We decided we needed to thin out our board games stash. There was a large stack of games we immediately put in our keep pile, a rather small stack of games we gave away (primarily math games the kids had outgrown, they don’t need to practice their addition skills now). We were left with a rather large stack of games no one actively said, “Let’s keep it,” or “Get rid of it,” so we set about playing all the games. That’s how we ended up playing the Torres game. It’s a nice quick area control game, that we all enjoyed playing again.
(this post contains affiliate links)
The old king is looking for who is going to take over for him, and you and the other players are all vying to impress the king. How do you impress him? Why by building the best castles of course.
Quick overview of how to play the Torres game
Each game is played in 3 rounds. Each round you are given a set number of pieces to play, and place to best win the game.
On your turn, you get five actions. They can be spent to place castle pieces, a person, buy cards, or move your person.
It’s super simple, right?
I mean it just takes a few minutes to explain what you’re doing, but it’s not that simple.
At the end of each round the king goes to the biggest castle of the round you are in, so round 1 he goes to the biggest level 1 school. Round 2 he moves onto level 2, and ending the game on level 3. Whoever “owns” the castle the king moves to gets points for that round for the castle (5, 10, and 15 points for each round respectively).
The intrigue behind Torres
The entire game is probably 30 minutes. It’s pretty fast. Here are my big takeaways:
Those five actions are a big deal. You need to plan out what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it.
Each square you move a person counts as an action, BUT you can slide your person through a castle for one action and move up or down any number of levels and exit at any door. It’s a great way to move quickly around the board.
The cards you can buy are a huge power move. They “break the rules” to give you more movements, more actions, the ability to illegally move a piece somewhere, to gain more towers, or to move towers that are already placed. You almost always gain more in actions or bonuses than you spent to get the card, but you don’t know ahead of time what the card will be.
Planning ahead of time for the placement of the king is a big deal. I planned for round three to get the king on my castle, and in such a way no one else could get on it, ensuring I was the only person who got the round three bonus. By contrast, Jeff had planned to get the king for the round two bonus, but he wasn’t able to prevent everyone else from joining the castle and also getting the bonus.
What did we end up deciding on Torres?
We kept it. We don’t play it super often, but it’s pretty quick and simple, and worth keeping around. So far every game we’ve played that was in the maybe pile ended up being kept. We’re not doing so good at that whole “getting rid of games” thing.