Game Mechanics

The following game mechanics are those most applicable to Microgameo. 
We use 3 components only: 




Acting Silent miming or acting to communicate with players. Charades

Limiting a player's actions per turn, often represented with cards or coin tokens. Subcategories include:

Action Drafting - Players take turns selecting actions from a limited pool of actions.

Action Queues - Players arrange actions in sequential queues. Actions are then executed in sequence. Queues can be per player or shared.

Once per Game Action - Players get one special Action that they can be used once during game play. Unused Once per Game Actions often grant bonus Victory Points by the end of the game.



Advantage Token Take turns taking possession of a card or coin token that permits a special action/s.
Alliance Temporary cooperative agreements between players.
Area Enclosure Playing cards or coin tokens to surround a play area. This differs from Area Influence because an area is created instead of pre-existing.
Area Mapping

Play area is divided into segments to track movement.
Subcategories include:

Hidden Map - Play areas that are revealed as they are explored.

Map Modification - Play areas that are modified during the course of the game.

Map Reduction - Play areas that shrink through game play.

Modular Map - Play areas that are modular & random every game.

Mini Map - Mini-maps that appear in parallel to the main play area, used for Conflict Resolution.

Multi Maps - The game uses many play areas that connect at different points.

Dominant Species

Robin Crusoe


Survive: Escape from Atlantis!

Area Influence Gain benefits based on their control of a play area.

Bid on goods to improve future conditions. Auctions continue until certain conditions are met or all goods are auctioned. Subcategories include:

English Auction - The 'seller' sets the price, followed by ascending bids on goods until there are no further bids. The last bidder wins the goods. Usually if only one player is interested, the bid price drops. 

Dutch Auction - Bid price drops until a player bids, at which point the auction is over as long as there are no ties. There is only one winning bid.

Once Around Auction - Bids proceed by taking turns. Players can pass or raise the bid during their turn.

Sealed Bid Auction - Bids are placed secretly and revealed simultaneously. Highest bidder wins.

Closed Economy Auction - all currency spent on an auction bid is distributed to the players, usually to the non-winning bidders.

Turn Order Auction - Players bid in order.

Selection Order Bid - a multiple-lot auction in which players bidding on the order in which the lot is drafted. As bids increase, players may pass and accept a later place in the order.


Age of Steam

Five Tribes


Viticulture Essential Edition

Auto Resource Growth

Resources automatically increase when triggered by a particular condition. ie: "If you have 2 or more specific cards coin tokens by the end of a turn, gain 1."

Alternatively, if they go unselected, certain actions or resources can increase in value.

Puerto Rico

Small World

Betting Players collectively risk an item in a pool of items. The winner of the pool is randomly determined, ie: card/s or a dice roll with the highest value. Poker
Bingo Randomly selected items are used in private play areas. Bingo
Conflict Resolution When faced with a conflict, you may play a card/s to modify the outcome.
Catch Up A game system that penalizes the leading player and/or gives a bonus to the player who is the furthest behind.
Chaining Units are placed in chain patterns in a play area, ie: units are adjacent to each other.
Command Cards Cards that allow actions to control units.
Commodity Speculation buy and sell commodities that change value throughout the game. Clans of Caledonia
Communication Limitation Communication between players is limited, particularly speech. ie: you cannot see your cards and rely on other players to inform you, however they are limited to stating one card at a give time.
Connections Connect units between nodes, like a train track, flight path or trade route. This usually is cause for gaining points.
Contracts Fulfill public or private goal-orientated contracts to earn rewards.
Cooperative Game

In a co-op game, players work towards a common goal, winning or losing the game together. Subcategories include:

Semi-Cooperative Gameplayers cooperate and compete while working towards a common goal. Game play must include:

1) One or more players win
2) No players win

If the game strictly permits only one winner, it is instead a competitive game with Negotiation.

Cover Lay cards or coin tokens to construct or enclose a play areas.
Deck Building Create a card deck, usually during setup, which is modified over the course of the game by adding or removing cards.
Deck Completion Game play moves through a deck, usually to a Boss encounter at the bottom. One Deck Dungeon
Deduction Try to guess hidden info based on clues.
Delayed Purchase Purchased items are delayed from entering play.
Dice Rolling Dice are rolled to produce random values, which can be used in reference to lists, tables, maps, movements, success or failure, etc.
Dice Drafting Players pick or obtain a die or dice from a pool of dice for an advantage or to assemble a set. Cubitos
Drafting Players take turns selecting cards from a pool of cards. This differs significantly from drawing from the top of a pile.
End Game Bonus Victory Points (VPs) are gains (or lost) at the end of the game.
Finale A special mini-game at the end of the game determines the winner.
Flicking Players flick a card or coin token across a game area to determine actions or simulate movement. 
Events Actions occur beyond the players control that change game conditions. 
Follow One player selects an action; other players may follow that action. 
Force Commitment Players select units to commit to a certain action. Players may benefit or even lose all units committed. 
Hand Management Cards that benefit players for playing them in sequence or groups.
Hex Grid Play area tessellated with hexagons.
Hidden Movement Cards or coin tokens move unseen by other players.
Hidden Victory Points Victory Points hidden until a later point.
Hidden Rule A game master creates a hidden rule. Players try to replicate it. Zendo
Hidden Role One or more players are given a secret role that is later revealed.
Hot Potato Players pass a card or coin token between each other, trying to avoid possession during certain conditions or game's end.
Income Gain resources at certain times in the game. Happy City
Interrupt An action that interrupts a normal turn sequence. Magic the Gathering

Own a share of an entity. This is not full ownership, but still creates benefits. Also referred to as Stock Holding.

Judge A player acts as judge deciding game outcomes. Cards Against Humanity
Kill Steal Players work towards a common goal, but only the player who completes the goal is rewarded. 6 Nimmt!
King of the Hill

Players are rewarded to maintaining control over a special position in the play area. 

King of Tokyo
Ladder Climb A players must play card/s of equal or higher value than the card/s already played in order for the game to progress. The Great Dalmuti
Layering Cards overlap or fully cover other cards. Only the topmost card is active. 7 Wonders Duel
Legacy Game In-game changes that become permanent and continue to the next game.

Extreme Legacy would require marking or destroying components.
Line of Sight Units perceive only that which is in their unobstructed line of sight. Wiz-War
Loan Borrow funds from the game bank. Monopoly
Lose a Turn

Particular game conditions cause a player to lose a turn.

*Like Player Elimination, this is largely an unpopular game mechanic and not recommended to our game designers.

Low Win A player's score is determined by the lowest number of cards or coin tokens. The lowest score wins.
Mancala Named after Kalah, players pick up coin tokens from one space, then place them in a sequential chain, the last space having special significance. Finca
Market Players may buy from or sell resources to Markets, where prices and quantities can vary.

Glen More II: Chronicles



Players must match a previous play, such as the same suit or color. Ladder Climbing is different from Matching in that it includes 'the same or higher'.


Crazy Eights


Meld & Splay

A set of cards that 'meld' or combine in a specific way, such as an unbroken sequence of numbers, suits or other icons. When played, the cards are 'splayed', or spread out, overlapping one another, revealing the meld.

The particular sequence of icons in the splayed meld may trigger Actions, Events or other conditions.



Memory Hidden information that can be tracked. Remembering that information is beneficial.

Battleship Card Game

El Grande

Mission / Campaign Players have an objective in mind to fulfill, usually according to a narrative.




Players move units across a play area. Subcategories include:

Turn-based Movement - Players take turns moving all their units.

Impulse-based Movement - An alternating series of unit movements between players per turn. 

Auto Movement - Units automatically follow a particular direction, simulating water currents, wind speed, gravity or man-made mechanisms. 

Point-to-Point Movement - Movement restricted to that between defined points.

Action Points Allowance - Actions that allow movement.

Chit Pull - A player randomly draws a card or coin token to identify a unit/s to be moved. 

Grid Movement - Units move across a grid.

Movement Points - Units have a limited number of moves per turn.

Movement Template - Units have several predetermined movements available to choose from, like chess pieces.

Multi Movements - Players bet on a unit to win a race of any sort. Players then play cards that move multiple units at the same time. The trick is to play cards that move the favored unit and minimize the other units.

Pattern Movement - Units move in predetermined specific patterns relative to the play area.

Point to Point Movement - Points on the game area are marked and connected by lines. Movement only happens along those lines.

Programmed Movement - Program movement, then execute. This is a subcategory of Action Queues.

Resource to Move - Burn a resource to move a piece; usually fuel, but can also be currency or other commodity.

Roll & Move Roll dice and move according to the roll.

Track Movement - Pieces move along a linear track, which may be straight, curved or looped.




The Duke

Narrative Players listen to a narrative then decide the direction of game play. Scythe

Players make agreements and coordinate actions. Agreements can be be binding or non-binding.


Order cards or coin tokens that represent Actions are placed across the play area/s. After all orders are placed, they are executed in sequence.

StarCraft: The Board Game 

Players own entities which allow Actions or collecting benefits when other players use them. 

1830: Railways & Robber Barons 


Le Havre


Passed Action Token

A token that allows a player to act. Once their turn is complete, the player passes the Passed Action Token clockwise to the next player. 

Some variations to prevent stalling by using multiple  Passed Action Tokens. If a player ever has two or more tokens, they are penalized. This keeps the game moving.

Pattern Building

Players collect or arrange game components in patterns to score or trigger actions.


Pen and Paper Pen and Paper is allowed in Microgameo games for keeping scores, as they are not considered in-game components. If, however, Pen and Paper was used for map making or plotting train tracks, for example, that would go beyond our trademark 3-Components, which are Cards, Dice and Coins.
Pickup & Deliver Players pickup an item at one location on the play area and transport it to another.

Age of Steam

Player Elimination

A player is removed from the game.

*Like Lose a Turn, this is largely an unpopular game mechanic and not recommended to our game designers.

Prisoner’s Dilemma

Cooperate or betray your friends for personal gain.

Microgameo doesn't use this mechanic, but is listed here purely as reference.

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game

Player Power Player has a power that only he or she can perform.


Push Players push a token, and tokens ahead of it are also pushed.


Mechs vs. Minions

Press Your Luck Playing it safe or risk all for further gain, in a random or luck-based game.

The Quacks of Quedlinburg

A Feast for Odin

Race First player to achieve a main objective wins.

Rajas of the Ganges


Random Production Resources are randomly generated and dispersed to players.
Reroll & Lock

Dice are rerolled, or can be "locked", which would prevents rerolls.


Cosmic Wimpout 

Real Time Players do not take turns. Instead, they play as quickly as possible to game's end.

Galaxy Trucker

Space Alert

Rock Paper Scissors There are three possible options. Like the children's game, Rock Paper Scissors, each defeats the other in order. For example, A beats B, B beats C, and C beats A.

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game

Role Playing Players voice a character that improves through game play. Storytelling could also be seen as Role Playing.

Mage Knight Board Game

Roles with Asymmetric Information

Players are assigned secret roles during setup. Each has a different starting information and win conditions. For example, if players do not now who among them is the vampire.



The Resistance: Avalon


Connect units between nodes, like a train track, flight path or trade route. This differs from Connections in that Routes provide in-game effects beyond gaining points, such as triggering Actions or Maintenance costs. 

1830: Railways & Robber Barons

Empire Builder

Rondel Actions are represented as cards in a circle, or "Rondel". Each player has one or more tokens on the cards. Each turn, players move their token around the Rondel and perform the Action indicated where they landed.




Score & Reset

Play goes on until a stopping condition. Players then record their scores, reset the game, and play one or more additional rounds. Thereafter, the final score is tallied.

Secret Unit Deployment Secret units are placed in-game. Only the player controlling them knows what and where they are. This simulates a "Fog of War".

Android: Netrunner

Set Collection When items have no value individually, but gain worth when collected as a set.

Game that simulates an actual place or event.

Simultaneous Action Selection Players simultaneously spend a turn committing to secret actions. Then those actions are reveals at the same time.

Spirit Island

Single Loser Game The game concludes when a single player loses.

Cockroach Poker

Solitaire / Solo A game which features the option for only one player to play.
Speed Matching Cards are played or flipped to reveal a pattern. Then players race to be the first to match. 
Stacking and Balancing Cards with or without tokens are stacked and balanced.
Stat Check Resolution A given number required to overcome an obstacle. A random number is generated by card draw and/or die roll, then compared to the given number. If it meets or exceeds the target, the obstacle is overcome.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark

Static Capture Capture pieces when occupying or passing over their space.




Players are presented with concepts or images, which are incorporated into a story of their own telling. 

Role Playing, in which players assume in-game personalities, is also considered Storytelling.

Sudden Death

In case of a tie, game play continues, but immediately ends after a player achieves a certain condition, like scoring a point/s.

Swap Players switch actions, resources or turns, usually at the beginning of the game. San Marco
Take That

An aggressive, competitive in-game attack that dramatically increases the player's leverage towards winning in a short period of time. Notably, the attack does not usually directly remove a piece from play. Examples include: freezing, stealing, forcing an opponent to discard, or otherwise lose abilities. 

Dominant Species

Five Tribes

Targeted Clues

Player reveals clues for some, but not all players, to guess.



Team-Based Game Teams instead of individual players compete against each other.


Tech Tree / Track

Players gain new actions, or existing actions are improved. Typically, gaining one action unlocks multiple other actions.

Terra Mystica

Three Dimensional Movement Play moves across a three-dimensional play area. In the case of Microgameo, cards and tokens are played across flat, makeshift play areas of varying heights, ie: books,  boxes, etc.


Praga Caput Regni


Tile Placement

Playing cards and/or coin tokens like map tiles, which increases a player's score or triggers abilities, often based on adjacent components.


On Mars

Timer Player actions are limited by a specific amount of time.
Time Track

Features a linear “Time Track” with several spaces. Through game play, players move a marker up the track, indicating where they are “in time.” Markers further down the track are further in time.



The Search for Planet X

Trading Players trade amongst each other, instead of with a non-player merchant or market.


Twilight Imperium

 Trick Taking

Players take turns playing a card from their hand to the middle of the play area. The player that played the highest of the suit led (trumping) wins the trick. 

A players can also win a trick by "trumping", in which an entire suit is nominated as a trump suit. Those cards then outrank all other (non-trump) suits.

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine


Tug of War A marker is moved up and down a track away from a neutral position. Twilight Struggle
Turn Order

Variations in how players take turns. 
Subcategories include:

Claim ActionEvery round begins with a First player. As turns move clockwise, an action may be used to claim a First place in the next round. If no one uses the action, turn order goes unchanged.

Pass Order - Either take an action or pass. The first to pass becomes the First player in the next round. The second player to pass becomes the Second player in the next round, etc. 

Progressive - Play begins with a First player who holds the First player coin token. At the end of the First round, the First player coin token goes to the player to the left *of the current token-holder), who becomes the new First Player for the next round. Counterclockwise movement is called "Regressive Turn Order".

Random - Players draw cards or coin tokens that represent turn order without looking, causing a random turn order. 

Role Order - Players are secretly assigned a role or action. When revealed, and the role/action determine the turn order.

Stat-based - Turn order is determined by player resource stats or ranking. Usually this is decided by current score  to facilitate a catch-up mechanism.

Varible Phase - The choice of actions changes per turn, usually determined by player roles, ie: whoever is in charge that turn.

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

Variable Setup Starting game conditions change from game to game, by changes to play areas, maps, player characters, resources, objectives, etc.


Victory Points as a Resource Victory Points (VPs) can be spent as an in-game currency. 
Voting Players vote on whether an action occurs or not.

Twilight Imperium

Worker Placement

Players place coin tokens (home rules may involve meeples) to trigger actions in turn order. Workers often represent a given trade.
Subcategories include:

Dice Workers - Workers are represented by dice whose pip values influence game play.

Different Worker Types - Workers can be upgraded or downgraded, or only work in certain areas.

Zone of Control When a piece influences pieces in adjacent spaces with regards to movement or action. This is typically a wargame feature, but here we reinvent game mechanism uses.