Construct thriving towns, quaint villages and serene monasteries in the beautiful Italian countryside in The Castles of Tuscany, the sequel to acclaimed board game Castles of Burgundy.
Following an image of the upcoming board game’s box posted to Twitter earlier this year by the This Game is Broken podcast, it appears that Castles of Tuscany will be a more straightforward version of its 2011 predecessor, after its rulebook was posted on BoardGameGeek by publisher Ravensburger.
Taking place after Burgundy’s High Middle Ages setting during the 15th century - the height of the Italian Renaissance - Castles of Tuscany sees players become entrepreneurial nobles looking to invest in the countryside and its natural resources.
Two to four players take turns to either draw two region cards, take a tile or play a tile on their region board. Castles of Tuscany takes place over three rounds, with each round’s length determined by how long it takes for players to spend all the tiles they have in their leftmost stack. In order to take a tile from the middle, players must replace it with one of their own tiles, as well as have space to store it on their player board. If the storage section of their player board is full, then they must permanently remove one of the tiles from the game.
To play a tile, players first need to discard two region cards of the same colour as the tile they want to place. Alternatively, players can use two cards of another colour instead of a single matching card. Tiles have different benefits depending on what they are. For example, placing a yellow monastery tile enables the player to then take three region card. Other tiles grant players victory points, such as agriculture tiles - which give victory points depending on the different types of agriculture in the same zone.
Other ways to gain points include filling up each coloured zone in a player’s region board with tiles and acquiring bonuses such as marble and worker tokens. Whichever player has the most points by the end of the third round is the winner.
The Castles of Burgundy - the first entry in the series - cast players as medieval French aristocrats and is often acclaimed as one of the best board games of the last decade. Players gradually built their individual princedoms by investing in settlements, silver mines, river trade and - of course - impressive castles. Taking place over five rounds with multiple stages involving dice and the distribution of goods, Castles of Burgundy also saw players attempting to collect the most victory points.
Castles of Burgundy has since been adapted into a card game and roll-and-write dice game, as well as being brought to mobile and PC as an app.
The creator of both Castles of Burgundy and Castles of Tuscany is Stefan Feld, whose most recently-announced game Bonfire - a fantasy board game about a group of gnomes who must reignite a series of bonfires by performing various tasks to prove their good will - will be released sometime later this year.
The Castles of Tuscany is being published by Alea, the Ravensburger-owned label behind the release of Castles of Burgundy as well as historical city-building games such as Puerto Rico and its card game spin-off San Juan.
There is currently no confirmed release date for The Castles of Tuscany, with Alea yet to officially announce the game.