Gameday First Play – Bruxelles 1893

A game about Bruxelles in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.

It’s mean!

Bruxelles 1893 is a worker placement game with elements of bidding and majority control. Each player is an architect of the late 19th century and is trying to achieve through various actions, an architectural work in the Art Nouveau style. The most successful building yield the most points. Each player can also create works of art to increase his score.

This is an evil worker placement game. There are plenty of actions to take starting with the board on the right in the picture below. It’s a 5×5 grid but you don’t use all of it every round. You place a worker and x coins (at least 1) to take an action on a space. You can buy or sell painting, buy a ‘guy’, get 2 resources of any type  or build a building.

When you build a building you put it on this part of the board and if anyone uses that space to take one of these actions you get a little bonus.

Bruxelles 1893 Play Area

At the end of the round whoever has the most money in each column takes the card showing at the bottom of that column. You also get points for having a Majority of people around those red symbols on the 5×5 grid.

The board on the left has a lot of actions too, let’s take a look at it.

Bruxelles 1893 Game Board

At the top are actions such as gain 3 wild resources, gain money, tap a ‘guy’ to use his ability or take one of the actions you can take when placing in the building area.

The cool thing about this section is you have to place a worker, then the second person on that space places 1, third has to place 2, 4th 3 etc etc At the end of the round whoever has the most Workers in this area has to return one to the stock.

The two tracks at the top left and top right increase your scoring for certain activities.

The grid allows you to set the price for selling paintings.

The clock dial is odd… It determines what type of resource you need to use to build a building and whenever a player build a building you move on one hand one space clockwise.

Bruxelles 1893 Player Area

I did like this game but it had one major problem for me, it was too nasty.

When trying to gain those bonus cards for placing workers you can get gazumped easily. There was one point when I had 3 of the 4 spaces for 1 card and 6 coins, then someone played 1 guy and 7 coins. I lose the card, and my money.

THAT, is more frustrating than fun and when it comes to worker placement games there are plenty I would rather play that I’m happy to lose at than this one.

All in all, some good ideas and it’s fun except for the harshness.

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