Published by: Geek Attitude Games
# of players: 2-5
Mayday card sleeve size: Standard card size
The very first thing that will catch your eye is the very colorful and bold box that Taverna comes in. From the box to the rules and game board Taverna is very eye catching and will draw people to your table in curiosity. The game consists of a double-sided game board with wooden score and property tokens. There are 4 interesting dignitary character standees as well as your standard punch out cardboard coins and other tokens. Cards are your standard card size and very sturdy. Everything comes in English and French languages. The Rulebook was very easy to understand in English. I do not comprehend French so I have no clue how it translates between the two. Geek Attitude Games gives you components that are your standard euro type components but add a generous layer of bold coloring to them to please the eyes while playing.
Taverna blends a little worker placement with area control in a fantasy setting. The goal of Taverna is to be the player with the most victory points at the end of either 8 turns (2 player game) or 6 turns (3-5 player game). Players can earn victory points in many ways to include your end position on the different people's tracks, owning taverns and also one of 5 royal scoring opportunities at the end of the game. Which royal scoring opportunity you choose will be based on who is highest on the people's track with the King token on it. The King token is placed on the track of a random people at the beginning of the game. The highest person on that track will choose their royal scoring opportunity first at the end of the game. Once a royal scoring opportunity has been picked by a player it can no longer be picked by anyone else.
Game turns consist of up to 7 steps. The first 3 steps are mandatory. First you will choose a customer card from the available face up cards. You will then take the corresponding color customer tile and place it on an unoccupied table in a tavern. If the table and customer tile are the same color then you will move up one spot on that specific people's track. If you occupy the last table in a tavern you get to claim the privilege token on that tavern. Finally each owner of the chosen tavern gets three coins (2 to 3 player games) or two coins (4 to 5 player games) from the supply.
When I first heard the name Taverna I instantly thought it was going to be a tavern themed version of Caverna or Agricola. This is definitely not that game, but that is a good thing as Taverna is its own mix of area control and worker placement. Taverna is a game that can be learned fast and plays in roughly an hour. The pace of the game is very smooth till the end game scoring of royal opportunities. The selection of which royal scoring opportunity to take really slows the game to a crawl compared to smooth pace of the game. Basically the person who chooses first is most likely going to take what benefits them the most and then everyone is discussing together how each person can get the most points over the other players by selections. Maybe those I play with are very analysis prone and you may not experience this but do beware of it. The only other issue I had with Taverna was the art on the spell cards. Everything was so colorful and beautifully drawn but the spell cards just had these blue magic symbols. This made the spell cards feel kind of bland and out of place with the rest of the game.
I really enjoyed playing Taverna. This is a game that I feel fits in nicely on a game night with friends who want to drink and converse while playing. There are still decisions to make and some strategy but it is lighter than most in the worker placement/ area control genres. The game plays as well with 2 people as it does with 3 to 5 players. There are many paths to victory and each seems fairly balanced, but no matter what path you choose do not ignore the people's track. Taverna will be going into my collection and will see table time in the future. The colorful art helps pick it out of the many game boxes on shelves. If your looking for a light to mid weight euro game with a fun tavern theme then Taverna will scratch that itch. This is a game I think will be enjoyed by gamers and their non gaming family and friends.
+ Bold colors make this very appealing to the eyes
+ light weight mix of worker placement and area control but also feels like its own unique mix
+ 2 player is as fun as 3 to 5 players
+ Tavern theme
+ Easy to learn and quick to play
- Choosing royal scoring opportunities slows the pace of the game down at the end
- Spell card art feels bland compared to the rest of the game
- Hard to find in North America may make this hard to obtain and expensive
(spoke to geek attitude games and a few online stores are getting copies and they are looking into possibly distributing in North America)
- Customs ripping my box cover for no reason (sorry just bitter not the games fault)
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Thank you for reading my review of Taverna - Taco