If you came here to read about Monopoly, you can hit the back button.
You will not find it mentioned here because I will talk about strategy games. Where there is no randomness (or, at least, not as a key point of the game) and winning implies taking the right decisions at the right time. Yes, you guessed it, like being an entrepreneur.
I guess I can be called a board game geek since I have more than 20 games at home and some of them are quite rare. Limited Edition, Kickstarter or just, niche games. Board gaming can be expensive, but the craft behind some of these games are so artistic that it is money well spent.
The names you will find on this list are heavy games, meaning that you can count at least 30 minutes per player for a game. These are no party games, this is the real deal! Enjoy.
#3 Brass: Birmingham
This game is the 2017 sequel to the classic Brass from 2007. Part of a Kickstarter campaign with another version (Brass: Lancashire) that raised around 1.7M dollars, this game tells the story of entrepreneurs competing in Birmingham during the industrial revolution.
Gameplay: you perform 2 actions per round between building, networking, developing, selling, taking loan and scouting. Your goal is to score points at the end of the two eras. The canal era and the rail era. You will draw cards to be able to build on geographical locations. You will be able to keep cards to gain an advantage further in the game.
Behind the artistic masterpiece that is this game, a lot of mechanism are implemented and will be helpful for any real entrepreneur. You will find the classic build and upgrade feature that many games already have, but Brass covers a topic that is rarely involved: distribution.
The whole networking concept is really interesting because you can build your own network with train tracks and boat canals by paying their cost, but you can also use the networks of your competition without paying any taxes.
The thing is: network links are an important portion of the points you will need to win the game. Which means, investing in networking may prevent you from building more industries, but always using your competition’s network will cost you at the end.
A lot of struggle to take decisions, non-blocking but aggressive competition, beer bribes… It’s a big yes for me!
If you have ever managed a project, or just even been involved in one, you may have heard of this word. Kanban is a task management method used on production lines or in software development. Initially, Kanban is the Japanese term for signboard/billboard and was used in the 1950s to described the cards used to track the production within a factory line.
And that is basically your role in the game! You manage a factory producing vehicles and your job is to optimize the production lines, determine what to sold, handle supply and demand, make sure you can produce the goods and defeat your competition.
Even if you are not, and maybe you will never, be involved in mass production, you should play this game for its take on optimization. Nowadays, companies will pay a lot of money in SCRUM initiation, Agile Project training or management coaching. This game covers several aspects that you could find in these presentations.
And clearly, it will cost you way less to buy this game than to get lectured by a coach. Believe me, it is really fun to produce luxury cars!
#1 Food Chain Magnate
The G.O.A.T. of management games.
If you play this game and do not want to start your own company after it, then it probably means that you are not made to run a business! On a more serious note, this game covers pretty much every aspect of managing a company: recruitment, training, production, selling, marketing and even geographical positioning. The only part missing might be investment, your money being used only for the scoring phase.
The game takes place in the 1950s in the US and is visually immersive. You are the CEO of a fast food chain and your goal is to make money in the city. Each player has its company and will try to market and sell its product during the different turns of the game. The game ends when the bank breaks two time. What a nice concept!
In this game, the action you will be able to take are determined by the staff you recruited and the different profiles you can place in your organization. You start the game with a CEO card that will be able to manage people. You will need to recruit managers to employ more staff, like in real life, you cannot micromanage everybody in your company. And if you think you can, realize you cannot, it will help a lot of people.
One of the best feature of this game is its map. It is composed of tiles which means it is different every game. A tile can contains a provider, for beverages and food and/or a house which represent a potential client. At the start of the game, your job is to analyze this map. Because you will need to physically place your first fast food and you will be able to place two others, if you wish to, during the game.
If you can find people willing to invest time and neurons in this game, you can rest assured that you will spend an awesome moment. Especially if you are interested in creating a company or if you already have one. The decision you make have direct impact on the game and there is literally no randomness.
Stop playing Monopoly, start gaming for real!
Thank you for reading my lines.
PS: Next time I will provide you my top 3 for storytelling games.