Brought to us by Renegade Game Studios, Architects of the West Kingdom is a 1-5 player game set at the end of the Carolingian Empire, circa 850 A.D. Players take on the role of royal architects, vying to impress the King with their buildings and maintain their virtuous status along the way. Juggling tasks of resource management, hiring apprentices, managing workers, and fielding attempts of rival sabotage are all to be expected in this fast-paced game.

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GAMEPLAY:

Objective:

The objective of Architects of the West Kingdom is to have the most Victory Points (VP) at the end of the game. Players gain points by building Buildings and through working on the Cathedral, but also through their Virtue level. Players will need to make moral decisions in this game, some which raise and others which lower their Virtue. At the game’s end, their Virtue will be judged and additional Victory Points assigned accordingly.

Components:

  • Resources for Building
    • Clay tokens, Wood tokens, Stone tokens, Gold tokens, and Marble tokens
  • Player markers
    • 10 of each square-shaped marker, in five different colors
  • Workers
    • 100 of each in five different colors
  • Six card types
    • Black Market Cards
    • Debt Cards
    • Reward Cards
    • Multiplier Cards
    • Apprentice Cards
    • Building Cards
  • Main game board
  • 5 Double-sided Player boards

Setup:

  • Put Main Board within reach of all players.
  • Shuffle the Black Market Cards and put them to the left of the Black Market space, “Small Market” side face up.
  • Shuffle the Reward Cards and put them facedown to the right of the Cathedral. The number of Reward Cards used will be two fpr each player, plus one. There would be 7 cards in a 3 player game, for instance.
  • All Debt Cards should go in a pile near the Guardhouse, “unpaid” side face up.
  • All Multiplier Cards can also go in a pile by the board.
  • Shuffle your Apprentice Cards and put them facedown by the right of the board. Picking from the top of the pile, put one Apprentice face up in each of the 8 spaces beside the Workshop.
  • Shuffle the Building Cards and put them face down to the left of the Workshop.
  • Gather all Clay, Wood, Stone, Gold, Marble, and Silver near the board. This area is to be referred to as the “Supply.”
  • From the Supply, move 4 Silver to the space above the Tax Stand.
  • Each player chooses 1 Player Board (using side 1) and 20 Workers in their chosen color.
  • Players now put 1 of their colored Markers at the Cathedral and the other on number 7 of the Virtue Track.
  • Four building cards are now dealt to each player. From these, each player must select 1 card to keep. All remaining cards are then passed to the person on their left. Players then again choose just 1 card to keep, passing the rest to the left again.
    • Of the last 2 cards received, players must choose 1 to keep and 1 to put back under the Building Card pile.This leaves players with 3 cards to start with. Players do not share what Building Cards their they have.
  • A starting player is chosen randomly. The starter should get 3 Silver from the Supply. The 2nd player will get 4 Silver. Third players receive 5 Silver and so on.

Variation Note: For a more randomized game, players can use side 2 of their Player Boards (randomly dealt or chosen). This side gives each player a special ability for the game and also shows how much Silver, Virtue and other items they begin with.

Turn Phase:

Turns proceed clockwise from the starting player. On their turn, players must place 1 of their Workers from their Player Board onto a chosen location on the Main Board.

  • Most locations show a large open circle, and at these spaces, there is no limit for how many players may use it, or how many Workers can be placed there.
  • Some locations show a small open circle, and at these spaces, only 1 Worker is allowed at a time.
  • The Guildhall shows locations with the outline of a Worker. If you place a Workers here, always fill from left to right, top to bottom. Workers placed here should be laid down on their side and once placed, will remain there for the rest of the game.

Locations include:

  •  4 resource gathering areas; Quarry, Forest, Mines, and Silversmith
  • The King’s Storehouse for trading resources
  • The Workshop to either hire 1 Apprentice or work on new Building Plans
  • The Town Centre for players to recruit locals to capture other Workers
  • The Tax Stand where players may steal the Silver from the Tax Stand
  • The Black Market to pursue cheaper resources
  • The Guardhouse for captured Workers to pay off their debts
  • The Guildhall is where players construct either a Building or advance work on the Cathedral

Strategy Note: While it may seem like there’s no real benefit from doing things that ultimately lower your Virtue, there are perks to being a bit nefarious. For example, sitting low enough on the Virtue Track allows the player to skimp on their taxes. Being very high on the Virtue Track leads to more end game points, but also might mean you cannot visit the Black Market. Balance and thoughtful strategy are key!

End Phase

Turns continue until a set number of buildings have been completed. Once that takes place, all players take a final turn. The number of constructions needed to enter the end phase is noted by the Worker spaces in the Guildhall. Some spaces are only used at higher player counts, as shown by the 3+, 4+ and 5+ outlines.

Once the game has ended, players should resolve any end-game effects from their Buildings. Each player should then add up their score for the following areas

  • + VP for all constructed Buildings
  • – 2 VP for each unpaid Debt.
  • + VP for level of work done advancing construction on the Cathedral.
  • + 1 VP for each Gold and 1 VP for each Marble on their Player Board.
  • + or – VP for final position on the Virtue Track.
  • + 1 VP for each set of 10 Silver on their Player Board.
  • – 1 VP for every 2 Workers in Prison (1 Worker on its own is not counted).

The player with the highest total score is the winner. If there is a tie, the player with the highest Virtue is the winner. If still tied, the tied player with the most remaining Silver is the winner. If there is still a tie, all tied players share the victory.

QUICK INFO:

Time to Play: 60-80 minutes

Alternative Titles: Architectes du royaume de l’ouest

Architekten des Westfrankenreichs

Architetti del Regno Occidentale

Arquitectos del Reino del Oeste

Arquitetos do Reino Ocidental

A nyugati királyság építőmesterei

西方王国建筑师

서쪽 왕국의 건축가

Suggested Player Age (Manufacturer): 12+

Community Suggested Player Age: 10+

List of Expansions: Architects of the West Kingdom: Extra Player Boards (2018)

Architects of the West Kingdom: Extra Buildings (2018)

Architects of the West Kingdom: Extra Apprentices (2018)

Garphill Games 5-Year Anniversary Promo Pack (2019)

Community Rating: 8/10

Popularity: OVERALL 136  –  STRATEGY 87

Difficulty: Moderate

Published Year: 2018

Creator/Publisher Credits:

            Designers

  • Shem Phillips
  • S J Macdonald

            Artist

  • Mihajlo Dimitrievski

            Publishers     

  • Garphill Games
  • Angry Lion Games
  • Banana Games
  • Ediciones Primigenio
  • Fever Games
  • Meeple BR Jogos
  • PixieGames
  • Reflexshop
  • Renegade Game Studios
  • Schwerkraft-Verlag

Official Game Site:

https://www.renegadegamestudios.com/architects

Official Game Rulebook:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54148cdae4b05a3412bfa19b/t/5b29427570a6adff5696713b/1529430670335/ArchitectsRulebook_4web.pdf

Awards: Board Game Spotlight’s Top 10 of 2018

The Dice Tower’s Seal of Excellence

Game Nite Magazine’s Editor’s Choice

Cardboard Republic 2018 Nominee

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