The Castles of Burgundy: Rules and Gameplay Instructions

Act as a wealthy prince in 15th century France and compete against others to see who will be most influential in building their estate. In these Castles of Burgundy rules, you will learn how to gain the most influence and victory points to win the game!

The Castles of Burgundy, by Ravensburger games, was originally released in 2011. Since then, Ravensburger has released 7 expansions for the base game! 

However, the new 20th Anniversary Edition includes all 7 expansions, including an 8th expansion which is only found in this special edition.

Winner and nominee of multiple gaming awards based on its well thought out strategic gameplay, The Castles of Burgundy just maybe your game night’s newest and most addicting board game addition.

This Castles of Burgundy rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is The Castles of Burgundy board game?
  • What you’ll need to play The Castles of Burgundy
  • The Castles of Burgundy rules
  • How to keep score in The Castles of Burgundy
  • Video Tutorial for The Castles of Burgundy
  • FAQs
  • Similar game guides to The Castles of Burgundy

Find out if The Castles of Burgundy is up your alley by learning how to play below!

What is The Castles of Burgundy Board Game?

The Castles of Burgundy is a competitive and strategic board game that utilizes dice to pay for actions made throughout the game. Victory points are gained in multiple ways but rely heavily on the placement of tiles in your estate.

 Number of players: 2-4

Ages: 12+

Difficulty: Medium

Length of play: 30-90min

Category: Competitive, Strategy, Family, Dice Rolling, Tile Placement, End Game Bonuses

Similar to: The Castles of Tuscany, Viticulture, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Tapestry

Main Objective: Obtain the most victory points at the end of the game!

Why We Love It: We love the strategic thinking and variety of choices to make during gameplay. No two games play alike, which creates endless replayability!

What You’ll Need to Play The Castles of Burgundy

Everything you need to play The Castles of Burgundy can be found in the box:

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The following components are found inside each game:

  • 1 Game Board
  • 6 Player Mats (double-sided)
  • 9 Dice
    • 2 sets of 6-sided dice per player colors (red, green, blue, and black)
    • 1 6-sided white die
  • 8 Playing Pieces
    • 2 pieces per player color (red, green, blue, and black)
  • 4 Victory Point Tiles in each player color
  • 12 Square Bonus Tiles
    • 1 small and 1 large tile in each of the 6 game colors (beige, light green, yellow, dark green, gray, and blue)
  • 30 Square Worker Tiles
  • 20 “Silverings” Tokens (silver coins)
  • 42 Square Goods Tiles
    • 7 in each of the 6 game colors
  • 164 Hexagon Tiles
    • 26 Blue Ship Tiles (6 with black backs)
    • 12 Gray Mine Tiles (2 with black backs)
    • 16 Dark Green Castle Tiles (2 with black backs)
    • 26 Yellow Knowledge Tiles (6 with black backs)
    • 28 Light Green Animal Tiles (8 with black backs)
      • 7 tiles for each of the 4 different animals
    • 56 Beige Building Tiles (16 with black backs)
      • 7 tiles for each of the 8 different buildings

The Castles of Burgundy Rules

Game Setup

Follow these simple instructions for easy game setup. These setup instructions are for a 4-player game:

  1. Place the game board in the middle of the play area for all players to reach.
  2. Take the Silverlings, worker tiles, and white die and place them near the game board.
  3. Take the 164 hexagon tiles and sort them out by the color of their backs and place them face-down into their own individual supply piles.
  4. The 42 goods tiles then get shuffled, face-down. Then, create 5 individual face-down piles, with 5 tiles in each pile (remaining face-down). Place these piles in their designated “phase spaces” on the game board labeled A-E.

The leftover goods tiles will be placed in their own face-down supply near the game board for later use.

  1. The 12 bonus tiles now get placed on the gameboard in their designated matching colored spots, with the smaller tiles sitting underneath, the larger tiles.
  2. Provide each player with the following:
  • 1 Player board (choose player boards with the number 1 face up)
  • 1 Dark green castle tile (showing the 6 die result) which gets placed face up in the middle of their player mat on the corresponding dark green space.
  • 3 Goods tiles (chosen at random) from the leftover supply of 17 tiles.
    • These get placed face-up on the storage spaces of their player mat. If a player gets two of the same tiles, they get placed on top of each other, and the remaining space/s stays empty.
  • 2 Dice matching the color they chose to play with
  • 1 Playing piece in their matching player color placed on the 0/100 spot on the score track along the game board
  • 1 Silverling which gets placed on the Silverling storage space on their player mat
  • 1 Victory Point tile (double sided with 100/200) which can stay next to their player mat until needed.
  1. Choose a starting player randomly or roll for it, if desired. The starting player receives 1 worker tile, which gets placed in it’s designated space on that player’s mat. The next player gets 2 workers tiles, then the next player gets 3, and so on.
  2. Players take their second playing piece and place it on the first space of the turn order track. The last player’s piece gets placed on the bottom, and the first player’s piece gets placed on top with the other players in order in between.
  3. Lastly, the starting player receives the white die.

Phase Setup

During the game, there are 5 phases and 5 rounds within each phase. At the start of each phase, you must follow these instructions:

  1. Remove all existing hexagon tiles on the board from the previous phase except the ship, mine, and castle tiles since they do not differ. In the first phase of the game, there will be no hexagon tiles to remove!

Then, draw 24 random hexagon tiles and place them face-up onto all of the corresponding depot spaces on the game board. You will place them according to the color tiles they are (blue spaces are for ships, beige spaces are for buildings, etc.).

NOTE: If playing with less than 4 players, you will use less tiles: 2 players would use the 12 spaces numbered with a 2, 2-3 players would use the 18 spaces numbered as 2 and 3. Since this setup is for 4 players, we are using all of the depot spaces.

  1. For a 4-player game, draw 8 of the black-backed hexagon tiles randomly and place them face-up in the middle of the game board on the black depot spaces.
  2. Pick up the set of goods tiles for the current phase (listed A-E) and place them each, face-up, onto the open square “round” spaces underneath the phase section.

Now, you are ready to play The Castles of Burgundy!

How to Play The Castles of Burgundy

When phase setup is complete, you can start taking player turns, starting with the first player. Players will perform 2 actions per turn (1 action per die), and they will have 5 turns/rounds per phase.

First, players roll their dice simultaneously andplace the dice in front of them. The first player will also roll the white die at this time.

The first player then takes the topmost goods tile from the “round” square spaces and places it into the goods depot that matches the face value of the white die.

Turn order starts with the first player performing 2 actions, then moves clockwise so the other players can take their 2 actions.

Once all players have completed their actions, a new round begins, and the person whose player piece on the turn track is closest to the center of the game board gets the white die to roll this round.

Play continues this way until the end of the fifth and final phase!

Actions

Each player gets to perform 2 actions per turn. In order to perform an action, you need to use your dice.

Typically, depending on the face value of your action dice, it will determine what you can and cannot do during your turn.

Once a die is used, it gets placed into the used dice storage space on your player mat. If you have a worker’s tile, you can use that to change the face value of your die before you use it for an action.

The worker’s tile will allow you to add or subtract the die value by 1. The highest value is 6, and the lowest is 1. You can turn a 6 into a 1, and vice versa, if desired, by using one of these tiles.

Here is a list of all the possible actions you can take with each die and their explanations:

  1. Take a hexagon tile from the game board

You may take a hexagon tile from the game board that matches the face value of a die you rolled. This tile gets placed into one of the 3 storage spaces on your player mat.

If you pick up a new tile and no longer have room in your storage space, you must discard one of those tokens to place a new one!

  1. Add a hexagon tile to your estate

You may move one of the hexagon tiles that are located in one of your 3 storage spaces to your estate. You must meet two requirements to do this.

  • Place the hexagon tile, so it touches another previously placed tile. Every player starts with one castle tile in their estate to build off of.
  • The space you choose to place your tile must match the color of the tile you are trying to place, and the face value of the action die being used.

Once a tile is placed, an action may immediately occur depending on which tile was placed.

NOTE: The game rules have a list of each tile and their individual actions that you will need to refer to to see what actions will take place.

  1. Sell goods

In order to sell goods from your goods storage, you must have goods that match the face value of the action die being used. If you have more than one of the same type of goods, all of them get sold at once.

Once sold, place those tiles face-down in its current space. Take 1 Silverling (no matter how many goods were sold) and gain victory points based on the amount of players which immediately gets scored on the track.

  1. Take worker tiles

You may choose to use any of your die results to take 2 workers tiles from the supply.

The Black Depot

Additionally, you may also spend a free action (no dice required) to purchase one of the black-backed hexagon tiles in the center of the game board. You can perform this free action only once per turn!

To purchase a tile from the Black Depot, you must spend 2 Silverlings. This tile then gets placed into an empty storage space on your player mat.

Ending a Phase

Each phase will end after each player performs all 5 rounds. If a player has any mines in their estate, they will gain a Silverling for each

If you have any yellow “knowledge” tiles, they might have some end-of-phase effects you’ll need to look out for.

If you haven’t reached the fifth phase yet, follow the phase setup instructions to start another phase!

How to Keep Score in The Castles of Burgundy

When the fifth phase is over, it’s time for final scoring to see who wins! Players will receive additional victory points for the following:

  • Per unsold goods tile on their player mat: 1 VP
  • Per Silverling on their player mat: 1VP
  • For every 2 worker tiles on their player mat: 1VP
  • If you have any yellow tiles that provide VP at the end of the game, apply them now!

The player who has the most VP after all scoring is complete wins! If there is a tie, the player who has the least amount of unfilled tiles in their estate will win the tie.

Video Tutorial for The Castles of Burgundy

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Castles of Burgundy easy to learn?

It’s not the easiest game to learn, but once you get the hang of it, gameplay runs smoothly! We suggest watching the tutorial video that we posted above!

Is The Castles of Burgundy fun with only 2 players?

Yes! The game is specially designed to make gameplay suitable for the amount of people you play with. One side of the game board has a setup for 2-3 players, and the other side has a setup for 4 players only.

Are there any expansions to The Castles of Burgundy?

The 20th anniversary version has all of the expansions included! If you have an older version, you can find some of the expansions to purchase online.

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