Tiletum

Tiletum

RRP: £52.99
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RRP £52.99
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In Tiletum, you and fellow players take on the roles of rich merchants traveling throughout Europe, from Flanders to Venice, during the Golden Age of the Renaissance. You will travel to various cities to acquire trade contracts for wool and iron, as well as a collection of their coats of arms. You must collect the required resources to fulfill contracts, invest in the construction o…
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Category SKU ZBG-BND0068 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

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

You Might Like

  • A medium/heavy weight euro game
  • High replay value
  • Hidden combos and bonuses

Might Not Like

  • Lengthy set up
  • Lacking theme 
  • Going last in turn order can lead to bad turns
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Description

In Tiletum, you and fellow players take on the roles of rich merchants traveling throughout Europe, from Flanders to Venice, during the Golden Age of the Renaissance.

You will travel to various cities to acquire trade contracts for wool and iron, as well as a collection of their coats of arms. You must collect the required resources to fulfill contracts, invest in the construction of monumental cathedrals, gain the favor of noble families, and participate in important fairs where your main business occurs. You will also use the services of notable people who will be welcomed into your houses. You will thus gain prestige that will make you the most famous merchant of the Renaissance.

Tiletum is a dice management game in which dice have a dual function: gaining resources and performing actions. A certain number of dice will be rolled each round. On your turn, choose a die to gain the number of corresponding resources equal to the value of the die, then perform the associated action. The power of the action is inversely proportional to the value of the die, so the fewer resources you gain, the more powerful the actions you take and vice versa.

Tiletum is a competitive euro game for up to 4 players who take on the roles of rich merchants travelling throughout Europe during the golden age of renaissance.

Players take turns selecting dice from a wheel of actions, granting them various resources and allowing to travel across the map, construct pillars and houses, complete contracts, gather nobles into your household and compete for a position on the king track.

4 Rounds 5 Phases

Tiletum is played over 4 rounds each consisting of 5 phases, afterwards players add up their scores and the highest score wins.

With the exception of the action phase, which contains the bulk of the gameplay, these phases are quick and simple to follow.

Preparation phase – This sets up the dice pool and actions for the round. Based on the number of players a certain amount of coloured dice are rolled and place around the action wheel.

Action phase – In turn order each player takes a dice from the wheel. They collect resources (colour coded and the dice number indicates the amount) take any bonus tile and then perform the linked action. The dice number effects the number of points which are spent, depending on the action, to move, build, collect tiles and gather victory points.

King phase – A track with a token of each player colour will move up and down during gameplay, which also then adjusts turn order. The player at the highest point on this track gains the bonus tile here, also players can gain or lose points depending on where they are.

Fair phase – During set up location tiles and scoring tiles are randomised and placed on the game board. Any player at these locations (or with houses there) can participate in these extra scoring opportunities.

Clean-up phase – All empty slots for bonus tiles are replaced, the action wheel is rotated and the remaining dice are returned to the bag.

There is a lot to take in with this game. The sheer number of tokens, all the resources and the large map can be daunting.

However the majority of the gameplay consists of drafting dice, collecting resources and taking actions. The amount of choice on your turn is staggering. Not just in the actions you can take but all the ways your bonus, character and contract tiles can be utilised to get the most out of your turn.

A Game Of Discovery & Opportunity

Tiletum is a game that rewards players. Actions you take, tiles you store and resources you save up all present opportunities for smooth combinations and boosted abilities on later turns.

Building pillars allows you to open up spaces for contracts which allow for victory points by spending resources. You can also construct cathedrals while your at a specific location.

Collecting character tiles allows you to fill up your player board and unlock more bonuses. Combine matching characters with crests to unlock houses to be placed on the map, allowing you to take part in the four scoring fairs randomly chosen at the start of the game. You can also gain bonus action point markers to help your gain more points on the wheel.

The king track lets you gain advantage in turn order and claim extra victory points. Going first in the game lets you have a greater choice of the dice available.

Bonus tiles that you can collect in across the board can be contracts, characters, crests, extra resources or extra actions.

This is a game in which its genius design isn’t apparent at first. It’s intricate mechanics and hidden, exciting combinations appear naturally the more you play. It can be overwhelming at times, the number of token and tile types combined with all the resources may intimidate some but luckily the rule book is well written and easy to follow.

So Many Components, So Little Theme

Tiletum packs a lot into its small box. 4 double sided player boards, over 100 different tiles, tonnes of resources and tokens plus houses, pillars, merchants, architects and counters in each player colour.

Sadly the game comes with no insert of any kind or any extra bags to store all these bits. This unfortunately leads to an excessive amount of organising and set up time.

The game board size plus the player boards and all the components means this game is a huge table hog. Playing this game at 4 players (while still fun and doesn’t slow the game down as much as you would think) means that you will need a big table and a lot of room.

Despite the stunning map of Europe and the bright colourful player specific components the game lacks theme and its own identity.

Mechanically it is a near perfect machine of grand design but at the cost of being devoid of any real tone and direction. You are playing as merchants seeking fame across Europe but never did I feel like I was actually invested in what I was doing.

Every action felt like it was simply a way to gain the most points and win. Theme may be subjective and some players could feel like this isn’t an important issue in their board gaming experiences.

It goes beyond the look of the game, having a strong theme can not only help players invest in what they are doing but also help the teaching to others.

Between Medium And Heavy

It’s hard to determine the difficulty of Tiletum. It’s not an easy euro but not the most challenging either. Some actions have a lot more steps than others, for instance the merchant action lets you move, build and collect tiles across the board, where the king action just lets you advance on the king track.

Despite lacking any reference sheets the game’s rulebook is incredibly well written. The phases are laid out early and clearly. Each action has a detailed breakdown with some examples and clear iconography. At the back of the rules is a chart listing all the rewards from the tiles plus information on fair tiles, contracts and characters.

I have to give mention to the excellent solo mode this game has. Using the reverse side of a player board and a spare set of player components, Tiletum offers a balanced and varied AI opponent to play against.

Using a selection of action cards and pair of dice, the solo player can perform actions just like a regular player. They can take dice, collect resources, travel, build and collect tiles as-well as compete in fairs and gain victory points.

Final Thoughts

Tiletum is a clever, expertly designed euro game with brilliant dice drafting mechanics and rewarding gameplay especially for repeat players.

It can be a little dry and themeless but it features hours of replay value and opportunities for combos and exciting turns.

Zatu Score

Rating

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

You might like

  • A medium/heavy weight euro game
  • High replay value
  • Hidden combos and bonuses

Might not like

  • Lengthy set up
  • Lacking theme
  • Going last in turn order can lead to bad turns