Where’s the Drinking and Free Beads?

Where’s the Drinking and Free Beads?

Disclosure

I’ve always considered myself a bit better informed about the world than the average American. Having lived for nearly 5 years in West Germany, I was exposed to other languages and cultures at an early age. At my company in California I had Mexican and Chinese business partners and learned quite a bit from both about their cultures and traditions. So I have to admit I recently made an assumption about a game that showed my American-centric thinking.

When our friends at Tasty Minstrel Games showed us their latest release, Orléans, I erroneously assumed it was a game about New Orleans. Maybe with a theme about hurricanes and flooding! (Too soon!?) It was after reading through the instructions that I realized my faux pas – this was set in Orléans, a city in north-central France. New Orleans was actually named after Orléans, so I should get points for being close!

Find out why Tasty Minstrel Games' Orléans has been nominated for so many game industry awards and why it should be in your library! - SahmReviews.com

I had actually heard the buzz surrounding this game before playing it. Nominated for numerous industry awards, including the coveted 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres (Hobby Game of the Year), Orléans is available in two versions! The base game shown here and a Kickstarter-exclusive Deluxe version with nearly every component upgraded!

So what makes Orléans a game that is currently on over 2,700 BGG wantlists? It seamlessly combines a number of tried-and-true board game mechanics into one game that supports up to five players. Rather than take you through the full rules (which can be found here), let’s take a look at the different mechanics the game employs.

Deck-Building

This is a feature not typically seen in a Euro-style game and usually reserved for card-based titles. We recently talked about an exception to this rule in Puzzle Strike where they used poker-styled chips instead of cards, and Orléans does something similar with small, round tokens with different player types depicted.

Find out why Tasty Minstrel Games' Orléans has been nominated for so many game industry awards and why it should be in your library! - SahmReviews.com

Each player has a velvet bag and four starting characters. Each turn you will draw a certain number of tokens to use that round and have the opportunity to add additional or new character types to your bag. You never know which types you will pull on a particular turn, and you will need them to declare what actions you’ll be taking on your turn.

Action-Selection

A common technique used in today’s game is allowing you to choose your actions from a list of many. You’d either select a certain number or be limited based upon how many meeples you have to place. In Orléans you have to build a ‘recipe’ of characters in order to activate an action.

Find out why Tasty Minstrel Games' Orléans has been nominated for so many game industry awards and why it should be in your library! - SahmReviews.com

Using your drawn tokens you assign them to different cities on your own player board which each have their own action. Some allow you to hire new people, while others let you travel along the map board. Once you place a token on the board you may not move it, so you must plan your actions ahead a round or two!

Find out why Tasty Minstrel Games' Orléans has been nominated for so many game industry awards and why it should be in your library! - SahmReviews.com

You’ll also find additional bonuses for sticking to an action as you move along an advancement track. In many cases the first player to get to the end of the track will receive a token that awards additional end-game points!

Point-to-Point Movement

Also like many Euro-styled games, Orléans has a board where you move a meeple across a map. And typically, you are not limited to a linear progression. You may move in any direction and can also retrace your steps.

Find out why Tasty Minstrel Games' Orléans has been nominated for so many game industry awards and why it should be in your library! - SahmReviews.com

The only limitation is the type of travel you can partake, either by land or water. Each town connection is denoted by a certain type and you must take the appropriate action to take that route.

Resource Collection

In the aforementioned mechanic, when you move across the map you are doing so in order to collect the resources along the way. These are used during the game to pay for certain events, but are mostly end-game victory points worth varying amounts depending on the type of good.

Find out why Tasty Minstrel Games' Orléans has been nominated for so many game industry awards and why it should be in your library! - SahmReviews.com

There are also additional bonus cards to purchase that will award you for collecting diverse sets of goods (one of each type).

Area Control

This classic mechanic is used twice in Orléans. On the same map where you collect resources you can also build buildings, but only one person can build in a town. Being first through the area locks out your opponents and forces them to take a different route.

Find out why Tasty Minstrel Games' Orléans has been nominated for so many game industry awards and why it should be in your library! - SahmReviews.com

There is also an additional “Beneficial Deeds” board where you can send your employees to perform works of charity. This is also the method in which you rid your bag of unwanted workers. Each deed has its own ‘recipe’ of workers needed to complete the task. Each time you send one of yours to an area you are awarded with money or fame, and get additional bonuses if you place the last marker in a particular task.

By wrapping these major (and popular) game mechanics all under one title, it is no wonder Orléans is on everyone’s wishlist. While a Deluxe copy will set you back nearly $100, you can pick up this regular version for well under the $60 MSRP on Amazon. Having played our copy over a dozen times already, we can safely say it’s one of the best values in games today.

AND we hear rumor of an expansion in the future, so be sure to keep an eye on Tasty Minstrel’s Facebook and Twitter timelines for announcements on when the Kickstarter will go live!

Have you ever been to Orléans? Or New Orleans?

Orleans Game Giveaway

Scott

About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

80 comments on «Where’s the Drinking and Free Beads?»

  1. Eden Hansen says:

    I have been interested in this game for a while but have not played. It looks like a great game. Thanks for the contest!

  2. Benjamin K. says:

    I have never visited the place, but my sister in law has does that count? 🙂

  3. James says:

    This is a great giveaway! I’ve heard many good things about this one!

  4. Naomi says:

    Thank you for another great giveaway

  5. andy myers says:

    I have not been, my wife has though.

  6. Did someone say drinking? I came a running. Where is my beer?

  7. Nope I have never been New Orleans but I bet it would be fun.

  8. brody sheard says:

    i love this game! and have been wanting it for the longest time! thanks for an awesome giveaway game!

  9. Joe Cooper says:

    I already wanted this game your review only increased that

  10. Derek Bryan says:

    I played this at a local convention and fell in love. I would love to add this to the collection! Thanks for the opportunity!

  11. Jamie says:

    I’ve never been to New Orleans, but would love to go someday.

  12. Ryan D Baker says:

    This is my favorite game right now!

  13. Sparks says:

    No, I have not yet visited. Mardi Gras always drove me away.

  14. Miguel melo says:

    Thanks for the contest!

  15. brody says:

    I think the game is amazing! thanks for a great game giveaway!

  16. Ryan Malone says:

    Orleans has amazing mechanics, such a great game!

  17. Chris Vallely says:

    I didn’t really know anything about this game, but have seen it recommended many times. I like the way you broke it down and explained it. Looks like an awesome game (totally get the hype now).

  18. Jeremy S. says:

    I haven’t been to either, but someday hope to go – especially to the “old” one.

  19. Adam Stuart says:

    Yeah baby

  20. Kuba L says:

    Thanks for contest

  21. Oscar Racso says:

    I reaaaaaally LOVE this game! 😀

  22. Oscar Racso says:

    Oh, and no… I’ve never been in Orleans… yet… 😛

  23. Christian Navarrete says:

    Thanks for this contest.

  24. Renee Walters says:

    Yes, I have been there twice. I love it! The food is phenomenal!

  25. Scotty B says:

    Love the idea of “Bag Building” haven’t tried one yet

  26. Scott W says:

    This is one of my favorites!

  27. jeff speck says:

    Thank you very much – this one is on my wishlist.

  28. Mitch says:

    Only been to New Orleans

  29. Dimitrios Giannakis says:

    I hadn’t known about this game before. Now, it’s on my radar!

  30. Kathleen Tollefson says:

    Been to New Orleans, but haven’t played this game yet. Would LOVE to get my hands on a copy to enjoy and share the fun!

  31. Mark marine says:

    Can’t wait to play

  32. Ruth says:

    visited New Orleans. Thanks for the giveaway.

  33. Zombzilla says:

    This looks pretty good. Would love to see what perks you get with the Kickstarter edition.
    And I’ve never been two Orleans or New Orleans. Some day!

  34. Michael Shea says:

    I’ve been in New Orleans.
    I’ve never been in Orleans, France.
    Although I have seen the band Orleans

  35. Matthew Stern says:

    Thanks for the contest.

  36. Michael S. says:

    Cool game! Thanks for the contest!

  37. Charlene Carr says:

    I have never been there but have always wanted to go. Thanks for the giveaway

  38. Josh says:

    This game looks fun, I hope I am the winner of the contest

  39. Brianna Trombley says:

    This is a great, in depth review! This game wasn’t even on my radar, but now I’ll have to go check it out! Thanks

  40. Kevin Chaves says:

    Game looks great!

  41. This game has been on my list for a while. Thanks for the review.

  42. Mr Paul Kellett says:

    Cheers

  43. Paul Kellett says:

    Cheers

  44. Bill Martin says:

    Great Review

  45. Zoltan says:

    Really love the worker placement from the bag mechanic!

  46. Josh says:

    I haven’t been to either. It would probably be fun to visit once.

  47. Bryce says:

    Looks awesome!

  48. Eric Shearer says:

    I’ve been kicking myself for not Kickstarting it!

  49. EmanuelCB says:

    Thanks for the giveaway

  50. Drew T says:

    Great review, thanks!

  51. Aaron Cargle says:

    great giveaway!

  52. Ryan says:

    I have family in New Orleans, so yes I have been there.

  53. Ryan L says:

    I’ve never been to New Orleans but I’d sure like to. Same for Orleans!

  54. james brown says:

    Thanks for the giveaway looks like a fun game.

  55. PBinCT says:

    Missed the kickstarter for the Deluxe edition. Would love to get a copy.

  56. JamesL says:

    I visited New Orleans in 2008. 3 yrs after Katrina hit. French Quarter had bounced back very well, but it was crazy to see the flood lines on the buildings. Not to mention how much of the city outside of the tourist area was still so bad off (I traveled outside the city to a wedding venue).

  57. Gabrielly says:

    No, I have never been in New Orleans but I would love to go there.

  58. James says:

    I have driven though New Orleans but haven’t actually toured there.

  59. jmcgrew85 says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to possibly win this amazing game!

  60. Samantha B. says:

    I have never been to Orleans or New Orleans, but I would love to go someday!

  61. Jeff j Faulkner says:

    looks like a lot of fun!

  62. Steven T. says:

    This game is at the top of my wish list!!

  63. Jae Park says:

    No, I have never visited Orleans France or New Orleans…yet! New Orleans is on my list though. Thanks!

  64. allyson becker says:

    I have never had the pleasure of going to New Orleans. Maybe, in the future.

  65. Éva says:

    I never been there

  66. Zita Hargitai says:

    Nope, but I’d like to visit them

  67. Jessica Bennett says:

    This looks like a nifty game!

  68. Elizabeth Tarlow says:

    I have never visited Orleans, but I would love to!!

  69. AEKZ2 says:

    I have not been to New Orleans.

  70. Richard Hicks says:

    I have not had the chance to visit but hope to some day

  71. Ciara says:

    Just learned this game recently but we loved it so much we bought it immediately after playing. It’s a great resource management/area control game!

  72. James Holzhauer says:

    Love this game.

  73. Deanna McCoy says:

    Looks interesting. Will have to look into it further.

  74. Benjamin Lewis says:

    Been Following this game for a while would love to win it!

  75. Kieranzaera says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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