Happy Days Gamers! Each week, I visit some friends and we play a board game from their vast collection. You may remember I wrote about some board games that we’ve played during the Charming and Open challenge a few years ago. Carl and Jaysen have over 300 board games and that got me thinking this could be a fun way to provide content to the blog. My goal for the series is to chronicle these experiences with my friends and give you a glimpse of the different board games that we are tackling each week. I’m calling this series, “Adventures in Game Night” and each post will feature one of the games we have played. Have you ever wanted to run your own Tavern? Looking for a game where you can serve guests, make money and try to gain the title of the best tavern in town? Taverns of Tiefenthal by North Star Games is the board game for you!
Setup – Taverns of Tiefenthal is a board game that combines deck building and dice placement into a fun way to build your tavern. There are 8 rounds of the game and each round consists of 7 phases. Listening to the rules was a bit daunting with all of the phases thrown at us, but it’s actually quite easy to follow when you start playing. The goal is to earn the most Victory Points by the end of the 8th round. Victory points are scored based on the cards in your hand and their associated values.
Gameplay– Each player starts with a board that allows you to upgrade a section of the tavern, in an attempt to attract more patrons. Some of the sections are the serving tables, brewer, washing station, and even the money chest. Each place in your tavern, allows you to earn bonuses when you assign your die. Taverns of Tiefenthal is a competitive game for 2-4 players and what’s really cool is that there are several expansions (already included in the box) to refresh and add new content to the game.
Turns – Most of our gameplay was simultaneous except when it came to fulfilling actions. During the 1st phase of the turn, each player draws cards from their face down deck. You keep drawing until you have filled all of the tables on the top of your board. This is where deckbuilding in future rounds can really push your tavern ahead of the curve. Once each player finished this action, we all roll our 4 dice and choose a number to keep. The remaining dice are placed back on the round tracker and passed to the player to the left. Then you take another die and continue this action until all dice have been selected. Next, you assign the die to spots on your board. Some cards or spots where you can place the die will require specific numbers to fulfill. In your action phase after assigning the dice, you resolve the action. For example, you may have a patron to serve at a table and they require a 3 die in exchange for 3 gold. If you are able to assign the number 3 die to the card, you mentally keep track of your gold and use it immediately to make purchases. Gold is used to add specialty cards to your hand. This is where the deckbuilding comes in handy. You can add helpers to your tavern (each is one use for the turn and then they are placed in your discard pile) which immediately add to the top of your face down deck. Similar actions can be taken when accumulating beer. You mentally keep count of have much beer you have accumulated during the round and then spend the beer to buy more tavern guests (these guests are special and provide victory points and can include special bonuses). Don’t have enough coins or beer to make a purchase? That’s okay, you can carry 2 or each on to the next round and this is indicated by the yellow and brown blocks.
Winning – I’ve said this before, but when I play board games I like to opt for the “long con” gameplay. I can say that this playstyle hurt me in the game because I wasn’t upgrading and collecting enough victory points. By the time I’d figure out what the best strategy was, we were on round 4 and halfway through the game. I was spending my resources on a barback to help me gain additional beer each round and it wasn’t until I was 4 barbacks in that I’d realized those helpers do not have victory points attached!!! I could have gotten the same production, with more victory points if I had saved my gold and purchased the more expensive brewer instead. At the end of the game, all of the cards in your deck are counted and the person with the most points claims the title as the best tavern in the land. That esteemed title went to my friend Carl who had more nobles at his tavern than me and Jaysen. The nobles have the highest amount of victory points (10) and are harder to acquire. When we play again with one of the expansion options, I will be sure to keep my eye o the prize and keep track of what gives me the end game points.
Final Thoughts: The Taverns of Tiefenthal was such a fun game to play. It’s easy to learn and not too demanding strategy-wise. Once you have a grasp on what each helper and item does, you can carve out a plan to make your Tavern stand out from the rest. Yes, some of the game is based on luck like the drawing of cards (that you reshuffle when your deck runs out) and the rolling of the dice, but if you pay attention you can make the boar out of d work for you. I’ve personally enjoyed this game and can’t wait to play again. I would rate it a 7 out of 10.
- A fun and entertaining game with defined rules and endpoints
- Great to play as a family or a night out with friends
- Not a fan of deckbuilding games
- Looking for a more complex strategy game
Have you played or hear of Taverns of Tiefenthal? What are your favorite board games? What games are you currently playing? Let’s talk board games!