The definitive 2020 ranked list of the best set collection board games. This is very simple, it is a game where the primary goal is to encourage a player to collect a set of items. This is one of the most widespread methods of scoring points in board game history. This could be anything across the noun spectrum, almost every person, place or thing out there has a set collection role in some game in the world. These are the top 10 best set collection board games.
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#10 | The Gallerist
The Gallerist makes the list of the best set collection board games because it is such an integral and important part of this worker placement game. You have many things to manage and many of the investments that are key to make over time come down to your set collection game.
Combining the elements of an Art dealer, museum curator, and Artists’ manager, you are about to take on that job! You will promote and nurture Artists; buy, display, and sell their Art; and build and exert your international reputation. As a result, you will achieve the respect needed to draw visitors to your Gallery from all over the world. For 1 – 4 players, games run 60 – 150 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy The Gallerist
#09 | Race For The Galaxy
Race For The Galaxy makes the list of the best set collection board games because you must colonize, develop and conquer on the backs of others’ choices and it is all paid off in sweet set collection rewards. Not only do you have to be strategic in how you make actions and when, but you have to make sure you are going after the right points.
In the card game, you build galactic civilizations by playing game cards in front of you that represent worlds or technical and social developments. Some worlds allow you to produce goods, which can be consumed later to gain either card draws or victory points when the appropriate technologies are available. These are mainly provided by the developments and worlds that are not able to produce, but the fancier production worlds also give these bonuses. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 30 – 60 minutes.
#08 | The Voyages of Marco Polo
The Voyages of Marco Polo makes the list of the best set collection board games because with everything going on, there are so many things to collect and different ways to make all that meaningful. Using unique abilities, you will have to fulfill contracts and reach your goals along the historic Silk Road.
Players recreate the journey of Marco Polo in the year 1271. You take on a unique character with a special power for use in game. The game is played over five rounds. Each round, you roll your five personal dice and can perform one action each turn with them. These include different ways to get resources, earn money, purchase units or travel. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 40 – 100 minutes.
#07 | Azul
Azul makes the list of the best set collection board games because this award winning puzzle game has you collecting patterned tiles in very strategic and competitive ways. The entire game is set collection with being able to navigate the puzzle as the mechanism that gets you there.
In Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles from suppliers to their player board. Later in the round, players score points based on how they’ve placed their tiles to decorate the palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets. For 2 – 4 players, games last 30 – 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Azul Guide | How To Play Azul | Azul Review | Games Like Azul | Buy Azul
#06 | 7 Wonders
7 Wonders makes the list of the best set collection board games because it is one of the best card drafting games in board game history and if you know anything about these games, they are almost entirely set collection. In a diminishing field of cards, you need to not only think about your picks now but what is going to be available for the next thing to collect.
This is one of the best drafting games out there. Over three eras, players pass around cards and take one from a stack turn after turn to take actions that help either build up your empire and resources or help construct your specialized wonder of the world. For 3 – 7 players, games last about 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: 7 Wonders Guide | How To Play 7 Wonders | 7 Wonders Review | Games Like 7 Wonders | Buy 7 Wonders
#05 | The Castles of Burgundy
The Castles of Burgundy makes the list of the best set collection board games because this is a classic worker placement with dice workers title and by playing the limited choices correctly, you are going to edge out others in getting the right mix of things. You need to plan, trade, and build your estate to prosperity and prominence.
It is about players taking settlement tiles from the game board and placing them into their princedom which is represented by the player board. Every tile has a function that starts when the tile is placed in the princedom. The princedom itself consists of several regions, each of which demands its own type of settlement tile. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 30 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy The Castles of Burgundy
#04 | Spirit Island
Spirit Island makes the list of the best set collection board games because it is one of the most well designed and beloved games of all time, and it happens to have great scoring mechanisms that support this age-old point base system. This is a complex and thematic cooperative game about defending your island home from colonizing Invaders.
You are a spirit of the land with your own unique elemental powers. Every turn, players simultaneously choose which of their power cards to play, paying energy to do so. Combos and weighing fast versus slow initiative are big here. In the Spirit phase, spirits gain energy, and choose how / whether to Grow: to reclaim used power cards, to seek for new power, or to spread presence into new areas of the island. For 1 – 4 players, games last 90 – 120 minutes.
FOR MORE: Games Like Spirit Island | Buy Spirit Island
#03 | Wingspan
Wingspan makes the list of the best set collection board games because in this game, that is one of the most popular of all time, you are gathering beautiful sets of birds. And not just a few birds, there are so many and you need to really understand how they all work together to have the edge against your opponents.
In this game, you run a bird sanctuary and you need to nourish and grow birds and bring in new ones all while keeping everything alive. The most impressive thing about this game is the 130+ unique bird cards that each have their own story and effect. Like Gizmos, much of this game is driven by card drafting (in this case bird cards). For 1 – 5 players, games will run about 40 – 70 minutes.
FOR MORE: How To Play Wingspan | Wingspan Review | Games Like Wingspan | Buy Wingspan
#02 | Great Western Trail
Great Western Trail makes the list of the best set collection board games because not only is it great and have this mechanism as a key part of the experience, but it is such a great thematic take on everything. There is a lot going on here, but the deck building aspects of the game really drive the collection aspects.
You are a rancher and constantly herd your cattle from Texas to Kansas City, where you send them off by train. Each time you arrive in KC, you want to have your most valuable cattle in tow. However, the trail not only requires that you keep your herd in good shape, but also that you wisely use the various buildings along the trail and hire the right staff such as herders or craftsman. For 2 – 4 players, games last 75 – 120 minutes.
#01 | Terraforming Mars
Terraforming Mars takes the top spot on the list of the best set collection board games because this master engine builder has all sorts of set collection going on. Collections of clusters on the board gets you things, clusters in resources gets you things and all the various action cards you have been working with gives you things.
You are a corporation working with other corporations to make Mars inhabitable, but not in a co-op game way, you are very much trying to defeat others and be the best. You have six resources you can build up and you have countless options you can take and which path to victory you want to strategize toward. The overall goal is to get the most points. Raise the life conditions (oxygen, water, temp), mine, settle, focus on science, focus on nature, many options. For 1 – 5 players, games take 1.5 – 3 hours.