Review: The Taverns Of Tiefenthal

You are the pub owner of a tavern in the old town! Score the most points by attracting rich guests and by building the best tavern!



+/- 60 min



Game explanation

You are the owner of a tavern in the old town. Local citizens gather here in your famous, dim tavern to enjoy the best beer and good conversation. But in order to thrive, you have to attract new, rich guests. These wealthy guests bring in more money and allow you to expand your tavern. Do you invest in extra tables or in a larger storage space for beer? As a bar owner you have to make the right choices. One thing is certain: put the beer cold, because your guests will like it!

The Taverns of Tiefenthal is a combination of a deck builder and worker placement game. During the game you roll dice, but these are also your workers. The goal is to choose the right dice and put them in the right place so that you can collect enough money and beer. You can use the money and beer to buy new cards. You try to increase your personal card deck as best as possible. You win if you have the most victory points at the end of the game. These are mainly on the cards you collect. 

Each player has his own tavern in the form of a player's tableau. There is also a shared monastery tableau. The rounds are tracked on this. In addition, there is also a special monastery track on the monastery tableau. As a player you can take steps forward with your chip on the monastery track, this will earn you various nice rewards. 

The game lasts 8 rounds. Each round consists of the following 7 phases: 

- A new evening in the tavern
- The tavern fills up
- Here comes the waitress
- How can I serve you?
- Planning your actions
- Time to serve the guests!
- Closing time 

A new evening in the tavern: When the evening falls in the tavern, move the moon to the next space of the monastery round track. In the first round, that is of course space 1. There are various bonuses on the round track. When the moon lands on a bonus, all players receive this bonus.

The tavern fills up:  In the 2nd phase, all guests enter the tavern. You turn over the top card of your deck each time. You can put this card in your tavern in the right place. You place the beer merchant next to the beer storage and give your guests a seat at a table. You may keep taking and placing cards until all of your tables are occupied. 

Here comes the waitress: There is a waitress in your personal starting deck. Eventually, more of these cards can be added. Have you placed a waitress in your tavern in the previous phase? Then you can now throw 1 extra die and keep it under your tavern. You can use these dice in a later phase to perform actions. The waitress is also an employee that you can permanently employ in your tavern! Your tavern contains several tiles with employees or tables attached to your tableau like puzzle pieces. You can permanently appoint or upgrade the waitress, the dishwasher, the beer supplier, your tables, etc. You pay the necessary gold to turn your tile over. Are you doing this with the waitress tile? Then there will no longer be a dog in your tavern, now the waitress will be walking around by default! This enables you to use an extra die in every upcoming round, even without turning over a waitress card.

How can I serve you?: All players roll the 4 white dice. Starting with the starting player and then clockwise, each player takes 1 die and places it under his tavern. You then pass your remaining dice to the player to your left. He also chooses 1 die. You repeat this until all dice have been taken. Everyone now has 4 white dice. 

Planning your actions: You may now place the dice that you collected in the previous phases on your player board (your tavern). You have to do this smartly to collect as much gold and beer as possible! For example, you can put the 1 you rolled on one of your guests to collect 1 gold and a 6 on your beer supplier to get a beer. All locations require a specific number. There are a few exceptions to this. You also have boxes with a question mark. Here you can place a die with a value of your choice. The dishwashers come in handy at this stage! Do you have a dishwasher in your tavern? Then you can place one of your dice on an action space of your choice as if the value of the die is 1 higher. 

Time to serve the guests!: In this phase it is time to take your actions. The starting player may, of course, start with this. When it is your turn, remove your placed dice. You get money and beer for this. You can immediately spend this to recruit new guests or hire new staff. The cards you buy are placed on top of your personal draw pile, so you will immediately draw them next round. You don't have to spend everything right away. You can store a maximum of 2 gold and 2 beer in your tavern. 

Closing time: Each player takes the cards he has placed in his tavern. These cards go to your discard pile. Unless the moon is now on the last space of the round track, continue with the next day! 

The game ends after the 8th round. Each player adds up his victory points. Obviously, the player with the most victory points wins. 

If you have read the explanation above, you may already think "what a complex game". But don't be alarmed! There is more. The Taverns of Tiefenthal contain another 5 extra modules with which you can expand the game. This allows you to make the game more challenging and varied. You can add these modules 1 by 1 or play them all at the same time. An example is the Drinks module. This module adds the use of spirits. You can collect spirits in this module. With this you can get various nice bonuses. For example, with 5 drinks you can upgrade a tile for free. 

Our thoughts

We really like the combination of deck building and worker placement in The Taverns of Tiefenthal. The worker placement element in this game has a nice twist, in this case your dice are your workers. This, in combination with the theme, ensures that The Taverns of Tiefenthal is a fun game to play. Yet there is also an disadvantage to these elements. The game is mainly based on luck. If you're unlucky with drawing your cards and are you also not throwing the correct numbers with your dice? Then it becomes very difficult to collect gold or beer in that round. We are not such a fan of the luck element (to this extent). If your opponent is constantly unlucky and you happen to pick the right cards every time, you will feel bad for the other afterwards. It doesn't feel like you are doing that good by yourself.

Is that why we don't like the game? No, on the contrary! We still think The Taverns of Tiefenthal is a fun game to play. You can make many choices during the game and try out different tactics. Are you going to collect a lot of beer first to attract guests or do you focus on money so you can expand your tavern? The game offers many possibilities and yet plays differently from the other games in our collection. That is why we regularly play a game of The Taverns of Tiefenthal!

At the moment we are still trying to discover all the extra modules. We think this is a very nice element. We don't like having to read and figure out a lot of rules in one go. We now add a new module every time and that is why every game is different for us! The modules provide even more choices and options. This provides more variation in the game. Because the modules are optional, you can also adapt the game to your fellow players. Do you play with less experienced players? Then you can only play the basic game. But are you playing with experienced players? Feel free to add several modules to the game at the same time. 

All in all, we think The Taverns of Tiefenthal is a fun and varied game. If we really don't feel like letting fate determine whether we win or not, we simply choose a game that contains a little less luck. And will The Taverns of Tiefenthal come to the table? Then everyone is extra enthusiastic to be able to win despite the element of luck. 

Playing with 2 players

We have only played this game with 2 players and we like it very much. As far as we are concerned, this is the perfect number of players. With 2 players you don't have to wait long and you can think ahead. We are afraid that during a game with 4 players you will be waiting a lot for each other. Nevertheless, The Taverns of Tiefenthal is a fun game to introduce to friends. We are therefore sure that we will take the waiting time for granted so that we can have a pleasant evening in the tavern with friends!

 Pros and cons

+ Extra modules
+ Original theme
+ You can change your player board during the game

+ Most of the time you are playing at the same time, so you don't have to wait long

 A lot of luck
- Lots of loose components