Following on from yesterday’s post about board game stores in New York, today I’d like to introduce you to a current favourite in Maison L&A… Blueprints!
We picked Blueprints up on a whim while in the Twenty Sided Store in Brooklyn, NY (which is very unlike me, normally I research the any game I buy endlessly before I buy it!). I had no idea what the game was about but the box caught my eye and the theme of the game grabbed me instantly.
In Blueprints, players take the role of architects and compete against each other to construct the best building possible out of several different materials. The game is played over the course of 3 rounds. At the start of the round, players take a random blueprint and hide it behind a screen. Then a bunch of dice are randomly drawn from a bag, rolled, and put in the centre of the table for all to see. Next, everyone takes turns to choose one die, place it anywhere on their blueprint (effectively building a 3D building with the dice) and drawing a new die from the bag until everyone has taken a total of 6 dice. The buildings are scored and you start all over again. Simple as that.
The scoring is where the most interesting part lies. There are 4 colours of dice, each representing a different type of material (green is recycled products, black = stone, transparent = glass and orange =wood). The final building can be made with any combination of these dice but buildings are scored based on the individual usage of each type.
For example, glass dice in your final building are scored individually by the number shown on top of the dice, so a glass dice with the number 6 will be snapped up quickly as that’s worth 6 points. Recycled material is scored according to how much of it there is in your entire building and the value rises exponentially with each additional die. Stone is worth more the higher up in your building it is. 1 point each on the ground floor, and an amazing 8 points each on the 4th floor or higher. Wood gives you 2 points for each other die that touches a face of the wood die.
As you can see, every turn presents you with plenty of agonising moments – whether is choosing which die would give you the most points right now or sitting quietly, sweating while your opponent’s eyes and hand hovers slowly toward that one die you need and have been waiting forever for.
It’s those moments that have made this a firm favourite in our house. The game is amazingly simple to learn and play but it gives you a great sense of satisfaction at the end of each round when everyone’s screens are lifted up and you sit back and admire the incredible/bonkers buildings people have made. Everyone I have taught it to has loved it and asked to play against immediately after the game wraps up.
Blueprints treads a fine line between filler and full-length board game. However, it is ideal as a warm up for a big games night and can be enjoyed by all ages (I taught it to 7 year old Japanese kids at school and it’s all they ask to do in lessons now!). The game comes in a really small box making it a great choice to be tossed in a bag and played in a café over coffee.
Since buying Blueprints in New York, Vanessa and I have so many games of this and we’ve yet to grow tired of it. If you get chance, I’d highly recommend checking it out. Blueprints gets a full two-thumbs up and the official L&A nod of approval!