Saturday, 13 April 2013

Plethora boardgame review - fun and long.

I thought I would take some time to review a smalltime board game designers game, Plethora. It is designed by Shem Phillips, which is especially cool because he is a New Zealander (which we are also). This neat little game has many great aspects, all except the length as other reviews have noted.

Box art, a guy with the different gemstones you can get in the game.

Looks and Design

Plethora looks great, it was funded by a Kickstarter like campaign. The board is composed of multiple tiles, all depicting a picture of a different building which work together to compose a city. The artwork on these tiles is fantastic, although it can be a little hard working out which tile you need to get to next as some only differ slightly. Another downfall is the cards and board bits are slightly glossy, I prefer a matt finnish.

The meeples are wooden and good quality, though I am not sure why the yellow pieces (nobels) are so spiky! All in all I give the looks a 8/10 and the quality is superb.

The yellow, spiky nobels


Plethora has a pretty simple yet fun feel to it when playing. The aim is to get the most nobility/victory points. To do this you buy cards off a nobel by being in the same square with gold. You can purchase any of the cards as long as you have the right gold to do so. The cost is determined by the yellow number on the tower above the card. There is also a possibility on each card to get more points by trading resources at the end of the game. 

However to get gold you must follow the path of a noble. Which works like this.
1. Get a rendezvous from a square a nobel is in. This is simply a card with a location to get to.
2. Once you are at the rendezvous point exchange the card for a commission, this depicts a certain amount of gemstones you need to buy (with silver) to complete the commission
The commission cards sit above the gemstones,
which sit above the rendezvous
3. Once you have the gemstones you can trade the compleated commission and return the gemstones for the depicted gold and silver, which you can then use to buy nobility points and convert to silver to buy more gemstones. 

You can have up to two rendezvous and three commissions at a time. To get the gemstones, as I call them, white, blue and orange (actually perl, sapphire and ruby or something like that) you need to get to the location where they are sold then buy them for the silver depicted, so the more that have been purchased the greater the cost. This is a neat little mechanic which is used a other games, but fun none the less. 

In order for all of this to happen you have to start your turn by rolling three dice, which depict what actions you can do on your turn. For the most part this is fun and can lead to some pretty awesome turns. However sometimes you get a bad roll and you end up going in circles.


For the most part I enjoy this game, I like following the noble path, keeping gemstones to keep the price high for other players and purchasing the right nobility/victory point cards. It is simple enough for most people to pick up and learn their first time around yet enough strategy to keep you asking for more. However it does end up being about 90 minutes which is long considering the simplicity of the game. It can also get repetitive repeating the noble path.

I would definitely play this game again and it is a good game to play with newer gamers. Also I got this game at an op shop for $4 so no complaints there!

I give it a 7/10

It's not essential to play this game on a cat tablecloth

See more board game reviews here. Photos taken with my 600d and a 50mm f1.4 Sigma lens.

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