Splendor is a 2-4 player game that’s best played with 3-4 players. The game places you as a gem merchant in the Renaissance where you’re looking to catch the eye of the nobility to become Chief Gemologist. To do so, you’ll have to work hard, using gems to fund development efforts like trade caravans and mining operations… all of which is aimed towards acquiring more gems and gem developments. The more developments that you have that match the Nobles’ taste, the more the Nobles are attracted towards you as a patron.

Furthermore, some of the developments you acquire in the game will give you additional prestige. I’m talking things like trading caravans, fancy shops, and great fleets of ships. Be the one to have the most prestige from these developments and the favor of the Nobility and you win!

But beware. Other players will be jockeying to get the same developments and gems that you’re going for or try to flatter the same Nobles you’re trying to flatter. On top of that, they might take absolutely knavish actions towards you by reserving the very developments you need, but for themselves. So to compete, you’ll have to be really cutthroat. Good luck!

Splendor Board Setup

Splendor in a nutshell

Core Mechanics: Engine building.

Victory Condition: Be the first to get to get to 15 points or more. You get points from currying favor with the Nobles or buying developments that impress people to bring in the prestige.

Ease of learning: Easy – I would consider this a gateway game. Players should readily grasp what they can do because there aren’t that many actions for them to choose from. The cards themselves are easy to decipher because of their consistent iconography. You have to think about how much the card costs, whether the card provides any points, and what type of gem the card contributes towards making subsequent development cards cheaper. Finally, the concept of engine-building is easy to understand, and even if players don’t understand the deeper strategy, the game flow the first time through is easy to grasp.

Purchase at:

Basic Splendor Strategy Guide
Splendor Review
Splendor Video Guide – How to Play

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