The great cities of Europe at the height of the Renaissance. Trade and science are pushing back the borders of the world, and the roads to the Orient are open. In faraway lands, gems are mined and pulled raw from the earth. These precious stones are carried in sluggish caravans and whisked across the ocean in fully-laden trade cogs - all to arrive in the cities of Europe, where they are finely worked, set, and cut into the most beautiful jewelry in the world.
Return to Splendor, one of the most awarded board games of all time, with Cities of Splendor! The first-ever expansion for Splendor, Cities of Splendor contains four distinct expansions within the box, each highlighting and enhancing a single aspect of Splendor without sacrificing any of the original’s elegance or strategic gameplay. With each of the four expansions offering a fundamentally different approach to the game, the replayability of Splendor reaches new heights with this expansion.
~ A Journey to the East ~
Since the day of its release, Splendor set a standard for strategic play and deceptive complexity. Now, with Cities of Splendor, each of the four expansions hone in on a specific facet of the Splendor experience, tweaking the gameplay in fascinating ways, even if your players have played Splendor hundreds of times already.
For instance, the first expansion included in Cities of Splendor introduces "The Cities". These double-sided city tiles take the place of the noble tiles from the base game, and although they may seem similar, they affect the game in a remarkably different way. Instead of stirring the patronage of a noble with the development cards that players claim, each player must gather the prestige and developments that will enable them to win over an entire city! Furthermore, these cities don’t offer a paltry few prestige points to a player’s cause - players need to claim one of these cities to have any chance of winning the game. This expansion is recommended for players’ first journey into the East, since it modifies the goal of the game and forces them to compete for more similar resources, rather than pursuing drastically different paths.
As the players continue their journey deeper into the world of the Orient, they’ll find three other expansions for Splendor along the way. One introduces the "Route to the Orient" board, which invites players to establish trading posts along their path that unlock additional powers if a player can successfully claim a set of development cards. This expansion slightly shortens the game time, and the special powers can give players an unexpected edge.
Another expansion brings thirty new Orient development cards into the game, creating new roads to victory and bringing the treasures of Asia to your table. These Orient development cards are laid out on the players’ table next to the standard development cards, and are claimed in a similar way. The difference is that each of these cards offers unique, new abilities, ranging from double gem bonuses and the option to claim more development cards, to even the chance to reserve a noble, ensuring that only one player will be able to secure that noble’s patronage. Ultimately, the new cards in this expansion place the focus squarely on the noble tiles - players will need to find ways to get them faster, to reserve them, or to make their cards more profitable once the nobles are gone.
The final expansion included in Cities of Splendor invites players to center their power on strongholds. These strongholds let players reserve cards for their own use, or if all three of a player’s strongholds are on a single development card, to seize that development card by right of conquest. This expansion encourages interaction between the players and can slightly increase the length of the game - in any case, players will need to find an ideal balance between slowing down their opponents and progressing their own victory.
~ Travel to the Orient ~
Cities of Splendor, the first expansion for Splendor, has begun its journey. Four complete expansions in one box and near-infinite replayability make this the must-have expansion for every Splendor player.