Review – Splendor

A set collection game.

Title: Splendor

Year Published: 2014

Designer: Marc André

Publisher: Space Cowboys

Players: 2-4

Game Time: 30+ Mins

Set-up Time: >5 Mins

Ages: 8+

Theme: Renaissance

Mechanic: Card Drafting, Set Collection

How to win: Have the most points after someone has reached 15 points.

Game Description

Splendor is a fast-paced and addictive game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops — all in order to acquire the most prestige points. If you’re wealthy enough, you might even receive a visit from a noble at some point, which of course will further increase your prestige.

Set Up

Stack up each gem chip by colour. You’ll remove a couple of each for 2-3 player games.

Shuffle each development deck by type and lay out 4 cards in a row next to the deck.

Lay out nobles equal to the number of players plus one.

Done!

Game Play

On your turn you take one of 3 actions…

Take Tokens – Take 3 of three different colours or 2 of one colour (if there is more than 4 left in the stack). If at the end of your turn you have more than 10 tokens, discard down.

Splendor Take 3 Gems

Reserve a Development Card – Take a development card, place it face down in front of you and take a gold (Joker) token.

Splendor Reserve a Card

Buy a Development Card – Trade in gems equal to the cost of that card. Development cards you already control give you a discount on new cards. If its bought from the middle, replace it. If you buy one from your previously reserved pile you don’t replace it.

Splendor Buy a Card

At the end of your turn, if the BONUSES on your development cards is enough to recruit a noble, do so now.

Game End

Each development card and noble is worth a number of points, when a player has 15 points the end game triggers.

Each player takes an even number of turns and the game end.

Whoever has the most points wins. For a tiebreaker the player with the fewest development cards wins.

Round Up

I generally don’t like ‘race’ games (unless it’s an actual ‘race’) where you’re racing to a particular score or goal. There has been a few games where this has put me off.

In Splendor it works well. Turns are quick (usually) and you can plan ahead (mostly) and build that engine you need to win.

I say ‘usually’ and ‘mostly’ as those with AP can struggle with the ever changing environment and you can ‘mostly’ have a plan but it maybe be destroyed by that player taking that card you wanted.

There are several paths you can take. Do you take a load of smaller cards with no value in order to build up end game, or do you save gems to buy only point scoring cards… Do specifically go for Nobles or not?

The art is great, the chips are heavy and lovely and the game is smooth and simple.

Rating

One I enjoy every so often.

I give it 6/10

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