Here's a silly idea for a worker placement mechanic: What if in choosing the type of resource you get by placing a worker, you do not also determine the quantity of that resource? And vice versa, of course.
Consider the board above as a part of an introductory worker placement game, a la Lords of Waterdeep. Players are trying to achieve certain objectives (cards) by building groups of certain combinations of resources or spending those resources to build a better resource acquisition engine. Pretty standard stuff.
The twist is that each player only gets three meeple tokens of their own color. Players may not place two of their meeples in the same column. The columns are RESOURCES, QUANTITY, and TURN ORDER. Players take turns placing one meeple in either of the three columns. Once placed in a column, no more meeples of that color can be placed. Furthermore, no meeple can be placed in an occupied spot. By the end of the round, there will be one meeple per player per column.
Under resources, the top space is a "wild" resource, meaning that player can choose any of the other four resources below: ore, meat, grain, or money. The final two spots are cards, which will earn players points if their resource conditions are met. The first allows a player to draw a card(s), the second allows a player to play a card(s) and resolve its effects.
Under quantity, each space represents the number of those resources or cards a player may take from the general supply. The top spot allows the player to take three resources, draw three cards or play three cards. The middle spaces allow two. The last player to place his worker in this column must always place his worker in the last spot, which allows only one.
Under turn order, each space represents the order in which each player will take turns in the next round. The last player to place his worker in this column must always place his worker in the last spot. Though in last position, he will also be able to use a neutral meeple in the next round to place in either the RESOURCE or QUANTITY columns. (Their effects are cumulative, so if he places a worker on MEAT and GOLD, with a quantity of two, he'll get two meat and two gold.)
Curiously, you could just as well make this a simple sort of drafting game in which each of these options are laid out before the whole group on cards. But then again, I do keep trying to fit everything in the card game format these days. Anyhoo, hope you dig this little idea. Has it been done?