What are your favorite engine-building games? Bonus points if you list more than one or describe what makes them your favorite!
4 points by Skurvy5 - updated 4 months ago | unvote | 98 comments | report | Confirm you want to report this post.| subscribe
sdirrane Supporter4 months ago | 2 points[-]
I can’t believe this is 55 comments long and no one has mentioned Scythe.
nealkfrank 4 months ago | 2 points[-]
I am not sure I initially think of Scythe as an Engine-builder. I would love to hear why you think it is?
Marshwiggle92 Supporter4 months ago | 2 points[-]
There are aspects of engine building.
I would consider the tech cubes, recruits, and buildings to be parts of a engine. But, I don't really consider it to come together to be a complete engine.
Skurvy5 Supporter4 months ago | 2 points[-]
I agree. Scythe is... an amalgamation. It’s action selection, worker placement, area control. I don’t really get that engine building feel from the game. Sure the tech cubes are a bit of an engine upgrading mechanism but overall I don’t consider it to be engine building.
Huh, that's funny because I don't find it to be worker placement at all. Because you don't need to place workers and you don't ever retrieve them. I guess I consider an engine building game because you build your society and how it will run throughout the game allowing yourself to do more and more. You also get to pick which engine you'll build in the game. Will you go for upgrades or recruiting, will you be passive or aggressive. I don't think it's the predominant mechanic but I feel like it's there.
Skurvy5 Supporter4 months ago | 1 point[-]
Well you do place and move your workers into position. Technically speaking.
The reason why I don’t think of it as an engine builder - It’s not a typical engine where you can function more and more efficiently and combo and do things. Yes your individual actions get more effective but you typically can’t combo things or do normal engine building things.
sdirrane Supporter4 months ago | 1 point[-]
So worker building? Engine placement? Haha.
I think it's the way the star placement happens that makes me tie it to engine building. You see one or two at the beginning and then toward the end it becomes almost a mad rush. So it has the appearance of engine building to me?
Ok sure, but that could be just because the game is nearing completion? I dunno.
👍🏼, it’s definitely not listed as engine building anywhere 🤷🏼♂️🤦🏼♂️😂. I guess for me it was always because stars 3-6 seemed to place really quickly as the game draws near an end.
Bingo, I was trying to pin-point the type of game it is, but it is an amalgamation. Good word.
Viticulture for sure, especially with the Rhine valley cards. There is nothing better than filling a wine order from your built winery.
BenjaminK 4 months ago | 2 points[-]
These are my favorite:
Roll for the Galaxy (also Race)
Dominion can be a really good one as well.
Are these ranked from favorite to least?
Also, do you prefer roll or race?
Nope, just from when I thought of them.
I've played Roll a ton more than Race, so I'm leaning toward Roll for favorite. Some days are a Race day though, as it scratches a slightly different itch. But yeah, I'm gonna have to say Roll is the top of the two.
Gotcha. I can't comment. I haven't played roll.
Sliddell11 4 months ago | 2 points[-]
Yeessss I love these so much!
I'm sure there are some other great ones I've played that I just didn't think of.
For sure but that list is solid haha
51st State: Master Set is a fun engine builder. Resource conversion and tableau building included! Plus it they have little gun and gear meeples which are fun...
Totally agree, 51st is great
Have you checked out Empires of the North? Looks like such a cool game.
I have not! Is it a similar play type as 51st state?
Same designer and the most recent iteration of that system.
Looks like a very different vibe art wise than 51st state lol. But almost more complex!
I am actually a lot more interested in empires than in 51st state.
Similar to this would be Glory To Rome
I want Glory to Rome! I’m a huge Roman history aficionado.
The bummer is that it is basically impossible to find anywhere lol.
WadeB1977 4 months ago | 2 points[-]
I'd add Taverns of Tiefenthal as it is a deckbuilder which makes it a sort of dice drafting engine builder.
I’m surprised no one has mentioned Terraforming Mars yet. That seems to be almost a pure engine builder.
Is Everdell considered an engine builder?
What about deck-building games? Are they engine building games too?
theDL 4 months ago | 2 points[-]
In my eyes Everdell isn't quite an engine builder. I'd say it has some engine building opportunities, but it's not the goal of the game, and the game doesn't exactly push you toward that.
Also in regards to deck builders I would say they are! Star realms you are scrapping bad cards and adding new cards all the time. Beginning of the game you have 1-2 attack, end game you could have close to 50-100 haha
disom 4 months ago | 2 points[-]
I would definitely classify Star Realms as one because it's such a pure deck builder.
Marshwiggle92 Supporter4 months ago | 1 point[-]
Dominion does fit in this category as well.
Sliddell11 4 months ago | 1 point[-]
100%. Especially if you consider bases. Beginning, no base. End, 10 bases haha
Terraforming is a great engine builder! Great game
I’m actually surprised I don’t hear more about it on bga
Disclaimer: personal opinion alert.
Another thing about TM is where it ranks in peoples personal lists. I think a lot of people really like and respect it. But I don't think that it is in most people's top 3 or top 5.i think it manages to stay just outside of what people are passionate about.
If you look at the BGG ratings there are
14000 rankings at 8
14000 at 9
And 11000 at ten.
This is compared to something like gloomhaven which is...
15000 rank it a 10
7600 rank it a 9
And 4.8 rank it a 8.
I believe these numbers show us that most consider TM to be a good, even great game. But, it lacks the final polish to get into the personal top echelon of most people.
nealkfrank 4 months ago | 1 point[-]
Ohhhh nice research there. I love some good numbers comparisons. I may start doing this will games I am considering.
It does speak volumes though about TM. Good game, not always great.
I do actually find the ratings breakdowns more insightful at times than the rating average.
Oh I am a numbers guy so I love being able to see this. I agree it is more helpful.
Glad I'm not the only one.
I can see that somewhat. I will say the main reason I haven’t bought the game or wanted it more is because I have 3 friends that have it. I would say it’s in my 10 games for sure though.
what about the game makes you feel like it is lacking?
I like the game. I think the actual process of playing it is great. But, in my mind, there are a few flaws. I have not rated it. But, I would probably rate it a 8, maybe as high as a 9.
Also, while these are opinions, they are also sentiments that I have heard from others. So, I know I am not alone them.
The game is just too long, especially if you draft. I hear that if you solo it, it can really go quickly, maybe an hour or just a little bit less.
The level of randomness is too high for the length that it has.
Finally, the physical components do not help draw you in the game. The "art" stinks and doesn't even have the decency to stink the same way on every card, I find manipulating the cubes frustrating, the player boards and map have stuff sliding around on it too often.
Again the gameplay makes up for these percieved issues. But, I do feel like it keeps it just out of many peoples top 5 or so.
Also, even with luck in mind, I think it can be mitigated with the amount of strategies/routes to victory there are. Some are harder than others however.
Sure, but there is still the guy drawing the right cards way to often, while you are constantly trying to change tracks. Or maybe you get just the right card draws and feel like you win because of that rather than because of skill
Yeah I guess I can see that. It’s hard because I can’t say I’ve played it enough to have a really definitive opinion on it
Haha I can see those things for sure. I personally like the art but only because I like its corniness. As for luck I can see that too. For the cubes I would just really want those sick game trayz haha
I agree mostly Chris. The art is OK in places and merely meh in others. Those player mats are annoying- and moving the cubes around should be satisfying and crunchy but instead it’s just inadequate.
Adequate is a good term.
Haha the game trayz would help so much!
Do you like tm?
I do like TM. I haven’t played it for a while though.
I'm in the same boat. I do feel like it is a testament to how fun the gameplay actually is that so many people like it so much.
I agree with that.
It is a good engine builder. But it can sorta outstay its welcome.
I can see that
I agree, unless you play with Prelude. That speeds it up a lot.
It soured on me once I started play games that are less luck driven. TM has a lot of luck built in with the card draws and such.
Haven't played it with any of the expansions. But I do hear prelude is great for speeding it up.
It feels like you are dropped in 20 minutes into the game with Prelude. You have an engine already a bit. Pretty interesting.
That does sound good.
Prelude is high on my acquire next list.
I haven’t gotten to play with prelude yet... I really want to though
Alexander has it, it makes the game feel like it was fast forwarded to like 30 minutes in lol.
Ah I gotta try it. Maybe very soon...
Yes. Though, I admit, I am toying with the idea of getting it sometime just for solo play.
Solo play is fun, you are definitely at the mercy of the cards you receive!
Yes, but I tend to me more ok with that in solo games than with multiplayer games.
Why is that?
I don't know. I really hate winning or losing a multiplayer game based on cards draws. But, for some reason I don't mind it as much in solo games. Maybe it isn't because I see other people drawing perfect cards while I draw junk or vice versa.
That makes sense, you play multiplayer to be competitive but also to have a shared experience so you want everyone to enjoy their time, with solo it is just you and your own competitiveness!
1nf1n1ty Supporter4 months ago | 1 point[-]
Steampunk Rally Board Game is the only one I know of where you are actually building an engine. :P
disom 4 months ago | 1 point[-]
I haven't played Res Arcana yet, but it seems like a pure engine builder if I ever saw one. It's shot up to the top of my wishlist.
This is one that really stuck out to me. It seems pretty straight forward in play but complex in strategy and timing.
I haven’t it played either. Looks really good though. I like the cover artwork
Haven't played it. But, I think I would love it.
I agree, this one seems like a really pure engine builder.
Obligatory plug for Race for the Galaxy.
On Saturday I played Innovation for the first time in a while. I was struck again with how fun it is to play a engine building tableu builder while constantly having pieces of your engine stolen, or trying to incorporate pieces of your opponents engine. I would not play this with more than two. But this is a cheap game and I wish more people would play it. Your first play(s) will feel like a chaotic mess but 2 or 3 games into you will start seeing strategies appear. Also, this is a supremely tactical game, yes, there is strategy, but it is mostly tactitical.
Ah yes. Race!
You mention innovation quite a bit. I should really check it out.
When you win your next GAW you can pick it up.
Change that to if. Not when.
I'd love to. But, no can do...
theDL 4 months ago | 1 point[-]
Wingspan is a solid entry level engine builder.
This is a great choice for sure
+1 for Wingspan. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I thoroughly enjoy it. It's all about the Murder Birds.
WadeB1977 4 months ago | 1 point[-]
+2 for Wingspan. Murderbirds? Are you talking about the predators?
Yes, that's what we've nicknamed them.
They're you have it.
I like it!
roll for the galaxy
Huh, I do think I would consider Agricola an Engine builder. There are aspects that build on top of each other and you harvest things but engine builder? Not sure. What makes you call it that?
Yeah I hesitated when putting it there. I put it there however because I think it depends how you play. You can either have mini engines or a constant one or not at all. I’m mainly thinking of crops, animals, and ability to make food. So I don’t think the game itself can be labeled that but it has components of one that would “scratch the itch” I guess haha
I will give you the "mini-engines" label lol. Small aspects of the game function that way but man do you have to work hard to get anything else from the game. I think of engine builders as games that give you things and you build up your ability to get things, Agricola is a trudge to get any resources!
Haha yeah I can see that for sure. I concede! Haha
All good choices.
Thanks! There are for sure some more I’d add but those where the ones off the top of my head
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