Orléans: Trade & Intrigue Expansion Review

Orléans: Trade & Intrigue is an expansion for Orléans by Reiner Stockhausen, published by Tasty Minstrel Games. It is for 1-5 players. This expansion adds 4 new game elements, as well as adding new place tiles for more variety.

For more information on the base game and how to play it, please follow the link below.

https://jlnelson73.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/orleans-review/

For this review, I will do my best to give you a brief overview of each new game element and how to integrate them into your game. Afterwards, I’ll break down my thoughts on each in the gameplay section below. Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of what this expansion provides and if it’s something that you’d like to add to your game. Let’s begin.

The first new element are the Order cards. These are shuffled during setup and placed facedown next to the board. The top 5 cards are drawn and placed in a row next to each other. They work much like a mission card. After taking an action if the player’s merchant is in a town depicted on one of the cards in the row, the player can fulfill an order by paying the goods shown on the card. They are then able to take the corresponding card to be used for Victory Points at the end of the game. A new card is then drawn from the deck to fill the empty spot, while the goods used are removed from play.

The next new element is the new events. These take the place of the Hour Glass tiles in the regular game. These are sorted by letter on the back side of the tile with the 2 Silentium tiles being set aside. Each set of tiles is then shuffled. A stack of 18 tiles is then made. First, a Silentium tile is placed facedown on the Hour Glass space of the board. 4 tiles from the D stack are placed facedown on top of it, followed by 4 from C, then B, then A. The second Silentium tile is then placed on top of the stack. These events will then work much like the regular events of the game, with most being resolved during phase 6 of the game. However some tiles have a time symbol on them to show that these tiles can occur in a different round or even affect the entire round.

Another new element to the game is the new Beneficial Deeds. This new board takes the place of the Beneficial Deeds board from the regular game. The goods depicted on the board are placed on the corresponding spaces. The same rules as the base game are then followed for moving followers to this board. These will provide goods, coins, navigation tiles or other items of interest.

Yet another new element to the game is the Intrigue board. This board can also take the place of the Beneficial Deeds board from the regular game. To use this board, followers are placed there the same way as with the base game. The difference is that instead of places for the followers to go to, they visit one of several nefarious characters. These characters can help players gain an advantage over their opponents or they can seriously mess with them. The one exception is that players aren’t allowed to use their own colored followers on the board. Another thing about this board is that if a player is targeted by another player’s action, they can bribe that player by offering them coins or goods to keep from suffering the effect of the action.

The last element that this game introduces are some new place tiles. These can be added with the other place tiles. These tiles include the Brasserie, Merchant House and Sheep Farm. The Brasserie allows you to place goods tiles that can be removed later to keep from suffering the effects of an event. The Merchant House rewards the player with victory points for having the most of each type of good. The Sheep Farm allows the player to spend a cheese to gain a wool, 4 coins or advance 3 steps on the Development track.

COMPONENTS
This expansion comes with a fair good sized amount of new content. There are the 2 new boards for the Beneficial Deeds and Intrigue. These are the same quality and thickness as the original Beneficial Deeds board. There’s a stack of new cards that are used to for the Orders. These are really nice quality and fit in well with the other parts of the game. There are new Hour Glass tiles for the new events, which are thick cardboard like the original event tiles. Also made of thick cardboard are the 3 new place tiles. Finally there are cover tiles which are used to cover up places on the boards for when you’re playing with fewer players. The quality on everything is great. The artwork falls right in line with everything that we’ve seen in both the base game and previous expansion. There’s nothing here that’s going to stand out and look out of place. Everything simply looks like it belongs, which is nice. The iconography on the different pieces is pretty much the same so if you understand it on the other game components, you shouldn’t have any trouble here either. I just love how nice everything is. I couldn’t ask for anything better. If you like the look of the base game, you won’t find anything here to complain about.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this expansion isn’t all that thick. Most of what makes up the majority of the rulebook is the details of the different event tiles and the different spaces on the Intrigue and new Beneficial Deeds boards. Apart from how to use the different components and how to set them up, that’s pretty much it. There are plenty of pictures throughout the book which is a huge plus. Mainly I was using it as a reference sheet for each new element that I introduced into my game. Everything is explained in great detail and there’s not anything that should be difficult to understand. It’s all laid out quite well and look great. In my opinion, it compliments the game really well and looks good while doing it.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of Orléans. I enjoy both the base game and the first expansion quite a lot. That said, I have to say that this expansion is great as well. I especially enjoy the new order cards. It gives you another way to earn victory points and I enjoy the pickup and delivery aspects of it. The new events and new Beneficial Deeds aren’t quite as much fun as the order cards are but they are still fun. Basically these just add a new level of replayability to the game by adding new ways to play. It’s nice to have these to mix stuff up a bit for when the original gets a bit stale. I also like the new place tiles and Intrigue board. The tiles add a little more variety, much like the events and new Beneficial Deeds board does. Mixed with the Order cards, the new places really add more of a pickup and delivery feel to the game that I kind of like. The Intrigue board gives more player interaction and a bit of a take that feel. I really enjoy Euro games. I like the more solitaire feel of playing those types of games. However the Intrigue board really lets you get mean while still maintaining a lot of the Euro feel. It’s also nice that there’s a way from getting messed with too badly. That is as long as you’re willing to pay your opponent to leave you alone. Overall I think that every aspect of this expansion just adds so many new elements and so much more depth to an already great game. Fans of Orléans and the Invasion expansion will most definitely enjoy this one as well. It’s not a must buy, unless you’re like me and just can’t get enough of this game. Still it’s definitely one that I feel everyone will enjoy. I highly recommend this one.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Orléans: Trade & Intrigue is the second expansion for the remarkable game, Orléans. It adds several new elements which increase the replayability of the original game quite a lot. It adds some new ways to play and adds a bit more variety to some of the base elements. It doesn’t really add any extra time to the play time. As normal, the components are beautiful and fit in perfectly with the original game. Fans of the original game and the Intrigue expansion will most definitely want to add this one to their game. In my opinion it adds a bit more player interaction to the game. I really enjoy the Order cards, new place tiles and the Intrigue board. Those would be my most favorite parts of this expansion. The event tiles and new Beneficial Deeds board simply add more variety to what’s already there. Overall this expansion isn’t necessarily a must buy unless you’re like me and absolutely love the game. However if you do buy it, you won’t regret it. It’s definitely worth adding to your game. I highly recommend it.
9 out of 10

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For more information about this and other great games, please check out Tasty Minstrel Games at their site.

 http://playtmg.com

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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