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Game Mechanism: Worker Placement

More precisely referred to as "action drafting", this mechanism requires players to draft individual actions from a set that is available to all players. Players generally draft actions one-at-a-time and in turn order. If the game is structured in rounds, then all actions are usually refreshed so that they become available again for drafting. There is usually(*) a limit on the number of times a single action may be drafted in the same way for the same price. Once that limit is reached, an action can no longer be taken until a subsequent round or until the action space is no longer occupied by another player. As such, not all actions can be taken by all players in a given round, and action 'blocking' occurs.

Actions are commonly drafted by the placement of game pieces or tokens on the selected actions. Each player usually has a limited number of pieces with which to participate in the process. Some games achieve the same effect in reverse: the turn begins with action spaces filled by markers, which are claimed by players for some cost.

From a thematic standpoint, the game pieces which players use to select actions often represent workers of any given trade (this category of mechanism, however, is not necessarily limited to or by this thematic representation). In other words, players often thematically "place workers" to show which actions have been drafted by individual players. For example, in Agricola you start with two family members who can be placed on action spaces to collect resources or take certain actions like building fences. When someone places a piece on a given space, that action is no longer available until the next round.

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51_state

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The world you know no longer exists. There is no government. No army. No civilization. The United States has collapsed, and now thirty years after the war started, new powers finally try to take control over the ruined country, try to establish a new order, try to control others and create a new cou.... Read more

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A Feast for Odin

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Using the central board in A Feast for Odin, players have to hunt, gather basic materials, refine those materials, develop their production-buildings, build/buy ships, and raid settlements.

The resulting earnings are placed on the players' board in the best possible pattern to produce income and .... Read more

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Anachrony

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It is the late 26th century. Earth is recovering from a catastrophic explosion that exterminated the majority of the population centuries ago and made most of the surface uninhabitable due to unearthly weather conditions. The surviving humans organized along four radically different ideologies, call.... Read more

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Archipelago

In Archipelago, players are Renaissance European powers competing in the exploration of a Pacific or Caribbean archipelago. They will explore territories, harvest resources, use those resources in markets both internal (for their use and that of the natives) and foreign (to sell it in Europe), build.... Read more

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Architects of the West Kingdom

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Architects of the West Kingdom is set at the end of the Carolingian Empire, circa 850 AD. As royal architects, players compete to impress their King and maintain their noble status by constructing various landmarks throughout his newly appointed domain. Players need to collect raw materials, hire ap.... Read more

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Bora Bora

Stake your fortunes in the mysterious island world of Bora Bora. Journey across islands, building huts where the resilient men and women of your tribes can settle, discovering fishing grounds and collecting shells. Send priests to the temples, and gather offerings to curry favor with the gods.

In.... Read more

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Bruxelles 1893

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Bruxelles 1893 is a worker placement game with elements of bidding and majority control. Each player is an architect of the late 19th century and is trying to achieve, through various actions, an architectural work in the Art Nouveau style. The most successful building yields the most points. Each p.... Read more

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Calimala

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The "Arte di Calimala" — the guild of cloth finishers and merchants in foreign cloth — was one of the greater guilds of Florence, who arrogated to themselves the civic power of the Republic of Florence during the Late Middle Ages. The woolen cloth trade was the engine that drove the city’s economy a.... Read more

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Cargo Noir

In Serge Laget's Cargo Noir – his fourth standalone box game from Days of Wonder – players represent "families" that traffic in smuggled goods in a 1950s noir setting. Each turn, you'll set sail to various ports where cargo is known to get "lost" for the right price – Hong Kong, Bombay, Rotterdam, N.... Read more

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Carson City

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Carson City is a strategic game played in four rounds, and in each one of them, the players choose a character from the seven available that gives certain advantages.

After selecting characters, your cowboys are placed on action track locations that allow you to construct buildings, houses, or ro.... Read more

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Caverna: The Cave Farmers

Following along the same lines as its predecessor (Agricola), Caverna: The Cave Farmers is a worker-placement game at heart, with a focus on farming. In the game, you are the bearded leader of a small dwarf family that lives in a little cave in the mountains. You begin the game with a farmer and his.... Read more

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Champions of Midgard

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Champions of Midgard (formerly Defenders of Nidaros) is a middleweight, Viking-themed, worker placement game with dice rolling in which players are leaders of Viking clans who have traveled to an embattled Viking harbor town to help defend it against the threat of trolls, draugr, and other mythologi.... Read more

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Coal Baron

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Coal Baron – or Glück Auf in German, after a greeting German miners use when wishing one another luck – has players sending miners underground to dig tunnels and acquire coal, which comes in four levels of quality and is used to fulfill contracts.

The game lasts three rounds, and in each round pl.... Read more

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Coal Baron: The Great Card Game

The city of Essen, Germany at the turn of the 20th century was a center for coal mining in Europe. Immerse yourself in the dark world of coal mining as you extract coal from pits, load coal to wagon trains, and then rail your coal off to distant locations in search of fortunes.

Coal Baron: The Gr.... Read more

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Crown of Emara

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Good times in the tiny kingdom of Emara: During the reign of King Thedorius the Wise, wars, uprisings, and other inconveniences became a thing of the past. Thedorius always cared more for the well-being of his subjects than for power or riches. Therefore, only the nobleman who is able to care for Em.... Read more

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Donning the Purple

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It is the year 193 AD. The Roman Empire is not as great as it once was. Hordes of enemies are crossing the borders, famine spreads throughout the provinces and the political intrigues are tearing the empire apart from within. The previous emperor was killed by his own Praetorian bodyguard and has le.... Read more

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Dungeon Lords

In Dungeon Lords, you are an evil dungeonlord who is trying to build the best dungeon out there. You hire monsters, build rooms, buy traps and defeat the do-gooders who wish to bring you down.

From the publisher's webpage:

Have you ever ventured with party of heroes to conquer dungeons, gain p.... Read more

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Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

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You find yourself in a dystopian cityscape with a few workers at your disposal to make your mark on the world. Like most people in dystopian fiction, your workers are oblivious to their situation. This world is all they've ever known, and you may use them at your whim.

The world as we know it has.... Read more

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Ex Libris

In Ex Libris, you are a collector of rare and valuable books in a thriving gnomish village. Recently, the Mayor and Village Council have announced an opening for a Grand Librarian: a prestigious (and lucrative) position they intend to award to the most qualified villager! Unfortunately, several of y.... Read more

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Florenza

In Florenza, the players are the heads of the most powerful families in Florenza during the Renaissance period. The goal of the game is to become the most famous patron of the arts by hiring the most famous artists of the period and financing their works.

Each player can commission artworks in hi.... Read more

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Francis Drake

Return to a bustling Plymouth Harbor in 1572 as an aspiring Elizabethan captain making preparations for three exciting voyages to the Spanish Main in search of fame and fortune! As captains, players will have to plan their missions and provision their ships accordingly.

Francis Drake is a race to.... Read more

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Hangtown

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In January of 1848, an event occurred which changed the face of the west—gold was discovered on the American River in California. News spread around the world and the era of the 49’ers began. Thousands of young people left their farms and homes to make their fortunes out west.

As these pioneers s.... Read more

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Harvest

Mind the fields of Gullsbottom! Plant and fertilize your seeds, tend your crops, and utilize the various buildings at your disposal. You'll need to work smarter, not harder, as harvest season is coming to an end! Who will have the best harvest this year? Will it be you?

Each round in Harvest, you.... Read more

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Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr

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"All my life I've kept my mouth shut - out of loyalty, out of fear... out of shame. And look where it's got me, lying here with my rear-end hanging out of a blue gown, all you lot fussing around me. Sure, that's no way to live. No way to die."

Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr is a co-o.... Read more

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Jórvík

For several decades during the Viking age, parts of England were occupied by the Norsemen. Under their influence, one of the larger cities turned into a flourishing center of trade and craftsmanship. The Vikings called the city and its surrounding kingdom "Jórvík", which is today known as the city .... Read more

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Keyper

Keyper is a game with high player interaction for two to four players played over four rounds. Each round represents a season: spring, summer, autumn and finally winter.

Each player starts the game with their own village board, a mini keyp board, 12 village tiles, a keyper (waving meeple) in thei.... Read more

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Kitchen Rush

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You've just inherited an old restaurant and you must turn it into a successful business! Hire personnel, order the right ingredients and be ready to serve the customers that enter your restaurant. The success will depend entirely on your efficiency in the kitchen!

Kitchen Rush is an innovative re.... Read more

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La Granja

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In La Granja, players control small farms by the Alpich pond near the village of Esporles on the island of Mallorca. Over time, the players develop their farms and deliver goods to the village. Players are vying to earn the title of "La Granja" for their country estate!

Over the course of 6 game .... Read more

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Lancaster: Big Box

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In 1413, the new king of England, Henry V of Lancaster, has ambitious plans: The unification of England and the conquest of the French crown!

Each player takes the role of the head of an ambitious aristocratic family. Secure your family's legacy and provide the best support for the young king and.... Read more

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Lewis & Clark

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On November 30, 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana from Napoleon. U.S. President Thomas Jefferson decided to send two explorers – Meriwether Lewis and William Clark – to discover this huge terra incognita.

Lewis & Clark is a board game in which the players manage an expedition intended t.... Read more

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Lorenzo il Magnifico

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Lorenzo de' Medici, also known as "Lorenzo il Magnifico" (Lorenzo the Magnificent), was one of the most powerful and enthusiastic patrons of the Italian Renaissance.

In Lorenzo il Magnifico, each player takes the role of a head of a noble family in a city during the Italian renaissance. You try t.... Read more

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Madeira

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Madeira is an island officially discovered early in the 15th century by Portuguese seafarers. Madeira, the Portuguese word for wood, refers to the dense forest that covered its wild, fertile landscape. This, and its strategic position far into the Atlantic Ocean made the island one of the most signi.... Read more

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Meeple war

Before these elegant little wooden figures served faithfully in Carcassonne City and many other playful treasures, did you know that the meeples were originally battle vehicles for the four kingdoms of Lilliput? Embody yourself as one of the leaders of those kingdoms and re-enact (in actual size!) t.... Read more

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Mint Works

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Mint Works is a light and straightforward worker placement game. Its compact size makes it easy to put in your pocket and take it anywhere. Its simple rules make it easy to introduce new players to the genre of worker placement.

During the game each player will have a limited amount of Mint Token.... Read more

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Mombasa

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In Mombasa, players acquire shares of chartered companies based in Mombasa, Cape Town, Saint-Louis, and Cairo and propagate trading posts of these companies throughout the African continent in order to earn the most money.

Mombasa features a unique, rotating-display hand-mechanism that drives gam.... Read more

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Montana

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Halfway through the 19th century, the first permanent settlements appeared in Montana. After this, many fortune seekers traveled to this region with their caravans in search of work in order to build a better future for themselves — and there is an abundance of work as in the mountains precious meta.... Read more

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Nētā-Tanka (Deluxe Edition)

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The Frostrivers tribe dwells along the Great Frozen River. Its members live in harmony with Nature. The tribe obeys the laws of the Four Elders, themselves guided by the most venerable of the Elders, the Neta-Tanka. When the Neta-Tanka enters the twilight of life, the Frostrivers gather at the Sacre.... Read more

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Orléans

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During the medieval goings-on around Orléans, you must assemble a following of farmers, merchants, knights, monks, etc. to gain supremacy through trade, construction and science in medieval France.

In the city of Orléans and the area of the Loire, you can take trade trips to other cities to acqui.... Read more

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Outlive

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Outlive is a management/survival game in a post-apocalyptic universe in which nature has overcome its rights amongst the world of Men. In Outlive, players have six days (turns) to send heroes gathering resources during the day, while avoiding threats from other players and reinforce their settlement.... Read more

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Pioneers

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In a game of Pioneers, the players attempt to populate the cities shown on the game board with their pioneers, using coaches to transport them around the map. Each pioneer has a specific profession, and can only be settled in a city where their work is needed.

After all the pioneers riding in a c.... Read more

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Raiders of the North Sea

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Raiders of the North Sea is set in the central years of the Viking Age. As Viking warriors, players seek to impress the Chieftain by raiding unsuspecting settlements. Players will need to assemble a crew, collect provisions and journey north to plunder gold, iron and livestock. There is glory to be .... Read more

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Rajas of the Ganges

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Through tactics and karma to wealth and fame...

In 16th century India, the powerful empire of the Great Moguls rises between the Indus and the Ganges rivers. Taking on the role of rajas and ranis – the country's influential nobles – players in Rajas of the Ganges race against each other in suppor.... Read more

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Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is a game created by Ignacy Trzewiczek, the author of Stronghold. This time Trzewiczek takes the players to a deserted island, where they'll play the parts of shipwreck survivors confronted by an extraordinary adventure. They'll be faced with the chal.... Read more

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Rockwell

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Each player represents a mining company drilling the Earth to get resources. But drilling often request the help of other players (forced or not). Each one therefore moves four drills on the arcs stratum of the planet to successfully implement his mines and extract maximum resources. The Fame points.... Read more

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Russian Railroads

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In Russian Railroads, players compete in an exciting race to build the largest and most advanced railway network. In order to do so, the players appoint their workers to various important tasks.

The development of simple tracks will quickly bring the players to important places, while the moderni.... Read more

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Signorie

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Italy during the 15th century was a country full of intrigue and magnificence. The tumultuous political conditions created the perfect breeding ground for the birth of a new form of government (called Signoria) and the rise of the most ambitious noble families. After having acted in the dark for a l.... Read more

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Steam Time

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It's the year 1899, and strange phenomena are being observed in places like Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt. Time goes crazy, and newly discovered crystals have exhibited strange properties that allow for the creation of fantastic apparatuses.

In a race to exploit these discoveries, the rapi.... Read more

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Teotihuacan: City of Gods

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Travel back in time to the greatest city in Mesoamerica. Witness the glory and the twilight of the powerful pre-Columbian civilization. Strategize, accrue wealth, gain the favour of the gods, and become the builder of the magnificent Pyramid of the Sun.

In Teotihuacan: City of Gods, each player c.... Read more

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The Gallerist

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This age of art and capitalism has created a need for a new occupation - The Gallerist.

Combining the elements of an Art dealer, museum curator, and Artists’ manager, you are about to take on that job! You will promote and nurture Artists; buy, display, and sell their Art; and build and exert you.... Read more

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The Godfather: Corleone's Empire

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Designer Eric Lang, known for his "dudes on a map" games, describes The Godfather: Corleone's Empire — a standalone big box board game with high-quality miniatures — as "thugs on a map".

In short, the game is a streamlined, confrontational worker placement game filled with murder and intrigue. Yo.... Read more

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The Pillars of the Earth

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At the beginning of the 13th century, construction of the greatest and most beautiful cathedral in England begins. Players are builders who try to contribute the most to this cathedral's construction and, in so doing, score the most victory points.

Gameplay roughly consists of using workers to pr.... Read more

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The Voyages of Marco Polo

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In 1271, 17-year-old Marco Polo started on a journey to China with his father and older brother. After a long and grueling journey that led through Jerusalem and Mesopotamia and over the "Silk Road", they reached the court of Kublai Khan in 1275.

In The Voyages of Marco Polo, players recreate thi.... Read more

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This War of Mine: The Board Game

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This War Of Mine: The Board Game is the tabletop adaptation of the award-winning video game that pictures the drama of civilians trapped in a war-torn city.

You will enter this experience as a group of civilians trapped in a besieged and conflict-ridden city, enduring many hardships that often te.... Read more

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Troyes

In Troyes, recreate four centuries of history of this famous city of the Champagne region of France. Each player manages their segment of the population (represented by a horde of dice) and their hand of cards, which represent the three primary domains of the city: religious, military, and civil. Pl.... Read more

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Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

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Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar presents a new game mechanism: dynamic worker placement. Players representing different Mayan tribes place their workers on giant connected gears, and as the gears rotate they take the workers to different action spots.

During a turn, players can either (a) place one o.... Read more

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Village

Life in the village is hard – but life here also allows the inhabitants to grow and prosper as they please. One villager might want to become a friar. Another might feel ambitious and strive for a career in public office. A third one might want to seek his luck in distant lands.

Each player will .... Read more

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Vinhos Deluxe Edition

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Vinhos (the Portuguese word for "wines") is a trading and economic game about the business of wine making. Despite its small size, Portugal is one of the world's leading wine producers. Over six years of harvests, cultivate your vines, choose the best varieties, hire the best oenologists, take part .... Read more

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Viticulture Essential Edition

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In Viticulture, the players find themselves in the roles of people in rustic, pre-modern Tuscany who have inherited meager vineyards. They have a few plots of land, an old crushpad, a tiny cellar, and three workers. They each have a dream of being the first to call their winery a true success.

Th.... Read more

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Xi'an

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246 BCE: The future first emperor of China, Ying Zheng, orders the construction of the Terracotta Army. It will be part of the "Great Mausoleum", a monument built to celebrate the Qin dynasty's endless glory and also to protect him in the afterlife. As a delegate of the Emperor, you will be asked to.... Read more

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