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E36 | Games | Economy of Gaming

Economics of board games... it boils down to more than "I probably need to be spending less on boardgames"! In this episode we dive into the realm of games that is a new favorite for us: Economic Games! We get to talk about some of the things we like, some downfalls, and get back to giving you all recommendations based on complexity! We loved recording this episode and we are super excited to hear your thoughts on what you think of Economic games!


What's on our Flight (01:17)

  • Dalton's drinking: Legent Bourbon, courtesy of whiskey legends Fred Noe (Jim Bean) and Shinji Fukuyo (Suntory). Delicious profile of sweet, balanced flavors. Molasses, cut grass, white grapes, brown sugar, dry wood smoke. 4 cheers, an absolute must try!

  • Nelson's drinking: Hotel Tango Rye. An overall average expression, with a rough nose, nice pallet but lacking finish. 2 cheers for this one.


What's on our Tables (11:38)

Dalton recently got a play in of 18 Chesapeake, played via We found this extremely successful and friendly to new players, a much more efficient and enjoyable way to play the game!

Nelson has been exploring Summoner Wars 2.0 from Plaid Hat Games, primarily through the online implementation. Tournaments organized through have prove an excellent way to learn all the new factions!


Discussion starts at 28:05 in the episode

We discuss economic games this episode, covering the basics of markets and investing in games! We compare player-driven to mechanics-driven games, discuss the flexibility in tactics and strategy that economic games force, and the need for hidden information to make these games successful. Check out our recommendations below if you are looking for your next economic game!

Recommendations start at 41:44 in the episode

Low Complexity

  • Dalton: Stockpile. A fun and simple economic game focused on playing the stock market. Hidden information encourages “insider trading” and adds unpredictability to the play. MEC ratings are via Nelson: M - 6, E - 7, C - 6, Overall: 6.5

  • Nelson: Modern Art. Allows the players to control the value of art by choosing which art they sell. The twist here is any money paid for art sold is given directly to another player! MEC: M - 7, E - 8, C - 7, Overall: 7.5.

Medium Complexity

  • Nelson: Smartphone Inc. A great economic game with a creative action selection system. The ratings are weighed down a bit by Nelson’s low player count plays and he suggested finding larger groups to fill out the table. MEC: M - 7, E - 6.5, C - 8.5, Overall 6.9.

  • Dalton: Power Grid. My first ever economic game! A bit older at this point but the solid mechanics make it a worthy recommendation. MEC: M - 8.5, E - 6.5, C - 5, Overall 6.8

High Complexity

  • Dalton: Imperial. An economic game that is fought by controlling the major European countries during WWI. An extremely fun combination of economic and DoaM games! MEC: M - 8, E - 9, C - 6, Overall 8.1

  • Nelson: Brass: Birmingham. A highly discussed favorite of ours with a subtle but incredibly rewarding market system. MEC: M - 9.5, E - 9, C - 8, Overall 9.1

Thanks for reading! Hit us up on the Discord if you want to try an economic game with us!


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