If you are looking for the best medieval board games you have come to the right place. Do not be fooled though, these are not games that do Medieval the best, they are great games that are very medieval. When we think of this period we tend to think of knights and castles and we would be exactly correct. These games usually have themes or storylines set in Europe or Asia, between the 5th century (476, the fall of the Western Roman Empire) and the 16th century (1492, the beginnings of European overseas colonization). Here is our list of the 10 Best Medieval Board Games.
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#10 | Citadels
Citadels makes the list of the best medieval board games because it is a great role-playing card game, that has characters so rich they could be right out of Game of Thrones. You need to hire the right mix of people throughout the game in order to build your city, really requiring you to get in the medieval mindset.
Players start the game with a number of building cards in their hand. There are many characters and at the beginning of each round, starting with whoever was just the king, players choose a character from a stack and then pass them for other players to do the same. This lets you do something that turns that is going to help you build buildings depending on your building cards. Strategically taking the right roles at the right time is everything. For 2 – 8 players, games last about 30 – 60 minutes.
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#09 | Carcassonne
Carcassonne is one of the most popular strategy games of all time and an easy choice for the list of the best medieval board games. It is a simpler time and this little civilization needs castle walls, roads and citadels. You need to strategically grab the right structures to secure the best empire.
This may be one of the easiest games to learn and play which is probably why so many people use it as a gateway game (something you start with to get people into the hobby). The board starts with one tile and turn after turn players draw a tile and lay it somewhere on the map that makes sense. Then you choose whether or not to claim something you just started with you limited workers. For 2 – 5 players. games last about 30 – 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Carcassonne Guide | How To Play Carcassonne | Carcassonne Review | Games Like Carcassonne | Buy Carcassonne
#08 | Troyes
Troyes makes the list of the best medieval board games because it is a great worker placement game that it is all about working on cathedrals, combating misfortune, and completing all sorts of other tasks that are going to help your family stature. You really feel like you are trying to build up a medieval machine.
You recreate four centuries of history of the famous city of the Champagne region of France Troyes. Each player manages their segment of the population (represented by a horde of dice) and their hand of cards, which represent the three primary domains of the city: religious, military, and civil. Players can also offer cash to their opponents’ populace in order to get a little moonlighting out of them. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Troyes
#07 | Dominion
People may complain about the lack of characters in Dominion, but there is no doubt that the theme is very medieval. Dominion makes the list of the best medieval board games because it has used this theme and launched and entire genre, deck-building. Though the game is several years old, they have continued to release expansion after expansion all within this time period.
In Dominion, a new set of 10 action cards each game and the standard treasure/victory cards are available for purchase. Everyone starts with the same basically nothing and has to buy cards and build up a deck to draw more and more powerful cards to get to big victory points. The game ends once any three piles are gone and whoever has the most points in their deck wins. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 30 minutes.
FOR MORE: Dominion Guide | How To Play Dominion | Dominion Review | Games Like Dominion | Buy Dominion
#06 | El Grande
El Grande makes the list of the best medieval board games because this is a top of class drafting and area control game where that area is medieval Spain. You really feel like a master of the time, plotting the take over of lands with your countless troops and resources.
You are a “grandes” lord. The king’s power is fledgling and it is your turn to step in and try to take control of the various regions. You need to draft “caballeros” knights (colored cubes) into your army to move onto the board and seize these regions. Everyone is doing the same thing but by strategically taking the right mix of powers and warriors, you can control the right area and get big points towards victory. For 2 – 5 players, games run about 1 – 2 hours.
FOR MORE: Buy El Grande
#05 | Caylus
Caylus makes the list of the best medieval board games because it represents a very important period in that time, gives you lots of control and brings some unique gameplay mechanics to the table for plenty of fun. This is a worker placement game that drives home economic aspects more than anything else.
It is 1289. To strengthen the borders of the Kingdom of France, King Philip the Fair decided to have a new castle built. For the time being, Caylus is but a humble village, but soon, a city will rise up. Each turn, players pay to place their workers in various buildings in the village. These buildings allow players to gather resources or money, or to build or upgrade buildings with those resources. Players can also use their resources to help build the castle itself, earning points and favors from the king, which provide larger bonuses. For 2 – 5 players, games last 60 – 150 minutes.
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#04 | The Voyages of Marco Polo
The Voyages of Marco Polo makes the list of the best medieval board games because this is a timeless game that is beloved by so many. Forgetting the theme for a second, this is just a top-notch dice driven resource management game. Not forgetting the theme for a second, you follow Marco Polo across the silk road and it is fantastic.
In 1271, 17-year-old Marco Polo started on a journey to China with his father and older brother. After a long and grueling journey that led through Jerusalem and Mesopotamia and over the “Silk Road”, they reached the court of Kublai Khan in 1275. This is the journey you recreate. Use your dice and your unique character wisely each turn in order to sustain and get what you need to make it. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 40 – 100 minutes.
#03 | Orléans
Orléans makes the list of the best medieval games because this game is just exploding with character and excitement. The game producers did a great job of packing in so much per square inch in this exciting title about the medieval goings-on around city of Orléans. There are many paths to victory but there can be only one winner.
You must assemble a following of farmers, merchants, knights, monks, etc. to gain supremacy through trade, construction and science in medieval France. Grow your influence and attract as many people as possible so you can perform the maximum amount of actions and get far ahead. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Games Like Orléans | Buy Orléans
#02 | A Feast For Odin
A Feast of Odin makes the list of the best medieval board games because it is huge. If you want to helm a gigantic undertaking of building out an supporting an entire empire withing this time period, A Feast For Odin may be for you. It is a great worker placement game with many decisions for you to make.
You are reliving the cultural achievements, mercantile expeditions, and pillages of old school Viking tribes. Everyone will raid and explore new territories while experiencing their day-to-day activities: collecting goods to achieve a financially secure position in society. In the end, Whoever’s possessions bear the greatest value will be declared the winner. For 1 – 4 players, games last about 30 – 120 minutes.
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#01 | The Castles of Burgundy
The top spot on the list of the best medieval board games goes to The Castles of Burgundy. Released in 2011, this is just one of those strategy games that you see on every best-of list. It is just consistently good in all the right places. It is a worker placement game set in the Burgundy region of High Medieval France.
The game is about players taking settlement tiles from the game board and placing them into their princedom which is represented by the player board. Every tile has a function that starts when the tile is placed in the princedom. The princedom itself consists of several regions, each of which demands its own type of settlement tile. For 2 – 4 players, games go for 30 – 90 minutes.