This is a bit of a different type of Best 3. I thought I would do something fun about mechanisms in games that are so unique and different that you haven’t seen them done in other games. Again, I would like to point out that since I have only been in the hobby for about a year and a half now, I have not played every game there is. Some of the mechanisms that i will list might be in other games but I have either not played them or heard of any other games with it. So, these are games that I feel have a fantastic mechanism in them and makes that game good or better. Many of these mechanisms would be great to see implemented in other games. That makes it hard to find games with this kind of rarity. Usually when a new mechanism comes along and has an impact, other games are quick to copy. If you have any games that have similar mechanisms to the games that I mention, please feel free to comment. So what games are the Right Said Fred in the Best 3 Games with…One Hit Wonders!
3. Lords of Xidit by Libellud/Asmodee
The end scoring mechanism in this game is really great. There are three different criteria that you will be scored on at the end of the game. Money, Towers and Songs. Every game they are randomly chosen on which one will be first, second and last. Through out the game you are collecting these rewards from towns that you save from monsters roaming the land. When you defeat a monster you choose two of these as a reward. When the game ends you will start by calculating the third reward, then second and first. When the first one is calculated, you then go to elimination rounds. Starting with the first reward, you eliminate the person who came in last. They may have scored the highest with money but lowest with towers and since towers was determined first they are out of the game. You then resolve the second condition, again eliminating the person who did the worst. In the final condition it is who ever is the highest of who is left. So, one person could have been third, second and third but still one the game because the players that scored first and second in the last condition were eliminated by earlier conditions. It is a really great scoring mechanism that I wish other games would adopt. Multiple things you need to collect, eliminating players who do the worst one at a time. Really like it!
2. Seeland by Ravensburger Games
The Rondel mechanism isn’t what separates Seeland from other games it is the economy of it. In Seeland, each player will go around the market buying either flower seeds or windmill plans to add to the board. These will cost money. The money you have available to you is based on where you are on the Rondel and where your competitors are at on the Rondel. You only have enough money that is in front of you. You only add money if all the players are farther than the last coin. You then add that coin to the front giving all players another coin available. This seems like a shared economy, where what one person does effects all the other players. I love this mechanism and can only dream of the things it might lead to in like a civilization style game. I would love to see it in a game where you are all part of the same tribe or city but have to share the money, and what one person does effects all the other players when it comes to money. I would really love to see this design in a really heavy deep euro game.
1. Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar by Czech Games Edition
The gear mechanism in Tzolk’in is phenomenal. I can’t imagine the thought and testing that might have went into designing this thing. In the game and on your turn you have two options, either place workers or retrieve workers. Now, this has been seen in other games but the difference in Tzolk’in is you only get to take the action of the workers you retrieve. When you place workers you are just putting them there to “work” until you need them. You can get all your workers or just some. The longer a worker stays in an area the better his actions will get, but you might need to use a certain action. I absolutely love to sit and say “Let them marinate” but know the next turn I will retrieve them to get many things done. This just works my brain in just the right way. The gears are fun to turn, it’s always a great feeling when your workers finally reach the spot you want them to be and when the gears are painted…..it is beyond beautiful!! I don’t know how someone would take the idea of this and put it in a different game without copying it exactly but I would love to see someone try! Just a great mechanism that sets this game apart from the rest.