Enter the City of Troyes
An Acclaimed Game of Dice and Medieval Life Returns
Between 1200 and 1600 CE, the French city of Troyes bore witness to some legendary and dramatic events. It endured the Black Death, the Great Fire, and the Hundred Years War. It saw the marriage of Catherine of Valois to England’s Henry V, and was freed from English rule by Joan of Arc nine years later. In the midst of this tumult, an ornate Cathedral of the High Gothic Style was built, and Troyes became not only an important trading center and the capital of Champagne, but temporarily the capital of France itself.
The board game Troyes, designed by Sébastien Dujardin, Xavier Georges, and Alain Orban, enables you to take part in this French city’s turbulent medieval history. This highly-acclaimed game of dice and strategy has been out of print for four years. Now, at last, Pearl Games is making it once again available in English.
Build, Pray, Live
In Troyes, you take on leadership of an influential French family and guide a work force of citizens through the tumultuous Middle Ages. Over the course of several rounds, you’ll earn fame for contributing to the city’s military, religious, and civil welfare, and helping to build its lavish cathedral. Along the way you’ll recruit more citizens and grapple with unpredictable and unfortunate events. You undertake all these activities under the auspices of a famous historical figure who will grant you additional fame—and possibly victory—if you achieve the secret mission they lay out for you. If you cannot complete it, another player may earn more fame than you, and another family will achieve pre-eminence in medieval Troyes.
What actions you can perform depends on where your citizens are placed on the board and how much money (derniers) you have. For each citizen at the Bisphoric you roll a white die, for each at City Hall you roll a yellow one, and for each at the Palace you roll a red. The number of dice you roll and the faceup values on them shape your options. For instance, if you have yellow dice whose values combine to twelve, you can activate the Goldsmith three times, earning three victory points and six derniers. If you have two white dice, you can place two cubes on the Cathedral construction site, earning fame (victory points) and influence.
Troyes does not limit you to using only your own work force. If you are willing to spend a few derniers, you can buy the dice that other players rolled and use them for your own gain. Since each die can only be used once, however, you have incentive to use your own best dice first, lest others take them from you. You can also use the influence that you gain from various actions, like Cathedral building, to change the results of your dice, re-roll them, or add new citizens to your family.
Fame and Misfortune
The late Middle Ages were not a calm or peaceful time, not for Troyes or any other European city. Before your citizens can work to improve the city, they must confront the enemies that threaten the city from without and misfortunes that threaten it from within. Right after your and your fellow players roll dice, you’ll draw two Event cards to face that round. Military Events, from Marauding to full-blown War, occur every round, and are best combated by red dice. If you are unable to fight against your attacking enemies, you’ll lose victory points. Religious and Civil Events like Heresy or Drought may also occur, but do not have to be dealt with immediately. If you choose to engage in them, you can earn victory points and influence, but you will have to spend your dice to do so.
At the end of the game, you’ll total up your victory points. There is no single successful path to victory, and at the same time, single-mindedness may prevent you from winning. Not only can you earn fame by countering Events, accomplishing Activities, and contributing to the Cathedral, you’ll also gain points in the end from your citizens who linger on Activity cards, from the events that you are still striving to overcome, and from the famous Character who shaped your strategies. Whoever has the most victory points earns eternal fame in the city and wins!
A Feminine Touch
Thanks to the many possible combinations of Characters, Activities, and Events, and thanks to the natural unpredictability of dice, the Troyes base game provides incredible replayability and fresh strategic choices in every game. Nevertheless, you may want to incorporate The Ladies of Troyes into your experience of medieval French life. This expansion offers five separate modules that can be incorporated into Troyes one at a time or all together. Three new Characters enter play, all royal French women with connections to the city, as well as new Activity and Event cards. The game gains purple dice, which you can spend like any other die, but which cannot be stolen. Finally, you can send your citizens to explore the ramparts of Troyes and beyond.
Troyes Will Soon Be in Your Hands
There is no telling what awaits you in this fabled French city. Will you lead your citizens in defending the city against the English? Will you train them to become Artisans and Sculptors, whose work makes the rising Cathedral unique? Or will they fend off Heresy and other Theological Conflicts as Templars and Priests? The fate of Troyes—its success, its very survival—is in your hands.
Troyes will be available at North American retailers in the second quarter of this year. The Ladies of Troyes is currently scheduled to be released at Essen in Q4 of 2016.