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Subject: Looking for a non-worker placement euro rss

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Juan Mejia
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I feel like my collection is lacking in Euros to a degree especially ones that aren't worker placement games. It's also a hard genre for me to do research on. I was hoping for some suggestions with a quick explanation of the game!

Thanks guys!
 
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Joel Oakley
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Triceranuke wrote:
I feel like my collection is lacking in Euros to a degree especially ones that aren't worker placement games. It's also a hard genre for me to do research on. I was hoping for some suggestions with a quick explanation of the game!

Thanks guys!


La Granja is a spectacular euro game about running a farm on the island of Mallorca. The main mechanisms are playing cards in one of 4 ways (multi-use cards) and drafting dice to take actions. The options for the card play really make this game shine since you often want to use a card for multiple purposes. Deciding which cards to use as "helpers" provides interesting paths to pursue (along with the many other options provided by the game).

Concordia is a card driven board game about expanding your presence in the Roman empire. It has a small deck/hand-building element, and the cards that you acquire score points based on the board state at the end of the game. This game is super smooth and plays very quickly since each turn should take no more than 1 to 2 minutes on average (most likely 30 seconds to a minute per turn after people know what they are doing). It has a very small bit of a Settlers of Catan feel in the way that certain resources are needed to build and in the way that provinces will often provide multiple people with resources when they are activated (getting resources when it is not your turn is great!).
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Here are a few highlights from the other euro mechanisms:

Role selection: Libertalia; pirate themed and everyone starts with the same roles but once you use one it's gone.

Price fixing: Castles of Mad King Ludwig or Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King; you set the price for others to pay for things and you have to balance building your VP engine and not running out of money.

Rondel: Finca. Great game of grabbing fruit although it's hard to find now.

Area control: lots of options but Tammany Hall stands out as a luckless game of wheeling and dealing in which each time you win the election for mayor you have to assign special abilities to all the other players.
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London: Rather than a deck builder, London is a card tableau builder where you draft into your hand and then lay down a structure like your foundation to reconstruct London after the great fire. Want a cherry on top? Arguably the best game by legendary designer Martin Wallace. There are only a hand full of games I would put in the "your collection is not complete without it" category that London occupies. 2-4 Players, best with 3-4, hand/tableau management, debt, poverty, nice map of London (where you do not place workers): 9/10
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Ian Kissell
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Murano. Action selection with limited choices based on a cool rondel system. Secret objectives that includes some area control makes for some really fun scoring. Really fun.

Alchemists. Deduction game with a really fun theme + some action selection. Works great with 2 and 4 players. You are collecting resource cards and then trying to figure what the properties of each one is. The game forces you to push your luck and decide on what you think it is before you are sure.

Expedition: Northwest Passage. Tile laying with an exploration theme. You have a ship that you are either trying to make it to the other side of the map and back, or just explore and find artifacts. As the game goes on, part of the map freezes over, forcing you to change your mode of transportation.

Hansa Teutonica. A true "cube pusher," but really interesting. You are placing cubes on the board to finish routes, and then claim a reward either in building your engine or claiming cities for scoring. You can bump other people off of their routes at a cost to you and a benefit to them, so lots of tactical choices to make.
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A K Vikhagen
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Glass Road Has a card-driven drafting mechanism of sorts where your actions are picked from a pool of 15 cards, and your actions depends on the playing of these cards, which is affected by the other players. So, no meeples there, and a nice game, too!
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Krawhitham B
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tilde72 wrote:
Glass Road Has a card-driven drafting mechanism of sorts where your actions are picked from a pool of 15 cards, and your actions depends on the playing of these cards, which is affected by the other players. So, no meeples there, and a nice game, too!


You beat me to this suggestion. It has some lovely non-conflict interaction while still retaining most of the 'build your own stuff' elements of Caverna and Agricola (which are worker placement games by the same designer).
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Juan Mejia
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Krawhitham wrote:
tilde72 wrote:
Glass Road Has a card-driven drafting mechanism of sorts where your actions are picked from a pool of 15 cards, and your actions depends on the playing of these cards, which is affected by the other players. So, no meeples there, and a nice game, too!


You beat me to this suggestion. It has some lovely non-conflict interaction while still retaining most of the 'build your own stuff' elements of Caverna and Agricola (which are worker placement games by the same designer).

This is one I was definitely looking at, but was worried about some of the comments saying it was no good for more than 2?
I generally play 3-4.
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(ɹnʎʞ)
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Suburbia

1-4 players
Tile placement, engine building


E If you played and enjoyed any SimCity video game, then this is for you. The rules are easy but the strategic depth is absolutely there. The replay value is great, as there are more city tiles than you need for each game and you create the stacks randomly during setup. Another aspect which increases the replay value are the also randomly distributed goals for scoring points: there are always some open to see for everyone, but every player also has one secret hidden goal, immensely shifting your focus for creating a successful city.
The scaling of this game is fantastic and very balanced, as the number of city tiles and open goals is directly influenced by the number of players.

Still, there's one negative thing about this game and I won't sugar-coat it: the game looks very minimalistic, but you will be very thankful for the functional overview the game provides with its abstracted visual style one the cities start to grow.

It's a unique game and absolutely earned its high board game rank #45 and strategy game #35.


Galaxy Trucker

2-4 players
Tile placement, dice rolling


E This is Vlaada Chvátil's Magnum Opus in my opinion. The game features a unique mix of tile placement, racing, economy, real-time hectic and chaotic humour. The game is divided into 2 phases: first, all players need to build their spaceships from scratch using the big pile of modular tiles in the center of the table while keeping the game's very easy rules for building in mind. This puzzly phase usually happens in real time by using certain countdown options, but you can house-rule this hectic aspect out in your first few games.

Once all players are done building, the second phase begins by sending the ships on a mission with the goal of a) collecting as much goods as possible b) reach the goal line as quickly as possible and c) prevent as much damage as possible from tearing the ship apart. This journey happens by drawing cards of random encounters and the players reacting to them. Ship damage is where the game gets really funny, as players will encounter dangers like pirates or asteroids which can cause severe damage to all ships, literally tearing them apart piece by piece with players slowly losing ship systems, crew or stored goods. If you constructed the ship in a very fragile way, it is very much possible that half of your ship gets ripped off by one single it.

And this is where the strategy of the first phase comes in: of course you want to equip your ship with everything (weapons, drives, shields, storage room, crew, energy capacity) but you can't because you can only build inside the set ship schematic's frame and all the players are grabbing tiles form the same pile, desperately looking for the best pieces. So you have to decide if you want your ship to be powerful, fast, a big flying storage room or a mixed balance of everything.

The rules are quite easy and the replay value is fantastic. Each game consists of 4 truck runs and every journey begins with a bigger than before ship while the encounter decks are also becoming more and more dangerous with each rouch. It's chaotic, but very fair. It's funny, but has a serious strategic depth. It's one of my all-time favourites because of its unique mix and I would personally rank it higher than its current board game rank #85 and thematic game rank #23.


Polis: Fight for the Hegemony

2 players
Area control


Polis is a civ lite strategy game which could be described as a wargame for eurogamers. The game has immense depth and I won't be able to cover everything here, but I will try to briefly describe what makes is so special and great. The game depicts the conflict between Athens and Sparta in ancient Greece, with both sides having the same options but playing a quite different game in detail, making Polis a great example for a very balanced asymmetrical game. The goals is to accumulate as many prestige (=victory) points as possible over the course of the game. The available options are divided in 3 categories: development (creating things), political actions (trading and using your diplomat) and military actions (moving land and sea units, laying sieges). The clou here is, that every military action costs 1 prestige (=victory) point, so players will always consider if the potential outcome is actually worth the aggressive action.

Having said that, this game can be played and won in many different ways and players need to equally manage economy, military, trade and the population while trying to maintain a good balance. Every turn and actions has huge weight and the game can really glue the players to their seats by providing them with so many yet very different options. Playing and winning this game comes down to making the right decisions as you naturally want to do everything, but you not only have to consider your limited resources, but also react to what your opponent does.

This description may sound very vague, but I did not want to get into details but describe the tension and very interesting nature of this game. The game game look very daunting at the beginning because of all the balanced options, but once you understood the bigger concept of this game it's actually quite easy to play. It's complex but definitely not complicated. For a better understanding of the rules I highly recommend ►this video.

The component quality is excellent and the replay value is fantastic because of mentioned numerous paths to victory, asymmetrical sides, random events and 3 different historical board setups. Because the learning curve is indeed relatively steep, the game currently ranks at board game rank #349 and strategy game rank #157, which is criminally low for this game in my opinion.
If you want a game that manages to bring the contrasting worlds of eurogames and wargames together, this is it.
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HenningK
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Terra Mystica if you don't mind a rather heavy game. People are spreading their empire on a map of hex tiles with various buildings that give them more income and special powers. There is a delicate balance that you want to stay close to the other players because that gives you benefits, but you also need free room to expand. The game has 14 different races with different powers, making the game highly replayable. It has a lot of rules in it and can be long (2-3 hours), but it is extremely rewarding.

Puerto Rico is a classic for a reason. You are growing different goods in the caribbean like Tobacco, Corn or Coffee and ship them to Europe for victory points or sell them for more money, which lets you buy buildings with special abilities. One player chooses a role that lets everybody do something, like buy a building, sell a good or ship a good. The player who chooses the role gets a small benefit. The beauty of the game lies in watching your opponents. The best move is usually not the one that benefits you the most, but the one that benefits the others least.

Another classic would be Power Grid, where each player plays an energy company. There are auctions for power plants that you need to buy energy (coal, oil, uran) for in order to power the cities you have connected on a common map. The game can be rather math-y because you constantly need to calculate how much money you need for your resources or for connecting a new city, but it is relatively rules-light and a lot of fun.

Saint Petersburg (second edition) is basically a card game. There are different cards that give you income or points, and your goal is to build the best engine. The game is deceptively simple; there is a lot of positioning and thinking ahead. A new edition came out last year that includes several expansion modules (I linked to that one).

Oh, and +1 to Hansa Teutonica. It's rather abstract, but has a lot of different strategies in it and has more direct player interaction than most Euros.
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Johannes Hihn
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El Grande. In my opinion still the very best area control game there is.
If you're interested in something newer with a similiar vibe you could take a look at The Staufer Dynasty which is also a spectacular game with very thinky but still smooth mechanics.

If you're more interested in engine-building and / or tile laying Glen More is a superb game combining these two euroy mechanics.
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(ɹnʎʞ)
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Trantor42 wrote:
Puerto Rico is a classic for a reason.

thumbsup

jhNz wrote:
El Grande. In my opinion still the very best area control game there is.

thumbsup


I deliberately did not go for the classics in my post, but if you are looking for real modern classics, these are definitely the ones to get. El Grande really is still the best "pure" area control game, while Puerto Rico is still one of the best economy games.

The games I listed can be more considered as unique interpretations of the euro genre, featuring quite uncommon mechanisms and ideas.

Either way you go, they are all really great games.
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Scott Nelson
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Older alea big box games are very non-wp and good.
 
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Kyle
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Tigris and Euphrates - Tile placement and set collection, with the odd war tossed in.

+1 Puerto Rico

Keyflower is much more auction than worker placement, but many people call it a synthesis, either way it is fantastic and quite euro, while maintaining high levels of interaction.
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Probably stretching Euro a little, but look at Stronghold
 
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Judging from your collection and your grades, I think classic Knizia games might be something for you.

Blue Moon City: Area control, set collection, grid movement, modular board, and quite original scoring. Very pleasant game with quite simple rules and hidden depths.

Ra: Auction, bidding, set collection, diversified scoring. One of the best auctioning games, in my humble opinion.

Tigris & Euphrates: A kind of area control game; unique and a little bit difficult to describe in a few words. The Mona Lisa of Eurogames in my opinion.

There are many good Knizia games, but these ones are probably my favourites.
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James C
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+1s to Suburbia, Glass Road, Ra, Puerto Rico and Castles of MKL.
 
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(ɹnʎʞ)
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Thinking about it, I will add:

Rococo

2-5 players
Area control, set collecting, resource management, deckbuilding


E Don't let the theme of this game fool you: this is a pretty heavy euro and one of the few games which can cause analysis paralysis to my brain. Each player has a deck of workers, categorised in 3 different types of workers: masters, journeymen and apprentices. You choose (no random draw) 3 workers for your turn and depending on their skill level they can do different actions for you, like getting new materials, creating a dress or hiring new workers (which is the part where the minimalistic deckbulding comes in).

I won't go much deeper into the game, but it's a great game with great components, room for different strategies and a fresh new theme. Definitely check this one out and don't dismiss it just because of the theme. It's currently board game rank #202 and strategy game rank #115, slowly climbing up since its release in 2013.
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Michael Drog
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Quartermaster General
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Joe Oppedisano
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Seasons and At the Gates of Loyang.
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Shawn Harriman
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Five Tribes

Constantinopolis

+1000 El Grande
 
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Karan R
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Modern Art for auction mechanics
Indonesia and 1830: Railways & Robber Barons for heavy economic games
 
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Kevin Garnica
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Goa
Firenze
Elysium
Glass Road
Rattus Cartus
Saint Petersburg
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Teresa Jackson
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Shogun is a personal favorite. It's area control meets preprogrammed moves (with a bit of wiggle room). Plus a cube tower for dice. After the first time we played, my husband said, "A lot of love went into this game."

Yunnan is another. It's sort of worker placement, but it works a little differently. You bid on the placement and more than one player can do the same thing. You're also building a route to sell tea.

Hyperborea is a bit like 7 Wonders on a board. It got a lot of hate because it looks like an epic adventure and it's not. But it's good on its own merits.
 
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Scott Nelson
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Steampunk Rally
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