Karen & Andreas Seyfarth


Spiel des Jahres 2006



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game :

I must confess, that I really like the series of complex games by Hans im Glück. Refusing the trend of other publishers to vary the size of game boxes continuously and publish more and more expansions for successful games, Hans im Glück created very interesting games like Der Turmbau zu Babel, Hazienda and Amun-Re. On the one hand, this looks very nice in the shelf and on the other hand guarantees long-term joy with different games. So I was very happy when the Gamebox crew agreed to let me do the review for the new game Thurn und Taxis.

In this game the players try to establish stage coach routes in southern Germany somewhen in the 17th century, mainly in and around Bavaria. It's a typical drawing, collecting and playing cards game. So the post offices for the stage coaches are established by playing the specific city card. Routes can be built by establishing offices that are connected.


In a game turn a player does up to three different actions. In the first phase he must draw a new city card, either from an open pool of six cards or from the closed deck. He then has to play one of his cards in the next phase. The actual route of a player always lies before him and he only may expand this route if he can place a connected city card to one of the outer cards of this route. Because in this second phase he must play a card, it will happen, that he has no chance to expand this existing route. He then must discard all cards of his actual route and begin a new one with a new card. This can be very annoying in the end game, when all players try to establish longer routes to get more victory points.

In his third phase a player may choose to end his actual route, if it consists of at least three city cards. He then can place post offices in some of the cities of this route (either one in one city of every country of the road or one in every city of one country of the route). Bonus points are given for special tasks, for example to a player who has established offices in every city of a country. Next to this additional victory points (in a form of a wagon) are given for the length of the route.

In one of the phases the player may be helped by a special employee, giving him an advantage in this phase (for example drawing two cards instead of one in the first phase). This help can only be taken once a turn.

The game ends if one player places his last post office or gets the last wagon for a route with a length of seven. In the final evaluation, points are substracted for all post offices that were not placed on the map, so it is always good to be the one to end the game.

Thurn und Taxisoffers solid entertainment, but it will not fill frequent gamers with excessive enthusiasm. However, I think this was not the aim of the game - it is much more suitable for a nice family afternoon. There is not a real competition on the board, and since victory points can be collected in many ways, you always have a different possibility if an opponent takes your favourite points away. The game works well with two, three and four players, and due to the very easy rules, the nice design and the intelligent and fair game mechanism it could be one of the favourites for one of this year's gaming awards. I personally had a little bit more expectations after the more complex and tactically predecessors, but in the end I was quite satisfied with Thurn und Taxis.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany