game also requires you occasionally to spend Influence, for certain objectives or for the secondary ability of the Logistics Strategy. In the previous editions, this particular mechanic wasn't in place but since all require accumulated Influence for voting, they could be considered to have abstract resources as well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Camo Coffey
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
As a basis for far too many CCGs, M:tG has various types of Mana which are spent on your spells. Pokemon (hack, spit, stamp on soggy remains) also uses varieties of Energy for the same purpose -- Leaf Energy being perhaps the more bizarre.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Magic Realm [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:930]
Camo Coffey
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This one is perhaps stretching things a bit: when you spend certain fatigue counters, you must occasionally "exhaust" or "wound" others, which might amount to spending resources; do I spend my expensive tokens now, then rest awhile, or do I pace myself so I can keep active longer? Certainly, in my book, this counts as a kind of resource management but others may disagree.

I suppose expenditure of Hit Points in Dungeons & Dragons would qualify also, by this justification, so lots of RPG boardgames would then be available for addition, such as Talisman, Dungeon Quest and Runebound.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Sorcerer King [Average Rating:5.18 Overall Rank:13241]
Camo Coffey
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorcerer King (and probably lots of other card-based wargames) uses Power Cards to gain reinforcements and promote units. You earn Power Cards by killing orcs so, basically, this is an Experience Point mechanic -- which is, again, an abstract resource familiar to many roleplaying games and their derivatives.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:501]
Camo Coffey
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
And this is possibly the most tenuous abstract resource mechanic I can think of: the other players. You have to manage that resource VERY carefully indeed!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Maelstrom [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:3803]
 
Jeff Boes
United States
Saint Joseph
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vortex uses "Essence" points.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Shuuro [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:5328]
alberto giusti
Italy
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shuuro is a game for two players, which merges the precision and rigour of chess with the creativity and variety of war-gaming.

It does so by attaching a points value to each traditional chess piece and allowing the players to spend a predetermined amount of these points (say, a total of 800 points) to select the chess ‘army’ that they think makes the best use of the points. This creates a feeling of ‘ownership’ towards the particular combination the player thinks is the most effective.

The ‘battle’ will then take place on a large chess board of twelve by twelve squares. This board, however, also introduces a new and unique element to the game. Each of the four six-by-six quadrants of the board contains two plinths that block the movement of the pieces. These plinths are placed randomly at the beginning of every game with the help of a dice, ensuring that every game will be different and present unique challenges. The plinths also help in balancing the game, restricting the movement of Queens, Bishops and Rooks, while at the same time allowing Knights to land onto them and using them as defensive positions (as only an enemy Knight can take them while they’re there).

It is worth noting that game box also includes a normal chessboard and full rules for traditional chess, making it good to learn chess and allowing players to engage in this great classic as well as the innovative Shuuro.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.