Amid the board game Renaissance
Taverns earns a spot among the best
The Taverns of Tiefenthal is the latest tabletop board game release from designer Wolfgang Warsch and publisher North Star Games, the geniuses behind last year’s hit The Quacks of Quedlinburg. Both games share mechanics but between the two, Taverns is the game to own. Board Game Geek, the holy grail of board game opinion, rates the game overall a 7.7 out of 10 and complexity a 2.5 out of 5. That means this game doesn’t take an hour to explain, nor are the mechanics hard to learn.
The back of the game box reads, “Can you turn your tavern into the talk of the town? Do you expand your seating capacity, or the size of your beer cellar? Hire new staff perhaps? The wealthier customers you attract, the more money you have to expand. The right upgrades attract prestigious nobles who will come by to see what the fuss is about, making your tavern the hottest spot for miles around.”
The modular individual boards or “taverns” allow for parts of each player’s tavern to be upgraded via monetary means or winning awards by gaining popularity. This game has many paths to victory and allows the players to choose their own style of play. The main mechanics include deck building, dice rolling, and drafting. One, if not all, of these elements are sure to please anyone in a gaming group.
Once the boards are set up and the different cards are placed in a communal space, the players all pick up their starting deck of cards and place them around their tavern. These cards can be anything from an extra table slot for a patron to a server who gives the player the ability to roll an extra die in the next phase.
When a player fills their last table with a patron card, that part of their turn is over, and they must stop revealing cards. Once the group has all reached this point, one player picks one die from four, passing the remaining dice to the next player. This is repeated until all the dice have been chosen and assigned to cards in each player’s tavern. The small act of assigning dice brings in an element of worker placement and is sure to please even the pickiest of gamers.
The level of interest in replaying this game is boosted by the fact that there are in–game add-on components that bring new challenges to the players once the base game is fully understood. These add-ons include entertainers who will perform in the tavern for schnapps and a personal popularity tracker that could give the players more awards.
Like every game, the strategy and game dynamics shift depending on how many players are participating in the game. Taverns is fun with any number of players, but the absolute best game play takes place with 4 people because the shared dice pool is divided evenly.
If running a tavern sounds like a hoot, then this game and so many other great games can be found at local game stores like The Wizard’s Chest in Capital Hill, The Gaming Goat in Littleton, or It’s Your Move in Lakewood.