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44
4.7 out of 5 stars
Ravensburger Castles of Burgundy Board Game
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2013
There is a reason this game is currently ranked 12th on boardgamegeek. Well balanced, fun and tactical, this game is easy to enjoy right from the start.

The aim of the game is to get the most victory point after 5 "years" of the game; each year consists of 5 phases. The game lasts for approximately 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the number of players and how experienced with the game each person is. It plays 2-4 players.

The mechanics of the game are fairly straightforward. The player rolls two dice, and can carry out an action with each one. It can be used to buy tiles, place tiles, sell goods or recruit more workers. Workers can be used to alter the dice roll by +1/-1, reducing reliance on luck, whilst keeping the element there. The number will relate to which pool you can pick tiles up from, or which tiles you can place, and which goods you are allowed to sell. Workers can be picked up regardless of dice roll.

I have played mostly two player games, and the odd 4 player game, and I can honestly say it is one of my favourite games-for-2-or-more-players that works extremely well with two. My girlfriend and I are very fond of this game and find it keeps its balance very well with two, and in some ways it is much more tactical.

The only factor I would change is the card the individual player boards are made of, when unboxed it feels flimsy and disappointing, but it has endured thus far. However, when you remember the current price of the game, the quality of the card is more than reasonable compared to, for example, Agricola, with thick card for playing boards (and countless tokens) that puts it in the £50+ price bracket.

I would say this is a 5* game, brilliant for two players, brilliant with 4, and absolutely exceptional for the price.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I hope this review is helpful (that is my intent) but this particular game leaves me a bit cold and that may come across in the review. To be clear, many people think this game is utterly brilliant (it is one of the highest ever ranking Strategy games on BoardGameGeek)

It is a proper strategic game with some real depth and challenge to it (not that it is a heavy game by any means). Works well with 2 to 4 players but seems better suited to 2. If you are looking for a light or family game then this isn't it. But if you like thoughtful, multi path games that take less than 2 hours to complete then this is well worth a look. The basic premise is that you build and run an estate, building buildings, trading goods, develop knowledge etc

The game mechanics are very "Euro", so it is all about planning, decision making and Victory Points. The added twist is the use of dice which do add some element of luck, but there really isn't anything particularly exciting here. Rules take a little learning but again nothing too onerous

There are a lot of components, mostly of reasonable quality, though (for me) the artwork and cardboard is a little bit uninspiring. For the (modest) price it is perfectly acceptable

All in all if you have already played entry level Euro style games (like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride etc) and want a new challenge it is possibly a good choice (that is why we came to it). Other similar games to think about would be Agricola (which is rather more expensive) or Puerto Rico. If you have played other Euro style games and find them a bit soulless then it possibly isn't for you - but one thing is for sure, it is still more interesting than playing Monopoly . . .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Castles of Burgundy is a strategy game for 2-4 players. Each player takes on the role of an aristocrat running their own princedom aiming to build castles, towns, mines, explore rivers as well as agriculture over five turns each with five phases. The winner having the most points through how they built their settlement.

Each player has their own board representing their princedom. This board is full of numbered and coloured hex regions each representing a type of settlement tile to be built there (Blue for river tiles, grey for mines etc). The way you get these tiles is from the centre board which have a variety of these tiles spread out around six numbered boxes known as depots and are refreshed between turns. Each player on their turn roles their two dice and can then use them to perform several actions:

1) - They can place a dice in the corresponding depot no. to gain a tile in that location to your staging area.
2) - Take a tile already in the staging area and place it in a matching coloured region as well as corresponding no. to one of your dice.

There are other sub actions you can take such as using a dice to sell goods you can collect, use money to get extra tiles from the unnumbered centre area, giving up a dice for worker tokens, use worker tokens to adjust your dice numbers to get the tiles you want and build them where you want etc. This is actually all very important as you can only build tiles adjacent to already placed tiles on your board and completeing colour coded areas before other players can also get you bonus points. The type of tile you build also matters greatly so skewing your dice with the limited worker tokens can really make a difference to victory.

It has some interesting strategy options due to the way the tiles work. As you take the action to play them onto your princedom board from the staging area depending on the tile, you get a different ability.

River tiles - Move you up on the turn order board allowing you to go earlier in the next phase. It also allows you to collect goods you can later sell from one of the depot areas.

Building tiles - There are multiple types of these, each building type gives a different effect such as giving you silverlings (money), allow you to play a tile of a certain colour to your board for free, or give you extra workers etc. They give great utility or allow you to chain actions if used correctly.

Silver mines - Give you a silverling for each mine btween turns.

Agriculture - These tiles all have animals on which gain you points for how many when you play them (Four cows, four points). there are multiple animal types but if you keep to the same type you score each one again every time you play a tile in that area so many cows = many points. Animal variety less points.

Castles - Give you a free action of any type of your choice as if you had a third dice.

Yellow tiles are special granting extra abilities and point scoring chances but are all pretty unique so if you miss one, tough.

Despite my (fairly poor) explanation this is not actually a complicated game, it has a lot of options for potential moves but the two dice you have really narrow down what you can actually choose from (though abilites, workers and yellow tiles can allow you to chain some great turns) which allows for a surpisingly smooth gameplay experience, there is little down time between turns. If you've played a lot of board games before this should be a breeze to learn though it's still rather fun. I can see people new to euro type board games struggling a little though.

The product itself though only a few years old feels more like a game from the 90's almost due to a lot of the art and colours used, it's not terrible by any means, just feels dated. The box is fairly thick and sturdy as is the card used for most of the tokens (of which there are many) though the player boards are pretty flimsy. While the production values don't excite me in any way it's pretty solid at least and doesn't interfere with the excellent gameplay. For £20 though? Bargain.

All in all I would certainly recommend The Castles of Burgundy. It's a clever little strategy game with plenty of options and chances to try different playstyles without succumbing to making people really struggle to decide what move to take. A difficult balance.

Recommended.

+ Fun territory builder.
+ Not as complicated as it first appears yet allows some nice strategic options.
+ A lot of game for £20.
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on 22 December 2013
I have introduced this game in my gaming group and everyone liked it. It's quite simpler, than you'd expect from the rules. It requires certain amount of planning - you do pull out tiles randomly, and your action are allocated according to your dice roll, but you gave a certain amount of various actions to choose from, and you can plan which kind of tiles you'd like to to more effort in and whenever you concentrate on expanding your town, or gaining and selling goods. Due to tiles being openly available to everyone you can also try to prevent others from getting what they want.

Thanks to randomness of the tiles, each game should be a little different, as you will probably base your strategy depending on what kind of tiles are available, so I'd expect Castles... has a good amount of replay.

Also art is quite nice, as you'd expect from Ravensburg.

I'm not sure if I'd recommend this game to people who are not very familiar with table top gaming, because even though game isn't very complicated, once you get to grips with it, the actual dynamics of the game might not be fun, or gripping, or simple enough for a family evening event.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2013
Love this game. There are lots of 'bits' which can make setting up a bit fiddly but it plays really well. The different board layouts are great and stops it from becoming the same game each play.

I love the fact that it plays equally well as a 2 player as it does for 3 or 4 players.

And ... it's cheap compared to others. Definitely recommend this to those who play games like Catan or Stoneage.
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on 12 May 2014
The Castles of Burgundy has a permanent place in my top 3 favourites! The game play is very easy to learn and has just the right balance - it's not too easy, so you don't get bored with it, but it's not too hard either, so you don't feel overwhelmed when you're supposed to relax and have some pleasant leisure time. In my opinion, it's best with 2 players and it's suitable for all ages. The 9 different player boards provide a lot of diversity and each game is very different from the others. The only downside is that the quality of the pieces is a bit low (as other customers have already mentioned). However, I really don't think this is such a big deal because the price is good and the game is marvellous! This product deserves 5 stars and if I could, I would give more!

P.S.: According to the rules, the players choose their boards, but I think it's more honest to close your eyes, shuffle and pick randomly, because there's a huge difference from one board to another.
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on 2 June 2015
This is an immaculately designed game: the rules are clear and the basic game-play straight forward with scope for a variety of strategies. Enough decisions each turn for interest but not too many. Enough luck to keep the pot boiling but good planning strains out the less palatable results. Most of the reminders needed are given on the playing-boards and those that are not are presented in the rule-book in a clear chart -but the iconography on the tiles is intuitive enough that referencing quickly becomes quite rare. It is not a viscous game but opponent's plans can be thwarted and nobody stays out in first place for long. 'Castles' has become a favorite in this family and is one of the few games that can lure my son away from the computer.
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on 30 December 2013
Castles of Burgundy is an excellent Euro game on the theme of "developing
your garden". You start off with a single chateau and attempt to fill your estate
with cities (buildings of various type), mines (to provide wealth), river boats (for
trade goods and to move up the order of play), knowledge (abilities to improve
your efficiencies in the game), more chateau, and pastures full of livestock.
Played over five phases of five rounds each, giving you at least fifty actions,
can you build the best estate in 15th Century Burgundy? There is plenty of
player interaction as you scramble for the limited resources available.
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on 15 September 2014
Very nice boardgame. I love the dice mechanism where you can adjust the result by using workers to + or - the result. A big hit with my group. Compared to some more expensive modern boardgames the components are a little lower and thinner quality. I also found that from a distance it was difficult to see the difference between some of the building artwork on the small tiles. However given how cheap this is compared to the market you are getting a lot of game for your money. A lot of fun!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2014
I played this game for the first time the other day with my regular gaming group. I find playing slightly serious-looking Euro games like this against people who have played it before a fairly daunting experience and usually expect to miss some fairly important aspect of the rules and get royally thrashed. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by CoB - the basic idea of the game is simple, the individual turns are quick (so little "downtime") and, as I discovered, you can get away without necessarily knowing all the functions of all the tiles (I posted a reasonable score and came a healthy 3rd out of four against experienced players).

At £20-odd pounds, this is a very reasonable price for a really good game for people familiar with Settlers or Carcassonne who want to try something a bit more challenging. My only criticism of the game is the quality and type of components. Its a bit tile-heavy - I'd rather they'd used wooden meeples for the workers, at least - and the player boards could do with being stiffer cardboard. Still, perhaps this is the downside of that low price. You pays your money...
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