Review – The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
A Card Drafting, Set Collection game.
Title: The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
Year Published: 2016
Designer: Stefan Feld
Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH
Game Time: 30-60 mins
Set-up Time: ~5 mins
Theme: Renaissance France
Mechanic: Card Drafting, Hand Management, Set Collection
How to win: Score the most points
The Hundred Years’ War is over and the Renaissance is looming. Conditions are perfect for the princes of the Loire Valley to propel their estates to prosperity and prominence. Through strategic trading and building, clever planning, and careful thought players add settlements and castles, practice trade along the river, exploit silver mines, farm livestock, and more.
Each player will put a Project, Estate and Storage on the table. ‘In Storage’, players add one random Good, one random Animal plus one Silver.
Shuffle the rest of the Goods and Animals and make 2 face up decks of both with the Silver and Workers placed near them.
Fan out the scoring cards, stack the point cards and put the rounds cards in order from A down to E.
Put the 6 Dice cards out in order, then layout 7-13 action cards depending on the player count next to the dice cards. The 1st six (and 2nd six in a 4 player game) are placed next to each dice card from 1-6 in order. The remaining action cards are placed next to the dice Card based on their own value.
Each player gets a deck of 6 action cards from the main deck and the Youngest player starts. The player who is last in turn order gets 2 Worker cards, everyone else gets 1. Each player draws 2 cards from their mini deck into their hand.
Each turn, a player will discard 1 action card from their hand to the discard pile and take an action based on that cards die number.
There are 6 actions to take…
Take a Card from the row matches the die number on the discarded card. The card is placed below the project card. There is a maximum of 3 cards that can be stored here at one time.
Place a Project in your Estate if the die on the action card matches the number of the card in your Project area. Move in to your Estate. Cards in your estate are stored in piles of the matching colour and depending on the card you move, you will get a bonus item or action.
Sell all Goods matching the die on the discarded action card of that type and gain 1 Silver for each. Move the Goods cards to Storage and take the start player card and flip it face down to show it’s changed hands this round.
The remaining 3 actions can be activated with the number of die on the action card having no effect.
Restock Workers by drawing Workers until you have 2 in total, Take 1 Silver Card and Covert Workers and/or Silver to Victory Points by discarding any combination of 3 of these cards for 1 point per set.
What do the other cards do?
Workers can be returned to the supply to change the number on a discarded action card up or down by 1 per card used. With Silver, if you return 3 to the supply you draw 3 action cards and add 1 of them to your Projects or discard it for it’s die value to take an extra action.
The Triple Bonus Cards go to the first player to gain 3 of one colour building into their Estate. That player may also take one of the bonuses on the current round card.
The Seven Colour Bonus goes to the first player to get a Building of each colour into their estate. They take the highest value card available in the stack.
When all players have played their cards, setup for a new round by discarding any remaining action cards on the table and refill this area. Players also get a new deck of 6 cards.
The player with the start player card flips it face up, or if it’s already face up (meaning it didn’t change hands this round) it is passed left.
The game ends after the 5th round.
Players score for several things they’ve done throughout the game. As well as points for Bonus Cards, Victory Points and Sold Goods…
If they have 4 different animals they get 4 victory points, 3 grants 2 victory points and 2 is worth just 1 victory point. You can make as many sets of these as you like using each animal for one set.
The start player card is worth 1 victory point to the player that controls it.
The player with the most victory points is the winner with the tiebreaker going to the player with the most cards remaining in their storage.
I’ve only played the board game once and I liked it. It was always on my ‘to buy’ list, but I never got around to getting it.
So I got this ‘instead’, hoping it would do the job and I think it does.
It’s not the same game but it’s close enough that the bonus you get from the shelf space, and money saved, make it worthwhile.
It’s also as easy to play and is quite the challenge. Of the 6 options you have each turn, you usually want to do 3-4 of them… Then you have to try and work out which cards your opponents want to take from the middle so you can try and get them first.
Having cards instead of dice… doesn’t change much. You still have 2 options that are randomly generated.
The cards are nice and everything is pretty neat. (Neat as in Good not Neat as in Tidy, it’s far from tidy!)
One issue is the abilities of the buildings are unclear and VERY hard to find in the rule book. I mean, it’s easy to find the page they’re on but the images of the card are really small…
Apart from that, it’s a very nice and easy to play game.
Very good, simple, cheap and barely takes up any shelf space.
I give it 7/10