11 Best Worker Placement Games To Strategize Over in 2024

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Worker placement board games have become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason. They are very satisfying titles to play if you enjoy winning through superb strategy over lucky dice throws. These games have players placing their workers, or meeples, on various locations on the board to gain resources, points, and other advantages. The goal is to do so strategically to gain the most points before any of the other players do the same.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the best worker placement games on the market. From sci-fi to Vikings, medieval life simulations to Mayan prophecies and gritty island survival, our list has something for everyone, so let’s get right into it, shall we? 

Top Worker Placement Games To Play in 2024

  1. Dune: Imperium
  2. A Feast for Odin
  3. Lost Ruins of Arnak
  4. Everdell
  5. Flamecraft
  6. Agricola (Revised Edition)
  7. Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar
  8. Raiders of the North Sea
  9. Viticulture Essential Edition 
  10. Lords of Waterdeep
  11. Beyond the Sun

How We Chose Our Favorites

Worker placement games are often a divisive genre among boardgame purists, with its lovers praising the often complex mechanics and strategizing required to win, while the haters are quick to point out that these games simply aren’t very fun to play.

While not necessarily in either camp, we here at Boar Gamer do love a lot of games that incorporate worker placement mechanics, with Dune: Imperium, Everdell, and Lords of Waterdeep being some of our favorite board games, to name just a few from our list.

To choose the best worker placement board games on the market and evaluate our picks, we looked at several criteria, including the aforementioned fun factor, complexity, setup time, mechanics, artwork, and more. Bonus points were given for games that innovate with worker placement mechanics or mix them with other genres in an original way. 

The same goes for any title that has well-explained and easy-to-grasp mechanics that aren’t obtuse or easily exploitable, but that even new players can easily pick up on.  

Another thing we considered was the setup time. Despite their complexity, you don’t want these types of games to take forever to set up and dismantle (though you can certainly make a few well-deserved exceptions). Finally, while many would say that looks are less important in this genre than many others, we’re still suckers for a good-looking board game, so anything with eye-catching artwork or other elements will get a shout-out on our list.

1. Dune: Imperium: A Spicy Genre Mash-Up

Dune: Imperium
Number of players:1 to 4
Play time:60 – 120 minutes

Dune: Imperium is a phenomenal sci-fi-themed worker placement game based on Frank Herbert’s legendary Dune series. It is one of our favorite games in the genre due to its masterful combination of deck-building mechanics with worker placement and resource management. 

Players take on the roles of various noble families vying for control of the planet Arrakis. Each family comes with two playable leaders, who each have two powers – one activated when their signet ring card is played and another passive one that confers unique in-game abilities. 

The game features an innovative combat system that allows players to risk optional conflict to potentially gain control of territories and resources, or even win victory points. Additionally, players must balance their alliances with four of Dune’s iconic factions (The Fremen, the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, the Spacing Guild, and the Emperor himself)  and manage their resources well to ensure they finish the game with the most victory points at the table.

Compared to traditional worker placement games, Dune: Imperium offers plenty of innovative ideas, including the interesting mechanic of playing intrigue cards which feature special abilities that will give players the upper hand in combat, resource, faction management, or even contribute to additional victory points at the end of the game. It’s also a gorgeous-looking game, and an easy title to set up and learn, but a tough one to master. 


  • Brilliant adaptation of Frank Herbert’s “Dune”
  • Multi-faceted and strategic gameplay
  • Tons of replayability


  • Can be pretty cut-throat (although that fits perfectly with the theme)

2. A Feast for Odin: A Game Worthy of the Gods

a feast for odin
Number of players:1 to 4
Play time:30 – 120 minutes

A Feast for Odin is a Viking-themed worker placement game that features an enormous amount of awesome Norse-inspired content. The game includes 61 unique action spaces and tons of different cards, offering a staggering amount of replayability and making each playthrough feel different. 

The game’s main objective is to impress the Father of the Gods by showing off your Viking bling at a feast dedicated to him. To do that, players must manage their village, farm, and hunting grounds, while also engaging in trade and exploration. After all, the Vikings were much more than simple raiders, and their seafaring and mercantile skills were just as famed as their prowess in warfare.

As with most worker placement games, the core of the gameplay revolves around placing your meeples strategically on the board to activate certain tiles and gain resources. It’s also an engine-building game as you balance your limited stock of hardy Vikings between raiding, hunting, and local development and cultivation to create the ultimate feast-preparing machine that will impress Odin himself.

The game’s unique puzzle-like mechanic of fitting different shapes into your personal board also adds a fun twist to the game. That said, the sheer amount of content can make the game overwhelming for new players, so if you tackle this one be sure to read up on the rules before the game begins.


  • Tons of content and replayability
  • Complex but satisfying gameplay loop
  • Excellent solo mode


  • Can be complex and the artwork is somewhat lacking

3. Lost Ruins of Arnak: It Belongs in a Museum

Lost Ruins of Arnak
Number of players:1 to 4
Play time:30 – 120 minutes

Are you a fan of Indiana Jones or Lara Croft? We’ve got just the game for you. Lost Ruins of Arnak is an adventure-themed worker placement game that incorporates elements of deck-building and exploration. 

Players take on the role of brave archeologists and explorers who must navigate a mysterious island, facing off against its ancient guardians and uncovering ancient artifacts to uncover traces of a great lost civilization. 

The game is played over the course of five rounds, in which the players will send their team to discover new sites, dig on those they’ve already discovered, fight against ancient guardians, research discovered artifacts, and more.

In addition to standard worker placement mechanics, Lost Ruins of Arnak also features a unique research system that allows players to gain resources and hire assistants who grant new abilities, and is a key mechanic when determining end-game points.

The game has a fast pace as the decks tend to stay small, but the large variety of artifacts, equipment cards, and worker actions provide tons of strategic depth and replayability. It’s also easy to pick up and play, and the fantastic artwork and components do a great job of immersing you in the game’s gorgeous world. 

If you can, get the Expedition Leaders expansion. It adds six unique characters, each equipped with different abilities, skills, and starting decks, elevating an already fun game into something truly special.


  • Great mash-up of genres that work well together
  • Simple to learn but tough to master
  • Beautiful artwork


  • Setting the board up can take a while

4. Everdell: A Wholesome Woodland Adventure

Number of players:1 to 4
Play time:40 – 80 minutes

Everdell is a charming worker placement game that features a whimsical forest theme. Players take on the roles of various woodland creatures such as mice or hedgehogs, gathering cute-looking resources such as berries, twigs, pebbles, and resin, and constructing buildings to create the best critter town the forest has ever seen. 

There are wondrous buildings to construct, fascinating characters to meet, and fantastic events to hold over four distinct seasons you’ll play through during the course of the game. The core of the experience is a novel mix of worker placement and tableau building, with players building up and populating the tableau representing their city with up to 15 construction and critter cards. The card abilities and unique interactions provide tons of strategy and replay potential, as players attempt to outdo each other in making the most desirable city the forest has ever seen.

The game features a unique tree-shaped board that adds to the already immersive experience established by the gorgeous artwork. The art style is definitely a standout feature, with beautiful illustrations that bring the forest to life. Overall, Everdell is a delightful title that will no doubt appeal to both casual and serious gamers, especially those with a penchant for cute forest-dwelling critters. 


  • Highly thematic and immersive
  • Tons of strategic options and replayability
  • Gorgeous presentation


  • Some card abilities could have been explained better

5. Flamecraft: How To Train Your Dragon

Number of players:1 to 5
Play time:60 minutes

Are you a fan of dragons? A sucker for cute artwork? Do you love family-friendly worker placement games that have simple yet engaging gameplay that kids will enjoy as much as grizzled board game veterans? If you’ve answered “yes” to all of the above, Flamecraft has you covered.

This gorgeous-looking game will first vow you with its fantastic artwork and beautiful components, including a beautiful roll-out map and lovely dragon miniatures that represent each player on the board. 

Sadly, you’re not actually a dragon here, but rather a flamekeeper – someone who can converse with magical artisan dragons and find them a job producing various magical and mundane goodies: think Ash from Pokemon meets LinkedIn.

At its core, the game is a mix between classic worker placement and a bit of hand management, as put your dragon cards to use in various shops across the map, creating all sorts of magical and mundane goodies.

The players have a choice on each turn – collect the shop’s resources and potentially add to its draconic workforce by playing a dragon card from your hand, or spend some previously gathered resources on one of the magical enchantments to upgrade the shop and get even better rewards.

The game offers excellent replayability, as despite the limited number of dragons,  there are numerous different shops and enchantments that can make each playthrough feel unique. And while it may not be the most complex or engaging game in the genre, Flamecraft’s lovely presentation and fun, family-friendly gameplay make it an easy recommendation.


  • Simple but fun gameplay
  • Gorgeous presentation and lovely artwork
  • Great family game


  • Some shop combinations can break the game’s balance

6. Agricola (Revised Edition): Farmer’s Delight

Agricola (Revised Edition)
Number of players:1 to 4
Play time:30 – 120 minutes

Agricola is one of the best worker placement games of all time – a true classic and a must-have in any serious board game collection. The 2016 revised edition features improved all-wood components and cards taken from both the base game and its expansions, revised and rebalanced for the ultimate Agricola experience.

The game revolves around players building and managing their own farmhouses, raising animals, growing crops, and expanding their families. It’s suitable for one to four players and a session typically lasts between 30 minutes and two hours, depending on the number of players and their level of experience.

The artwork in Agricola is charming and detailed, with each card depicting a different aspect of farm life. The game board is also beautifully illustrated, with different areas of the farm clearly marked out.

While the basic rules of Agricola are easy to understand, the game can become quite complex, particularly for new players. Many different strategies can be employed, and players must carefully consider their moves to maximize their score. This can make the game challenging, but also very rewarding.

Overall, Agricola is a fantastic worker placement game that is perfect for players who enjoy strategy and resource management. The game’s unique scoring system and charming artwork make it stand out from other titles in the genre, and its level of complexity ensures that it remains engaging and enjoyable even after many plays.


  • Fun and engaging gameplay
  • Excellent card balance
  • Charming artwork


7. Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar – Gearing Up for the Apocalypse

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
Number of players:2 to 4
Play time:90 minutes

Tzolk’in is one of the best things to come out of the world’s fascination with the end of the Mayan calendar back in 2012. It is a classic worker placement game but with a twist: a unique rotating gears mechanic.

Set at the height of the Mayan civilization, players take on the role of tribal leaders trying to gain the favor of the gods by building monuments, developing technologies, and more. The actions on the board are represented by rotating gears, which means that players have to carefully plan their moves to ensure that they take full advantage of their chosen actions.

The timing of each action is crucial, as you need to carefully consider when to place their workers on the gears, and when to remove them to trigger the action you want. This “dynamic worker placement” mechanic will force players to think several moves ahead to be successful.

Production quality is fantastic, with stunning artwork and high-quality components. The game board is designed to resemble a Mayan calendar, and the wooden meeples and resource tokens are well made.

If we had to pick a flaw it would be the steep learning curve. The rotating gears mechanic can be confusing for players who are new to the game, and there are many different actions and resources to keep track of, which can be overwhelming at first. Even so, it is one of the best worker placement games on the market and a hearty recommendation from us.


  • Unique gear-based mechanic
  • Deeply strategic and complex gameplay
  • Tons of replayability


  • No catch-up mechanics, so new players will have a tough time

8. Raiders of the North Sea: Viking Placement

Raiders of the North Sea
Number of players:2 to 4
Play time:60 – 80 minutes

Are you a Viking fan looking for a good worker placement game that isn’t A Feast for Odin? Raiders of the North Sea is probably our favorite game with a Nordic theme here at Boar Gamer, and the one title we’d happily recommend to any fan of thematic euro games.

The players take on the roles of Viking warriors, eager to assemble a crew, raid settlements, and gain fame and glory for their clan. The mechanics are fairly straightforward, but there are a few twists on the standard worker placement formula. 

For example, there are different worker tiers required for various map actions, and player turns will involve both placing new workers and removing ones previously placed to reap the rewards from those locations. There’s also the logistics of preparing for raids, which are the game’s main point and chief source of victory points, so while initially simple, there’s plenty to think about as the game evolves.

The art style and general presentation are nothing short of fantastic. The illustrations are beautifully drawn and the game components are very well made. The board is large and colorful, making it easy to see and understand the various locations and actions available. The game’s intuitive iconography streamlines gameplay, ensuring a smooth experience even for those new to worker placement games.

In short, Raiders of the North Sea is a highly entertaining game that offers an excellent mix of approachability and depth. Whether you are a fan of Viking lore or just enjoy a good board game, this is one title definitely worth checking out.


  • Innovative and fun gameplay
  • Easy to learn, tough to master
  • Fantastic production value


  • Limited player interaction

9. Viticulture Essential Edition: In Vino Veritas

Viticulture Essential Edition
Number of players:1 to 6
Play time:45 – 90 minutes

Viticulture is a unique worker placement game where players take on the role of vineyard owners striving to create the most successful winery in Tuscany, Italy. To do so, they must use  their workers to plant grapes, harvest them, transform them into wine, and sell the finished products, all while taking special customer orders and expanding their vineries with new buildings.

The game features seasons that entail different tasks for your workers, though, unlike, say Everdell, here you only get summer and winter. You’ll have to make a choice about which workers will cover which season each round, as they cannot do both (wine-making is a tough job!) 

The Essential Edition features the base game plus a selection of popular modes from its Tuscany expansion, along with some rule adaptations, changes to visitor cards, and the addition of Automa cards. This new card type turns Viticulture from a highly competitive multiplayer wine-making simulator into one of the best solo worker placement games on the market and is perhaps the best addition to this new version. 

One of the standout features of Viticulture Essential Edition is its accessibility. While the game offers a rich depth of strategy, it is relatively easy to learn and play, making it suitable for both seasoned gamers and newcomers to the genre. The artwork is also fantastic, and the illustrations beautifully capture the serene landscapes of the vineyards and the rustic charm of Tuscany, adding to the game’s immersion greatly. 

To sum up, Viticulture is a very original game with a strong theme, engaging gameplay, and a brilliant presentation. Don’t sleep on this one!


  • Highly thematic and immersive
  • Plenty of strategic depth
  • Beautiful presentation


  • Visitor cards add an element of randomness that can sometimes drastically change the game

10. Lords of Waterdeep: Dungeons, Dragons, Heroes & Intrigues

Lords of Waterdeep
Number of players:2 to 5
Play time:60 – 120 minutes

Lords of Waterdeep is a Dungeons & Dragons-themed worker placement game that takes place in the legendary city of Waterdeep. In this exciting game of plotting, intrigue, and adventure players compete in a fierce territorial struggle for influence as the different lords of the city, recruiting adventurers to complete quests and gain points. 

The game’s hidden role mechanic adds an element of intrigue, as players must guess which quests their opponents are working towards and try to sabotage them in any way possible (ideally by giving them mandatory quests that come with poor rewards but have to be completed to proceed).

During each round, the players will perform actions ranging from creating new buildings to sabotaging their opponents through devious intrigue cards, all in the bid to be the one with the highest influence in the city (think the most prestige points, all you Splendor fans) at the end of the game’s eight rounds. 

Although it sounds complex and can be highly focused on good ‘ole backstabbery (especially with the right expansion), the game’s streamlined rules and easy-to-learn mechanics make it a great entry point for new players

Despite the numerous strategic considerations in each round, it’s a very easy game to pick up and play, and the rules do a great job of explaining everything so there’s little room for confusion. Add in some lovely thematic artwork, and you have arguably the best worker placement game with a Dungeons & Dragons theme on the market.


  • Simple and well-explained mechanics 
  • Fantastic presentation 
  • The gameplay is varied enough to provide excellent replayability


  • Not great for people who dislike skullduggery in games

11. Beyond the Sun: To Infinity, and Beyond!

Beyond the Sun
Number of players:2 to 4
Play time:60 – 120 minutes

Beyond the Sun is as much a board game as it is a lovingly-crafted space epic. It takes players on an immersive journey through space exploration and technological advancement, as they assume the roles of future humankind’s leaders guiding their respective factions through a vast galaxy, researching technologies, colonizing planets, and striving for galactic dominance.

The game brilliantly combines elements of worker placement mechanics, resource management, technology development, and strategic decision-making, creating a deeply engaging experience.

Mechanically, Beyond the Sun excels with its elegant and streamlined gameplay. The action selection system, featuring a tech tree mechanism, encourages players to carefully plan their moves and adapt their strategies accordingly. Each decision carries weight and has long-term consequences, ensuring a satisfying level of depth and replayability. 

Despite this, player turns are refreshingly short, and will have you choosing and executing a tech tree action, following it up with a production action, and then passing the turn to another player.

Although Beyond the Sun is not an overly complicated game, it may be a bit daunting for new players due to the strategic depth and sheer number of options available. However, the game has a well-written rulebook, so it’s just a matter of having a slight learning curve.

The only negative points we can give this game would be in relation to the box artwork, cards, and miniatures: simply put, they are a bit bland. Even so,  Beyond the Sun is an instant board game classic, and if you’re at all a fan of sci-fi themes, you owe it to yourself to give it a go.


  • Quick turns mean fast-paced gameplay
  • Fun gameplay loop
  • The tech trees offer lots of variety and replayability


  • The game’s presentation is fairly dull


A good worker placement game offers a unique and engaging gameplay experience that requires players to think strategically and make tough decisions. The ten titles listed above are some of the top worker placement games on the market, and each is an exciting and challenging game that will offer hours of fun for you and your friends. 

Whether you’re a fan of hatching dastardly plots, raiding and pillaging as a fierce Viking, going boldly where no one but perhaps Patrick Stewart has gone before, or simply making some damn good wine with your friends, there’s something on our list that should tickle your fancy. Happy gaming, friends!


  1. What game uses worker placement?

    Tons of games do, as it’s a very popular mechanic in the world of modern board games. From classics like Caylus and Stone Age to modern examples like Architect of the West Kingdom and all the great worker placement games on our list, there are numerous titles with worker placement elements on the market.

    The genre is sometimes considered a subset of eurogames, and many worker placement games do have plenty of elements that fit the bill: prioritizing solid strategy over luck, minimizing active player interaction, and featuring peaceful and economic themes. 

    That said, some of the best examples of the worker placement genre such as Dune: Imperium will have you gaining resources through open conflict with the other players before the game ends, so it is best to consider the two genres separate.

  2. What was the first worker placement game?

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, there isn’t a clear consensus on this topic. At your typical game board, people are most likely to bring up Caylus, a fun game from 2005 that is widely considered to have invented the mechanic of worker placements as we know them today. 

    That said, a much older game called Keydom had players gather resources by placing workers at designated spots back in 1998. Other games that are worth mentioning from the early era of the worker placement genre would be Agricola (2007) and Stone Age (2008). 

  3. Is Everdell a worker placement game?

    Yes, absolutely. In fact, Everdell is considered one of the best worker placement games on the market. It is a classic game in the genre these days and a fantastic gateway to learning resource management games and getting your head around the worker placement mechanism. A great game and a fantastic choice for your next game night! 

Ivan Stevanovic

Ivan Stevanovic

Ivan is our wordsmith extraordinaire and a passionate board gamer and RPG veteran. A gaming nerd since an early age, he got started with computer gaming back in the ZX Spectrum days (yeah, he is that old) and with board gaming while playing Monopoly as a kid.

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