Labor Day is a holiday in the US, celebrated on the first Monday in September. We get a long weekend to celebrate the American labor movement, grill some hot dogs and hamburgers and, of course, play games! I’ve rounded up several worker placement games that fit perfectly with the theme of Labor Day. Here’s what you can bring to the table this weekend.
It’s 1289 France and King Philip wants a shiny new castle. The players take the roles of various workers, who must construct the castle and ultimately, the city around it. You play by paying to place your workers in various buildings around the village, acquiring resources to help with the construction. Certain actions will win you the king’s favor, and there are plenty of opportunities to keep your opponents down.
This is one of my favorites. Archipelago by Ludically celebrates the age of exploration. You’re tasked with exploring vast areas and gathering resources. Along the way, you must employ local workers and send goods back to your benefactors, while navigating both a foreign and a domestic market. Be careful, though, as the workers will revolt if conditions become unfavorable, like too much unemployment. Lastly, each player has a secret endgame condition that can bring the whole thing to an abrupt end.
If you’ve ever played Dungeons & Dragons, you know that nearly every campaign beings something like this:
You’re in a tavern. A stranger approaches. “I have a job for you,” he says…
In Lords of Waterdeep (Wizards of the Coast), you get to be that stranger. Well, his boss at least. Each player is a Lord of Waterdeep with a unique agenda. To meet it, you send agents into various parts of the city to find adventurers who will complete quests on your behalf, increasing your influence over the city. You can also construct buildings for additional benefits. Finally, intrigue cards either help your efforts or hinder your opponents. After eight rounds of play, the game ends and the winner is declared.
This title from Z-Man Games has you vying for resources and survival in the prehistoric time period. You must collect wood, stone and gold. You can also trade for what you like and expand your modest village. Just make sure you have enough food to feed your populations, or there’s going to be trouble.
Well, there you have four games that are perfect for a labor-themed holiday. Just don’t get ketchup and mustard all over the pieces, OK?