Troyes came out at Essen 2010. It was published by Pearl Games, a Belgian company, and Z-Man Games, a publisher famous for Clash of Cultures, Carcassone, Pandemic, and so on.
The game was designed by Sebastien Dujardin, the manager of Pearl Games, Xavier Georges, and Alain Orban. The illustrations were done by Alexandre Roche.
- 1 game board;
- 24 × 1 deniers;
- 12 × 5 deniers;
- 4 × 10 deniers;
- 24 × 1 victory point tokens;
- 10 × 3 victory point tokens;
- 10 × 5 victory point tokens;
- 10 × 10 victory point tokens;
- 24 dice in the following 4 different colors:
- 6 red (military);
- 6 white (religious);
- 6 yellow (civil);
- 6 black (enemies);
- 12 citizens: natural, blue, green, and orange;
- 8 citizens; gray neutral;
- 80 cubes; 20 in each player color: natural, blue, green, and orange;
- 10 cubes; gray neutral;
- 8 wooden discs; 2 in each player color: natural, blue, green, and orange;
- 1-page appendix that describes the Activity, Event, and Character cards;
- 27 Activity cards: 9 red [military], 9 white [religious], 9 yellow [civil];
- 16 Event cards: 8 red, 4 white, 4 yellow;
- 6 Character cards;
- 1 Start Player card;
- 4 Player Aid cards.
Troyes is a worker placement, resource management board game recommended for players aged 12+. You can have from 2 to 4 players. The action of the game takes place around the French city of Troyes. Each player represents a rich family from the Champagne region. You goal is to turn Troyes into the most flourishing city in France. War, corruption, and religious turmoil are going to stand in your way.
Everything in the game (events, actions, cards, and dice) is of three colors: red for military, white for religion, and yellow for civic. In each industry, there are 6 jobs. You give most jobs to your followers, and the rest goes to neutral workers.
The use of the dice in the game of Troyes is various: they help you to build cathedrals and fight all sorts of external threats. By doing that, you win influence, money, and victory points. Dice also help you get privileges and exercise them.
Each time you play Troyes, it will seem different. What this play will be like depends greatly on different action cards turning up every game. There are 27 of those, and only 9 are used for each game. Yet this random element of the game does not diminish the importance of strategy. You have to watch out not to help your opponents with some of your actions.
At the beginning of the game, every player gets a secret card that tells him what will give bonuses at the end of the game. So, there is only one person who knows about each one of the bonuses. You can build your strategy using the knowledge you have, and you can also try to guess what secret cards your opponents were dealt, judging by their behavior.
A problem that beginners may have with the game is that its rules are quite hard to explain, the use of the dice is rather unintuitive, and they play a major part in the game. But the game itself is definitely worth it for once you understand how the game works, you will be able to play it again and again: Troyes does not age with replays, it just gets more fun.
During each round, there are the following phases:
Reveal action cards
Each card contains a possible action. For each game, three action cards of each color are chosen to present the actions of the game. One card of each color is revealed at the beginning of each of the first three rounds.
Pay for meeples in buildings
You have got to pay for every meeple in a building: if the building is red, you pay 2, if it is white, you pay 1, if the building is yellow, you do not pay. You take this money from a 10-coin subsidy each player receives.
Roll the dice
You roll one matching die for each meeple.
Most events will be bad for you. Each turn an event of each color is added to the queue of existing events. Some of the events add to the invading forces of Troyes. This is how they work: the event has a number of black dice; you get the dice and roll them. Now you have to roll the dice you used before to defeat the black dice. Every player has to at least defeat the largest die. Defeating means discarding dice with enough pips to match the pips on that die. Red dice count double.
In turn order, everyone does actions until there are no more dice or until everybody has passed. To take an action you have to gather the dice you want and apply them to an action. In most actions, you do the following: add up the total on the dice, divide by a number that is defined by your action, and then do the action that number of times.
Some actions are available all the time, others can only be used if they are present on the revealed action cards. Actions:
Build a Cathedral
Spend dice to place cubes in the corresponding spots, get points.
Spend yellow dice – get some coins.
You can fight events that are particularly disadvantageous for you.
Place Meeples in Buildings
Pay one die to put a meeple in a building.
You can put a meeple on a card with an action you want to do for the rest of the game.
When you pass early, you get money.
The game lasts for a number of rounds that depends on the number of players.
The winner is the one who has most victory points.
Troyes definitely stands out among other board games you have played.
It could be compared to Alien Frontiers, a cosmic-themed game of planetary development and resource management. You build colony domes in strategic locations and aim to control the newly discovered world.
A game that is linked to Troyes is Tournay, another game made by Sebastien Dujardin with the same designing team. Both games deal with the idea of managing coincidences. Tournay is a worker placement and city building strategy.
The Ladies of Troyes
3 new Character cards, 27 new Activity cards, and 6 Event cards are introduced. With a new Action, you can access 16 new activities. Each player gets a purple die to represent him – it is a die other players cannot buy. The head of the family – your purple die – can carry out military, religious, or civic actions.
Troyes: Bonus Cards
This set of promo cards was released at the International Games Festival in Cannes. You can purchase them at BGG Store. It contains 4 cards:
Yellow Activity Card – Baker
Baker sells bread to all civilians in the town.
White Activity Card – Prior
Prior optimizes the work of the monks.
Red Activity Card – The Banquet
In the district with most red dice, every red die participates in the banquet.
Red Event Card – Resistance
This card calls for a second red event. When you resolve Resistance, the last cube is removed from each card, apart from the Resistance itself.
Q: How good is the solo variant of the game?
A: Initially, the game is designed to be played with 2-4 players, but the solo variant is also possible. As a solo game, Troyes works just fine, but it is much more fun when you have other people playing it with you.
Q: Is there a lot of competition in Troyes?
A: There are some occasions in the game when another player can ruin your plans, for example, they can kick you out of a building. But generally, there are very few moments when someone can directly damage or attack you.
Q: Does a lot depend on luck in the game?
A: Luck plays its part in the game. After all, the dice are there all the time. But the role of luck is not prevalent. Unlike many dice games, in Troyes, you can buy other player’s dice if they happen to be useful to you in the game. But, in this case, you have got to be careful: buying dice from an opponent, you are helping him for he will have more money for the next round.
Q: Is there an on-line version of Troyes?
A: Yes, it is available at Board Game Arena.
If you are tired of all board games repeating each other, you might want to try Troyes: it is like nothing you have played before! The gorgeous production and art of the game, the player interaction, and the unconventional use of dice will make Troyes a favorite on your shelf.
Another great thing about Troyes is you do not get tired of it after multiple plays. The more you play Troyes, the more you love it. Random choice of the action cards in the beginning helps you experience the game in a new way every time you play it.
Troyes boasts high-quality pieces, the dice are of good quality and feel nice in your hands. The board is thick and has the artwork done in the medieval city style.
You can buy Troyes on Amazon.