Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

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Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

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The modular boards make the game fiddly in a way the other two are not as you will flip and remove window panels throughout the game. This often results in bumping and disrupting your placed tiles if you aren’t careful. Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra (created by Michael Kiesling) is a standalone game for two to four players – it is not an expansion to Azul. Thematically, players are competing to create the most impressive stained-glass panels for the Portuguese palace of Sintra. In turn, players draft coloured glass from a central pool of glass factories to gradually complete their design. The big question of if Azul Stained Glass of Sintra is better than the original is a tough one to answer for everyone at once. The additional decisions driven by tweaks to losing points, the end game scoring and the inclusion of passing makes it more of a “gamer’s game”. Due to this the instant unbox and play factor the original excelled at, that simplicity of just take and use, is lost. Both are phenomenal abstract puzzles but with extremely similar mechanics. Due to this is isn’t possible to recommend owning both – neither being a killer of the other. Owning one or the other would hold a good spot in any collection. If you enjoyed the original or you are new to the world of Azul, Stained Glass of Sintra should very much be on your “to play” list though!

The first time a window is completed four of the tiles on it are added to the glass tower and it is flipped over, being removed the second time around. The fifth tile, which is chosen by the player, slides down onto their player board for end game scoring. The window then scores based upon the number below it on the player board plus the points earnt by any previously completed windows to the right. Note when calculating these points to the right each is only awarded once for each column whether a window is completed once or twice. Bonus points are then awarded per tile of the rounds special colour. Azul released two years ago and took the board gaming hobby by storm. The sequel, Azul Stained Glass of Sintra, has recently been released by Next Move Games. Designed by Michael Kiesling, with art from Chris Quilliams, this time around 2 – 4 players will be constructing windows with colourful glass panes. Taking around 30 – 40 minutes to play, the tile placement mechanics have been shaken up somewhat. However, is there enough of a change to warrant owning both this and the original? Let’s find out! If a section of the design is completed, it is scored and then turned over to reveal a different combination of colours. If completed a second time, it is scored again and then discarded into the box. The original is perfectly simple. With straightforward and easily understood rules, this is the least overwhelming in the series. It doesn’t try to get too cute with mechanics and that’s the beauty of it. If you are looking for an abstract game with a bit more depth and don’t mind a lot of moving parts, Azul Stained Glass of Sintra could be a great choice for you.

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While some will definitely like keeping tiles from round to round, others may not find it restrictive or punishing enough. Because you remove panels throughout the game as you complete them, the finished game is not nearly as aesthetically pleasing to behold. You don’t end the game seeing what you’ve built because you’ll have removed a fair portion of it. This leaves your board looking like it’s a smile missing some teeth. Each round a new color tile is wild which gives you something to plan for and work towards to help complete valuable sections on your board. Each turn, a number of market tiles will be filled with four random transparent plastic tiles, drawn at random and in a possible five different colours. On a player’s turn they will select to take all the tiles of one colour from a market location and add them to one column in their player board, representing a stained glass window. Tiles must be placed on a spot of a matching colour and any extra tiles will be wasted, resulting in a deduction of points. It is far easier to tell what is in each players’ best interest based on where their glaziers are on their board – there’s less fear in losing out on tiles you may need when you know that no one else can get them lest they lose points. Because of this, there is far less opportunities for players to be mean. However, it can still happen and can be quite punishing when it does.

Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra maintains some of the core tile drafting mechanisms of Azul, but introduces new tile laying techniques and a new theme. In Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra players are challenged to select colourful glass panes to adorn the windows of the chapel of the Palace of Sintra in Portugal.

There has been a bit of a mixed response to the inclusion of the ability to rest – effectively passing. Some have seen this as an unwanted addition, which can add a little analysis paralysis via more options on a turn. Whilst this is somewhat true it gives choices more meaning, as on future turns you can only build to the right, before resetting. This makes it extremely beneficial to reset just before the next round. Though what if there are tiles you want to take too? It gives a balancing act to manage and something to time – perfect for some but not everyone. Craig M (5 plays): Given the choice, I would choose Azul of Sintra. While I have enjoyed my games of the latter, I think apparent depth is illusory. Sintra is a nice variation on a theme that I would be happy to play, but in the long run Azul owns a permanent spot in the collection.

The translucent cough sweet appearance of the tiles aside, this drafting is where Sintra hews mostly closely to its predecessor. The rest of the game is a remix of sorts of Azul’s wall-tiling puzzle, spinning out its combo-building scoring and pattern-completion into a different yet familiar form. At the start of the game a number of Factories (circular disks) depending upon the number of players are put out in a circle in the centre of the table. A cardboard Glass Tower is assembled and placed near the Factories. This will be used to hold “broken” Pane Pieces during the game. Each player chooses a colour and takes the appropriate Player Board together with the 8 Pattern Strips. The Pattern Strips each show a column of 5 coloured spaces on which Pane Pieces will be placed during the game. The Player Boards are doubled sided and change how the final scoring is carried out. All players agree on which side of the board will be used for the game. The Pattern Strips, also doubled sided, are randomly placed as vertical columns above the Player Board. One of the Pattern Strips shows 2 joker spaces instead of coloured spaces and this Strip must be placed with the joker spaces face down. Each player places their Glazier pawn above their leftmost Pattern Strip. If you are looking for a crunchy abstract game with a large lean toward the puzzle category, Azul: Queen’s Garden could be a good fit for you. The end game scoring isn’t overly complicated but it isn’t obvious either. While it is intuitive that the number of fully window finished is beneficial, it is the multiplication that new players seemingly forget or confuse. Some kind of symbology or mentioning of the scoring on the player boards may have eased this problem, serving somewhat as a reminder throughout. Despite this the end game scoring works well at giving players something to work towards. It might take a game to understand but it is worthwhile learning. Your decisions are often skewed by what you think your rivals are trying to do, and the game offers a couple of end game bonus variants that increase replayability – in addition to the variability of your window design and the way tiles come out of the bag. The game has nice components and play moves along at a good pace without too much downtime.Updated to include Azul: Queen’s Garden* Azul is one of the most popular modern board games of the last 5 years. Azul, once a title for a single game, has since become the name of a series. With four stand alone games that each sound and look similar, you might be wondering which game is right for you. Is that part of the game? Sure. But it can also feel quite mean and we suggest not playing that way if you want to keep things friendly.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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