Since its inception, I have been thinking about Temps as a worker placement game. But then I started to question that. In most worker placement games you have a group of tokens representing your workers that you place on a board to do actions that produce some benefit. You then compound and combine these benefits into some sort of victory product.
Temps works differently. In Temps, players hire their temp workers (dice) form the Temp Agency. They then roll the dice and choose where to place them on their player board. Where they place them will modify the dice in some way. Then the player can choose which job to complete using their modified temps.
Where you place your workers on your player board is very important as it gives greater flexibility in how you can use them to complete jobs to earn revenue. So you are placing your workers but it isn’t initially for the purpose of taking an action as in most worker placement games. It is for modification before assigning your workers to a task. There are two steps of worker placement in Temps:
1. From the market to the player board for the purpose of modification.
2. From the player board to complete jobs for the purpose of revenue generation.
The second step of the process most closely resembles other worker placement games. You are placing pieces in a shared area to gain a benefit which also deprives another player of gaining the same benefit. Your actions restrict other player’s future actions. In Temps the only action to take with your workers is to complete available jobs. You still have to choose which jobs to complete so they function similarly to action spaces in other worker placement games.
But the first step is something I haven’t seen in a game before. Sure, you can modify your workers in other ways but it isn’t through placement of those workers. Placement for the purpose of modification isn’t the focal point of most games. In Temps, the placement on the player board to modify the dice is where much of the meat of the game is. This placement choice will determine how efficiently you can place the dice to complete jobs.
I really do feel that Temps is a worker placement game. It just adds another layer of initial placement that modifies your workers before their final placement. Maybe a better description of Temps would be worker modification.