Thurn and Taxis (board game)

Last updated
Thurn and Taxis
Thurn and Taxis.jpg
The box cover of Thurn and Taxis
Designer(s) Karen and Andreas Seyfarth
Publisher(s) Hans im Glück
Rio Grande Games
999 Games
Players2 to 4
Setup time5–10 minutes
Playing time45–60 minutes
Random chanceMedium
Age range10 and up
Skill(s) required Strategic thought
D-A-CH location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
S.
Red pog.svg
Stuttgart      
Red pog.svg
Ulm
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Passau   
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Blue pog.svg
Cities featured on the boards of the original game (red dots) and the Power and Glory expansion (blue dots plus Würzburg, featured in both games) on a map of present-day Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with names spelled according to the boards (S. = Sigmaringen). Łódź (from the original game), Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Brussels (from the expansion) have been omitted.
Game board detail showing a city (Sigmaringen), roads leading from it, and a number of player markers. The middle three blue markers have not been placed on cities as they would be in an actual game. Thurn and Taxis (a board game).jpg
Game board detail showing a city (Sigmaringen), roads leading from it, and a number of player markers. The middle three blue markers have not been placed on cities as they would be in an actual game.

Thurn and Taxis is a board game designed by Karen and Andreas Seyfarth and published in 2006 by Hans im Glück in German (as Thurn und Taxis) and by Rio Grande Games in English. In the game, players seek to build postal networks and post offices in Bavaria and surrounding areas, as did the house of Thurn und Taxis in the 16th century. The game won the prestigious 2006 Spiel des Jahres award. [1]

Contents

Gameplay

The board is a map of southern Germany and nearby parts of other countries; it is marked into nine provinces, most of which are grouped into five regions. The map shows 22 cities and a network of roads connecting them. Each player has a supply of 20 markers (houses) to place on the cities. Each city may be marked once by each player and the markers remain in place.

Each turn the players draw one or more cards representing cities, then play one or more cards, forming or extending a route through successive cities along a sequence of roads. The route may be extended at either end but cannot include the same city twice. After reaching a certain length, a route may be closed and scored. The player then puts markers on some of the cities on the route that he or she has not marked already either choosing one city in each province traversed by the route, or choosing one province and marking all of its cities that are on the route.

Points are awarded for the length of the route, for marking all cities in any of the different regions, for marking a city in every province, and for completing routes at least as long as a succession of target lengths that rise as the game progresses. Play ends after each player has had an equal number of turns and at least one player has either run out of markers or completed the sequence of target lengths; the first player to satisfy either condition also receives a bonus point. In most cases, each successive instance of scoring points for the same thing is worth less; for example, the first player to dominate the region of Baden scores 3 points, the second scores 2, and the third only 1.

Expansions and spinoffs

Three expansions have been released for Thurn and Taxis. The first, Der Kurier der Fürstin, was a small expansion released in the October 2005 issue of Spielbox magazine which adds letter tokens and a messenger to the game.

The second "expansion", Thurn and Taxis: Power and Glory (German, in an apparent allusion to Gloria, princess of Thurn and Taxis, Glanz und Gloria, lit. Splendour and Glory), is really more of a distinct game, using new region and carriage cards, a new map, and significantly changed route-building rules.

The third expansion Alle Wege führen nach Rom (English: All Roads Lead to Rome) can only be played with the base game, and consists of two small expansions, "The Audience" and "Offices of Honor". While the first two boards show somewhat realistic representations of Southern and Northern Germany, the Rome expansion makes no reference to Italian geography.

Reception

Ed Greenwood comments: "Thurn and Taxis is one of those rare games that isn't blood-and-guts, doesn't take forever to play, boasts remarkably effective and simple rules, and can be enjoyed over and over by both novice players aged 10 and up and hardcore strategists of considerably more years. Its somewhat obscure theme is even presented in a way that's appealing to those of us without doctorates in European history." [2]

The editors of Computer Games Magazine presented Thurn and Taxis with their 2006 "Best Boardgame" award. [3]

Related Research Articles

<i>Scotland Yard</i> (board game) board game

Scotland Yard is a board game in which a team of players, as police, cooperate to track down a player controlling a criminal around a board representing the streets of London, first published in 1983. It is named after Scotland Yard, the headquarters of London's Metropolitan Police Service. Scotland Yard is an asymmetric board game, with the detective players cooperatively solving a variant of the pursuit-evasion problem. The game is published by Ravensburger in most of Europe and Canada and by Milton Bradley in the United States. It received the Spiel des Jahres award in 1983.

<i>Puerto Rico</i> (board game) German-style board game designed by Andreas Seyfarth

Puerto Rico is a Euro-style board game designed by German designer Andreas Seyfarth, and published in 2002 by Alea in German, by Rio Grande Games in English, by Grow in Brazilian Portuguese, and by Κάισσα in Greek. Players assume the roles of colonial governors on the island of Puerto Rico during the age of Caribbean ascendancy. The aim of the game is to amass victory points in two ways: by exporting goods and by constructing buildings.

<i>Carcassonne</i> (board game) board game

Carcassonne is a tile-based German-style board game for two to five players, designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede and published in 2000 by Hans im Glück in German and by Rio Grande Games and Z-Man Games (currently) in English. It received the Spiel des Jahres and the Deutscher Spiele Preis awards in 2001.

<i>Ticket to Ride</i> (board game) board game

Ticket to Ride is a railway-themed German-style board game designed by Alan R. Moon. It was illustrated by Julien Delval and Cyrille Daujean and published in 2004 by Days of Wonder. The game is also known as Zug um Zug (German), Les Aventuriers du Rail (French), Aventureros al Tren (Spanish), Wsiąść do pociągu (Polish), and Menolippu (Finnish).

A Game of Thrones is a strategy board game created by Christian T. Petersen and released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2003. The game is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series by George R. R. Martin. It was followed in 2004 by the expansion A Clash of Kings, and in 2006 by the expansion A Storm of Swords.

<i>Alhambra</i> (board game) 2003 board game

Alhambra is a 2003 tile-based German-style board game designed by Dirk Henn. It was originally published in Germany by Queen Games in a language-interdependent version; an English-specific version was released in North America by the now-defunct Überplay. The game is an Arabian-themed update, set during the construction of the Alhambra palace in 14th century Granada, of the 1998 stock trading board game Stimmt So!, which in turn was an update of the 1992 mafia influence board game Al Capone; the original version was subsequently released as Alhambra: The Card Game.

Andreas Seyfarth is a German-style board game designer, who is most famous for creating Puerto Rico, which is rated #16 on BoardGameGeek. In 2002, the game was awarded first place for the prestigious Deutscher Spiele Preis. Seyfarth also received the crown jewel of German board-game awards, the Spiel des Jahres in 1994 and 2006 for his games Manhattan and Thurn and Taxis respectively.

Wallenstein (board game) board game

Wallenstein is a medium-weight German-style board game designed by Dirk Henn and published by Queen Games in 2002. Though set during the Thirty Years' War, Wallenstein should not be confused with a complex wargame. Rather, it has the feel of a light strategy game with the familiar Euro elements of area control and resource management mixed in. As such, it has a wide range of appeal that attracts wargamers and non-wargamers alike.

<i>The Settlers of Canaan</i>

Settlers of Canaan is a licensed adaptation of Catan that incorporates Hebrew Bible themes into its multiplayer board game play. It was published in 2002 by Cactus Game Design, based in North Carolina.

<i>War of the Ring</i> (board game) board game

War of the Ring is a strategy board game by Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello, first produced by Nexus Editrice (Italy) and currently published by Ares Games.

Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome is a 2006 German-style board game based on the game mechanics of Settlers of Catan, depicting the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The game is created by Klaus Teuber, the creator of Settlers, and is published under license from Catan GmbH by Kosmos in German and Mayfair Games in English. It is the second game in the Catan Histories series of board games. Often games produced in different languages by different publishers have slight rule differences between the versions. Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome is no exception.

<i>Twilight Struggle</i> Board game

Twilight Struggle: The Cold War, 1945–1989 is a board game for two players, published by GMT Games in 2005. Players are the United States and Soviet Union contesting each other's influence on the world map by using cards that correspond to historical events. The first game designed by Ananda Gupta and Jason Matthews, they intended it to be a quick-playing alternative to more complex card-driven wargames.

To Court the King is a dice-based board game for 2–5 players designed by Tom Lehmann. It was published in German by Amigo Spiele as Um Krone und Kragen in 2006, and in English as To Court the King by Rio Grande Games. The basic mechanics of rolling and re-rolling dice have drawn comparisons to the game of Yahtzee.

<i>Agricola</i> (board game) board game

Agricola is a Euro-style board game created by Uwe Rosenberg. It is a worker placement game with a focus on resource management. In Agricola, players are farmers that sow, plow the fields, collect wood, build stables, buy animals, expand their farms and feed their families. After 14 rounds players calculate their score based on the size and prosperity of the household.

<i>Pandemic</i> (board game) Cooperative board game

Pandemic is a cooperative board game designed by Matt Leacock and first published by Z-Man Games in the United States in 2008. Pandemic is based on the premise that four diseases have broken out in the world, each threatening to wipe out a region. The game accommodates two to four players, each playing one of seven possible roles: dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher, operations expert, Contingency Planner, or quarantine specialist. Through the combined effort of all the players, the goal is to discover all four cures before any of several game-losing conditions are reached.

The Rivals for Catan is an updated revision of the Catan Card Game, a card game adaptation of The Settlers of Catan. The game was released in 2010. It is a member of the Catan series of games, and is published by Kosmos in German and Mayfair Games in English. Like its predecessor, The Rivals for Catan is a two-player game. As with the Catan Adventures series of games, the theme is based on the Rebecca Gablé novel The Settlers of Catan, a novel based on the original board game.

<i>Catan</i> Board game

Catan, previously known as The Settlers of Catan or simply Settlers, is a multiplayer board game designed by Klaus Teuber, and first published in 1995 in Germany by Franckh-Kosmos Verlag (Kosmos) as Die Siedler von Catan. Players take on the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players gain points as their settlements grow; the first to reach a set number of points, typically 10, wins. The game and its many expansions are also published by Catan Studio, Filosofia, GP, Inc., 999 Games, Κάισσα, and Devir.

<i>Civilization</i> (2010 board game)

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game is a 2010 board game created by Kevin Wilson based on the Sid Meier's Civilization series of video games and published by Fantasy Flight Games. While the previous board game based on Sid Meier's Civilization, published by Eagle Games in 2002, was based on Civilization III, the 2010 version takes its primary inspiration from Civilization IV. Its expansions, Fame and Fortune and Wisdom and Warfare, also began to incorporate concepts derived from Civilization V.

<i>Star Wars: Rebellion</i> (board game) 2016 strategy board game

Star Wars: Rebellion is an asymmetrical strategy board game created by Corey Konieczka and published by Fantasy Flight Games in 2016 inspired by the Star Wars original trilogy. Players control either the Galactic Empire, who seek to find the Rebel Alliance base and destroy it, or the Rebel Alliance, who seek to avoid detection by the Galactic Empire while attempting sabotage against the Galactic Empire.

Mombasa is a 2015 Euro-style board game by Alexander Pfister. The theme is the rivalry of four trading companies in Africa. Players buy shares in the companies and expand them to their advantage, aiming to build the most valuable portfolio. Game mechanics include deck building and worker placement. Mombasa won the 2016 Deutscher Spielepreis.

References

  1. "Review of Thurn and Taxis". RPG.net . 2006-11-01. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  2. Greenwood, Ed (2007). "Thurn and Taxis". In Lowder, James (ed.). Hobby Games: The 100 Best . Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 312–314. ISBN   978-1-932442-96-0.
  3. Staff (March 2007). "The Best (and Worst) of 2006; The 16th Annual Computer Games Awards". Computer Games Magazine (195): 46–51.