A RAVENSBURGER (Resource Management) GAME by INKA & MARKUS BRAND edited by STEFAN BRÜCK
In Burgenland there are several small Castles. Each separate Castle is connected by 2 roads and each road is controlled by the
local factions, identified by colour and symbol. Each Castle is so small that there is very little room for growth or improvement
but that isn't going to prevent our avid builders (the players) from adding walls, wells, houses and Keeps as fast as they possibly
can - speed is of the essence as the game winner is the builder who first completes the construction of all their starting pieces.
The roads are controlled by the factions randomly placed - in the form of coloured shields - so each Castle is connected to two
factions. There are cards that equate by colour and symbol to the factions, and it is by the playing of these cards that players
get to build in the connected Castle. Generally four cards are required of the 2 colours in control - the four cards can be in any
combination, 4 of the same colour or any combination of the two colours.
There are also certain considerations that may need to be in effect before players can place pieces in the Castles. Walls can be
placed on any of the square spaces marked within the castle's grounds. Houses can only be placed in a Castle where there are
walls, 1 wall per house. Only one Keep can be placed in a castle and only one Well can be placed in a Castle and that has to be
on the circular space and can only be built in the Castle where the red Well-marker currently sits. Players have 3 Walls, 3 Keeps,
3 Houses and 2 Wells to place during the game, the first player to place them all wins.
When building a Keep you need to have the cards required plus you need to pay the surveyor's costs - these may change as after
each Keep is built the current surveyor is removed to the bottom of their deck and the next surveryor may have a different cost.
When you build Wells you gain coins, the value of bonus diminishes with the building of each Well; only a specific number of Wells
can be built in a game (2 per player).
When you place a piece into a castle you bring into effect the ability of the square. This can be collecting a Joker card (Jokers
count as any colour, as you would expect), taking a ? (question-mark) counter - these have various useful effects - taking a swap
counter - these allow you to swap position of two of the faction shields - or gaining you cards up to (and perhaps beyond) the
value shown in the square - you take cards until you reach or pass the noted value. eg. If you have to collect 3 in value you take
the top card and look at its value. If it is 3 then that's all you get. If it is a 1 then you take another card. If that's a 2 then 1+2 =3
and you stop. If it was a 3 then you have a bonus as 1+3=4. If you're lucky you would collect a 1, a 1 and a 3 equalling 5 value.
When spending or collecting coins (the values on the cards count as coins for spending) there is never any change given, either
If there are no spaces left in a castle you may still place a piece in there if you have the correct ? tile - the one that creates an extra
space, but only one extra space tile can be in a Castle. If you haven't an extra space tile you need to build in the large Blue Castle
as any number of buildings can be constructed there - the costs are different though.
Basically it is a resource management game as you collect and spend cards using their colour or coin value depending on what you
are building. If you cannot do anything or you do not want to do anything in your turn - this may well happen if you are trying to
collect certain cards/values - then you may take 2 cards from the draw pile and end your turn.
This is a fun game for 9 year olds and upwards, though a clever 7 or 8 year old regular games player will have little trouble with the
rules or the concept of the game. Once I managed to get a copy of the English rules we began to play it and have continued to, with
each game similar - there are no surprises, each game runs along a very similar course - but still enjoyable and fun. Play is fast and
not at all complicated or complex - we only consulted the rules after the first game to remind ourselves of the effects and abilities of
The only problem I have with BURGENLAND is that the box clearly states it is for players aged 9-99 and at 63½ (on my way to 64
come December) it means I can only play it for the next 35½ years.