Time to do a preview of one of my favorites from Gen Con this year that is now funding on Kickstarter. It’s called
Sagrada is a game designed by Daryl Andrews and Adrian Adamescu that is going to be published by Floodgate Games. It’s for 2-4 players and takes 20-40 minutes to play. The idea is that you will be building a stained glass window via colored dice that you will draft. You are trying to match certain patterns, and there are also secret and public objectives you are trying to fulfill for more points.
Sagrada comes with 90 dice (five colors); 4 stained glass window frame boards; 24 favor tokens; 5 private objective cards; a round tracker; a dice bag; and a number of tool cards, public objective cards, and double-sided stained glass window cards yet to be determined. Each player gets a random glass window card (from which they will select one of the options) and a window frame board (into which they will insert their window card so the part they wish to use is visible). Each window card has a number of dots on it that indicates the difficulty, and also the number of favor tokens that player will receive. You’ll deal out three tool cards and three public objectives to the table, and then deal each player one private objective. All dice go in the dice bag and you’re ready to play.
A game of Sagrada lasts ten rounds. In each round, the start player will draw and roll two dice per player plus one from the bag (so 5-7-9 for 2-3-4 players). There will then be a snake draft for the dice. The start player gets first pick, then the second, and so on. The last player to select will actually get to select two dice, then the other players will pick again in reverse order. This means the start player gets first and last choice. It’s the same system as used in Catan when placing your initial settlements.
When you select a die, you place it on your board. The first die placed must be on the edge of the board. All subsequent dice placed must be adjacent to an already placed die, either orthogonally or diagonally. Additionally, you may not place a die orthogonally adjacent to one with the same color or pip count (referred to as shade). Some spaces on the window board have further restrictions that must be placed there, such as a certain number or a certain color.
During your turn, you can also choose to use a tool. To do this, place one favor token on a tool if none have been placed there so far (two if they have). Tools give you a chance to mitigate the dice.
After the tenth round, the game is over. You score points if you fulfilled the public objectives (and you score for each instance – if the objective was to have all unique numbers in a column and three of your columns fulfill that that, you score four times). You also score one point per pip on the dice you have of the color on your private objective card and one point per remaining favor token. If any spaces on your window board did not get filled, you lose one point per space. The high score wins.
At its core, Sagrada is really an abstract game. You’re rolling dice and positioning them on a grid. But by adding the stained glass theme, it becomes that much more interesting. Of course, this is not how stained glass windows are actually built. But there’s a pattern to follow, there’s different colors, and the result is very striking. The dice are lovely, and the frame boards they’ll be using look really cool.
Gamewise, the dice drafting here works really well. There are lots of options when placing, options that get to be fewer and fewer in the later rounds. Along with the patterns on the board, there’s also the public objectives you should shoot for, as well as your private objective. And though there’s luck in the dice rolling, the tools add some different ways to mitigate that luck. Many decisions to be made, and it’s one I enjoyed very much in my one play (which was a demo at Gen Con, though we played a full game).
If this sounds good to you, check it out on Kickstarter. The project is running until October 9, and has already met its $24,000 goal after launching on Monday. If you want in, the game is $35, or $39 with a Kickstarter exclusive frame board. You could also up your pledge to $199 and get a premium dice tower:
Thanks for reading!