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Subject: Engine building? rss

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Dianne N.
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I hear people talk about "engine building" games all the time, and finding examples is pretty easy, but I don't see engine building as a mechanic anywhere here on BGG when I go to look for games.

Is engine building a mechanic, like deck or tableau building, and if so, why isn't it listed as a mechanic?
 
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Matt Brown
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Okemos
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More of a thing than a mechanism.
 
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Benj Davis
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It's a broader thing than a specific mechanism. Any time a game is strongly about doing things now which give you more ability to do things later, that's engine building.
 
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Dianne N.
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Thanks guys, that makes sense!
 
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Adam Thrasher
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Yeah. I would categorize engine building not as a mechanism, but a basic strategic element. It's akin to cornering the market in a trade-based game or attrition in a war game. These are strategic elements that are available to varying degrees depending on the game.

Some games feature engine building in subtle ways, where it's an available option, but not always essential to winning (e.g., Castles of Burgundy). There are a lot of games in which players must start by putting all their effort into engine building, and then decide at some point to step away from building the engine and partake in other activities, like grabbing scoring cards/tiles, killing the opponents or breaking their engines (e.g., 7 Wonders, Android: Netrunner, Mystic Vale).
 
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