The Castles of Burgundy is a board game for two to four players, set in Mediaeval Burgundy. It was designed by Stefan Feld and illustrated by Julien Delval and Harald Lieske, and was published in 2011 by Ravensburger/alea.
How to Play
Castles of Burgundy is a game for two to four players. Many of the game elements change depending on the number of players. Each player has a unique game board made up of hexagonal, tessellating spaces of different colours. Each space has a number from one to six. This board represents their "town" and is made up with different patterns of contiguous regions of the various colours. The different colours are:
- Blue - boats
- Brown - buildings
- Light green - animals
- Yellow - science/knowledge
- Grey - mines
- Dark green - castles
- To take an item from the corresponding section of the game board and place it, unbuilt, on their own board
- To build an item, taking it from their own board and placing it on a tile with a number corresponding to the die value (provided they have already built on a tile adjacent to it)
- To sell any stock which they have accrued that bears the same number as the die value
- To receive two workers
The effects of building each type of item are as follows:
- Boats - the player advances one space on the turn order track and may take all of the stock in one of the six areas of the game board
- Buildings - these each have their own special properties. For example, when a player builds a bank, they automatically receive two silverlings. Players may not build more than one of the same type of building in the same contiguous area
- Animals - the player receives victory points equal to the number of animals shown (one to four). If the player has already built the same type of animals in the same contiguous area, they receive that number of victory points again.
- Science/knowledge - these all have unique lasting effects e.g. that the player receives four workers in exchange for a die instead of two.
- Mines - the player receives one silverling for every mine that they have built at the end of each turn
- Castles - the player may immediately act as if they had an additional die, and may choose its value.
There is a strong element in the game of impeding your opponents ability to achieve their objectives. For example, if your opponent is close to completing a region and receiving victory points, a player might tactically take the item tokens that they need from the game board. It is also important to balance long-term projects (such as completing a very large region), with short-term successes (as victory point returns diminish as the game goes on), as well as using silverlings and workers wisely, and maintaining game advantage through the deployment of boats and science tokens. As the gameplay is driven by dice rolls, and seeing that players will often be unable or unwilling to commit the resources necessary to modify them all of the time, players need flexibility in their planning. Players can also have very effective turns by planning "combos", where the beneficial effects of different item types exponentiate each other.