Mining can be a great theme in gaming when done the right way.  It offers a way for the designer to create something of a mini game inside a bigger game.  There are games about mining oil, gold, ore and even salt.  I tend to like games with mining due to the unique mechanisms that are in those type games.  Mining usually is only part of the game, a means to get a resource needed to accomplish other things.  Some games that use mining though, it is only to fulfill contracts.  You play as the middle man, doing the grunt work for the high and mighty.  Either way, mining games can give you a great experience.  So, lets get our tools and dig into the Best 3 Games with…Mining!

3.  Coal Baron

courtesy of lacxox of BGG

Coal Baron is a simple worker placement game about mining coal in Germany.  The unique part about this game is that every player has their own coal mine player board.  Your board has 4 different levels to it with a pit cart that moves up and down.  As you buy new shaft tiles with different valued coal on them you then transfer your coal to the top of your pit with actions.  This is the fun mini game within the game.  It’s just fun moving your cart up and down collecting your coal.

2.  Magnum Sal

courtesy of xodroolis of BGG

This is a recent purchase of mine that has really hit the spot on mining for me.  This is all about mining salt and fulfilling orders for the King…..yes salt.  This game is all about the mining rather than being a mini game inside of the game.  On your turn you can place miners in the mine.  The tiles tell you what kind of salt is in that part of the mine.  You can then use your miners to extract the salt….BUT you have to pay your competitors money if they have mines transporting your salt for you, so it could get pricey.  There is a lot of competition for the salt so things can get a bit nasty.  Unlike Coal Baron this mine is available to all the players!

1.  Forge War

courtesy of klkitchens of BGG

Mining in Forge Wars is just a part of the whole experience but it is vital to doing well.  At the beginning of every round you can have the chance to move one of your overseers in the mine telling your miners where to mine.  If your overseer moves through a spot where someone already has a miner, it changes to one of your miners.  If you go through one of your own workers it changes to a miner of the person who has the least amount of miners in the mine.  The only thing you do with these materials is use them for making equipment for your quests which are the way to score points and win the game.  If you have a bad couple of rounds in the mine things can get really rough though.  You can’t underestimate the mine or you’ll be hurting.

-Tim