Which of you have what it takes to make the greatest stained glass window?
Note: We were gifted this game for an unbiased review
Who would’ve thought a game about creating stained glass windows in the Sagrada Familia would become so popular?! Well, to us Sagrada is one of the games that helped us fall in love with board games and even now we still adore playing it and teaching it to people. It’s one of those amazingly simple, beautiful games which is fun for all levels of board gamer, so if you’ve never played it before – or worse – never heard of it before, hopefully I can convince you to give it a try.
Players are attempting to build the best stained glass window in the amazing Sagrada Familia, by drafting coloured dice which represent pieces of glass. By strategically placing dice into their windows, players score private and public objectives which are counted after 10 rounds. If you’ve succeeded in filling your window you will end up with a beautiful display!
The first thing you do is pick a design. You are given four to choose from and will range from simple to complex. The more complex a design you choose, the more favour tokens you will begin with and these will help you throughout the game. Personally I always choose the most complicated out of the four as I like a challenge and find those favour tokens so useful 🙂 The designs slot into your window and you’re now ready to start. The coloured squares will need that colour of dice, and the numbered squares will need that number (d’uh!).
Each round, a number of dice are randomly drawn from the bag and rolled to form the draft pool. There’s always 2 x the number of players + 1 (e.g. with 2 players there’s 5 dice each round). Players then take it in turns to draft dice from the pool and place them into their display. The tricky part is that in addition to the design you picked, you can never place two dice of the same colour or the same number next to each other (diagonally is fine). You also have to place each dice within one space of all previously placed dice so you can’t just start filling in a different part of your window.
If you can’t place a dice, or don’t like what’s on offer, there are a number of tool cards at your disposal which will help you move dice, change faces of dice, roll new dice etc. These will change for each game you play and you use them by paying your favour tokens. The more intricate design you picked the more you can use these tools, so use them wisely!
So how do you score points? Each game there will be three public objectives that everyone is working towards and one private objective. The private objective gives you a colour that you want to get as much of in your display as possible, you’ll add up all the dice of that colour at the end. Try not to make it to obvious what colour you’re after though as people will start stealing the 5s and 6s from the draft pool otherwise 🙂
The public objectives are more varied, for example 5 points for each set of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in your display, or 5 points for each row that has five unique numbers in it. These are where you win or lose the game! Too often I focus just on making sure I can fill in my grid and forget about the objectives, then at the end realise I’ve only scored 20 points!
I cannot recommend Sagrada enough to you – you’d be hard pushed to find a better family game in terms of all round experience. It’s beautiful to look at; the dice are amazing (and there are so many of them!), the cards are intricately designed, as are the windows/player boards. It’s easy to learn, the rulebook is simple and you’ll be playing within ten minutes. Its got really good replayability too as the objectives and tools will change up each time you play, and obviously you will get different window designs to choose from.
The satisfaction you get from gradually filling in your window is delightful, as you check on your objectives and bemoan your lack of luck because you want purple dice and the only ones coming out are 1s and 2s, but then on the last turn the 6 you really need comes out and saves the day! Finally, it’s a game all the family will enjoy, and it’s a game non-gamers will instantly fall in love with! If you’ve never played it before, do yourself a favour and grab a copy!
If you prefer heavier games, the three expansions (check out that review when it appears!) add a layer or two of complexity and difficulty, introducing new colours of dice and ways of scoring, amongst other things!
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