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Versailles: a strategic palace building board game

In the game Versailles by NSKN Games and U.S. publisher Passport Game Studios, legendary designer Andrei Novac creates a world where King Louis XIV of France hires two to five players as architects and craftsmen to build him a fabulous palace. Whoever can contribute the most ornate, well-built segments of the palace will win.

Play time is about 90 minutes.

The game board itself is beautiful and depicts the Versailles building site and surrounding construction areas specializing in the materials necessary to complete the palace.

Each player begins with a set of meeple workers who can perform various actions on the board in the construction areas. The construction areas represent a marble quarry, gold mine, architect’s guild, workshop, lumber mill, construction yard, alchemists’ guild and the king’s favor.

A player must determine a strategy to follow by dedicating workers to the correct areas to gather needed benefits. A unique aspect of this game is that additional benefits are granted if more than one worker is present at the same location. For example, two workers at the gold mine yield one piece of gold. A single worker doesn’t receive anything.

Players constantly must move their workers in a clockwise direction around the board visiting construction areas and may remain in one area as long as they want. However, if a player needs more workers at a specific construction area, he or she must move them there even if the workers are half way around the board.

Therein lies the core of the strategy of this game: How to use the workers most efficiently. A player needs raw materials but also the right plans for the palace. The workshop generates all of the ornate pieces the highest scoring tiles of the palace require for construction, but the alchemist’s guild can help research technology that saves much-needed time.

As the palace comes together in the center of the board, the game increases in excitement and intensity. Each tile of the palace shows what materials and how many workers are needed to complete it. Even when all of those elements are present, the actual palace tile needs to be placed correctly (no outdoor hedges in the middle of the ballroom).

The game ends when the king reaches the palace, palace construction tiles run out or the entire palace gets built. Victory points are given for raw materials, decorations and completed palace tiles. The player with the most points wins.

Versailles is a creatively designed worker placement game of precise planning and strategic design. No two games are ever the same, and it packs a lot of fun. This is a family friendly game worthy of space in any strategy board gamer’s closet.

NSKN Games is an emerging publishing company and the very first and only (so far) in Romania. From the their website, "Our mission is to create interesting, entertaining, one of a kind strategy board games, that friends and families can enjoy. We are putting all our creativity and dedication into bringing unique games to the market.

"NSKN is a team of creative people, who enjoy inventing unique and inspiring strategy board games that will make use of your abilities and cleverness. Our games are mostly influenced by a particular historical period or a special event. We strive to have individual graphical design for each of our games and this is what makes their appearance one of the kind on the market."