The Castles Of Burgundy – New Edition

RRP: £39.99

NOW £29.86
RRP £39.99

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The Castles of Burgundy came out in 2011, and it is one of Stefan Feld’s most cherished games. It spawned many mini add-on expansions, and retained its popularity. Eight years later in 2019, Alea gave Castles of Burgundy a reprint, and with it, a lick of paint. This ‘New Edition’ is the same, wonderful title from 2011, but with eye-catching artwork from Antje Stephan and Clau…
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Tag SKU TRV-26925 Availability 5+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • An easy to learn, deep, rewarding gameplay loop
  • Fun solo and team modes
  • A few nice updated design choices
  • A lot of content in the box

Might Not Like

  • Setup can take a little time
  • The older art style and design may bother some people
  • Flimsy player boards
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Description

The Castles of Burgundy came out in 2011, and it is one of Stefan Feld’s most cherished games. It spawned many mini add-on expansions, and retained its popularity. Eight years later in 2019, Alea gave Castles of Burgundy a reprint, and with it, a lick of paint.

This ‘New Edition’ is the same, wonderful title from 2011, but with eye-catching artwork from Antje Stephan and Claus Stephan. You’re still competing to try and build on a hexagonal patch of land you’ve inherited in Burgundy, France. The game’s split into five rounds, and turns within those rounds. Players roll two of their own dice, and get to decide how to use them in an action-selection manner.

At the start of each round, a new set of tiles get placed in six areas. You can use one of your dice to claim a tile from the corresponding area (1-6). Or, you can place a purchased tile onto your player board. You have to place it onto a colour-coordinated spot – providing it matches the number. Tiles all provide bonuses whenever you place them. There’s lots of ways to score points in this Euro game. There’s just about every different kind of set collection scoring mechanisms you could think of, here!

Will you look to construct buildings? Fill your fields with same-species farm animals? Try to dominate turn order by racing down the river? Boost your knowledge with unique settlement tiles? Or scoop up silver in the mines, earning you precious extra tiles?

This 2019 New edition of The Castles of Burgundy also includes eight expansions. Originally, these were only available as separate promotions. Here, though, they come with this upgraded base game. This is a bit like ‘Castles of Burgundy: The Big Box’! There’s also a little treat inside for fans of the original. One of the eight promotional modules is new to this release.

Player Count: 1-4 Players
Time: 70-120 minutes
Age: 12+

We love the Castles of Burgundy in our house. It is one of those beautiful amalgamations of an easy ruleset intertwined with a constant stream of meaningful decisions that we really find entertaining. I will not talk too much about the base game and its rules in this review though. This is the Castles of Burgundy 2nd edition review, dubbed the 20th Anniversary Edition but weirdly not an anniversary for Castles itself but the 20th Anniversary but the publishers. Which is just strange. This shiny new edition comes with loads of extras, expansions, promos, boards and a slight graphical redesign to one of the greatest and most loved games of all time.

 Is That A Mine In Your Duchy?

My gameplay overview will be brief, if you've never played Castles of Burgundy, you should, it's one of the classics. You roll two dice and use these dice for various actions. Your goal is to build your Duchy using different tiles. Your Duchy is a map filled with hexes that you can build various buildings on. You can use your dice to buy buildings from the shared pool, use them to place tiles on your board. You can even use them to sell goods you acquire or buy workers that enable you to alter your dice rolls and help you fill your Duchy even further.

Points are scored for all sorts of shenanigans, selling goods, filling sections of your map with similar titles, and raising animals. Castles of Burgundy is an addictive, smooth gaming experience and everyone I have shown it to from my young kids to my mother, really enjoys what it offers. It makes you feel great by giving you just enough freedom to build winning strategies, without overwhelming you with a torrent of fiddly rules.

One thing Castles of Burgundy was always marked down for was its art style and graphic design. Before this edition, I have only really played the app but I have seen the original game. I kind of agree with what the masses think but I also have a soft spot for these older looking euro game art styles. To me, they have a warm, hearty look and I do like the hand-drawn, soft images they include. Let's see if this newer version improves on the original.

Components

 So what do you get in this snazzy edition on Castles of Burgundy? You get the base game, with redesigned components, eight, yes, eight expansions, one of which is new to this edition, a single-player mode, team mode, new boards, tiles and so, so much cardboard. Having only played the standard game before this I was itching to see what else was in the box and what new things it had to offer me.

Let's talk about the design and art style first. The board has been redesigned, has have a lot of components. They are brighter, more detailed while but skill keep that old-school art style. It does look a lot more up to date but looking at the boards next to each other, the new one does look a little busier. The different goods actually have different items on them now, instead of them having the same bland artwork on. This is a welcomed change. The buildings look a lot more detailed and one thing I really appreciated is that the new artwork for the buildings have actually been designed to help you remember what they do. There is a clue in each piece of art that lets you know it's function.

For example, the special building that allows you to take to pieces of silver actually has two silver turrets. It's a brilliant idea as now I always know which building gives me two silver. After a few games, due to this brilliant bit of thinking, I no longer had to refer to the rulebook or hint cards to remember the function of each city tile.

 That's A Lot Of Cardboard?

One of the things I did not like too much with this edition of Castles of Burgundy is how thin the player boards are. I understand that there are so many in the box that they needed to be thin. However, I would have liked them to be a bit thicker. It's a small thing but I thought I would mention it anyway. Also, a few of the special ability tiles iconography is rather small. Not too much of a problem for me personally but if you have poor eyesight, it could be an issue. I am nitpicking slightly. These are very small issues but I am struggling to find too many bad things to say. Definitely a good thing!

Expansion Extra's

Most of the expansions are extra tiles for the main game. There's one that allows you to use the neutral white dice for an action, there's a new type of cattle that act as a wild, there's wild buildings that increase the number of points gained for each section you complete, and even tiles that allow you to use any special building ability. Once you know the game you can just lob them in with the main game without any extra rules overhead. We never play without them now.

You also have new trading track tiles. These tiles add a little extra spice when selling goods. Normally you just get a bit of silver and some points, you may have a tile that nabs you extra points at the end but that is about it. These new tiles give you a track above your Duchy that you fill in as you sell goods. If you sell the correct colour goods, you get an extra bonus. There are also powerful shield tiles, these shields give you a bonus ability when you roll a double. However, to keep these tiles in your Duchy you must pay upkeep. We played one game with these tiles and it gave the game a slightly different feel.

The new boards that are included give you different starting Duchy's, a team-based game, and a solo map. These new maps and modes do add a little extra. But in my opinion nothing beats a standard game of head to head with another player. Some of these boards do add a little new rule where you connect towers across your map, this gives you extra points and something additional to think about when planning your moves.

Final Thoughts

 I don't think you can far wrong with this all-in-one package. It's quite inexpensive by today's standards, has lots of content and the base game is a brilliant starting point. You have a lot of extra content. Lots of boards, and some interesting redesign choices that do make remembering some of the tiles a lot easier. If you want to play Castles of Burgundy, I see no reason to not buy this version over the original. While not to everyone's taste art-wise, you do get a lot for your cash. New tiles, boards, and new little rule changes that can be added in as and when you see fit will keep the game very fresh for many plays into the future. Now, what are you waiting for? Go and build fill your Duchy with wondrous buildings and cattle.

Castles of Burgundy How to Feature Taken from Board Game Geek

How To Play - The Castles of Burgundy

In The Castles of Burgundy by Stefan Feld, players are 15th Century princes, competing to build up their estates. Players are trying to ensure that their estate is the most prosperous by having the most victory points. Whoever has the most victory points at the end of the game will win.

The Castles of Burgundy is a game for two to four players. During the game, players will be rolling dice to obtain tiles to place on their board, building their estate. There are elements of both set collection and worker placement (with the dice used as workers in this game).

Set Up

Place the game board in the middle of the table. Put the silverlings, worker tiles and white die next to the game board.

Players then sort the six sided tiles into face down piles, according to the colour of their backs. These stacks should be placed near the game board. Shuffle the square goods tiles. Make five piles of five tiles and place the remainder to one side for now. Then put each of the five piles on the squares marked A to E on the game board. Place the bonus tiles on the spaces marked to the top and bottom right of the game board.

Each player then takes a player board. If this is your first time playing, it is recommended that all players use the boards marked with a one. If you have played a few times you may want to mix things up by using player boards two to nine. Each player takes a dark green castle token. On board number one this is placed on the dark green space with a six in the centre of the board. If you are using one of the other boards you may choose which dark green space to place your castle tile on.

Players also take three random goods tiles. These are placed face up on the square tiles in the upper right corner of the player board. Any good of the same colour are stacked together.

Players take the two dice in their colour, one silverling and one victory point tile showing 100 on one side and 200 on the other. Players then take two playing pieces of their colour, placing one on the zero space of the victory point track, and keeping hold of the other one for now.

Finally, turn order is decided. The player with the highest dice roll goes first. The first player takes one worker tile. The second player takes two worker tiles, the third player three and the fourth player four (if applicable). Players place their other playing piece on the turn order track, in the bottom left of the game board, showing the just determined player order.

Castles of Burgundy How to Body

Rules

The Castles of Burgundy is played over five phases. Each phase consists of five rounds.

Setting up a phase

At the start of each phase populate the game board with the six sided tiles. In the second, third, fourth and fifth phases you will firstly need to clear any tiles left over from the previous phase. Each space on the gameboard shows the colour of tile which should be placed there. Additionally the spaces are marked with either a two, three or four. Players place tiles on the spaces for the correct player count and any number below that (i.e. in a three player game tiles would be placed on the spaces marked with a two and a three). The black coloured depot in the middle of the game board is emptied of tiles (if necessary) and filled with tiles in the same way as the above.

A player then takes the five goods tiles for the current phase (A - E) and places them, face up, on the round spaces. These are the square spaces marked on the left side of the game board.

Game Rounds

Each round the players roll both die of their colour. The first player also rolls the white die. This determines which depot the goods tile for that round will be placed in. Once the goods tile has been placed the white die can be placed to one side.

Each player uses their dice to take an action. The action taken must correspond to the number rolled on the die. For example, if a player rolls a one, they must take an action in an area marked with a one. Players can use their worker tiles to add or subtract one to their dice roll. This gives players more flexibility if they have not rolled the number they were seeking. Players can play multiple worker tiles on one dice roll.

Castles of Burgundy How to Body 1

Actions

As set out above each die roll counts as an action. You can use your die rolls to carry out actions in any order you wish. Once a die has been used to take an action it is placed in the die storage space in the upper right corner of the player board. There are four different actions a player can take with their die.

Take a six sided tile from the game board

The tile must come from the same depot as the number showing on the dice (after any worker tiles have been used). This tile will be placed in the supply on the bottom left hand corner of the player board. If all three spaces in the supply are full a tile must be discarded before the new tile is added

Add a six sided tile to your estate

A player may take one tile from their display and add it to their estate. The tile must be placed in a way which matches both the colour of the tile and the roll of the die used to place the tile. In addition, each tile must be placed directly next to another tile already on the player’s board. Once a six sided tile is added to your estate you cannot move it later on in the game.

There are different bonuses associated with placing tiles of different colours. These are set out further below.

As soon as a coloured region is filled with tiles, it is complete. Victory points are scored as regions complete throughout the game. The larger the region completed the more points it is worth. The number of points each size of completed region scores is set out in a table at the top of the player board.

In addition, depending on which phase the region completed in, players will earn bonus points. A region completed in phase A will get 10 bonus points, whereas a region completed in phase E will get 2 bonus points.

If a player covers all spaces of one colour in their estate, and they are the first or second player to do so, they will receive a bonus tile. The first player receives the large bonus tile. The second player will receive the small bonus tile. There are three different point values printed on the tiles which correspond to the three different player counts the game can be played with. In a two player game the player will receive the smallest value of points printed on the tile, whilst in a four player game the player will receive the largest points value. As soon as a player takes a bonus tile they score these points.

Sell goods

A player can sell goods if they roll a die matching the number printed on one of the types of goods in their supply. Once a good is sold turn it face down and place it on the empty square next to the goods storage spaces.

When a player sells goods they receive one silverling from the supply. They also receive either two, three or four victory points for each good tile sold. The value of the goods tiles is dependent on the number of players in the game.

Take worker tiles

Players can use the result of any die to obtain worker tiles. They simply trade in their die for two worker tiles from the supply.

The central depot

In addition to the above actions, a player may pay two silverlings to take a six sided tile from the central black depot. Each player can only do this once per turn. The tile may be brought at any time during a players turn. As with any other tile, this must be added to the player’s supply and cannot be placed straight onto the estate.

The central black depot is not a numbered depot. The only way to get a tile from this depot is to buy it using silverlings.

Castles of Burgundy How to Body 4

Types of Tile

There are six different types of tile used in The Castles of Burgundy. Each of them is a different colour to make identification easier. Each tile represents a type of land to be built on the player’s and each has a different effect when placed.

Blue ship tiles

When a player places a ship tile they take all of the goods tiles on any one depot space and add them to the goods section of their board. Goods of the same type can be piled on the same space.

It is important to remember that you can only have three types of good on your board at any one time. If you cannot store all of the goods from the chosen depot, as you do not have space on your board; you simply leave any goods you cannot store on the depot space.

In addition, when a ship tile is played, the player moves their playing piece one space up the turn order track. If there is already a piece on that space, the player places their piece on top of the piece already there. If this move means that the player would become the starting player they receive the white die for the next round.

Light green animal tiles

There are four different types of animals in the Castles of Burgundy - sheep, pigs, cows and chickens. Each animal tile has between two and four animals of the same type printed on it.

When a player places an animal tile in their estate they are immediately awarded victory points. The points are calculated by looking at how many animals of the same type are in the same pasture (area of light green connected tiles) as the tile was just placed in.

If it is the first animal tile of that type placed in the pasture then the tile simply scores points for the number of animals on that tile. If another tile or tiles with that animal on it is already in the pasture, the player scores the tile they have just placed along with all of the same type of animal tile already placed in the pasture.

This means if you dedicate a pasture to one type of animal you can get a lot of points. However, there are limited numbers of each type of animal and not all animal tiles will be placed on the game board throughout the game.

Dark green castle tiles

Whenever a castle is placed the player immediately gets an additional action of their choice. This acts as if the player had thrown an additional die that turn. However, the player can choose whichever action he wants to take using any number. A player could chose to take tiles from any of the numbered depots, sell goods of any number, or place another tile on their estate on any hex, as long as it matches the other placement rules set out above.

Grey mine tiles

These tiles do not have an immediate effect when played. There are only ever three spaces for mines on a player’s board. At the end of each phase a player will receive one silverling for each mine in his estate.

Beige building tiles

There are eight different types of buildings in the game. Each type of building can only occur once in a beige area. The buildings each have a single use, different advantage which the player can immediately use when the building is placed. These are:

Warehouse - the player may sell one goods type of their choice from their goods storage;
Carpenter’s Workshop - the player may take a beige building tile from any numbered depot and add it to their supply;
Church - the player may take a grey mine, yellow knowledge or dark green castle tile from any numbered depot and add it to their supply;
Market - the player may take a blue ship or light green animal tile from any numbered depot and add it to their supply;
Boarding House - the player takes two worker tiles from the general supply;
Bank - the player gains two silverlings from the general supply;
City Hall - the player may add a tile of their choice from their supply to their estate;
Watchtower - the player gains four victory points.

Yellow knowledge tiles

Each knowledge tile has a different effect. Some of these are immediate effects, which then remain in place for the rest of the game. Some effects only impact on game end scoring.

Immediate effects include the ability to adjust all die results by one in order to place buildings of a certain colour, or each time a player sells goods they receive two silverlings instead of the usual one. Game end effects include awarding victory points for having certain types of buildings or different types of animals in a player’s estate.

As there are 26 knowledge tiles I will not go into the use of each one here; the above is just a flavour of what these tiles can do. There is, however, a very helpful guide to the knowledge tiles at the back of the rule book.

Castles of Burgundy How to Body 3

End of the phase

Once players have each played five rounds, the phase ends. Any players with a mine in their estate now receive one silverling per mine they have. Some yellow knowledge tiles also offer points at the end of the round.

The next phase is then set up in accordance with the rules as set out above.

Game End and Scoring

The game ends after the fifth phase. Players then add up victory points for the following items:
Each unsold good and each remaining silverling is worth one point;
Every two remaining worker tiles are worth one point;
Points as shown on the yellow knowledge tiles. These points will vary dependent on which knowledge tiles a player has in their estate. For example some knowledge tiles are worth four points for each building of a specific type a player has in their estate. Another tile awards two points for each bonus tile claimed.

Players add these points to the points scored throughout the game. The player with the most points wins. If there is a tie, the player with the fewest empty spaces on their estate wins. If there is still a tie then the player who went latest in turn order wins.

Hints and Tips

Make sure to have some silverlings. Whether by building a mine, selling goods or by placing a bank, it is important to have a good stock of silverlings during the game. Remember, silverlings are the only way you can buy tiles from the central black depot. These tiles can really help, especially towards the end of the game.
Remember to check your knowledge tiles. Often players take a knowledge tile and place it but can forget the effect it has. Some tiles have end game scoring, as above and so have limited value during the game. However, others will affect what tiles you can place where or can give some flexibility to the dice roll required when obtaining certain coloured tiles. It is important to remember these benefits as they help when building your estate. Don’t forget worker tiles. There will often be occasions when you don’t roll the number you really want. This is where worker tiles come in useful. So, whilst using a die to get worker tiles may feel like a waste of a turn, as you are not picking up a tile, it is often very useful. This is especially the case towards the end of a phase when there are not so many tiles available.
Where possible chain placing tiles. Some tiles, the castle and some of the buildings, let you do a certain action on the turn they are placed, on top of the two actions you have. This is like having a free dice roll. Sometimes these can chain together so you end up having multiple additional actions on your turn, really building your estate.

Take advantage of the points bonus in the first few phases. It is unlikely you will be able to complete a large area of your estate in the first few phases. But, if you can complete a couple of smaller areas you gain the 10 or the eight point bonus for completing them. These points can sometimes make the difference in end game scoring.

But, don’t focus on one area to the exclusion of all others. Sometimes, the dice rolls just won’t be right for what you really want. Don’t forget you need to build your estate and get most points to win. So whilst you may want to focus on getting a few small areas done early on, don’t do this to the exclusion of all else. Otherwise, you may find that you run out of turns to build some of the larger areas of tiles on your board. Remember, these are worth a lot of points too.

Enjoy playing The Castles of Burgundy!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • An easy to learn, deep, rewarding gameplay loop
  • Fun solo and team modes
  • A few nice updated design choices
  • A lot of content in the box

Might not like

  • Setup can take a little time
  • The older art style and design may bother some people
  • Flimsy player boards