Continue if you are looking for the best Renaissance board games because that is what we are going to give you. Renaissance games are those set between the end of the 14th century (when the Renaissance began in Italy) and roughly the 16th century. This is a broad category and encompasses many different genres and mechanics. This is our list of the 10 best Renaissance board games.
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#10 | Navegador
Just making the list of the best Renaissance board games is a title about exploration and growth. You have many things to do and much to see in order to properly set up your empire in a time inspired by the Portuguese Age of Discoveries in the 15th-16th century.
You will take actions such as contracting men, acquiring ships and buildings, sailing the seas, establishing colonies in discovered lands, trading goods on the market and getting privileges. Starting with only two ships and three workers, you must expand your wealth. Money is used to build ships, erect buildings such as factories, shipyards and churches, and to get workers. Workers are necessary to found colonies or to acquire buildings and key privileges. For 2 – 5 players, games run 60 – 90 minutes.
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#09 | Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery
Age of Empires III makes the list of the best Renaissance board games because it is one of the most epic civilization building games ever that just happens to take place during this illustrious era. Take on the role of a colonial power seeking fame, glory, and riches in the New World.
As you proceed through three ages, you can launch expeditions of discovery, colonize regions, expand your merchant fleet, build capitol buildings that give your nation distinct advantages, develop your economy, and, if necessary, declare war. For 2 – 5 players, games go for 90 – 120 minutes.
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#08 | Coimbra
Comibra makes the list of the best Renaissance board games because it is a top of class worker placement game that dives headfirst into the glory of this era. Coimbra introduces an innovative new dice mechanism in which the dice players draft each round are used in multiple different ways and have an impact on many aspects of their decision making. It is very exciting.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal is thriving under its leading role during the Age of Discovery. The cultural center is Coimbra. As the head of one of the oldest houses, you seek to earn prestige by deepening relationships with nearby monasteries or funding expeditions of the era. For 2 – 4 players, games run 60 – 90 minutes.
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#07 | The Princes of Florence
The Princes of Florence makes the list of the best Renaissance board games because nothing is more “Renaissance” than the artists of the time and this game celebrates them. The competition level is high and it is, like in the game, all about that glory. A great auction system and way to build through the map.
You are trying to attract artists and scholars to the city to become the most prestigious family in Florence. You get your own palace grid and you need to fill that with a mix of buildings. There are a variety of professions such as astronomers, organists and architects. Each is attracted to a particular combination of building, landscape features, and social freedom. The more you can do this, the more work points you generate. For 2 – 5 players, games last 75 – 100 minutes.
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#06 | Goa
Goa makes the list of the best Renaissance board games because it is another fun title that sets you out to explore the era. This is a hand management game with plenty of gambling opportunities to push your luck. The auction system really drives things and makes for an exciting time.
A strategy game of auctions and resource management, Goa is set at the start of the 16th century: beautiful beaches, a mild climate, and one of the most important trading centers in the world. Competing companies deal in spices, send ships and colonists into the world, and invest money. The game mixes an interactive element of the auction, which ties in on many levels. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 90 minutes.
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#05 | Splendor
Splendor may be a simple engine building game but it really drives home that you are a gem trader trying to make it in the Renaissance well. If nothing else, this is an award-winning game and an icon of board gaming. No one has mastered the ultra simplistic engine builder like Splendor has. An easy middle staple for the list of the best Renaissance board games.
You are a gem trader in the Renaissance starting with nothing in hopes to build up an amazing empire. You need to acquire different goods and services to do this in the form of cards you buy and in turn give you bonuses. There are five different types of gems and turns are very simple, you either take them or you spend them. Buying cards gives you higher gem counts which will let you buy bigger and better cards. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 20 minutes each.
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#04 | Endeavor: Age of Sail
If you are looking for something in the exploration and discovery space, this may be the title on the list of the best Renaissance board games for you. Endeavor: Age of Sail is an area control game driven by card drafting towards motivations mostly driven by set collection.
You strive to earn glory for your empire. Sailing out from Europe and the Mediterranean, you will establish shipping routes and occupy cities the world over. As you do so, everyone must leverage their growing industry, culture, finance, and Influence, building their engine and extending their reach into the far-flung regions of the world. For 2 – 5 players, games run roughly 60 – 90 minutes.
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#03 | Lorenzo il Magnifico
Lorenzo il Magnifico makes the list of the best Renaissance board games because it puts you smack dab in the center of where it all began. This is a classic dice rolling worker placement game with all the right balanced options in all the right places. Perfect if you really want to be a part of that sector of history.
You take the role of the head of a noble family in a city during the Italian Renaissance. Your goal is to accumulate more prestige and fame than the others. To do so, you send your family members to different areas of town, where they can obtain many achievements. Family members are not identical. At the beginning of each round, you roll three dice to determine their value. You must choose carefully where to send your most valuable family. For 2 – 4 players, games last roughly 1 – 2 hours.
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#02 | El Grande
El Grande is another fantastic title on the list of the best Renaissance board games that deals with territory control. Using a variety of economical moves, you need to make the right decisions about how you are going to expand your empire without leaving yourself vulnerable.
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.
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#01 | Keyflower
Keyflower takes the top spot on the list of the best Renaissance board games because it is a great snapshot of colonization of the time. This is a fantastic game that has the unique distinction of blending auction and worker placement in an exciting way that really plays. A fantastic title for anyone who wants a quality experience.
Each player starts the game with a “home” tile and an initial team of 8 workers being 1 of 3 colors. Workers of matching colors are used by the players to bid for tiles to add to their villages. Matching workers may alternatively be used to generate resources, skills and additional workers. Throughout the game, players will need to be alert to the opportunities to best utilize their various resources, transport and upgrade capability, skills and workers. For 2 – 6 players, games last 90 – 120 minutes.