Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play The Castles of Tuscany Board Game. This is a great title that feels like a drafting game, but since you are not limited in your options at all, is really just a strategic resource management game. You need to fill up your area with different regions and they each trigger all sorts of waterfall effects that can really take a cohesive strategy across the finish line. Learning how to play The Castles of Tuscany does take an investment of your time to get it, but it is well worth it.
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HOW TO PLAY THE CASTLES OF TUSCANY – WHAT IS IT?
The beautiful Tuscany region, in the 15th century, is the home of the Italian Resistance. As influential princes, the players make creative decisions to build their region into a flourishing domain.
By supporting towns, villages, and monasteries, or by extracting marble and delivering goods, players see their lands grow, earning them victory points. Each round, players use cards to place useful tiles to expand their regions and gain new opportunities. The winner is the person who has the most victory points after three rounds of play.
HOW TO PLAY THE CASTLES OF TUSCANY – STEP BY STEP
Time Needed: Approximately 45 – 60 minutes.
This is a step by step guide for how to play The Castles of Tuscany the great strategy region drafting board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.
1. SETUP | Form Scoring Board
To kick off how to play The Castles of Tuscany setup, take the two half circle score board pieces, put them together and put in the center of the table.
2. SETUP | Put Out Region Cards
The cards with the black back and gold wheel and 11 symbols on the back are the “region” cards. Shuffle these up and put them in the middle of the table.
3. SETUP | Put Out Yield Cards
The cards with the painting of a man in a wagon driving through a field on the back are the “yield” cards. Shuffle these up and put them in the middle of the table.
4. SETUP | Put Out Square Tiles
These are the square (rectangular) tiles that are one of five different types. Separate these by those types and put in separated stacks centrally located on the table.
5. SETUP | Put Out Double Sided Bonus Tiles
These are the cards that have roman numeral symbols on them. You are going to want to put 8 total out, aligned around the top of the scoreboard, with the “I” numeral side up. The order doesn’t matter, but you might want to put them in order by the number at the bottom for organization.
6. SETUP | Put Out Tokens
Put out handy stacks of the tokens you will use during the game – (1) Orange Workers, (2) White Blocks of Marble and (3) Blue Hexagons.
7. SETUP | Give Out Player Board & Pieces
Each player now takes their specific components which are – (1) Player Board, (2) Double-Sided Castle Token, (3) score marker, (4) 2x Player Tokens of Color and (5) 21x Hexagon Tiles, of 7 different types, With Color Back.
8. SETUP | Shuffle Personal Tiles For Player Board
Each player takes their 21x personal tiles (not counting the 2-sided castle tile) and shuffles them into 3x face-down piles of 7 tiles each. Place each of these stacks on the “1”, “2” and “3” spaces at the top of your player board.
9. SETUP | Place Score Markers
Each player takes their taller colored player marker and places it on the “50” spot in the orange ring on the score board. Then they take their shorter colored player market and puts it on the “50” spot in the green ring. Nearby, play your 50/100 score token, with the 50 side face up.
10. SETUP | Draw Region Cards
Each player draws five region cards to form their opening hand.
11. SETUP | Hand Out Region Boards
The larger rigged tiles are the region boards. Organize these by the letters on their back (A, B or C) and put them into those 3x face-down piles. After each stack is shuffled, give one tile from each to every player. This means each player should have 1x A, 1x B and 1x C tiles. Put the remanders away.
12. SETUP | Player Arrange Region Board
Now that players have their 3x region board pieces, they flip them up and put them down side-by-side in any order or arrangement they want. The two rules are – (1) One long side is adjacent to another long side and (2) The hex cannot be offset more than one space.
13. SETUP | Place Castle Token
Once region boards are arranged, each player takes their double-sided castle token and places it on one of the three dark forest spaces there.
14. SETUP | Hand Out Starting Player Card
Determine a first player. The game says give it to the youngest, but do whatever you want. The two-sided logo card is the first player card. Give this to the starting player and pass it around with play.
15. SETUP | Draft Starting Tiles
Starting with who was determined to be the first to go, players choose 1 tile from the 5x square tile stacks and place it to the right of the corresponding space on their player board. See Square Tiles below for more on these.
16. SETUP | Put Out Communal Beige Backed Common Area Tiles
The final step of how to play The Castles of Tuscany setup before getting to gameplay is putting out the communal tiles. There are several beige back tiles (like the player tiles but generic). Shuffle these into a few face-down stacks then flip up a communal pile of 8x for everyone to access.
17. GAMEPLAY | Turn Structure
The game is made up of 3x rounds. A round is several turns and turns are where players rotate. On a turn, players can take 1 of 3 possible actions. The player with the first player card acts first and then passes that card clockwise in between rounds.
18. GAMEPLAY | Action Option 1 | Draw A Card
Draw two cards from the region deck. There is no limit to how many of these you can have in your hand at once. If this deck is ever empty when you need to draw, reshuffle the discard into a new deck.
19. GAMEPLAY | Action Option 3 | Take A Tile
To do this, take any one tile from the common areas (beige backed tiles that have 8x flipped up). Place that tile on the empty hexagon shape space on your player board (two down on the left column). If you take one of these and you already have a tile on the space on your board, first remove that from that game, and then put this new tile there. You then replace the tile you just took with the top tile from your colored stack of tiles, bringing the total back up to 8.
**If the Communal Area ever has 5 or more of the same type, remove those and flip over new tiles to replace them from the face-down beige stacks.
20. GAMEPLAY | Action Option 3 | Placing A Tile
The idea behind “placing” a tile is to use the region cards in your hand in connection with a tile you have take and placed on your board. To do this, you must have already taken a hexagon tile to place on your player board. Look at its color, you need two matching color cards in your hand to place. Two cards of a different color equal 1 card of the desired color (this means placing could take 2, 3 or 4 cards). You then move the tile from your player board and put it on any matching color tile on your region boards. When placing, you must touch a previously placed tile.
21. GAMEPLAY | Scoring A Tile
Depending on how you arranged your 3x region board pieces, you are going to have different clusters of region sizes. They come in sizes of 1, 2 and 3, which is distinguished by them being together in one cluster. To score, you need to fill all spaces in a given cluster. Once you place a tile to complete, move your scoring marker up 1 point for the smallest cluster, 3 points for the two space cluster and 6 points for the three space cluster.
22. GAMEPLAY | Scoring Completion of Color
Once you place a hexagon tile on your region board, if you have completely covered up all of one color, you get that color’s completion bonus. This is the number at the bottom of the numeral card above the score board. If you are the first person to get it, the “I” side will be up. Flip it over to the “II” so the next player gets less. If the “II” is up, then get rid of it, the max score earned from it.
23. GAMEPLAY | Active Tile Ability
Once you place a tile, its corresponding tile ability is activated. These are shown on your player board as a reminder. See Tile Special Abilities below for more information.
24. GAMEPLAY | Ending A Round
Players continue to take actions clockwise until a round ends. A round ends when a player has exhausted their player token stacks from a column. At the beginning, you put your hex stacks into three piles at the top of your player board, and you have used those to replaced tiles you took from the communal space. You take these from left to right, so once someone’s first stack is gone, revealing the “1” that round is over. Same with “2” and “3”. Once the end is triggered, turns go until everyone has had an equal number of turns in the round.
25. GAMEPLAY| Between Round Scoring
The important thing to note about this is the green track continues to give you points, so you want to prioritize getting that higher when possible. Each player takes the total amount on they have scored on the green track, and add that amount to their score on the red track. After this is done, do not reset the green score, it stays where it is.
26. GAMEPLAY | Repeat For Two More Rounds
The second and third rounds happen just like the first, just note that the first player card passes to the left for a new round.
27. WINNING | Extra Final Turn
Everyone does their normal finishing up of a round, but after the 3 round completes, everyone gets one last ditch effort and one turn around the circle.
28. GAMEPLAY | Extra Final Scoring
After all is said and done, gain 1 additional point on the red track for every unused token – (1) each hex tile you have grabbed not placed, and this includes the blue wildcard hex tokens, (2) each piece of marble mineral ore, (3) each worker token and (4) every 3 region tokens in your hand.
29. WINNING | High Score Wins
Whoever has the highest point total on the red track at the end is the winner. For a tie, the most empty spaces in their region wins. Yes, there are many rules and setup rules in how to play The Castles of Tuscany, but it is easy to play, especially with how easy the reference materials make things.
HOW TO PLAY THE CASTLES OF TUSCANY – KEY INFORMATION
SQUARE TILE DESCRIPTIONS
Draw Cards – For each of these symbols you have, whenever you use the draw cards action, you draw that many. This starts at 2 and gives you one additional card for each one you take.
Empty Hexagon Space – This gives you additional space to hold tiles in between the “take tile” and “place tile” actions. In addition, as shown by the victory symbol, each new one gives you 2 victory points on the green score track.
Marble – Whenever you place a quarry you grab mineral tokens equal to the number of these you have. When you start it is just one, but each new square tiles will give you an additional.
Workers – Like Marble, every worker square tile gives you additional workers every time that action is triggered.
Yield Cards – Placing the beige hex triggers the flipping of a yield card. Every one of these square tiles you add to your board gives you an additional flipped card whenever this is triggered.
TILE SPECIAL ABILITIES
Dark Green – This lets you take one of the additional hex tiles from the open area with eight showing and put it in directly into your region without discarding any cards. All other rules apply.
Silver – Whenever you place one of these, take a white mineral cube and place it on the square on your player board with a piece of metal showing. There is no limit, you can add as many cubes here as needed. You can turn these in at any time and immediately take any additional action. You can only turn in one of these per turn.
Orange – When you place one of these, you get an orange worker token for every square worker tile you have down. Place these earned on the square on your player board showing a worker gentleman. A worker can be used instead of a region card when paying the cost to place a tile on your board. There is no limit to the amount you can use.
Yellow – When you place one of these, you immediately get to draw 3 region cards and add them to your hand.
Beige – These are the wagon tokens, when you place one, flip over the top “yield” card. It will show a random bonus, you get whatever it says. This could be one of the tokens we discussed or it could be points that you score. Numbers in circles are victory points, green circles move your number along the green ring and red circles move your number along the green ring.
Light Green – This is a tile about getting extra points. On these livestock tiles, there are four different types that a tile can show (and some can show multiple). When you place you get extra points for every type it shows that is not already in the cluster you are placing in.
Blue – Placing these gives you one of the blue hexagon tokens to place on your player board for future use. These can be used as a wildcard for any hexagon piece. You still have to pay for it and all the same rules apply. You want to use this if the specific tile type you are looking for is not coming up. You still get the points and still trigger the effect like that tile normally would.
Red – Placing this lets you take any one of the five square tiles, and place it next to the corresponding space on your player board. There are no limits to the number and type of these you can have. Each of these is described in the Square Tile Descriptions portion of this general info section. If these run out, they are gone.
- 150x Cards (122x Region, 27x Yield, 1x Starting)
- 12x Region Boards (4x of each A, B & C)
- 42x Wooden Pieces (12x marble, 12x workers, 10x hexagons, 8 score trackers)
- 4x Player Boards
- 8x Color Bonus Tiles
- 4x Victory Point Markers
- 25x Square Tiles (5x each of 5 types)
HOW TO PLAY THE CASTLES OF TUSCANY – IN CLOSING
We hope you can now say you know how to play The Castles of Tuscany. The game seems pretty daunting with all the different components and the fact that having three options per turn, really means having about 21 options per turn, but the game does a great job of guiding you through everything and once you have it down it is a snap. The game relies on drafting and hand/resource management to drive things, but it is not limiting at all. You have ton of free reign to approach any strategy for how you want to fill up your regions and run with it.