Bruges Board Game
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- For 2-4 players
- Takes about an hour to play
- Strategy game with tons of replay value
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ZMG71310 Bruges Z-Man Games
60 min play time
Players: 2 to 4
Ages: 13 and up
Belgium, 15th Century. The first stock market opens its doors. All of Europe has set its eyes on the wealthy and influential city of Bruges.
In this game, your objective will be to gather influence with the local merchants, bureaucrats, nobles, and the many others that rule this beautiful city. With their help, you hope to gain prestige, reputation, and power.
But you must be careful, as disasters lurk nearby. Ruse, tactical thinking, and a little luck will allow you to pull ahead. And if that is not enough, the shadier denizens of the city will be more than happy to help.
- 1 game board
- 4 50/100 points tiles
- 6 Statue tokens
- 165 cards
- 50 workers
- 20 1-guilder pieces
- 24 3-guilder pieces
- 45 Threat markers
- 40 Canal tokens
- 4 large player emblems
- 4 small player emblems
- 8 player pawns
- 12 Majority markers
- 9 Overview cards
- 5 dice
- 1 Start player banner
- 1 rulebook
From the Manufacturer
Bruges in the 15th century - culture and commerce flourish and make the Belgian Hanseatic city into one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. In Bruges (a.k.a. Brügge depending on the country in which you live), players assume the role of merchants who must maintain their relationships with those in power in the city while competing against one another for influence, power and status. Dramatic events cast their shadows over the city, with players needing to worry about threats to their prosperity from more than just their opponents. The game includes 165 character cards, with each card having one of five colors. On a turn, a player chooses one of his cards and performs an action, with six different actions being available: Take workers, take money, mitigate a threat, build a canal, build a house or hire the character depicted on the card. In principle, every card can be used for every action - but the color of the card determines in which areas the actions can be used or the strength of the chosen action, e.g., blue cards provide blue workers and red cards help mitigate red threats. All of the action is geared toward the gathering of prestige, with the most prestigious merchant winning in the end.
Top Customer Reviews
Much like his other titles, Bruges offers many paths to victory. There is also a large number of actions that can be taken during your turn. Each turn you'll have a hand of cards that can be discarded in order to take one of several actions, or you can place it down in your player area and utilize that card's unique ability. This really mitigates the luck factor of drafting cards because you can still take any of the general actions if you don't wish to utilize a card's unique action.
There is also more player interaction in Bruges than most other Feld games. Some cards are quite confrontational but not enough to ruin any friendships. They're only slightly mean.
Another thing I like about the game is that it plays fast. Turns move quickly and a two player game usually only takes 40 minutes. It's perfect if you want to fit in a quick afternoon game.
Finally, the components are great. Small wooden meeple type pieces, beautiful player board, great box, thick cardboard money pieces and high quality cards with a unique portrait on every single card.
From the gameplay to the production, Bruges, in my opinion, is one of Feld's best.
And to be completely honest, I didn't even ask what the theme of this was before we started playing. I'm well aware of the critiques that Feld games can play like "point salad" and I don't even care. I love them too much! Anyway, turns out the theme for Bruges is to get power and get money to get more power. I can get behind that.
Overall, Bruges doesn't need a whole lot of table room. The cards pretty much explain the whole game (okay, besides strategy) which I think is VERY NEAT. I appreciate that so much. Almost as much as having my own player mat. Almost...
You draw 5 cards in your hand. These cards have very easy to read iconography that tell you your options. They are color coded for good reason, as different buildings and canals and workers are color coded as well. So draw them wisely! The dice are then rolled and placed on the board. Each 1 & 2 rolled = how much it costs to move up the reputation track. Reputation is straight points at the end, and I should have done more of that. Each 5 & 6 rolled = threats are placed in front of each player depending on the color of the dice. If you collect 3 threats of 1 color, something bad happens. Again, this is explained on the cards for maximum assistance and awesomeness. The iconography on the cards makes it super easy to understand the different options, costs, and end game value.
The players take turns playing cards one at a time. After each player has played 4 cards, then that phase is over. You keep that final card in your hand for next time.
Overall, this was clearly a Stefan Feld gem with the different ways to score points and the fun way the different mechanics tied together. I really enjoyed the threats from within the game (Threat Markers) and from other players as a way to keep me on my toes.
The theme isn't really all that pervasive, which again doesn't bother me but thought it was worth mentioning again. The one element I just can't wrap my brain around were the Majority Markers. Once you have the majority of Reputation, Most People In Play, or Most Canals, you flip over your token for 4 points. That token does NOT flip back over for any reason. Even if your opponent gets the majority and flips their own over, yours stays. That scoring mechanism didn't feel necessary to me.
Regardless, I'm already clamoring to play again so I can see more cards and try new things and get a different combination of point salad going.
And also? This board is GORGEOUS so just being near it makes me happy.
Also also? The rule book uses "her" instead of "him"! As if I needed another reason to love Stefan Feld! kiss