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Need a Recommendation: Gateway Worker Placement



So i have been slowly getting my family to get into board games with a couple of deckbuilders and co-ops(Pandemic) but i wanted to venture in the worker placement mechanism without overburdening them with some complex Euro madness :slight_smile:

What would everyone recommend? It’s for a 10 yr old and my wife to play alongside me.

I have heard Stone Age as a possibility but it might be a bit much to start.


My first one was actually Caverna - which is kind of a daunting thing when you see the sheer amount of components that come in the box so maybe not that one if you’re looking for simplicity. I think Charterstone is a relatively simple one, PLUS you have the added bonus of it being a legacy game so you and your kiddo can build it up as you go. With that said, I don’t know how complex the game is (or how good it is). I also think Catan is a pretty safe one, or Agricola (there are two simplified versions of that one too, one that is aimed at younger kids I believe)

I … genuinely don’t know if this was helpful, but I hope it was :slight_smile:


The first kind I ever played was Lords of Waterdeep. I didn’t care about the DnD setting, to me it was just fantasy. I’ve successfully taught it to to my 12 and 9 year old.


Thanks you both @lovvbar and @rootbeerbaby.

I think Agricola might be a good option especially since my wife would be onboard with the farming aspect. As for Lords of Waterdeep i think i can convince my son to enjoy that one … my wife might not be keen but she loves Fantasy settings in video games where Fable, DragonAge and Elder Scrolls series are her favs.


So in Fable, Dragonage, you often start out having to do some menial round around tasks for local lords etc. In LoW, you are the Lord sending the little people out on adventures. Its a nice spin :slight_smile:


Stone Age and Lords of Waterdeep are the quintessential “My First Worker Placement” games and I have a hard time disagreeing with that. Stone Age in particular would be good for a younger audience. There’s a My First Stone Age (or something like that) and I know literally zero about it, including the suggested age range.

[tongue in cheek] My favorite “Worker Placement” game is Men at Work [/tongue], but that’s a whole different subject (buy Men at Work, totally worth it!)

I’ve found that pure “worker placement” games are somewhat lacking in their ability to capture my attention. I enjoy Agricola and I’ve never played Caverna or any of Rosenberg’s other WP games (Le Havre is on my shameful shelf). I did find, however, that variations on worker placement are more to my tastes. Village is not quite WP but is really quite good. And Castles of Burgundy and Troyes are both dicey WP variants which are both widely loved and worth checking out (Troyes probably not suitable for a 10yo, CoB would be debatable with a 10yo)

TL;DR - Check out Stone Age and see where that takes you. Aiming at 10yo-friendly WP games is definitely a challenging shot and I think Stone Age is your best target, at least initially.


I like your thought process. Now time to slowly seed that in there :stuck_out_tongue:


No love for Dinosaur Island? I haven’t even played my copy yet, but the rules were a breeze and the theme couldn’t be more kid friendly.


I was thinking about mentioning this. It’s really not that hard to understand, but I can understand how it would LOOK super intimidating when you set it up on the table. So many little boards and pieces.


I’d also like to mention Champions of Midgard. If you’re down with monster-fighting Vikings and think your wife and kid would also be, I’d strongly recommend it as a worker placement game with very strong theming and really solid mechanics.
There’s also a SUSD review which is quite good at giving you an idea of the game (although they only almost recommend it).


I borrowed My first Stone Age from the library some time ago and was rather disappointed. It’s such a simplified version that it doesn’t feature worker placement at all and I’d only recommend it for kids up to about six.


Wow, it’s surprising to me, then, that they decided to brand it under the “Stone Age” name. I guess it’s only connected thematically then? What a shame.


It’s Almost Asparagus.


I had forgotten about CoM and I think it’s a very nice game. And, for varying values of “10 year old”, I think it could be a big hit with 10 year olds. If your child deviates from the standard issue “10 year old” (as quantified by the Système international (d’unités)), your mileage kilometerage may vary.


Yeah, that’s it.
It’s basically a glorified roll and move with a bit of memory and set collection.
Really not that interesting.


Targi is a good one for just two players, but likely not for a 10 year old. Not having played them, I have heard Kingsburg and Stone Age pitched as worker placement gateways.

Definitely don’t introduce someone to worker placement games via Agricola, Caverna, or any of Uwe Rosenberg’s other heavyweight worker placement games. They’re not gateway games by any stretch of imagination, nor suitable for a 10 year old. I’m 27 and I get stressed and lost when playing Agricola. The way I explain it is that you need to balance a checkbook a week in advance, when other players are writing checks out of the account, and if you succeed, you can have a carrot.


Our first WP game was Raiders of the North Sea. Kids were 10&9 at the time but have been gaming for a while. Played Agricola as a family, trouble with that is actually getting hold of it.

We played Steam Time on the weekend. It’s ok, but most importantly, it’s cheap.


I really liked Charterstone and it was a great way to get my family into worker placement games… At least I think it’s s worker placement game.


There’s a special family edition of Agricola which suggests some shorn difficulty. I quite like Orleans which is technically a worker placement but with a nice curve because you can blame luck until you get good (it’s high on bgg but I think it’s difficulty to get fun is much less than the skill cap of the game).


I would also recommend Lords of Waterdeep. My wife fell in love with the game after just a few plays. It doesn’t hurt that she’s really good at it either.

Tabletop had episodes with it and Stone Age, which can be found on YouTube, if you want to see how they play.