Caylus board game

Top 7 Best Worker Placement Games

Labor Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than by diving headfirst into the captivating realm of strategy, competition, and resource management? Look no further than the thrilling world of worker placement, board game-based games! Whether you’re a seasoned board game enthusiast or a curious newcomer, these great worker placement games will deliver hours of engaging entertainment.

Imagine a game where you’re not just a player; a decision-making mastermind strategically placing your workers on a dynamic board to seize control of resources, territories, and victory. From commanding fantastical civilizations to running your virtual farm, worker placement games offer an exciting blend of tactical thinking and interactive gameplay.

board game pieces

In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of worker placement board games. We’ll uncover the secret strategies that lead to triumph, the top most worker placement games that have taken the board game community by storm, and why these games have become a staple in social gatherings and game nights. Whether you aim to outwit your friends, outmaneuver your opponents, or enjoy a lively gaming session, the best worker placement board games have something incredible to offer.

What is Labor Day?

Labor Day is like a high-five for hard work. It is a federal holiday celebrated on the first Monday of September each year. It honors and recognizes the contributions of workers and the labor movement to the development and achievements of the country. It’s a holiday when everyone breaks from the daily hustle and bustle to celebrate the sweat and determination that make the country tick. Think of it as a nationwide nod to your inner workaholic. We’re talking a day of backyard BBQs, beachy vibes, worker placement board games, and a well-deserved break to high-five all those who make the world go ’round!


Like Labor Day celebrates hardworking individuals, worker placement board games bring that spirit of strategy and teamwork to the gaming table. You’re both orchestrating efforts to achieve success – on the game board or in real life. On Labor Day, we honor workers’ contributions; in worker placement games, you’re the mastermind, placing your “worker” pieces to secure resources, territories, and victory. Both capture the essence of planning, decision-making, and enjoying the rewards of your efforts.

So, as you enjoy your Labor Day break, consider diving into worker placement games for a double dose of strategic fun and appreciation for teamwork! 🎲👷‍♀️🏆

Here are our top picks for the best worker placement board games for your game night:


onitama board game


Players: 2 | Age: 10+ | Game Time: 15-20 minutes

Enter Onitama, a captivating worker placement board game that has been captivating players with its elegant gameplay and depth of strategy. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Onitama, exploring what this great game makes it a must-have addition to any severe board gaming or game enthusiast’s collection.

Onitama encourages players to think several steps ahead, much like a skilled martial artist mapping out their moves. Every action you take has consequences, and your opponent’s move must be carefully considered. As the first game begins and progresses, a thrilling mental chess match unfolds, where predicting your adversary’s intentions becomes a critical factor in your success. The blend of strategy, tactics, and adaptability ensures that no two games are alike, making each playthrough a fresh and invigorating experience.

How to Play:


  • The game aims to capture your opponent’s Master pawn or move your Master pawn to your opponent’s Temple Arch.
  • Place the game board between the players.
  • Each player places their Master pawn on their Temple Arch.
  • Each player places two Student pawns on the second row from their side.
  • Shuffle the move cards and deal two to each player, placing one additional card in the central deck.
  • Gameplay:
    • Players take turns. On your turn, you must choose one of your two available move cards.
    • The chosen move card dictates how one of your pawns can move. It shows the direction and number of spaces the pawn can move.
    • After using a move card, it is placed in the central deck, and the card in the central deck is given to your opponent.
    • Pawns move according to the move card you choose.
    • Pawns can move any number of spaces in the specified direction shown on the card.
    • Pawns cannot jump over other pawns, and they cannot move diagonally.
    • Each player has a unique Master pawn. If your Master pawn lands on your opponent’s Temple Arch, you win.
    • Capturing your opponent’s Master pawn also leads to victory.
    • The game ends immediately when a player captures their opponent’s Master pawn or moves their Master pawn to the opponent’s Temple Arch.

onitama game pieces

Onitama is more than a board game; it’s a journey into the strategic depths of the martial arts world. Its straightforward rules belie the intricate gameplay that unfolds with each move. Whether you’re a casual gamer seeking an engaging challenge or a seasoned strategist hungry for a new conquest, Onitama promises a captivating experience that will keep you coming back for more.

So gather a friend, lay out the board, and prepare to embark on a journey of strategy, skill, and cunning in the world of Onitama.


Everdell game board

Players: 1-4 | Age: 13+ | Game Time: 40-80 minutes

This enchanting worker placement board game, developed by Starling Games, whisks players to a whimsical world filled with vibrant critters, charming constructions, and intricate strategies. Suppose you’re seeking a gaming experience that combines resource management, unique gameplay mechanics, and a visually stunning design. In that case, Everdell is an adventure you want to take advantage of.

Everdell isn’t just about gathering resources and building your city; it’s also about cleverly outmaneuvering your opponents. Interactions occur when two players attempt to collect resources, vie for the exact locations, or compete to recruit critters with valuable abilities. Strategic decision-making and adaptability are essential, as you must determine the best course of action based on your current resources, cards, and long-term goals.

How to Play:


Build the most prosperous city in the forest by placing critters and constructions and utilizing resources and cards.

  1. Place the game board in the center of the table.
  2. Shuffle the Meadow (critter) and Forest (construction) decks separately and place them face-up on the board.
  3. Create a resource pool with twigs, resin, pebbles, and berries.
  4. Set up the event cards, starting with the Spring Event.
  5. Give each player a player board, 2 workers, and 1 random event card.
  6. Players take turns clockwise.
  • Placement Phase:
    • On your turn, place a worker on a location, activating its effect.
    • Locations include the Forest, the Meadow, the River, and constructions.
  • Forest (Critters):
    • Pay resources to play critters from your hand into your city.
    • Critters have abilities that trigger during various phases.
  • Meadow (Constructions):
    • Pay resources to play constructions from your hand into your city.
    • Constructions provide ongoing effects and bonuses.
  • River (Traveler Cards):
    • Pay resources to draw traveler cards for potential bonuses.
  • Action Spaces:
    • Some locations allow you to exchange resources, draw cards, or activate special abilities.

Prepare for the Next Season:

  • After all, players have placed their workers, collected them, and proceeded to the next season.
  • Return any unused resources to the pool.


  1. Spring:
    • Draw 1 card from the Forest and 1 from the Meadow.
    • Gain resources based on your city’s configuration.
  1. Summer:
    • Draw 1 card from the Forest.
    • Activate critter abilities.
  1. Autumn:
    • Draw 1 card from the Forest.
    • Activate critter abilities.
  1. Winter:
    • Draw 1 card from the Forest.
    • Activate critter abilities.
    • Score points from constructions, event cards, and other effects.
  1. End of Game: The game ends after the Winter phase of the third year. Players tally their points:
  • Score points from critters, constructions, event cards, and more.
  • Deduct points for unused resources.

everdell game pieces

Suppose you enjoy board games that blend strategy, creativity, and captivating themes. In that case, this is a must-have addition to your collection. Its unique worker placement mechanics, engaging gameplay, and enchanting design create a delightful and challenging experience. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the world of  tabletop adventures, Everdell offers an immersive journey into a world of wonder and strategy.


viticulture game

Players: 1-6 | Age: 13+ | Game Time: 45-90 minutes

In the world of board games, where creativity and strategy intertwine, few genres offer as much depth and engagement as worker placement games. One such gem in this genre is “Viticulture,” a captivating board game by Stonemaier Games that allows players to immerse themselves in winemaking while strategizing their way to success. Set in the picturesque backdrop of a vineyard, “Viticulture” offers an experience that’s as rich and satisfying as a finely aged wine.

“Viticulture” is more than just a board game; it’s an experience that invites players to delve into the intricate world of winemaking and strategic thinking. With its beautifully crafted components, lively characters, engaging gameplay, and thematic richness, it’s no wonder that “Viticulture” has garnered a loyal following.

How to Play:


  • Earn the most victory points by producing and selling wines.
  • Each player gets a player board, 2 workers, a starting vine card, and a wine order card.
  • Place the main game board in the center.
  • Shuffle vine, wine, and order decks; place face-up near the game board.
  • Prepare wake-up chart tokens and place them accordingly.
  • Place the year marker on starting year of the wake-up chart.
  • The game is played in rounds: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.
Seasonal Rounds:
  • Players take turns placing workers in action spaces.
  • Each action space has a task, like planting vines, harvesting grapes, making wine, and fulfilling orders.
  • One player per action space.
  • Place worker, act (may require resources).
  • After all, workers are placed, and the wake-up chart advances for player order next season.
  • End of each year (Winter), pay workers’ salaries and draw them back.
  • Victory points earned by:
    • Fulfilling wine orders on order cards.
    • Creating and aging wines.
    • Upgrading vineyards.
    • Completing particular actions and bonuses.
  • Ends when a player reaches the required victory points or after specific years.
  • Most victory points win the game.

viticulture game pieces

Whether you’re a casual gamer looking to enjoy an evening with friends or a dedicated strategist seeking a challenging game show that rewards careful planning, “Viticulture” offers a satisfying, exciting game and delightful journey. So, uncork that bottle, set up the vineyard, and embark on a journey of cultivation, strategy, and celebration – all within the confines of this remarkable board game.



flamecraft game board

Players: 1-5 | Age: 10+ | Game Time: 60 minutes

Flamecraft, a captivating strategy board game developed by Lucky Duck Games, stands out as a shining example of the best games in this genre. Set in a fantastical realm, Flamecraft invites players to harness the power of fire and embark on a journey of resource management, tactical planning, and intense competition.

Flamecraft sets itself apart from other worker placement games by incorporating a unique theme centered around fire manipulation. As players assume the roles of skilled firecrafters, they’ll find themselves navigating a landscape of opportunities and challenges. The objective is simple yet compelling: gather resources, craft potent spells, and employ your workers strategically to outmaneuver opponents.

How to Play:


  • Place the game board in the center of the play area.
  • Shuffle the Spell cards and place them face down near the board.
  • Each player receives a player board, 4 worker meeples, and 2 spell cards.
  • Shuffle the resource tokens and place them in a supply next to the board.
  • Place the First Player token with the starting player.
  1. The game is played over a series of rounds, with each round consisting of the following phases:
    • Gather Resources: Take turns placing worker meeples on different elemental resource spaces to gather resources (air, earth, water, fire).
    • Craft Spells: Spend gathered resources to craft spells from your hand, following the requirements on the spell cards.
    • Activate Spells: Use your crafted spells to gain advantages, hinder opponents, or enhance your abilities.
    • Refresh: Return all workers from the board and discard any remaining uncrafted spells from your hand.
  1. On your turn, place one of your worker meeples on an available elemental resource space. Each space provides specific resources, so choose strategically.
  2. After all, players have placed their workers, move to the Craft Spells phase. Spend the resources you’ve gathered to craft spells from your hand. Place the crafted spells face up in front of you.
  3. During the Activate Spells phase, you can use the effects of any of your crafted spells. Some spells provide immediate benefits, while others may affect gameplay in various ways.
  4. After activating spells, proceed to the Refresh phase. Return all your worker meeples from the board to your supply. Discard any uncrafted spells from your hand.
  5. Pass the First Player token clockwise to the next player, and start a new round with the Gather Resources phase.
Scoring and Winning:
  • Players gain points based on completed spells, achievements, and other in-game effects.
  • The game ends after a set number of rounds or when a specific condition is met.
  • The player with the highest total points at the end of the game is the winner.

Flamecraft is a beacon of innovation and strategy in the worker placement genre of board games. With its thematic depth, engaging gameplay mechanics, and vibrant components, this classic worker placement game offers players a fiery journey of tactical decision-making and competition. Whether you’re a dedicated board gamer or a casual player looking to explore a new world of strategy, Flamecraft is a must-have addition to your collection.

Flamecraft gameplay

Embrace the flames, harness the power, and ignite your strategic prowess with Flamecraft. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey of fire and strategy!


Maquis Board Game

MAQUIS board game

Players: 1 | Age: 14+ | Game Time: 30 minutes

One such gem in the world of board games is “Maquis,” a worker placement game that takes you on a thrilling journey to occupied France during World War II. Developed by Side Room Games, Maquis offers a unique blend of historical context, strategic gameplay, and immersive storytelling that keeps players engaged from start to finish.

At the core of Maquis lies the worker placement mechanic, a strategic mechanism that challenges players to allocate their limited pool of workers effectively. Each worker represents a crucial resource, and players must decide where to place them to carry out various actions. Every decision regarding worker placements impacts the game’s outcome, from gathering supplies and intelligence to recruiting new members for the resistance. This delicate dance of strategy creates a fascinating experience as players weigh their options and adapt to changing circumstances.

How to Play:


Work together to complete missions and perform actions to advance the resistance movement against Nazi occupation in occupied France during World War II.

  1. Place the game board in the center.
  2. Place contact tokens on the board’s indicated locations.
  3. Shuffle and place mission cards face-down.
  4. Distribute supply tokens to designated areas on the board.
  5. Each player receives a set of worker tokens.
  • Players take turns clockwise.
  • On your turn, place a worker token on an available action space on the board.
  • Each action space allows you to gather resources (food, intel, explosives), recruit allies, gather information, sabotage, or complete missions.
  • Some actions require a contact token to be present, as indicated on the board.
  • Completing missions requires meeting specific conditions stated on the mission cards.
  • You receive a hidden mission card at the start of the game.
  • Keep your mission secret from other players.
  • Work towards completing your mission while aiding the overall resistance effort.
  • Each player has a limited number of worker tokens.
  • Place workers strategically to gather resources, recruit allies, and complete actions.
  • Plan to optimize your actions and hinder your opponents.
  • The game ends after a set number of rounds.
  • Calculate the group’s success by the number of completed missions.
  • Compare the group’s score to determine the level of success against the occupation.
  • The number of completed missions measures the group’s success.
  • A higher number of successful missions signifies a more successful resistance movement.

MAQUIS game pieces

Maquis is more than just a board game; it’s an immersive journey that transports players to a critical historical moment. With its unique blend of worker placement mechanics, hidden information, and compelling storytelling, the game offers an engaging experience for players of all levels. Maquis promises hours of entertainment and a chance to become a hero of the resistance.

RA Board Game

RA board game

Players: 2-5 | Age: 12+ | Game Time: 46-60 minutes

In the ever-evolving world of board games, the RA Board Game by 25th Century Games is a testament to the enduring appeal of strategic gameplay and immersive experiences. With its unique blend of historical themes, captivating mechanics, and engaging gameplay, RA has captured the hearts of both casual gamers and seasoned enthusiasts.

Beyond its engaging mechanics, RA excels in fostering player interaction. The auction phase of a typical game ignites spirited negotiations and unexpected alliances as players compete for the most sought-after tiles and civilization cards. The ever-present anticipation of opponents’ moves performs actions adds depth to the gameplay, prompting participants to adapt their strategies and pivot their plans in response to the unfolding dynamics.

How to Play:


Acquire the most points by playing intrigue cards, collecting tiles, monuments, and civilization cards.

    • Lay out the game board with the Nile River and scoring track.
    • Shuffle tiles and place them face down, then reveal several tiles based on the player count.
    • Shuffle civilization cards and place them face up.
    • Distribute sun tokens to each player.
  • The game is played over three epochs (rounds), each consisting of three phases: The Auction, The God Phase, and The Ra Phase.
  • Reveal several tiles equal to the player count plus one.
  • Players bid sun tokens in turn to claim tiles.
  • Tiles may have immediate effects or contribute to end-game scoring.
  • Unclaimed tiles are moved to the God Track for future epochs.
  • Once all tiles are claimed, trigger the God Phase.
  • Players may choose to acquire tiles from the God Track using Ra tokens.
  • Tiles on the God Track provide benefits but may also end the epoch.
  • Reveal a Ra token to determine events for the epoch.
  • Resolve the event (e.g., flooding the Nile, scoring civilizations).
  • Players earn points for monuments, civilization cards, and sets of tiles.
  • The player with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner.
  • In case of a tie, the player with the most sun tokens remaining wins.

RA game board pieces

The RA Board Game by 25th Century Games is a shining example of the timeless appeal of worker placement games. Its ability to blend historical themes, intuitive mechanics, and engaging player interaction sets it apart as a must-have for any board game enthusiast. Whether you’re captivated by the allure of ancient Egypt or the thrill of strategic decision-making, RA promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of civilization-building.

Stone Age

stone age game


Players: 2-4 | Age: 10+ | Game Time: 60-90 minutes

This captivating worker placement game, designed by Bernd Brunnhofer and published by Z-Man Games, whisks players away to a prehistoric era where they must use their wits to gather resources, construct buildings, and build the foundations of a thriving civilization.

At the core of the Stone Age lies the concept of worker placement. Players take turns assigning their workers to various locations on the game board, each representing a different task, such as hunting, gathering resources, or constructing buildings. This mechanic of the worker placement mechanism forces players to make strategic decisions, weighing the benefits of immediate gains against long-term rewards. The scarcity of worker slots adds a layer of tension, requiring players to plan and adapt to changing circumstances.

How to Play:


Build the best game and most successful tribe by gathering resources, constructing buildings, advancing technology, and earning victory points.


    • Place the game board in the center of the table.
    • Each player receives a player board, 5 wooden huts, and a certain number of workers, depending on the player count.
    • Shuffle the Civilization cards and place them face-up on the designated spots.
    • Place the resource tokens (wood, clay, stone, gold) in the appropriate spaces on the game board.
    • Place the civilization card tokens, tool tokens, and food track markers nearby.


  • Players take turns in clockwise order.
  • On your turn, place your workers in various locations on the game board, each with different actions available.
  • Worker Placement:
    • Hunting Grounds: Roll dice to gather food equal to the number rolled.
    • Forest, Clay Pit, Quarry, and River: Place workers to gather wood, clay, stone, and gold, respectively.
    • Toolmaker: Spend resources to acquire tools that enhance your dice rolls.
    • Hut: Spend resources to expand your tribe by building additional huts.
    • Civilization Cards: Spend workers to acquire civilization cards for various bonuses.
  • Scoring:
    • Victory points are earned through building huts, constructing buildings, acquiring civilization cards, and advancing technology.
    • Points from civilization cards and technological advancements are tallied at the end.
  • End of the Game:
    • Based on the player count, the game ends after a certain number of rounds.
    • Players tally their victory points from various sources.
    • The player with the most victory points wins the game.
  • Winning:
    • The player with the most victory points at the end of the game is the winner.

stone age game pieces

Stone Age is a testament to the power of inventive gameplay and strategic depth in the vast landscape of board games. Its combination of worker placement, resource management, and technological advancement creates an enthralling experience that appeals to casual and hardcore board gamers. Stone Age promises hours of immersive, prehistoric fun. Embark on a journey to build your tribe, conquer challenges, and leave your mark in the annals of history.

Why must you start playing the worker placement game on your game night?

Strategic Thinking

Worker placement games cultivate strategic thinking and planning skills, as players must make calculated decisions to maximize their actions and resources.

Resource Management

These games teach efficient resource allocation, translating to better real-life management of time, money, and materials.

allocation of resources

Social Interaction

Worker placement games encourage social interaction with other games, promoting communication, teamwork, and bonding among players.

In Summary:

In the world of tabletop gaming, worker-placement board games stand as a captivating bridge between strategy and enjoyment. As we conclude this exploration, it’s clear that these games are more than just entertainment; they’re mental playgrounds where strategic thinking meets interactive fun. The thrill of allocating workers, the suspense of limited resources, and the satisfaction of executing a well-laid plan create an experience in most games that’s both intellectually stimulating and socially engaging.

young people playing worker placement board games

So, as Labor Day approaches, dust off your competitive spirit and gather your friends and family for an unforgettable gaming experience. Whether new to worker placement games or a seasoned expert, the thrill of strategic moves, friendly competition, and, most importantly, fun awaits you. Roll the dice, round up your players, and get ready to place those workers – a world of adventure is at your fingertips!

This blog discussed the best worker placement games, including Viticulture, Flamecraft, Everdell, RA Board Game, Maquis Board Game, Stone Age, and Onitama. Hit the comments and let us know which excellent worker placement games you’d like to hear about next round!