Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Splendor» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Gamer Nerd Review: Splendor rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Nicolas Shayko
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
For the full review with images view at TheGamerNerd:
http://www.thegamernerd.com/reviews/splendor/

Splendor is a quick game to play, an easy game to teach, and it has a depth of strategy. Splendor plays 2–4 players and is, at its heart, a set collection and optimization game. It has a renaissance gem theme, but the theme is 100% pasted on and means nothing.

The Components

Splendor has very few components, and the components it does have are of a high quality. Most important are the 40 tokens that are used to gain development cards. These tokens are of a thick, plastic-like material similar to a high-quality poker chip. Since they are handled a lot, it is great that they are made so well. If these tokens would have just been made of cardboard the game would lose a lot.

There are also 90 development cards, which are of a decent cardstock made to be shuffled. Lastly there are 10 noble tiles which are goals that can be acquired for bonus points and are made of a thick cardstock. All the components of Splendor are made well, and the artwork is great.

The Gameplay

Splendor is a very easy game to teach. The goal is to get 15 points. Each card is worth 0–5 points and is marked one of the 5 colors. The cards have a cost on them in order to acquire them, using a combination of up to 5 different colors. Once a card is placed on the table, it provides a discount of 1 on any cards acquired that are the same type.

Thus each turn players do one of the following three actions: (1) pick up tokens. Players can take either 3 different color tokens or 2 of the same token, but only if there are 4 or more of that token. If a player ends a turn with over 10 tokens, he must return tokens down to 10. (2) Play a development card by paying the proper cost in tokens, minus any discounts from previously played cards. Or (3), reserve a card and take 1 wild token. A player may hold up to 3 cards in reserve in their hand for later play. CardsSplendorCom in reserve are not counted for points or discounts. There are noble tiles which are automatically gained by the 1st player to meet their requirements; for example, the 1st player to play 4 white and 4 black cards gets 3 points. All noble tiles are worth 3 points and require either 4 cards of two colors or 3 cards of 3 colors.

When a player has 15 points or more on the table, this triggers the endgame, where any player who does not have an equal number of turns the entire game gets one additional turn. Thus whoever has the most points wins.

The Strategy

Splendor has a ton of strategy. Few games pack as much strategy into a short game. Naturally there are goals, so players can choose to tailor their strategy around those goals for bonus points. Cards come in 3 tiers and at any time there are 4 of each tier for players to acquire. Cards on the lowest tier are the easiest to acquire, and naturally are worth the least amount of points, mostly zero with only a few ones. Cards on the 2nd tier are worth 1–3 points and cards on the 3rd tier are worth 3–5 points.

Here is the interesting part: all cards always provide a discount of 1 in one of the five colors no matter which tier they are on. There are questions constantly in the minds of the players. Do you keep taking cheap cards in order to be able to acquire larger cards quicker later or do you just take a few cheap cards and paying tokens and taking cards with points? It reminds me of Dominion in that you need to decide when to stop building an engine and when to start taking cards that give you victory points.

My Thoughts

Splendor is an amazing game. If you want a quick optimization game, I don’t think you can really do better. First off, it takes almost no time to set up. I am used to playing games that take 10 minutes to set up, so to get a game with this much strategy that I can set up in 2 minutes really is a blessing. Second, it only takes 30 minutes to play, which is great. Third, it is super easy to teach! Basically, get tokens, buy cards, get points, and win. Lastly, it works great for 2, 3 or 4 players.

It has enough randomness to have replayability, yet it is mostly all skill, as I was beaten the first five times I played it. I highly endorse adding this game to your collection, unless you want your games to have theme, always. This game has none. This is how the game is introduced in the rulebook:

“In Splendor, you take on the role of a rich merchant during the Renaissance. You will use your resources to acquire mines, transportation methods, and artisans who will allow you to turn raw gems into beautiful jewels.”

That my friends, is a total joke. This game has no theme; you don’t feel any of that. You are trying to get to 15 points before your opponents do, that is all. Splendor does it very well, and once you play it once, you will want to play it again.

www.thegamernerd.com
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aelfric Brewer
msg tools
mbmbmb
I just wanted to take issue with your description of the chips: "These tokens are of a thick, plastic-like material similar to a high-quality poker chip."

It's not a plastic-like material, it is plastic, with a metal slug inside. These are not comparable to high-quality poker chips, which are made of clay or ceramic; these are comparable to low quality poker chips. (Not Bicycle radial chips, which are about the lowest you can get, but "plastic dice chips" low.)

That being said, people who have never been to a casino or used high quality chips will have no objection to them, and they are certainly much better than the cardboard punchout discs that are so common in games now. It kind of intrigues me as a design/production choice.

When you have played more, you will find that 30 minutes is actually kind of long - you will play many games that last only 20 minutes. And yes, part of the attraction is how quick and easy it is to just shuffle and start playing again.

Thank you for the review.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicolas Shayko
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have played much poker in my day and own high-quality poker chips. These chips are not of that caliber. I supposed I overstated their quality. I just know what quality I expect from a game like this. I would expect something more akin to the bicycle chips you describe. For a hobby board game, the chips are high quality.

I played this game 4 player when I learned it but now I mostly play it 2 player with my wife and we can play it in 15-20 minutes easy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.