Top 100: #73 Splendor

Number 73 on our list, Splendor, is one of the games people called newest classics. The gameplay is simple, but allows for a lot of different choices to be made in an effort to have the highest score at the end of the round that triggers the end game. Playing as jewelers players collect gems both temporary and permanently to build an engine to get points the most efficiently.

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On your turn you only have four options for your actions. You can grab three gem chips of all different colors, collect two of the same color, reserve a card taking a wild chip in the process, or purchase a card on the table or in your personal reserve. A lot of your turns, especially early in the game, will be picking up chips. They are very limited so sometimes you will take chips because you need them and other times to stop your opponents from getting them. There is a 10 gem limit though to stop players from hoarding too many gems.

Once you have the gems to afford some of the cards in play you can purchase cards and add them to your tableau while returning the gem chips to the supply. All of the gem cards provide a gem permanently to your supply. Some of the cards even have points as well to add to your score at the end of the game.

As a game of Splendor continues you might be able to get a big discount on buying a card using the permanent gems that you have - or possibly even get a card or two for free. I normally fall for the temptation to get cards for free which is why i lose most games as players are in a race to get to the point threshold. So having a great engine isn’t going to win you the game if you don’t have the points to go with it. My one saving grace is there are nobles that give you points based on if you meet their requirements from your permanent gems.

One of the easier games for me to teach, while still having a lot of depth and player interaction, Splendor is a great game. I’ve heard that in most recent printings the components are cheaply made, but components were never what made the game quality anyways. (Even if they were complimented quite often). Everyone should give Splendor a try at one of our events especially, if you are just getting into board gaming as it is a great gateway.