Milena Guberinic
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Mina's Mini Review - Castles of Burgundy Card Game With Two




The Overview


The Castles of Burgundy card game is a card-based distillation of the original Castles of Burgundy board game by Stefan Feld. Nearly all aspects of the original have been transposed onto a card format in a relatively fresh and interesting way.

Each player receives 1 project, 1 estate, and 1 storage card, placing these in front of him. Each player also receives 1 good card and 1 animal card, placing these in his storage. Finally, each player receives 6 random action cards that he shuffles and draws 2 of these. These cards represent a player's dice pool.

The starting player receives the starting player card and the second player receives 1 worker card.



The display cards, which feature 1 through 6-pip die faces, are arranged in a row and 7 action cards (in a 2-player game) are placed face-up below these. The first 6 action cards drawn are placed below the display cards from left to right and the 7th is placed under the action card with the same pip value as shown on the 7th card.

The 7 "triplet" bonus cards are placed face-up in a row. The first player to form a triplet of each type during the course of the game will receive the corresponding bonus card, which will be worth 1 VP at the end of the game. The 4 "type" bonus cards are placed in a stack, with the card showing a 4 placed on top. The first player to have all types of action cards in his estate will receive the top card, the second one the one below, and so on.


Triplet completion bonuses


"All type" completion bonuses


The 5 round cards are placed in a stack, with A on top. These show the bonuses that players receive for making triplets in each round.

The game is played over 5 rounds (A to E) and each player gets 6 turns (determined by his action card deck) in each round.



On your turn, you will select one of your two action cards and place it in a common discard pile, performing one of the following 6 actions:

1. Take an action card from the display below the display row card with the same pip value as the card you discarded. Place this action card in your project area.



2. Place a card from your project area with the same pip value as the card you discarded into your estate area. You immediately gain the bonus shown on the card. A mine will give you 2 silver. A knowledge card will give you two workers. A ship will give you 1 good into your storage. A pasture will give you 1 animal. A castle will give you a bonus action. A cloister has no immediate bonus, but can be placed with any other group of cards to become a card of that type. Buildings provide a variety of bonuses, including 3 silver cards, 1 VP card, 1 good or animal, a bonus sell action, etc.

Identical cards are placed on top of each other. If you are the first player to gain a triplet of a particular type of card, you receive the bonus card for that triplet, as well as the round bonus, which may take the form of workers, animal cards, good cards, and/or silver.




Round bonuses[/i]


3. Sell all goods with the same pip value as the card you discarded, moving them from your storage to your estate. You gain 1 silver for each good sold and will gain points for these goods at the end of the game. You also receive the 1st player card and will be the starting player in the next round unless someone else ships their goods during the current round.


Goods


4. Restock your worker cards to 2



5. Take 1 silver



6. Regardless of the pip value of the card you discarded, you may convert any number of workers and/or silver into VP at a rate of 3 to 1.

You may use worker cards to change the pip value of the card you discard by 1. You may also spend 3 silver at any time during your turn to take the top 3 cards of the action card pile, select one, and use it to perform one of the above 6 actions.

At the end of the game, players gain points for
*triplets in their estates
*bonus cards
*victory point cards
*sold goods
*animals (4 different: 4 VP; 3 different: 2VP; 2 different: 1VP)
*start player card


Animals


The Review


Played prior to review: 7x






1. Fast paced and quick
The Castles of Burgundy takes us about 45 minutes play. The Castles of Burgundy Card Game takes about 15-20 minutes. That's over 50% in time savings! And the card game is no less interesting for its time savings!

2. Too many things too do in too little time
The Castles of Burgundy Card Game is TIGHT! Just as you think you're going to complete yet another awesome triplet or get that "all type" bonus, you realize you only have one or two turns to do it and your cards won't let you. I already addressed how quickly this game can be played and the low time commitment required to play is directly related to the sense of having too much to do in too little time. You have only 5 rounds and 6 actions in each round to make as many triplets as you can, collect and ship as many goods as you can, and get as many of those triplet bonuses as you can! And that means that you have to be as economical about your actions and as wise about the combinations of buildings you take into your projects as possible. Wasting an action to take a single worker, for example, is generally unwise, but if it allows you to set off a combo chain using the buildings in your project area, it might be worth doing.

I love the economy of actions in this game and the great sense of foreboding that always washes over me in the penultimate round. What do you mean we're almost done!? I HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING YET!!!!!

3. Many different strategies to explore and you have to pick and choose among them
The Castles of Burgundy Card Game is tight, but it's also relatively open strategically. You have a number of different options on which to focus your strategy. Collecting and shipping goods and collecting animals seem to be the most lucrative and a selective strategy, focused only on getting a couple of building types into your estate can be a sound one. Alternatively, you can focus on a large variety of building types and try to race for the "all types" bonus, along with the collecting as many of the triplet bonuses as you can. You also have to decide whether you will focus on buildings that will give you lots of points or buildings that will give you benefits you desire. The cloisters, for example, are worth 6 points in a triplet, but they give you no special benefit when you move them into your estate. And because the game is over so quickly, you can't do everything. You definitely have to focus your strategy and it's fun trying to determine how best to do that based on the starting setup.

4. "Multi-use card angst...sort of
The Castles of Burgundy Card Game does not have quite Chudyk-ian multi-use cards, but each card CAN be used in many different ways and some tense moments of trying to decide between several options for a single card will arise. What most often happens to me is that I want to use a card to both take a card into my projects and move another card from my projects into my estate. But there have been times, particularly late in the game, when I've had to weigh shipping goods against dumping a card for workers to allow me to complete a triplet on my last turn.

The reason I qualified the "multi-use card angst" title was that the cards you use to perform actions simply represent dice and the values of the dice determine the values of the options available to you, so it's not like every card inherently presents you with particular options. However, a similar sense of tension as that found in most multi-use card games is to be found here.

5. The great sense of accomplishment that comes from having made order out of chaos
When playing The Castles of Burgundy, I love the sense of accomplishment I get from having bent the fickle dice and tiles to my will to complete that huge 7-tile region or to complete a number of regions for multiple bonuses in the first round. In the card game version, I get the same sense of accomplishment. There is definitely an element of luck involved in fabricating this feeling, but it isn't solely luck and I love feeling like I've somehow subdued luck and randomness to get the things I want to get done done. The random action card deck, the random building deck, the random animal deck, the random goods deck...They are all random! And yet, somehow, I manage to make triplets of buildings and quadruplets of animals, and stacks of goods, and it feels good.

soblue


soblue 1. A bit of randomness
Perhaps I wouldn't feel this way had I never played the full Castles of Burgundy before, but I don't like the way buying cards is handled in the card game. In the full Castles of Burgundy, you know which tile you are buying when you spend silver. Here, you draw 3 random cards and select 1. If the one you were hoping to get isn't among the 3 you drew, tough cookies. This aspect of the card game version can be a bit frustrating, but because it can be played so quickly, it doesn't bother me as much as it would in a longer game. Ultimately, this isn't really a negative for me personally, but it's something to be aware of if you are randomness phobic and are considering this game.

Final Word


The Castles of Burgundy Card Game did not immediately impress me. After my first game, I felt like it was just another simple card game that would never ascend to the awesomeness that is The Castles of Burgundy. And while I still don't think that the card game will ever sit on the same throne as the board game, after a few sessions, the card game started to grow on me. It perfectly distills all the elements of The Castles of Burgundy into a smaller sized, quicker game. In fact, when I realized just how quickly we were banging out the card game (i.e. 15 minutes), I also started to realize the extent to which this little game is packed with interesting decisions and tense moments! While there is more randomness in the card game version than in the board game, I will happily play the card game when I only have 15 minutes to spare and want a Castles of Burgundy experience.

MINA'S LOVE METER heart heart heart SOME LOVE






***


***


Mina's Love Meter


Burn it! - I dislike this game so much that it makes me angry. (I rate these 4 or less on the BGG scale)
Dislike - I don't like this game, but I can see why others like it.
(5 on BGG scale)
heart Some like - I find this game somewhat appealing, but it doesn't really grab me. I am glad to have had the opportunity to try this game, but it is unlikely to stay in my collection for very long.
(5.5 to 6.5) on BGG scale)
heart heart Like - I like this game and appreciate the design. I am happy to play this game occasionally when the mood strikes and enjoy doing so.
(7 to 7.5 on BGG scale)
heart heart heart Some love - I love this game. It's not perfect, but it really appeals to me and I will play it frequently.
(7.5 to 8 on BGG scale)
heart heart heart heart Lots of love - I really love this game. The design really speaks to me. I want to play it most of the time.
(8 to 9 on BGG scale)
heart heart heart heart heart All love all the time - I ADORE this game and can see myself playing it many times and for many years. I would go to sleep clutching it in my arms and want to play it all day every day...only not literally because that would be insane.
(9 to 10 on BGG scale)



To see my other reviews, visit this geeklist.


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Steve Kennedy

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Great review. My wife and I tried this out and managed a game in about 30-40 minutes as well. You hit all the highlights, the picking of random cards was not all that troublesome--though it bit me twice with nothing I could really use! Of course, it's always those pesky dice rolls that plague me otherwise. whistle

I think for the price point, this is a great little game. I wonder what people would say if it had a different name altogether though. Still, I like the idea of a solitaire version and hope the next few in this new Alea series will explore this well.meeple
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Christopher Corrigan
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Thank you for your rather clear explanation and impressions of this game. I have but dabbled with the board game and have but puzzled through a first reading and self play of the card version. I do not pose as any sort of authority in the least. That said, I will reflect that most reimplementations of any "classic" game can never meet the nostalgic and emotional attachment of their antecedent. This can but taint the new game's perceived pleasure that some may receive in its play.
I hope that main virtue of this version is its approachability in both in complexity and time such that more folks can play and enjoy.
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Bill Kunes
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My wife and I just played our 99th 2p game of the board game this week, which is obviously one of our favorites. I bought her the card game as a gift last month and finally cracked it open to read the rules and understand the cards and game flow. It's setup on the table ready to play. Upon reading the rules I'm excited to try it.

I don't expect nor do I want it to be a replacement or an equal to experience as the board game. I'm hoping that realistic expectations going in results in an enjoyable addition to our collection.

meeple Keep playing...
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Denise Lockard
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I doubt I will ever play this with my daughter (we've played COB dozens of times and STILL love it), but I think the solo game is excellent. Aaron Bot can be a tough competitor meeple
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Kathy Sheets
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Well, darn! I thought this was one I could easily skip. But now I see I have to get it. Thanks, Mina!
 
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David B
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Mamadallama wrote:
Well, darn! I thought this was one I could easily skip. But now I see I have to get it. Thanks, Mina!


Read my review for the flip side before coming to a final conclusion.
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Kathy Sheets
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pfctsqr wrote:
Mamadallama wrote:
Well, darn! I thought this was one I could easily skip. But now I see I have to get it. Thanks, Mina!


Read my review for the flip side before coming to a final conclusion.


Too late! It's already on its way. I'll go read your review now anyway, though.
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Kathy Sheets
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We have now played this game 8 times (2p) and are really enjoying it! I think that although the game borrows a lot from the original it does not feel like the same game much, if at all.

We really like that it plays in a shorter amount of time and yet still is more satisfying than a good filler. We find it perfect for working days when time is at a premium and we don't want something that is too heavy. My husband really really likes it so that is a huge plus since he is not 'the' gamer in the house.

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