Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Thinking about my next move.
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So, if my only options are these, then I shall...
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About The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game:

1) What is it?
The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game (just CoBCG, from now on) is a game about set collection, the little brother of Castles of Burgundy (CoB, from now on). It uses cards as dice and buildings, and emulates a good deal of what CoB is: take buildings, build, ship goods, gather resources, workers, silverlings, etc - all using dice

CoBCG has basically the same feel as that of CoB - the same hardships of dealing with the randomness and options involving the buildings (farms give animals, brown buildings with similar effects of those in CoB, ships giving goods, castles allowing for a one time use of any number, etc), but put in a somewhat different package: it is simpler, lasting for around 1/3 of the time of CoB, now with a focus in doing sets and going more for tatical opportunities than around a bigger and deeper strategy alongside the worries of the spatial positioning.

The replay value is high, due to the random order of the cards, both to the queue of buildings and for the use of the players as numbers.

The production value is Ok for a card game - most of the art is taken from the original game - and the grapich design can be opaque, sometime, but does the job most of the time and with experience, it will be an afterthought.

2) How do you play?
Each player receives 6 cards and don't look at them, drawing just two - these are used for the number in the upper part of the card, serving basically as the number rolled in a die. In the player's turn, she uses one card to:
- Take a building. These are placed bellow numbered cards from 1 to 6, with one or more extra. Therefore, if a player discard a card with the number 3, she can take the building bellow the #3 card. There is a limit of 3 cards in the building queue;
- Construct a building. Each card has a number in the upper part of it. To build, the player discard a card that matches the number on the building;
- Take a silverling - any card will do;
- Take workers - any card will do;
- Ship goods. Each good have two numbers on them - the card used must match one of them in order to ship the good. If the player has two or more of the same good, all are shipped together.

The main goal is to make sets of 3 of the same color of building, which will give the player points at the end of the game. Each building has an one time effect when built - the purple buildings can be used as one of the type of buildings to make a set, or be put on other sets, as jokers - but then won't count as purple, for the purpose of taking the bonus points for having build all 7 colors of buildings.

The first person that makes a set of a given color gains 1 bonus point. The first that build all seven colors, gains 3 points, and the second, 1 point. Accordingly to the round a player completes a set, she gains a immediated bonus: gain workers, silverlings, animals, etc.

Animals, unlike in the base game, are worth more the more different types you have - one is worth nothing, two are wort 1, three give 2 points and four give 4 points.

Three silverlings can be used to gain 1 point, or to draw 3 cards from the draw deck and either take one to put in the building queue or used one as a number to take a card from those open.

After everyone uses all their six cards, the round is over. New cards are revealed and a new hand of 6 cards is given to each player. This goes for a number of rounds, and at the end, the person with the most points will be the winner.

3) Which are the decisions made during play?
The main one, that will cover 90% of the decisions is: what to do with the numbers in hand. This is akin to the decision of how to use the dice rolled in CoB, and even one must consider the same limit: three cards at the most in the queue. This also branches to what to build, thinking about the one time use of the building, the possible bonuses and the number they require - though this part is easier than CoB since it doesn't add the spatial limitations the board has. And, finally, it also serves to decide when to take workers, silverlings, ship goods, etc;

The other decisions are done less often, but still matter: what bonus for completing a set to take; what kind of animal; what good; and several buildings also offer a decision of what to do with the one time use of their ability. Most of these are given, and easy to make, yet some can offer a little more of a thought.

Overall, the decisions are on the easy side: limited by the dice and what you are already doing, players usually have clear choices (even if not great) and though there is room for some pondering, AP is low, both in occurrency and severity.

4) What are the good things in the game?
- Easy enough to teach (though the special uses of buildings can require some questions in the first games);
- Highly portable;
- Good replay value;
- Has a lively pacing, as players do only one action each turn (can be more with the ability of a few buildings), the downtime isn't a big issue, at least with 2 and 3 - with 4 it can bother a little, as there is nothing to do on the other players turn;
- Offers a nice set of (light) decisions in a small frame of time;
- Language independent and colorblind friendly.

5) Which are the bad news?
- There are several random factors in the game, and luck can help or hinder a lot;
- Little interaction, and all indirect;
- Though the box is pretty small, the game can take a fine chunk of table space - it doesn't work well in small places.

6) How do you feel while playing?
Like seeing a mini-me version of CoB plotting against you - it isn't as evil, worrysome or difficult than its boss, but it sure have more charm.

In the end, CoBCG is a good game, efficiently doing what it proposes: be a more accessible and agile version, still providing decisions and options to players. It isn't as good as the original, but fills a different niche and is able to stand on its own merits. Recommended.

Regards,

Image credit: W Eric Martin



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David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
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Another negative I find is that the scoring system is really bland. Completing a set of three for 3 or 4 points is boring. I might have liked it better if maybe a second set of three was worth more than the first set. That might perhaps create some balance issues, but there has to be a way to make the scoring in this game a little more exciting. As it is, it just doesn't feel like anything you do in the game is really worth the effort.
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Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Nice review Tiago. I like the card game as a travel-sized Feld option that plays quick. It does take up some table space, but fits in a small box and travels well. Given the choice between this and the board game its not a contest, the board game would win every time. Its selling points for me are the price point and the solo variant that is quite enjoyable (I'm currently 5-5 against it).

meeple Keep playing...
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Todd Kauk
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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pfctsqr wrote:
Another negative I find is that the scoring system is really bland. Completing a set of three for 3 or 4 points is boring. I might have liked it better if maybe a second set of three was worth more than the first set. That might perhaps create some balance issues, but there has to be a way to make the scoring in this game a little more exciting. As it is, it just doesn't feel like anything you do in the game is really worth the effort.


You don't have to Troll around every positive review of this game with your negative, dissenting opinions. Everyone knows that you like the original better, and that is perfectly fine.
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Eric Guttag
United States
West Chester
Ohio
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Hey Bill,

I agree with your assessment of the card version, although I've yet to play the board version (would like to), so can't say yet which I would prefer.
 
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