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Orleans: Trade & Intrigue Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Reiner Stockhausen

Artists: Klemens Franz
Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG)
Year Published: 2016
No. of Players: 2-5
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 90 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com


Orleans: Trade & Intrigue adds some new changes to the popular and fun base game, Orleans. This expansion adds a pick-up-and-deliver mechanic, new events, and new boards to use when your followers visit town hall.

Getting to the Game:
The game comes in a smaller, thinner box than the core box, so I would recommend adding it to the core game box. Everything will fit inside nicely and safely. The game comes with 23 cards, 34 hour glass tiles, 3 places tiles, 10 cover tokens, and 2 boards.

The game adds 4 new things:

1. Orders
This provides another way to score points. You will collect goods from moving your merchant on the map. When you collect the required good and have your merchant located in a certain city listed on the order card, you can discard the goods and collect the card to count as points at the end of the game. Points range from 7-22 points, depending on the difficulty and location of town on the card.

2. New Events
These events replace all the events included in the base game. You will choose random events from different groups of tiles that are strategically placed in a pile to use for your game. The assortment is done this way so you don't get an event that is devastating at the very beginning of the game.

3. New Beneficial Deeds Board
This board will give you new places to place followers when they visit your town hall. This board also makes the town hall action more worthwhile by providing various actions. The board also uses cover tokens for games with 2-3 players. This helps narrow the requirements down to make the game fit better for fewer players.

4. Intrigue Board
This board increases player interaction and, just like the new beneficial deeds board does, makes the town hall action more worthwhile. All the actions done on the intrigue board are meant to set back other players you are playing against.

Playing the Game:
When setting up the base game, you will do everything as normal, with a few changes.
1. Use the new hour glass tiles for the events. You will follow the steps to randomize and organize these tiles for play.
2. You will use the new beneficial deeds board or the intrigue board in place of the old beneficial deeds board.
3. You will deal out 5 of the order cards for everyone to see.

Let me explain each of the additions and how to play with them.

1. Orders
Cards are shuffled at the beginning of the game and 5 are dealt out for all to see. Each card shows a town and some goods listed on it. If you deliver these goods to this town, you gain the points listed on the card. You will discard the goods and flip a new order card over so that there are always 5 out at a time.

2. New Events
Each tile has an A, B, C, or D letter listed on it, except for 2 "Silentium" tiles. Organize the tiles in stacks for each letter. Place one of the "Silentium" tile on the bottom on the board when forming the event stack. Place random D tiles next, followed by 4 random C, B, and A tiles. Lastly, place the other "Silentium" tile on the top. When going through the events, you will have no affect on the first round and then you will have the "A" events go before the "B" events, and so on. The details of the events are listed in the rulebook. Some events are good while some are bad. Some might slightly hinder you, while others might hugely affect you and your strategy. Since there are tiles not used in every game, you will never know what will be coming and won't be able to plan ahead like you could in the base game.

3.The New Beneficial Deeds Board
The new board will replace the old one. You now have places where you can gain different actions or goods when thinning your bag. Many of these opportunities can very much help you if you really needed something fast. You might find yourself doing one of the following: alchemy, court of lay assessors, thanksgiving, sheep farming, coinage, research, towing service, architecture, town charter, or navigation. Also, when playing with 2-3 players you will only need to add 3 followers to many of the actions to gain the citizen tile. This new board will be used more than previously.

4. The Intrigue Board
This board causes more player interaction. You will now be placing your unwanted followers to do or become one of the following: fraud, arsonist, kidnapper, torturer, hangman, saboteur, spy, tax collector, or traitor.  Each action has specifics on how it will affect the other players and how you will benefit from their misfortune.

Artwork and Components:
The artwork is similar or the same as the art from the base game. The graphic design is done very well as the icons for each action will trigger your brain on what they do after reading it just once or twice. The added components use the thick cardboard used in the base game.

The Good:
The added pick-up-and-deliver mechanic helps enhance the map and the importance of moving your merchant on it and building guildhalls. You can now do those actions which will help you but also make certain spaces more competitive, as you can collect a lot of points by delivering goods to certain towns. The new events add some new fun events that you will never know if they will appear in a game or not. There are several events included and you never use them all in a single game. This adds a random element to the game, making it difficult to be able to plan for them. All the events also connect to the theme. The new beneficial deeds board is the best addition that comes with this expansion. This board will no longer get ignored in a game. The board provides other means to acquire needed goods, or needed actions that otherwise wouldn't be possible. Also, in a 2-3 player game, the narrowing of the followers needed to get a citizen tile helps players actually acquire these tiles. The new beneficial deeds board also helps acquire needed goods for the order cards. The Intrigue board adds some wonderful and exciting rounds in the game. It's always fun to take something from another player to help yourself.

The Bad:
At times, the order cards can reward a player just because they were in the right place at the right time. Due to the random setup of the goods, some cards will almost never be claimed due to the rare chance of collecting the needed goods and be located in that town. The new event tiles can be very fun to play with, but can also be frustrating as there is no way to plan for these events. Although the new beneficial deeds board is amazing, it still lacks player interaction when playing with it. The intrigue board has player interaction, but when playing with this board, the game becomes very aggressive toward other players. You will only want to use the intrigue board when playing with the right type of people. Also, when someone starts using the intrigue board, the other players look for revenge and will then return and perform actions on the intrigue board. Play tends to drift from playing the game to trying to screw over other players without regard to the actual game.

Final Thoughts:
The game is easy to add to the base game and helps enhance the parts of the base game that needed adjustments. I will always play this game with one of the new boards, the new event tiles, and the order cards. Due to that fact, this expansion is highly recommended to add to the base game. After knowing this and now looking at the price, the game becomes a must have and should be added to every base Orleans out there.

Check out Orleans: Trade & Intrigue on:


Brody Sheard - Reviewer

Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues with his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games. Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.

See Brody's reviews HERE.
Orleans: Trade & Intrigue Review Orleans: Trade & Intrigue Review Reviewed by Brody on March 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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