The Castles of Burgundy

The Castles of Burgundy

This one’s been on my play list for a very long time. I kind of wish I’d been introduced to Stefan Feld this way and not Aquasphere! This one is super-accessible, tricky to figure out the most profitable path through the points salad, but you never have too darned many choices to make.

The overview is pretty straightforward: you’re trying to end the game with the most victory points. You play five phases, each made up of five rounds. Every round you roll two dice and then spend them on things. And because it’s a tableau-building thing you end up with really elaborate sequences that far exceed the two-die thing you have at the beginning.

The game gets swingier as you go, which is pretty fun tbh. You start out feeling good about a 10 point turn, and end the game scoring 40 or 50 at a time.

No quibbles gameplay-wise, just a few quibbles graphic design-wise — stuff like the same action being displayed in several different ways. Kind of a drag.

Nice way to spend a Saturday! Got in two games, neither of which ran especially long with three players. I think our second game — with the asymmetrical maps on which you have to build your kingdom — came in around 90ish minutes.

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13 thoughts on “The Castles of Burgundy”

  1. Excellent game. Easily in my top 3, if not all-time favorite.

    Aquasphere was your intro to Feld?? Egad. I adore Feld, and find that one his most frustrating. Glad you gave Castles a try. It scales very well, and the wife and I easily bang out a game in an hour.

  2. Castles is one of those games that, despite not being played as often as it used to, doesn’t leave my collection because it’s so damned good. As you say, just enough choices not to give you analysis paralysis.

    Also, and I might be alone in this, I didn’t find the two player game to be terribly entertaining. It’s not bad, but it’s rather dull compared to the splendid chaos that can ensue with three or four players.

  3. I played it recently for the first time in years and was surprised at how easy it was too slip back into it. It gets forgiven for its component choices, because the game play is so well machined that you can almost hear the gears and fly wheels ticking over.

    Adam Day​ so I need to get a three player game going?

  4. Neil Robinson I highly enjoy the game with three or four. Mainly because there are more tile offerings, but also because there are more people grabbing tiles. This limits your choices when someone else snatches up that castle or ship or field of pigs you wanted/needed. Rounds can become races for those tiles.

    I found in the two player game it was possible (and probable? I’ve only played a handful of two player matches) to ignore the other player’s choices and play without worrying about tile scarcity. If you like a tiny bit of cutthroat play in your eurogame, three and four player games are where it’s at. It gave an already heavy-solitary-play game a bit more player interaction, even if it’s just cursing someone for stealing the last mine on the board.

  5. It was the second of my game purchases this month and I didn’t think It stood a chance against tzolkin…. But truthfully more choices and clever play make it stand out a little more. I’m surprised and happy with both purchases but thinking castle wins by a nose.

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