Best Economic Board Games

Best Economic Board Games:

There are many board games out there, other than Monopoly, that have some sort of economic aspect into them.

What is an economic board game?

Economic board games are board games that have some sort of money related mechanisms inspired by finance, stock market, investment or trade. They are sometimes also called resource management board games.

In economic board games, players have to develop and manage a system of production, distribution, trade, and/or consumption of goods, invest and develop a business. The main goal of an economic board game is  to collect profits whether in cash or victory points.

Resource management board games are a fantastic way to become familiar with economic, financial and other different concepts like trading and investment while having fun.

Economic board games often take a bit longer to play, have a lot of strategy in them and offer a rich and intense gaming experience. Also the luck factor in those kind of board games is not predominant and can be managed by the players.

If you like to think ahead, like to develop a strategy, love the idea of investing to develop your empire, you will be interested in my list of best economic board games.

As Christmas approaches, one of those economic board games can be an original gift idea for your loved ones.

See also my other board games lists:

 



Best economic board games

1846: The Race for the Midwest

The 18xx series of train  games are among my favorite economic board games around. I really love the 1830 Railways And Robber Barons and the 1817. All the 18xx are beautiful and well designed but you will need a bit of time and effort order to get familiar with them.

1846 is an 18xx game set in the Midwestern United States. Differences from other 18xx games include scaling the number of corporations, private companies, and bank size to the number of players, fewer restrictions on actions such as raising money and using private company powers, the initial distribution of private companies, and paying for virtually all track builds.You

1846: The Race for the Midwest players buys stock in companies and  need to build rail tracks and try to make the most money out from all those you routes. 1846: The Race for the Midwest is probably the easiest games from the 18xx series with its simplified rules set, and would be, in my view, the ideal one to start with if you haven’t play any of them yet. I would like to add also that the game components  of this version are absolutely beautiful.

If you want to get into the 18xx games, 1846: The Race for the Midwest is for you!

 

Players Playing time Recommended for
3-5 240 min 14+


Last update was on: January 16, 2018 1:31 pm

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Power Grid

Power Grid is the updated release of the Friedemann Friese crayon game Funkenschlag. The latest cooperative publishing effort from Friedemann Friese and Rio Grande Games, removes the crayon aspect from network building in the original edition while retaining the fluctuating commodities market like McMulti and an auction round intensity reminiscent of The Princes of Florence. The object of Power Grid is to supply the most cities with power when someone’s network gains a predetermined size. In this New edition, players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection, and then bid against each other to purchase the power plants that they use to power their cities. However, as plants are purchased, Newer more efficient plants become available, so by merely purchasing you’re potentially allowing others access to superior equipment.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-6 120 min 12+


Last update was on: January 16, 2018 1:31 pm

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Brass

Welcome to Lancashire, England in the 18th Century. The world is about to change from Medieval to Modern. This change will be called the Industrial Revolution. Can you take advantage of this transformation? What’s the best strategy? Build cotton mills? Develop new technologies? Dig canals? Produce coal, or maybe steel? There is no simple answer and the opportunities that arise will be different in each game you play as you move through the Canal and Railway periods, striving to get the best return you can from your investments – hopefully just in time to snatch the next opportunity from under the noses of your rivals.

In Brass, each players develop the local cotton industry. Each production is dependent to another one: it takes coal to build rails, you will need a  port to export your  cotton, and so on. Interaction with other players is therefore fundamental, since the raw materials may come from your mines or trade with your opponents.

Brass is a logistical game where you make money to make more money. However, you also need to make certain the industries you’re creating are sustainable, which makes Brass unique and endlessly fascinating.

Technological innovations also change the game, when you move from the era of the canal to that of the rail for example.

Brass was released in 2007, and still remained today  one of my favorite economic board game  I have played. There is a really good balance of luck and strategy in Brass and the game is very engaging throughout. Players will need a of planning ahead as well as short term tactical maneuvers. Highly recommended economic board game.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-4 120-180 min 14+

Last update was on: January 16, 2018 1:31 pm

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The Great Zimbabwe

The Great Zimbabwe , from the designer of Indonesia, was  published in 2012 .

The Great Zimbabwe is a game about building a trade based civilization in ancient Africa. It has been inspired by the old kingdoms surrounding the Great Zimbabwe, a world heritage site in southern Africa. Far into the previous century, colonial governments denied that a civilization that produced such impressive monuments and beautiful artwork could have been African in origin. But of course, this civilization was African, and the country of Zimbabwe itself was proudly named after this impressive cultural heritage.

As always in our games, we have used this history for inspiration; however, first and foremost we wanted to create a highly playable and replayable Splotter game, so in many cases we took liberties with historical names, periods and artwork. In the game, players strive to build the most impressive monuments to one god of their choice. They can choose this god themselves– each of the twelve gods offers a unique blessing, but each also requires a different amount of work to win the game. Building the monuments is done by developing a logistics network stretching across the region. Through this network, players produce and obtain ritual goods to raise their monuments and bring honour to the god of their choice.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-5 90-150 min 14+


Last update was on: January 16, 2018 1:31 pm

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Stockpile Board game

Stockpile is an economic board game for two to five players,that combines the traditional stock-holding strategy of buy low, sell high with several additional mechanisms to create a fast-paced, engaging and interactive experience.

In Stockpile, players act as stock market investors at the end of the 20th century hoping to strike it rich, and the investor with the most money at the end of the game is the winner. Stockpile centers on the idea that nobody knows everything about the stock market, but everyone does know something. In the game, this philosophy manifests in two ways: insider information and the stockpile.

First, players are given insider information each round. This information dictates how a stock’s value will change at the end of the round. By privately learning if a stock is going to move up or down, each player has a chance to act ahead of the market by buying or selling at the right time.

Second, players purchase their stocks by bidding on piles of cards called stockpiles. These stockpiles will contain a mixture of face-up and face-down cards placed by other players in the game. In this way, nobody will know all of the cards in the stockpiles. Not all cards are good either. Trading fees can poison the piles by making players pay more than they bid. By putting stocks and other cards up for auction, Stockpile catalyzes player interaction, especially when potential profits from insider information are on the line.

Both of these mechanisms are combined with some stock market elements to make players consider multiple factors when selling a stock. Do you hold onto a stock in hopes of catching a lucrative stock split or do you sell now to avoid the potential company bankruptcy? Can you hold onto your stock until the end of the game to become the majority shareholder, or do you need the liquidity of cash now for future bidding? Do you risk it all by investing heavily into one company, or do you mitigate your risk by diversifying your portfolio?

In the end, everyone knows something about the stock market, so it all comes down to strategy execution. Will you be able to navigate the movements of the stock market with certainty? Or will your investments go under from poor predictions?

Stockpile is a new kind of stockmarket game that rewards deduction, misdirection, clever bidding, and timely use of special abilities.

I think the creator of Stockpile  have managed to create a board game that is truly fun, approachable and engaging to play with a economic theme that might not seem to be  the most appealing for some people.Great achievement, great game.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-5 45 min 13+


Last update was on: January 16, 2018 1:31 pm

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Panic on Wall Street

Panic on Wall Street!

Panic on Wall Street!

Panic on Wall Street! Is an asymmetric party game for the experienced players. Buisnessmen and investors will confront each other, will face off and will try to tame the other in their attempts to gain the most money during noisy selling and buying phases, before the market turns in its verdict, raining riches on some and truning other out on the street. But Panic on Wall Street! is mostly a violent, brutal, unjust, hazardous and trying game where economy, speculation and the stock market are nothing more than an excuse.

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Players Playing time Recommended for
3-11 30 min 8+

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Acquire

Acquire was designed by Sid Sackson and originally published in 1962 by 3M Company , followed by several version , the latest one being the Avalon Hill version.

Imagine planning, building, and owning the next super city. Saxon City is buzzing with promising start-ups and investors predict it will emerge as a prime location for entertainment, fashion, food, marketing, and other major industries.

In Acquire,players compete with other venture capitalists to build the city, and own majority shares in the most lucrative corporations. Players make money by forming, merging and expanding corporations, plus buying the right stock at the right time. Who will end up being the richest investor in Saxon City?

I love the  Vintage version of Acquire by 3M Company, with the wooden tiles as compared as the newest version with the plastic components.

Acquire is a fantastic stock Market board game. There is a lot of strategy in Acquire, important  decisions that you will have to make during a game as you buy and sell companies. At the same time, some part of luck remains as you draw the tiles. Acquire is a board game  game that is simple,  light and fun, perfect family board game. A real classic board game!

Players Playing time Recommended for
3-6 90 min 12+


Last update was on: January 16, 2018 1:31 pm

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Indonesia

Indonesia is a economic board game originally published in 2005  designed by Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga. In 2016, Splotter Spellen reprinted the game with some minor changes.

Judging by the smirk on the face of the Sultan of Solo, the businessman from North Sumatra has just made a mistake. And a costly one at that, too. He has paid way too much for merging his rubber company with the Sultan’s extensive rubber plantations: there are no ships in the area to transport the rubber to the booming cities of Java. And the Sultan is now dripping in cash-he can bribe city authorities so that his ships will gain preferential access to those ports where they are competing. Or he might invest in building an oil imperium.

But wait- what’s that young fellow over there up to? Buying all the shipping lines? That might change the outlook. Considerably in fact. Let’s see…

Indonesia is a game in which 2-5 players build up an economy. As the game unfolds, the basic agricultural economy develops into early industry-the players getting rich in the meantime by producing and transporting goods, and by acquiring and merging companies at the right time, and for the right price. The game takes three to four hours to complete.

Indonesia wouldn’t be the easiest economic board game to play, definitely not a family board game. It would be more suited for serious gamers. Nonetheless, Indonesia  is a great board game, with a lot of strategy and very little luck,  rich in important decisions and with a huge depth of play.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-5 180-240 min 14+

Last update was on: January 16, 2018 1:31 pm

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Container

Container is a game about big ships and big production. Each player will play both the producer and shipper of goods. Players will decide which products they want to produce, and which of the OTHER players’ goods they want to ship out to a remote island.

During these phases, players will be able to set the prices for their goods and try to maximize their cash. Once the goods have reached the island, players will play the part of the purchaser for their tiny island.

Players bid for the goods arriving each day by ship, and the highest bidder collects these goods for conversion into points at the end of the game.Sounds simple? It is. But the real challenge is turning heavy industry production into goods for your island.

Your government is willing to subsidize your purchases, but just how much money do you want to give to your competitors for that lovely crate of goods your island desperately needs?

Players Playing time Recommended for
3-5 90 min 12+


Last update was on: January 16, 2018 1:31 pm

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In the 15th century, the Portuguese Prince Henry the Navigator (Henrique o Navegador) summoned the best cartographers and navigators of his time and instructed them to explore the shores of the African coastline . They thereby won expertise in navigation and shipbuilding, heralding the Age of Exploration and enabling Portugal to later to find a sea trade route to India and China. In the height of its power Portugal controlled the sea trade from Brazil to Japan and attained overwhelming wealth with the trade monopoly on spices.

The players represent wealthy trade dynasties that help to build up the Portuguese colonial empire. Tracing the routes of famous explorers they advance all the way to Nagasaki–but sailing into unknown waters is a dangerous venture. Founding colonies and building factories helps them to build up an economic base. But the prices for sugar, gold and spices fluctuate all the time, and only the trade dynasty that adapts to the market will be able to finance its lofty plans. Competing for new discoveries, colonies, shipyards, and churches it is very important to observe the actions of the other players.

Navegador is a fantastic  board game with a great theme based around exploration  and colonization of Portuguese trade routes. Navegador  is fun to play, quick enough to play as well compared to some other  economic board games on this list.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-5 60-90 min 12+


Last update was on: January 16, 2018 1:31 pm

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