Resource management games tend to be gateway games for people who are just getting into board games.
But these types of games aren’t just for noobs.
In fact, there are some awesome resource management games that advanced board gamers love to play.
While we have our own favorites here, we reached out to some self-proclaimed experts on the topic to see what their picks are for the best resource management board games.
Check out their answers below and maybe you’ll find a new game to add to your weekly board game nights.
Set in Roman times, Concordia is a board game to transport you back in time.
Building a dynasty in the Mediterranean where trade is flourishing is the primary goal of the game.
You start with a few colonists in Rome, then spread out as your city progresses.
You’ll be able to build new trading posts in cities, which will yield you more resources to build more posts.
In order to get rich, you can buy, sell and produce brick, grain, tools, wine, and cloth.
Escape the modern world of mobile phones and immerse yourself into this multiplayer game in simpler times.
Recommended by: Christiaan Huynen, CEO and founder of DesignBro
One of my favorite resource management board games is Terraforming Mars.
As the name suggests, in this game you are trying to colonize the planet Mars.
Like most games like this, you end up winning by having the most victory points at the game’s end.
In Terraforming Mars, you play a corporation and work together in the terraforming process, but compete for getting victory points.
Victory Points are awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar system, and doing other commendable things.
What I really like about this game is that you can play is as a one-player game, but it supports up to five players.
Overall, Terraforming Mars is a superbly designed game that lends itself to a great deal of replay-ability.
Recommended by: Alex Williams, co-founder of Game Room Legends
Catan has got to be the most popular strategy game for adults among fans of classic board games – and it’s a resource management game.
In this top-notch Resource Management Board Game, you’re competing with the contenders to be the dominant civilization on the island.
In Settlers of Catan, you compete with other players to become the island’s dominant culture.
Collect and trade resources, then spend your hard-earned money on towns, highways, and Development Cards.
As the game advances, each of them wins you victory points.
When the game is over, the person with the most victory points is declared the winner!
While tile placement and random dice rolls are important aspects of the game, your strategy will mostly concentrate on resource management and area control.
Spend your resources wisely since you never know how lucky you’ll be on the next dice roll – savvy gaming grants you access to even more resources and drives your opponents to negotiate for favourable bargains with you.
At least 3-4 players are required to play this game, and it will take approx 60-120 mins to complete the game.
Catan is hassle-free to learn and quicker to play; therefore, it’s an ideal game for novice players to this resource management.
You have to collect and trade resources and spend your valuable earnings on roads and others.
It is my favorite because it is a socio-strategic resource management game that offers unique challenges to brainstorm your mind with countless replay opportunities.
It is very simple to learn and allows for a combination of strategy, luck, and interesting choices.
This game is for everyone because you will enjoy it whether you are young, old, new or experienced at playing games, and many other things.
Another factor that contributes to its superiority is that it keeps the player engaged throughout the game.
We don’t have to sit around waiting for our turn; we pick resources, trade, and plan our next move on a regular basis.
Players are not eliminated in this game, which keeps everyone interested until the end.
Catan is the best game to start with if you are new to board games.
The game is enjoyable for gamers because it has a lot of suspense and tension, as players compete for resources and try to block each other’s progress.
Recommended by: Richard Lubicky, founder of RealPeopleSearch; Cady Brown, founder of Horses Arizona; Jonathan Tian, Co-Founder of Mobitrix; Zane Landers, Telescopic Watch; Shiv Gupta, CEO of Incrementors Digital Marketing; Dominic Harper, founder of Debt Bombshell; John Medina, Founder of John Medina Buys Houses;
This is a cooperative game, where you and your fellow players operate as disease-combatting specialists working to cure and detect emerging plagues before they spread in the world.
Such a mindful resource management board game required effective planning to stay one step ahead.
That’s why you have to consider your available resources precisely to make sure you have what you require to protect the world and defeat the emerging disease.
A total of 2-4 players can play this game, which gets completed in 60 mins.
Recommended by: Jonathan Tian, Co-Founder of Mobitrix
Wingspan is a beautiful resource management board game that places players in a bird sanctuary, where they are meant to grow and discover the hundreds of available birds.
In each turn, players are tasked with collecting rare birds, completing set goals, and accumulating resources across turns, in order to earn points throughout each of the game’s rounds.
The player that manages to score the most points at the end of the game becomes the winner, but with numerous paths available to victory and only a simple panel of choices, the competition can often be just as challenging as it is exciting, making it out to be an extremely charming game worth playing.
Wingspan is at the top of our list of the greatest engine-building board games, but we’ve also included it here because of its fantastic solo mode.
The game contains an automatic mechanism that allows you to play alone, albeit you’ll have to deal with the added challenge of not benefiting from other players’ turns.
I like this resource management board game because of its great replayability.
There is no one set path to follow.
If you’re creative and have an analytical bent of mind then ample avenues are there for you. It
helps you become a better thinker as multiple way-outs of the same issue are possible.
It keeps you hooked for good and the expected twists and turns won’t make you feel bored.
The great thing about the game is that it’s not predictable.
As you play and move ahead, new possibilities unfold.
The gameplay is interesting and is a must-try.
If played by the rulebook, it’s a 2-hour game with unexpected twists.
It’s indeed a heavy strategy game that demands full attention and an in-depth understanding of gameplay to win.
Playing it a couple of times instills certain logistic and resource handling skills for sure.
Recommended by: Cindy Corpis, CEO of SearchPeopleFree
This board game is one of our favorite past times during family bonding.
It can be played with two to four players.
The board game consists of many parts that will need to be set-up before starting to play.
There are five sight boards to be placed at the center, eight ship tokens above the board and also the scoring track.
Players who are called builders will compete to have the highest contribution of stones for the many monuments of the ancient Egyptian empire.
The builders will collect stones from their quarries, arrange shipments and will gain their points from their contributions to various project sites around Egypt.
The builder with the most points after six rounds of play will be the winner.
Recommended by: Brian Lee, Founder of Drill and Driver
This is my favorite resource management board game.
It’s an engine building board game where you have a lot of card play.
In the game, you’re going to be either paying to put the card into your tableau or just think of ways which will kind of delete that card from the game.
And then you get resources from the top of it.
You can also like, kind of permanently adhere it to your board to make your production a little better without adding or without paying to put the card in play.
It’s very much heavy on the engine building where you need to try and increase your production so that you’re getting resources and so they can use these resources to build buildings.
This can get you more victory points.
It’s a very fun and engaging board game where you really have to think and strategize to gain resources and eventually win.
Recommended by: Sylvie Coleman, Head of Marketing for Family Destinations
A Feast for Odin is more than just a board game — it’s a legacy.
The tribes modern folk refer to as “Vikings” are an often misunderstood lot, reduced to pirates and primitive folk despite their long history as explorers, conquerors, and founders of great civilizations.
In A Feast for Odin, you’ll live the life of the great Vikings.
Not only will you venture to new lands and emerge victorious from raids, you’ll also live through the day-to-day trading.
Amassing possessions of great value earns you more victory points, and the player with the most points at the end of the game is declared the winner.
All the artwork is quite nice and there are plenty of vibrant colors which makes the game look fairly inviting despite the massive number of various components.
Finally the game does provide two plastic trays to help organize all the various goods.
These are incredibly useful.
It’s initially a lot to take in, especially as the action board crams all the options in by using a series of largely wordless symbols, meaning you’ll spend your first few rounds or games constantly referring back to the rulebook.
It’s not for those looking for a tight set of decisions each turn – A Feast for Odin’s core strength is the breadth of possibilities available, which absolutely embody the feeling of managing a clan of Vikings.
One turn you may find yourself breeding sheep to collect valuable wool, another you might be whaling for meat and bones.
Of course, the best way to succeed is to juggle everything, balancing the pursuit of luxury goods and treasure with the necessities needed to survive.
One of my favourite resource management board games is Agricola.
This game is one of the best because it requires deep thinking and is best for passing time. It is similar to the real-life family growing and planning the lifestyle.
It consists of 360 cards, game boards, wooden playing pieces:
- 33 brown/grey Field/Stone house tiles
- 24 brown/red Wood/Clay hut tiles
- 36 yellow Food markers labeled “1”
- 9 Multiplication markers (can apply to animals, goods, or Food)
- 3 Claim markers (with “Guest” on the reverse)
- 1 Scoring pad
It’s a famous game in which players take on the role of 17th-century farmers and help their family succeed by guiding their families to riches, health, and prosperity.
There are 14 rounds in the game, and each player has 14 hand cards.
Every game forces players to make a variety of strategic decisions.
Also, there are no two games the same.
To create a family-style game, players can play without cards.
And what I love about this is that it can be played solo.