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Worker Placement Games
Jeroen van der Valk
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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This geeklist is a collection of all boardgames that are considered "worker placement" games. Thanks to some insightful comments, the following attributes define this category:

1. Placement of the pieces gives you something. (This eliminates games like Chess.)
2. There is a limit to the number of pieces per location. (This eliminates area majority games like Leonardo Da Vinci, Louis XIV.)
3. In general, all workers are removed after each turn.
4. There is more than one worker per player. (This distinguishes worker placement from role selection like Puerto Rico.)
5. Players are competing for the limited locations to place their workers.

It is a genre that I thoroughly enjoy, and I own quite a few of them (or am planning to acquire them soon). I hope visitors to this list will comment on their favorites and compare the games listed here. And of course I hope this list will become a resource for players looking for a good worker placement game. Enjoy!
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1. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:80]
Jeroen van der Valk
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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This boardgame probably has the nicest set of workers around. I've played this once, and quite enjoyed it.
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2. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Jeroen van der Valk
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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Spiel '07's best buy, as far as I am concerned. I absolutely adore this game, though I find it difficult to specify what exactly makes it so magical.
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3. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:147]
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
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4. Board Game: Arkadia [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:477]
Jeffery Qualey
United States
Odenton
Maryland
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The workers may stay on for a couple rounds, but they do the job just like in the other games.
 
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5. Board Game: Bus [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1489]
Steve Kearon
United Kingdom
Cardiff
Wales
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One of the earliest worker placement games.

You can even make time stand still!
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6. Board Game: A Castle for All Seasons [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:740]
M.J.E. Hendriks
Netherlands
Arnhem
Gelderland
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This is a newer one. Wasn't too impressed, the one time I played it.
 
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7. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Jeroen van der Valk
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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Caylus is an all-time top 10 favourite boardgame. Mine, and yours.
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8. Board Game: Caylus Magna Carta [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:439]
 
Jeroen van der Valk
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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Caylus Travel Edition. I find it lacks a certain strategic depth compared to its big brother, but it is a well-designed game nonetheless.
 
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9. Board Game: Cuba [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:268]
Scott Nelson
United States
Idaho Falls
Idaho
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This should count, no?
 
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10. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:113]
M.J.E. Hendriks
Netherlands
Arnhem
Gelderland
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This is an excellent worker placement. But then again, what else would you expect from Vlaada Chvatil!
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11. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:87]
Tim Silver
United States
Lino Lakes
Minnesota
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A slight spin on worker placement, Dungeon Petz involves blind bidding with groups of workers and gold to determine player order, with the (groups of) workers being placed in order from largest to smallest.
 
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12. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:13]
Doug Bass
United States
Winston-Salem
North Carolina
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Game does not meet all conditions listed above, but it is still regarded as a worker placement game. Players place workers on building cards to take the actions indicated. Only one worker is allowed on each card. Workers are not returned, but instead remain on cards until moved on a later turn.

 
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13. Board Game: Hermagor [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:733]
Tim K.
United States
Seattle
Washington
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They're called 'buyers' and they're put into a 'market' but it's essentially worker placement!
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14. Board Game: Keydom [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:4654]
Dan Rosewater
Switzerland
Zürich
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Keydom is Richard Breese's second game in the key series. In Keydom you also place your fellow men to accomplish work on the board, however the workers did have different values.
It's even one year older than BUS.
This game was re-released as Aladdin's Dragons in 2000.
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15. Board Game: Keythedral [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:429]
Carlee Dise
United States
Triangle
North Carolina
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You place workers in Keythedral to gain resources. And if you do it right, you can screw other people out of places to put *their* workers
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16. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:198]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Well, they are dice (or die) not workers, but it does share a lot of similarities with some other worker placement games.
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17. Board Game: Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:348]
M.J.E. Hendriks
Netherlands
Arnhem
Gelderland
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My own game, soon to be published, hopefully. Some luck, lots of planning, lots of laughs, and no increase in the number of workers at any point in the game.

Furthermore, some actions can be chosen by everyone, but most are blocked for others once you place a "worker" there.
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18. Board Game: Leonardo da Vinci [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:638]
♫ Eric Herman ♫
United States
West Richland
Washington
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A good example of worker placement game, IMO. I don't agree with #2... The essence of worker placement is that you are sending your limited workforce into different areas in order to gain benefits. This fits the bill perfectly. If more than one player can place their worker(s) on the same space, so what? That's just a distinction of the particular game (and several other worker placement games allow that for some spaces, at least). It's still very much "worker placement", regardless.
 
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19. Board Game: Lungarno [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3507]
Stefano Castelli
Italy
Rome
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In Lungarno you are placing merchants on the various buildings in order to gain money. Some of them will come back to you when a quarter is complete, others will stay on the board.

Different from Carcassonne, as there the main purpose of the meeples is to gain victory points. In Lungarno you use the money as a resource to "buy" different buildings.
 
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20. Board Game: Manila [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:443]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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I think this one should be included. You place the workers at various places to get you product to sell and allow you other actions and benefits.
 
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21. Board Game: Notre Dame [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:140]
Schachtelhalm
Germany
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22. Board Game: The Pillars of the Earth [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:178]
Jeroen van der Valk
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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Invariably, many worker placement games are compared to the biggies, like Caylus. Pillars of the Earth has by now earned its own spot in the pantheon, and rightly so. Great artwork and components, of course, but also a wonderfully entertaining and challenging game.
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23. Board Game: The Princes of Machu Picchu [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:738]
Stefano Castelli
Italy
Rome
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Lots of worker placing here!
 
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24. Board Game: The Russian Campaign [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:743]
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Waited for The Russian Campaign to arrive in the post from the real Avalon Hill. Well worth the wait. And, it comes with worker counters that are placed on key cities.

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25. Board Game: Schoko & Co. [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:2167]
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Pray that your only secretary doesn't get sick!
 
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