Many people have recommended board games to us with rules designed by Uwe Rosenberg. I myself am always drawn to board games if the cover box already looks good. The box of Reykholt looks not only very pretty, but also calm and peaceful. I was immediately drawn to it every time I saw this game in our local board game store. Tomasz however wasn’t convinced yet being more on the technical side of board games. But when Renegade asked us if we wanted to try out Reykholt. I did not give him a choice and happily responded back with a yes. Luckily I know Tomasz long enough to know what kind of board games he like and I’m convinced he won’t be disappointed also because of Uwe Rosenberg.

How to Play.

The setup is not complicated at all but involves quite some steps. All of those are very well explained in the rulebook with a clear setup picture. The game is divided into four phases over the course of seven rounds. The first phase is called work time, followed by harvest time, tourism time and ending with homecoming time.

In the first phase work time, each player (starting with the first player) places one of their three workers on a free action place in the middle of the board. Only one worker can fit on each space and you can only place your worker if you can perform at least one action stated on the action space. Some spaces also have flags. If you chose a space with a flag, you cannot choose another action space with a flag in that column this round.
The action you can take are taking goods like tomatoes or lettuce for example. You can also buy greenhouses as an action which gives you space to seed vegetables. If you want to seed, you can place a worker an action space that tells you to seed, and you simply take one vegetable from your stock to place in the greenhouse. Each greenhouse shows you how many spaces you have and what vegetables can grow there. If you chose an action space that says harvest, or it’s harvest time, you may choose one good from one of your greenhouses to place in your stock. If an action says to harvest three times, you can take three goods, but from three different greenhouses. Some action spaces allow you to choose a service card. Service cards provide you with bonuses like extra seeding or harvesting for example.

Once each player have placed all of their workers, it’s harvest time. Here, each player may harvest one time from each of their greenhouses. After that it’s tourism time. The player who stands the furthest on the tourism track will go first and completes their entire turn before the next player starts. On your turn, you may advance your manager by as many spaces as you want and can afford. For each space you will have to pay a certain amount of goods. But each round in tourism time, you are required to use the bonus. To use the bonus, instead of discarding the goods you have to pay for the next space, you can pay this one space with the bonus. You can also first advance the spaces you can pay for, and then decide to take the goods of your bonus to your stock. Either way, you have to move at least one space each round. Once each player has advanced it’s homecoming time. Flip the next chapter of the book to reveal the next round number, take your workers back and pass the first player token to the next player. Then start the next round in the same way as described above.

The game will end after seven rounds and the player who advanced the furthest on the tourism track will win the game. In rare cases it is possible to complete the entire tourism track. If that happens, simply start at the beginning but treat each payment to be 6+ goods instead of one. Reykholt also has a story mode that adds a couple of things to the game like events. To play the campaign, simply choose the first scenario card (or the number of your choice). Scenarios follow almost the same set up, but have a different amount of rounds stated on the scenario card. At the beginning of each work time phase, also reveal an event card and resolve it for each player. Scenarios may also add additional requirements to win the game.

Playthrough of the game

Since Tomasz wasn’t convinced of this game yet, even after putting together those cute mini crates, I decided to ambush him. I set up the game, red the rules, set up all necessary snacks and drinks, and told him there was a surprise waiting when he got home. When he saw some alcoholic beverages, he sat down to play and my ambush was a succes. Tomasz won in the first game with two spaces difference since he had a couple of service cards providing him with good bonuses. But when I asked him if his opinion had changed, not only did he say he was blown away by the design of the game, but also the smooth gameplay and rules. He even wanted to already start the first scenario of the campaign! After a couple of I told you so’s, we set up the first scenario and played right trough it. We were amazed of how well the scenario’s were written for this game and how much gameplay it adds to the game. Besides the extra gameplay and challenge, the story also just makes sense and explains why you have to do certain actions of why you can’t perform certain actions for example. We enjoyed it a lot.

Other then the gameplay being smooth and easy. The components in this game also look and feel great. The mini boxes really put everything together. We also appreciate that the designer thought of a nice way to include the boxes in a two player game (on the two player side of the board). Although they can get in the way sometimes. We also found that this game doesn’t necessary need more then two players to make this a great game. With two players the game is still very balanced and our end scores are always close to each other.

Final Thoughts

Reykholt is a farm themed game where you have to advanced the furthest on the tourism track in order to win the game. The art and components fit the theme very well and are of good quality, but the game also has a good and balanced gameplay even when playing only with two people. Other then the base game, Reykholt also offers a great campaign that provides more gameplay and challenges. We are very happy to have added this game to our collection!

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