Worker management board games are something I quite enjoy but sometimes they can be a bit too heavy on the rules. If the first game doesn’t bed in the basic rules then the game has, in my opinion, too many rules. A worker management game has a greater learning curve than most board game styles and it needs an associated level of ease in the ability to understand the rules and run the game through the instruction book. I suspect someone with a maths degree, or a better understanding of algebra, can probably work out a graph of the relationship between the length of time a game should take against the ease at which you should be able to follow the instructions.
The Manhattan Project is a great game but it’s let down by the overly difficult instruction book. With a worker management game you need a book that is going to take you through each step and for the first game it should almost hold your hand as you go through the steps. The Manhattan Project gives you lots of options and tells you how to complete each one but it never gives you the bigger picture – it doesn’t tell you why you should do something or what you, as the player, gain from the move the book is explaining. This brings us round to the new game of the weekend, Belfort.