I always thought that action point allowance was quite limited in game play.  I thought that it was simply you have this many action points and these are the actions you can take.  Each action cost so many points.  As I researched this mechanism, I found that there are many different ways to use action point allowance.  The games that I have on this list really stretch the boundary of action point allowance.  The more I thought about this mechanism the more I realized that I like it.  Some of my favorite mechanisms in games have been action point allowance.  I can’t wait for more games to come out and twist this mechanism into ways I would have never thought of.  Here are the Best 3 Games with…Action Point Allowance!

3. Myrmes by Ystari Games

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I am becoming a huge fan of Ystari Games.  They have good themes and nice game play in the games that I have played from them.  Myrmes is no exception.  This game, designed by Yoann Levet, has a great action point allowance mechanism that is tight and strategic.  Each round you have Nurse ants that will fulfill different actions in your colony.  What they do is dependent on how many Nurses you put in each area.  The amount of actions you are allowed to use depends on how many Nurse ants you have….and they are tough to come by.  The more Nurses I use in each area will determine how much I get.  For instance, If I put only one Nurse in the larvae stage, I will only get one larvae.  If I put 2 nurses in the larvae stage then I will get 3 larvae.  The tightness and decision making in Myrmes makes it a great action point allowance mechanism.

2.  Expedition: Northwest Passage by Matagot and Asmodee

I have only played Expedition: Northwest Passage once but I really like the action point allowance introduced in it.  Yves Tourigny really put a nice spin on a solid system.  In Expedition, each player has the same amount of action points, or crew members.  You use the crew members to do actions.  But depending on where your crew members are that will limit what you can and can’t do.  You are working with two different types of transportation in this game, your ship and sled.  If you don’t have any crew points on your sled you can’t use your sled.  If you move all of your points to your sled, you better leave a couple on your boat to be able to use it…..I learned this the hard way!  As the game moves along, you will not be able to move your boat at some point so moving your crew to your sled to move is a good idea…..however, there will come a time when you will be able to move your boat again and if you don’t have crew on your boat you will be stuck!  It’s a nice balancing act of action points you need to have on your boat and your sled to get the job done.  Really love this mechanism in this game.

1.  Xia: Legends of a Drift System by Far Off Games

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This is not the last time you will see Xia on a Best 3 list.  This game is just so solid.  One of the great things about Xia, by Cody Miller, is the action point allowance.  In this game, all players have 4 “action” points.  You use these points to activate specific compartments on your ship.  Through out the game you will constantly buy and upgrade new ships and compartments.  How you use these compartments is strictly based on your activating points.  When you use your points you simply move the action to the compartment you want to use them on.  So, if you want to move more that turn you use your engines.  That’s all fine and dandy but what if someone attacks you before it’s your turn?  You might need to activate your shields so you will have less points during your turn.  Or maybe you want to attack others so you put all your power into your missiles but then you can’t move because you can’t activate your engines.  See, you don’t get to reset your activation points until the end of your turn…..but you might spend all your points before it’s your turn….leaving you only able to use your impulse engines to move.  To reset your points, you can do this for free on a planet, but if you are out in space it will cost you 1 energy for each point to activate.  The action point allowance in Xia is just fantastic to fly around the universe trying to become a Legend!

– Tim