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Board Game Resource Review – Castles of Burgundy

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Castles of Burgundy Review

A picturesque castle sits atop a hill in an idyllic French countryside. It commands a sizable domain; buildings and small towns sit in close proximity, and farmers tend to their livestock while ships move goods to and from the estate on the nearby river. This is Castles of Burgundy, a peaceful eurogame that tasks players with building the most successful estate.

Castles of Burgundy, designed by Stefan Feld and published by Alea/Ravensburger in 2011, is a lovely little tile placement game, in which players take turns taking hexes off of a main board, and placing them on their own player board. Of course, each hex grants the players different bonuses, and choosing what and how and when to place them will be the main determinant of victory. The game supports two to four players and a listed playtime of 30-90 minutes.

Gameplay

How do you play the game? Is it a fun experience? How much interaction is there between the players? Is there very much luck involved? Will it take forever to to learn and teach?

gameplay shot

Depth

How much strategy is involved? Is there a sense of variety and balance? Does the game play well no matter how many players there are? How long does it take to play?

Gameplay

Look and Feel

Is the game aesthetically pleasing? Are the components made out of quality material, or do they feel cheap? Is the rulebook well-designed and easy to read? How well is theme integrated into the game?

Game Box

Value

Is it a game you can play over and over? Are there expansions available for the game, and if so, are they necessary? Does the amount of the content in the box justify the price?

Everything together

Conclusion

Castles of Burgundy represents the best of what eurogames have to offer – elegant simplicity riddled with tactical depth. You have options upon options upon options, and will have fun discovering ways to make your progression ever more efficient with each play. Castles scales remarkably well and is one of the best two player games you can find. The game is certainly non-aggressive; you mostly focus on your own board, only able to influence your opponents in minimal ways, so offensive, interactive players might find this to be their cup of tea. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a “no luck” euro, you could do a little better than Castles. Tile availability is here and there, and while the dice are well-balanced, there are occasional flukes. The aesthetics and theme aren’t a strong point, but the quality of this game is in its gameplay, and in that it doesn’t disappoint. If you don’t mind a cake that’s not well decorated, this is a tasty one indeed. Overall, I highly recommend Castles of Burgundy, and for the cheap price at which it can be found, the game is a gem.

Verdict

YOU WILL LIKE THIS GAME IF…

  • You don’t like aggressive games
  • You like thinking games
  • You want a good two player game
  • You don’t like games that feel punishing
  • You enjoy having lots of different decisions to make
  • You want a game with high replayability
  • You’re looking for a cheap game
  • You like balanced gamese

YOU WON’T LIKE THIS GAME IF…

  • You like strong player interaction
  • You like highly thematic games
  • You don’t like excessive iconography
  • You want a “hard” game
  • You don’t like dealing with dice
  • You don’t like dealing with lots of components and pieces
About the Author

Zach Hillegas

Zach is an avid tabletop gamer, and he created Board Game Resource out of his love for the hobby, and his desire to see more people come into it. When he's not writing for or managing BGR, Zach might be hanging out with cats, hiking a mountain, or spending time with his lovely wife. Zach is currently studying for a degree in Business Management. Zach has also enjoys creating digital character art. You can check out his gallery here, or follow him on Instagram at @artworkbyzach!

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