We’ve been playing the The Castles Of Burgundy by Ravensburger board game for a few days now and really have been enjoying it! I asked my husband to write up a review on this title to share here on my blog and on Amazon and he happily agreed. This may just be a board game that you’d like to add to your own collection.
Review below written by guest reviewer: Justin Lowmaster a.k.a My Husband
Castles of Burgundy is a German game by Ravensburger. It has the feel of other similar games, and like most German games while competitive, there is not any attacking other players. This game is fact is free of any war elements of all kinds.
The theme of the game is 15th century Burgundy, where you play as a prince devoting your effort to building your estate via trading and building. While thematic, no knowledge of actual history is needed to play, and I don’t think playing the game will teach you any history, but it will develop planning and decision making skills.
The game board is small, but organized sensibly and isn’t cluttered. The setup is quick if you keep the pieces organized in the box as mostly it just involves just shuffling some tiles. It can be played by all 4 players on a small IKEA 4 place table (A table that barely fit even the main board, never mind the cards, of Arkham Horror.) There is a player board for each player that is also small and well organized. All play happens on the main board and on the player boards, with a supply of tiles to the side. The standard player boards are all the same, but there are 8 other ones that are different, for advanced play. They are sturdy, but you could laminate them if you felt the need, so long as they would still fit in the box when you got done.
To learn the game, I highly recommend just setting up the game and going through a couple turns. Some of the rules make more sense when you can see the board and the different tiles. The game is divided into 5 phases, and each phase contains 5 rounds. Every one of them plays the same. While each round is the same, the choices available are constantly fluctuating, keeping you on your toes. The main point is to move tiles from the game board to the player board, then from the player board convert the tiles to victory points. Some things give you points right away, but a large portion of your points come from the Knowledge tiles you take which give you points at the end game.
The board is also set up to scale from 2 to 4 players without any additional setup, just fill in the spots with a number lass than or equal to the number of players, and leave the other spots empty.
As the game ends at the end of the last phase, thus always at the same time, and the fact that the rounds go very fast, it’s a fast paced game, and can actually easily stopped at the end of a round and is easy to pick up again. Your long term strategies should be fairly obvious at any point of the game, so your not likely to forget what you were doing. This is good when you have two kids under the age of 4 who might at any time wake up or start assaulting their sibling.
Castles of Burgundy is a fantastic game, and will get as much play as possible. It’s fast setup, and fast game play, means there is more of a chance to work it into our frequently interrupted life.
Of course, when the kids are old enough, we’ll be playing it with them.
If interested in learning more The Castles Of Burgundy can be found on Amazon.com and other board game sites such as Board Game Geek. We give this game five stars and highly recommend it!