• Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Email

Board Games Mechanics (1/6)

Board Games Mechanics (1/6)

Hello GiaBOXers!

As we promised you a few months ago, we bring you today the different types of mechanics existing in the board games world.

First of all, what do mechanics mean?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary: “The way something works or happens”. So, in the board games world, mechanics are the way you win or thrive through the game. With the current variety of board games available, it has become a complex task to classify a game – designers have become quite creative and they tend to mix a few of those mechanics! We have collated here the most accepted types with a few examples of each one.

Remember, nowadays most of the games fall into several categories, and only a few would only be considered into a single one.
Let’s start!

1. Worker Placement:

We didn’t know where to start from, so we decided to start with one of our favourite mechanics. In worker placement board games, players need to place their meeples in different areas to achieve certain benefits and – normally – gain victory points. There are a lot of board games out there with the tag “Worker Placement”, with big names like Agricola or StoneAge as big representatives of this mechanic.


Agricola Worker Placement

2. Voting:

We all love democracy, so let’s vote! These types of games base their dynamics on voting turns where certain aspects of the game are decided. You can either vote the outcome of an event, the selection of an effect or the result of a confrontation. Good examples of these games are The Resistance and Dixit.

The Resistance

The Resistance – Voting

3. Variable Player Powers:

Each player controls a game’s character with different powers and use them to their convenience to win the game, either competing against each other or collaborating to a common goal. A few examples of these games are Pandemic, 7 Wonders and Terra Mystica.


Pandemic – Variable Power Powers

4. Variable Phase Order:

In this type of games, each round or phase is different and depends on the choice of the players. For example, if a player chooses a role among a few available, the game will progress around that choice. The best example of this mechanic is Puerto Rico, one of our favourite board games!

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico – Variable Phase Order

5. Trick-taking:

On these games, you hold a handful of cards or other elements, and you use them the best way you can to win other cards or elements. At the end of the game, the player with the higher number of victory points wins. A good game with this mechanic is Tichu.


Tichu – Trick-taking

6. Trading:

In trading games, players exchange objects. It can either be cards or meeples. In this mechanic, it is all about gathering the right elements to achieve certain goals that give you victory points. A good example of this type of games is Catan.


Catan – Trading

7. Time Track

In these games, every action costs you a certain amount of time, no matter if it is days, minutes, hours… The turn-taking player will always be the most “delayed” player. This means these games let you play several turns in a row if you are delayed in comparison to other players.

This mechanic is about balancing time management and doing the right actions at the right time. Patchwork is the classic example of this type of games.


Patchwork –  Time Track

8. Tile Placement

Another one of our favourites! Within this mechanic, we find the famous game Carcassonne, which was one of our introductory games to this amazing world. In tile placement mechanics, you take turns to place tiles on a common board or on your own board, aiming to score the most points. The way to take tiles can be as simple as blindly grabbing one from a bag or it can be more complex, like negotiating, trading, etc.

Carcassonne - Tile Placement

Carcassonne – Tile Placement

This is just part of a broader post. We will bring you a few more mechanics in our next update!
Keep tuned!

The GiaBOX Team.