Orleans board game review

Orleans

Orleans was published in 2014 by dlp games. The game was designed by Reiner Stockhausen and illustrated by Klemens Franz, famous for his illustrations in such games as Agricola and Le Havre.

In 2015, a fundraising campaign was run on Kickstarter to release the Deluxe Edition of Orleans.

Game Components

  • 1 rulebook
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 1 large game board
  • 1 small game board
  • 4 Merchant Tokens
  • 4 cloth bags
  • 28 wooden cubes (markers)
  • 40 Trading Stations
  • 1 Start Player Tile
  • 90 Goods Tiles
  • 104 Character Tiles
  • 14 Citizen Tiles
  • 16 Technology Tiles
  • 20 Building Tiles
  • 18 Event Tiles
  • 2 Overview Tiles
  • 47 coins

orleans-tiles

Gameplay

Two to four people can undertake this adventure in Medieval France. You need to gain supremacy in various fields: construction, science, and trade. To do that, you need to to establish a following of merchants, knights, monks, and everyone who wishes to help you expand your dominance. Knights will secure your expeditions to other cities, craftsmen will build trading posts and tools, scholars will make progress in science, and monks’ support will defend you from the merciless fate.

Many treacherous paths lead to victory in Orleans. You need a strategy that combines all the winning elements and makes you the most powerful speculator in Orleans.

Setup

  1. Each player takes a Followers Bag and 5 coins, 7 markers, a Player Board, a Merchant Token, and 10 Trading Stations.
  2. Place the Beneficial Deeds Board and the large gaming board on the table.
  3. Place the Technology Tiles stack on the designated space.
  4. Remove the Pilgrimage Tile from Hour Glass stack and shuffle the rest of the cards. Put the Pilgrimage Tile on top. Pilgrimage is always the first event.
  5. Each player places a marker on beginning spots of their Character Tracks and Development Tracks.
  6. Sort the Neutral Character Tiles by profession and put them on appropriate buildings.
  7. Prepare the coins to have them at hand.
  8. Place thirteen Citizen Tiles on designated spaces. Stack the rest of them in a tile.
  9. Sort the Place Tiles and put them in stacks on the table.
  10. Put the Goods Tiles on the Road and Waterway Spaces one tile per space. Put the remaining Goods Tiles in the Goods Market.
  11. Place your Merchant Tokens in Orleans.
  12. Remove followers of unused player’s color from the game. Remove 2 (4 in case of a 2-player game) each of the following Neutral Character Tiles from the game: Farmer, Craftsman, Trader, and Boatman. Remove 3 (6 in case of a 2-player game) each of the following Character Tiles from the game: Scholar, Knight, and Monk. Remove 6 (12 in case of a 2-player game) Goods Tiles at random. Spaces marked with “4” (in case of a 2-player game, also with “3”) remain empty.
  13. You are ready!
  14. orleans-gameplay

Rules

The game goes on for eighteen rounds. Each round has 7 phases:

  • Hour Glass
  • Census
  • Followers
  • Planning
  • Actions
  • Event
  • Start Player

Phase 1 Hour Glass

The Start Player takes the topmost Hour Glass Tile.

Hour Glass Tiles determines the game length. The game finishes when the last Hour Glass Tile is drawn. There are 18 of them.

Phase 2 Census

The player with the least farmers gives a coin to the player with the most farmers. In case of a tie, the supply takes part in the exchange.

Phase 3 Followers

Put Character Tiles from your Followers Bag on the Market. You can draw no more tiles than the number on your Knights Track.

orleans-tracks

Phase 4 Planning

You may use your Character Tiles to perform some actions. Place the Character Tiles that are required for your action on the Place you will activate.

Phase 5 Actions

Carry out the actions you activated. Each player may choose to carry out one action or pass when it’s their turn. Players take turns until everyone passes. (If you have passed once this turn, then you automatically pass for the rest of the round.)

If you don’t want to perform any actions this round, you don’t have to.

Phase 6 Event

Hour Glass Tiles determine not just time but also event of the round. This is the time when that event is resolved.

Phase 7 Start Player

The first Start Player is the youngest player in the game. After every turn, the Start Player Token is passed to the player to the Start Player’s left.

Orleans Board Game

When the game ends, you score your victory points: 1 coin = Grain = 1 victory point, Brocade = 5 victory points, Wool = 4 victory points, Wine = 3 victory points, Cheese = 2 victory points.

Trading Stations and Citizen Tiles also give you victory points according to your Development Status.

Who has the most victory points wins.

Download the full rules PDF here.

Similar Games

Orleans vs The Voyages of Marco Polo

The Voyages of Marco Polo

In The Voyages of Marco Polo, you recreate the voyage of the famous Italian traveller and merchant. All players have special characters and powers. During the game, you seek resources, trade goods, purchase orders, and travel.

The Voyages of Marco Polo has great replayability.


Orleans vs Monopoly

Monopoly

Monopoly is a legendary board game with tons of expansions and variations. Its name means something even to people far from the gaming world. In Monopoly, players take parts of land owners who develop their lands.


Expansions

Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015

Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015

Brettspiel Adventskalender is a board game advent calendar with 24 expansions for 24 different games, including Orleans. It contains a Christmas Market Tile and two coin tokens. The Christmas Market Tile grants you a bonus.

Orléans: Die Reise nach Tours

Orleans: Die Reise nach Tours

It’s a solo campaign that puts you on a quest to Tours.

Orléans: Invasion

Orleans Invasion

Invasion is a large expansion for Orleans. It has six scenarios, three solo-challenges, new buildings, and events.

Orléans: Neue Ortskarten N°1

Orleans: Neue Ortskarten N°1

This mini-expansion has three Place Tiles: Goldsmith, Bakery, and Lair.

Orléans: Neue Ortskarten N°2

Orleans: Neue Ortskarten N°2

This mini-expansion has three Place Tiles: Court, Barracks, and Theatre.

Orléans: Neue Ortskarten N°3

Orleans: Neue Ortskarten N°3

This mini-expansion has three Place Tiles: Port, Workshop, and Quarry.

Orléans: Tavern & Depot

Orleans Tavern Depot

It is a promotional postcard with two Place Tiles.

Orléans: Vineyard

Orleans Vineyard

Using Vineyard, you can buy 1 wine for 1 coin on every Trading Station in a town on a river.

FAQ

  • Q: Are the apps to play Orleans on Android and iOS?
  • A: No, so far there are none.
  • Q: Can we play Orleans with 5 people?
  • A: You will have to get a 5-player-kit from the dlp games shop: http://www.dlp-games.de/orla-ans/material-fuer-5-spieler/a-233/
  • Q: Can I play Orleans solo?
  • A: The base game does not have rules for solo play, but there are some expansions that have solitaire campaigns: Die Reise nach Tours and Invasions.
  • Q: Is Orleans exciting as a 2-player game?
  • A: Yes, Orleans is an excellent game for 2. It might seem a bit easier, though.

YouTube

Conclusion

Orleans is a good Euro game with lots of elements that you need to balance in your strategy to win. The game structure is clear to grasp, but some details of manoeuvring your characters may become obvious only with time, thus the great satisfaction succeeding in the game brings.

Become the most powerful merchant in Medieval France and grow the largest following!

You can buy Orleans on Amazon