Splendor Board Game Review: Blogger Board Game Club
Splendor board game is a game of strategy, chip-collecting and card development. The premise is that you are a rich merchant of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops – all in order to acquire the most prestige points.
The game is designed for two to four players aged 10 years and above. Each game of Splendor lasts around 30 minutes although we have sometimes gone over this.
What’s in the box?
- 40 coloured tokens;
- 7 Emerald
- 7 Sapphire
- 7 Ruby
- 7 Diamond
- 7 Onyx
- 5 Gold Jokers
- 90 Development Cards
- 40 x Green Level 1 Cards
- 30 x Gold Level 2 Cards
- 20 x Blue Level 3 Cards
- 10 Noble Tiles
When you begin it’s important that you shuffle each pack of Development cards thoroughly, otherwise, the game will be quite tough going. Place each pack of development cards in a column in increasing order with Level 1 at the bottom and Level 2 at the top. To the side of each pack lay out four cards each facing up to form a grid.
Shuffle all the Noble tiles and turn over as many tiles as there are players plus one. For a game of two players, reveal three Noble tiles. Place the remaining tiles back in the box as they will not be needed during the game.
Now place the coloured tokens into 6 piles (sorted by colour) so that all players can easily reach them.
NB: If you are only playing with 2 or 3 players you will need to remove 3 tokens of each colour (for 2 players) so there are only 4 of each colour remaining. Remove 2 tokens of each colour (for 3 players) so that only 5 of each colour remain. Do not remove any of the gold tokens.
The aim of the game
Throughout the game, the players take gem and gold tokens which will allow them to purchase development cards. Some development cards are worth prestige points and bonuses, some are just bonuses. The bonus gems allow players to purchase further development cards for a lesser cost. Once a player has enough bonuses they immediately receive a visit from a noble which is worth further prestige points. The player who reaches 15 prestige points first is declared the winner.
Playing the game
On their turn, a player must choose one of four actions;
- Take 3 gem tokens of different colours
- Take 2 gem tokens of the same colour, only if there are 4 available tokens in that colour before they take 2.
- Reserve 1 development card and take 1 gold token (joker).
- Purchase 1 face-up development cards from the middle of the table or a previously reserved card.
What did we think to the game?
I played this game with Will and Lillie, and whilst Will and I felt confused by the rules, Lillie said she understood it. Will and I decided to play and learn as we went along which to be fair, took us about 15 minutes to get into it. Will was not convinced, even though he won but Lillie really enjoyed it. I was undecided.
A few nights later I played Splendor again with Lillie and this time it made much more sense whilst the game was a close-run thing, Lillie won by 3 prestige points.
From my point of view, it’s lovely to have some new games which require a bit of thinking rather than just rolling a dice and taking your turn. Lillie really got into the strategic planning of this game and even advised me on a couple of things to do when I felt my options were gone. She is one clever little 10-year old!! We will definitely be playing this game again, Lillie has declared this is ‘our’ game for quality time together.