Wednesday, July 17, 2024

‘Town Builder: Coevorden’ Is Fast And To The Point

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Town Builder: Coevorden is a card drafting city building game that uses its own cards as resources. Published in 2019 by First Fish Games — who also published Ducks in Tow, a game I recently wrote about as well which you should go check out — Town Builder: Coevorden is a different type of game. It uses a deck of 60 town cards combined with some award and judge cards into a system of growth and planning. The number of players in the game determines how many times you will run through the deck and the player with the most points then wins. 

What’s in the box?

  • 60 Town Cards of 5 types
  • 8 Award Cards
  • 6 Judge Cards
  • 4 Turn Reference/ Player Crest Cards
  • 1 Game End Card/ Best District Card
Town Builder: Coevorden cover art

How’s it Play?

This is a fairly fast-playing, easy to learn card game that takes some strategy and planning to win. 5 town cards are placed out, available to all players. Players take turns taking 2 actions on their turn, going in a clockwise direction. Before a player’s turn begins, the card row is refilled so there are 5 cards. The player then performs 2 actions of the 3 different actions available. Then turn goes to the next player and continues till the end of the game.

Town Builder: Coevorden cards

Start a Foundation: A foundation is an unbuilt building. It’s not worth any point until it’s built and doesn’t count for claiming awards and judges. To start a foundation, you will take the card and place it sideways in front of you in your district. Some cards have a gold cost to start it as a foundation. When tilted to the left, the card will list if there is a gold cost and what resources it will need to become built. Gold cost needs to be paid when you claim the card to start it as a foundation.

Gain a Resource: You can take a card from the card row to use its resource listed on the bottom of the card. If there are 2 resources listed, you can only use one of the two, but you can decide which one it represents at the time you use the card to build the building.

Store a Gold: You can take a card from the card row that provides gold. You know that it provides gold if its listed on the bottom of your card. You will turn the card so the gold is on top and place it under your player crest where your gold storage is located. Only gold is stored under your player crest so you won’t get confused if there is another type of resource listed next to the gold. Also, there is no limit to how much gold you can store. 

Town Builder: Coevorden  player tableau

As soon as a foundation has all the resourced needed to satisfy its requirements, it must be built. All the resources are discarded and the card it turned upright. If a foundation only has gold cost and no resource cost, it will be completed immediately after paying the gold and starting the foundation. 

Claiming Rewards: During your turn your can claim one or more awards if you meet the requirements. To claim one, you take it and place it in your district. Until the first player’s next turn, other players may on their turn share in claiming an award making sure each player has the same amount of turns to claim each award. Players can then use a face down unused award in its place, and it worth the same amount of points. 

Building Abilities: After a foundation is completed, it can then be used for its ability. Build abilities are used once during the turn it’s completed and never after that turn. Scoring abilities are used for end game scoring. Star abilities are unique in which you can choose to activate one star ability per turn. 

Town Builder: Coevorden cards

When the deck runs out, all the cards in the discard pile are shuffled and a new deck is formed. But remember, depending on player count, you will go through the deck a certain amount of times. You will be able to use the Game End Card to help with this. 

The game end is triggered after the deck runs out a certain number of times. The deck is then shuffled once more and each player takes one last turn.

Scoring: Scoring is then performed after game end is triggered. First, if any player has any scoring abilities, they can activate these in turn order. Judge scoring is next, and the player with the most buildings of the judge’s preferred type claims the judge. Then players will count points by adding points listed on their buildings, awards, and judges in their districts. The player with the most points wins the game.

Town Builder: Coevorden initial setup

The Verdict

This is a small card game that lets you use the same amount of actions as all other players and use those actions to form the best town. The game is heavily weighted on picking cards to build that have good abilities. The game is good for planning as players will be able to see cards many times before using them. So really you will be using these same cards over and over again in different ways, but you will need to plan out which ones you want first, and then continue to build hoping you do better than all others.

The game doesn’t require a big footprint by any means and the fact that the cards are multi-use cards, helps the game become more than the 60 cards it is. This game would be a good card game to introduce newer player to without burning their brains with tons of rules. 

Town Builder: Coevorden judges

The game also gives players satisfaction as you can slowly build and gain cards making your own tableau and it feels like you’re actually doing something in the game. If you are looking for a heavier weighted game, then you will not find any of that here. This game is one that tries to do a lot with a little. However, the game would be great for those who don’t like huge games on the table, or who don’t want to take all day to play. This game is short, to the point, and does what it tries to do. 

You can grab Town Builder: Coevorden at your FLGS

Images Courtesy of First Fish Games

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