AZUL: Stained Glass of Sintra

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Hey everyone, we were privy to a play through of AZUL: Stained Glass of Sintra yesterday, however, for those that don’t speak French, you wouldn’t have been able to understand how the game works. I haven’t played it yet, or seen a rulebook, so this is all just from watching the video.

Without further ado: here’s how the game works. In AZUL: SGS, much like in regular AZUL, you set up the factory displays by placing 4 of each glass tile on each of the wheels. They didn’t specifically say, but in the video, there were 7 wheels with 3 players, so it would seem you set up the factory displays the exact the same way.

As for your own player boards, you’ll have a series of reversible window panes matching your player colours. They didn’t say in which order they go in, but I would imagine it’s randomized to create more replayability. I would also gather that there is a side a/b as you have to complete the window panes twice to remove them from your player board.

The point tracker is central in this game, and has a fixed number of rounds, in this case, it’s 6 rounds, unlike AZUL where there’s a specific end game trigger. When you set up the point board, you grab one of each coloured tiles and then an additional colour at random to place on each of the round markers to show which will score bonus points for that round when tiled. This will make more sense further down when I explain how you tile, maybe tile isn’t the right word with glass, but it’s what I can come up with and what we used in AZUL.

After you’ve set up your player and the central point boards, you’re ready to start. Much like AZUL, taking tiles from the factory displays works exactly the same way. You choose a colour, take all those coloured tiles, and the tiles remaining on the factory displays goes to the centre of the table.

You also have the option of taking tiles from the centre of the table, again, choose one colour, take all of those coloured tiles, and leave the others in the centre of the table. If you are the first to take tiles from the centre of the table, you get the first player token, which is worth negative points (I’ll explain this a bit further down)

You do have a second action, which is to bring your worker back to the left most space of your player board. I’ll explain how placing tiles in your vertical column/window pane works, and then this will make more sense.

When you are adding tiles to your window, place the tiles you’ve grabbed from the factory display, or from the centre of the table, in your window on a single vertical column/window pane where your worker currently is, or a on one that is to the right of your worker.

If you want to placing tiles to the right of where your worker currently is, move the worker to the vertical column/window pane, then place your tiles. Think of it like you have to have a worker there to do the work. It’s a neat addition to the game.

Once your worker reaches the last vertical column/window pane, or really anytime you want, as it is an available action, however, you have to do it when you get to the right most space, you can use an action to move your worker back above the left most vertical column/window pane. So think of a typewriter.  This second available action is new to AZUL: SGS, however, you may still only take one action per round.

Much like AZUL, you can only choose one vertical column/window pane to place your tiles, so any excess will go back to the little tile collector box thingy and you will move your coloured player cube found next to the round tracker (different from your point tracker) down one space. Each space is worth negative points, and I would imagine goes up exponentially. I wasn’t able to tell from the video what those values were.

If you’ve completed a vertical column/window pane after placing your tiles, you’ll “tile” that window portion found below the pane itself by moving a tile of your choice from the vertical column/window pane and score points. Move the tile of your choice to the top most empty space.

There are two space, so naturally, you will need to complete a vertical column/window pane twice, once on each side to fill both spots. Remember that completing a vertical column/window pane matching the colour of the tile on the current turn track will generate more points. So try to prioritize window panes with those colours in them for that round.

When you move the tile down, you will score points based on the point value of that vertical column/window pane indicated on the bottom of your player board. They range from 1-4 points.

Then you will score additional points for each vertical column/window pane that’s already be tiled to the RIGHT of that completed pane. Don’t score each tile again, but each vertical column/window pane that has already been completed at least once. IE, if you have two tiles in a column valued 3, to the right of the one you just scored, you will score an additional 3 points, not 6. It doesn’t look for how many tiles, just that there is at least once present.

So the more vertical column/window panes you’ve completed to the right of the one you’ve just completed, the more points you’ll get. This also means that completing the last vertical column/window on you board will not generate any extra victory points in that way as there are no tiles to the right of it.

Lastly, you’ll score an additional point for each tile in that window that matched the colour of the tile found on the current round track.

Then flip that vertical column/window pane to side b. Side b scores in the same way, however, there are now joker/wild spaces found on side b that can hold any colour. If you’ve completed side b, remove it from your player board.

Once the factory displays and the centre of the table are empty, subtract the negative points accumulated from each player and move those tokens back to the first spot, meaning, you don’t start each round with your token in the negatives.

Once you’ve completed 6 rounds the game ends, score the negative points like you’ve done each round and then proceed to bonus end game scoring. Firstly, on your player board, you have a side a and a side b, both of them score bonus end game points differently.

As mentioned early, on your player boards, you’ll notice there are two spaces in each vertical column/window pane where a tile can be moved, once for completing each side of the window pane.

For the purposes of bonus points, each column is paired with one next to it to create a group of 4 spaces with a circle symbol in between. You’ll gain bonus victory points depending on if you completed 1,2,3 or 4 tiles in that group of 4. Move to the next group of 4 and score those points. There are a total of 16 spaces, so you will repeat scoring this bonus up to 4 times on side a.

Bonus scoring on side b, I think works like this, they mentioned it quickly and didn’t elaborate much because they were playing on side a of their played board.

For each empty window pane you have, you’ll multiply that number by the number of tiles you’ve completed that you have the most of.

Remember that once you’ve successfully completed side a and b of a vertical column/window pane, that window pane is removed. Now this is where choosing which tile you place on the bottom matters during the game. You’re going to want to have the most of the same colours on the bottom.

As an example, if I’ve removed 3 window panes, and I have 4 blue tiles, the most of any of my colours, on my player board that I’ve successfully tiled, I’ll generate 3×4=12 points. If I have 5 blue, I’d generate 3×5=15 points. So you can see how size b of your player board can force you to collect more of the same colour, or to even concentrate on completing size a and b of a couple of your vertical column/window panes to increase that multiplier.

I think all of that is right, at least as much as I could gather from listening to their explanation and watching how the game plays. I can see how this plays quite a bit differently than the first AZUL, and very much nothing like Sagrada. Beyond the drafting mechanic and the theme, which I do admit put me off, it’s it’s very much it’s own beast, especially with the addition of the 5/6 player expansion in Sagrada. I will own both in my collection. The question really is, would I still play AZUL if I owned this. To be honest, probably not. Not that it wasn’t a great game, but it got stagnant quickly. This seems to have more variability thus more replayability.

Hope you this helped clear up some things, I think it looked really fun and I look forward to adding it to my collection.

 

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