Taverns of Tiefenthal review


I managed to get Taverns to the table with a friend yesterday and enjoyed the experience and look forward to playing again soon.  I played one game with the core game (no modules) and the second game with all the modules (save one).  

Generally speaking I think playing with all the modules is better.  It allowed for more choices and a few bonus actions.  This is a deck-building game at its core with a Tavern to help augment your deck building.  At the end of the game you only have to add up the VPs in your deck.  I like the simplicity of that as it makes explaining the rules rather easy.  There is enough complexity that it takes a playthrough to real "get" the game but one playthrough should be enough for most folks to feel comfortable and some will grasp the mechanics quite well without a full playthrough.

This could be a nice game complexity bump up from say Splendor or Catan.  I'd say its about as complex as Castles of Mad King Ludwig.  A couple of things I like about this deck-builder:

1. All the cards do something or can do something.  I like Dominion but one critique I have is the VP cards just sit in your hand and take up space generally.  The Nobles in ToT provide at least a small dice placement area and I like that they stack to take up less space in the tavern.

2. You don't generally have time for all the tavern upgrades, or at least I haven't for the first two games.  The 8 rounds limit makes it tough to decide what direction you might end up wanting to go.

3. There's a good mix of steps you do simultaneously with other players and turn-order steps.  Overall the game plays pretty fast and I think a full 4 player game would take about 60 minutes or less with all folks knowing the rules.  Rules are likely a 10 minute or less explanation if you are efficient.

If you like Clank!, Dominion, or Mystic Vale you'll probably like Taverns.  Overall I'd say its closest to a combination of Dominion and Clank! but I like it better than Clank! and maybe slightly better than dominion as I like the Tavern theme.

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Supporter10 months ago

I've been curious about this one since it's been mentioned so often. I've found that I'm not really into pure deck-builders so this one seems like a great game to try in the future. Plus, I often enjoy some dice rolling in games :)

Supporter10 months ago

This game keeps coming up and has gotten my attention. Thanks for the review!

10 months ago

Thanks for your review! My copy should be coming this week along with my copy of Paladins which I believe you also recently reviewed. I'm intrigued by you saying you like it better than Clank. I'm a fan of Clank (in space specifically) and I'm looking forward to Taverns. Star Realms was my early foray into deck builders and I'm keen to try this one. I also really like the tavern esthetic.

Supporter10 months ago

I find your take on point number one interesting. Because, while I haven't played taverns I saw that in the rulebook and I thought of that as a slight negative. I like the tension of the cards in Dominion being the useless cards. 

10 months ago

I can see that mechanic being one some prefer in a deck builder.  It's a minor critique for Dominion in part because Dominion seems to be more of a "pure" deck builder while Tavern's and Clank! and other's tend do more than pure deck building.  I think I like the deck building mechanic as a part of a greater home better than a pure deck builder.  Still, I like Dominion quite a bit and that tension is part of what makes the game great.

Supporter10 months ago

That does make a lot of sense. I too don't like junk cards even deckbuilding is a element of the game rather than the game.