By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Versailles: a strategic palace building board game
static1.squarespace
Whoever contributes the best parts of the palace for King Louis the XIV will win the game of Versailles: a strategic palace building game. - photo by Ryan Morgenegg
In the game Versailles by NSKN Games and legendary designer Andrei Novac, King Louis XIV of France hires two to five players as architects and craftsmen to build him a fabulous palace. Whoever can contribute the most ornate, well-built segments of the palace will win.

Play time is about 90 minutes.

The game board itself is beautiful and depicts the Versailles building site and surrounding construction areas specializing in the materials necessary to complete the palace.

Each player begins with a set of meeple workers who can perform various actions on the board in the construction areas. The construction areas represent a marble quarry, gold mine, architects guild, workshop, lumber mill, construction yard, alchemists guild and the kings favor.

A player must determine a strategy to follow by dedicating workers to the correct areas to gather needed benefits. A unique aspect of this game is that additional benefits are granted if more than one worker is present at the same location. For example, two workers at the gold mine yield one piece of gold. A single worker doesnt receive anything.

Players constantly must move their workers in a clockwise direction around the board visiting construction areas and may remain in one area as long as they want. However, if a player needs more workers at a specific construction area, he or she must move them there even if the workers are half way around the board.

Therein lies the core of the strategy of this game: How to use the workers most efficiently. A player needs raw materials but also the right plans for the palace. The workshop generates all of the ornate pieces the highest scoring tiles of the palace require for construction, but the alchemists guild can help research technology that saves much-needed time.

As the palace comes together in the certain of the board, the game increases in excitement and intensity. Each tile of the palace shows what materials and how many workers are needed to complete it. Even when all of those elements are present, the actual palace tile needs to be placed correctly (no outdoor hedges in the middle of the ballroom).

The game ends when the king reaches the palace, palace construction tiles run out or the entire palace gets built. Victory points are given for raw materials, decorations and completed palace tiles. The player with the most points wins.

Versailles is a creatively designed worker placement game of precise planning and strategic design. No two games are ever the same, and it packs a lot of fun. This is a family friendly game worthy of space in any strategy board gamers closet.