Sagrada Review

worms eye view of spiral stained glass decors through the roof

Hey folks, grab your glass cutters, glass pliers, soldering irons, and flux. Today, we’re building stained glass windows. Now, I know what you’re thinking. A game about stained glass windows? How can that be a game? Well, just keep reading and you’ll see what it’s about. Sagrada gets the name from Sagrada Familia. It’s a large unfinished Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona. Ground breaking was in 1886, and it’s currently projected to be finished by 2026. Well, this Sagrada is a 2-4 player game produced by Floodgate Games. It’s a dice drafting and pattern building abstract game. It plays in about 40 minutes.

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Sagrada comes in a standard size box. It comes with the rules, a large bag for the dice, a small bag for favor tokens, 1 round tracker/score track, 4 score markers, 4 player window boards, 5 private objective cards, 10 public objective cards, 12 window patterns, 12 tool cards, 24 favor tokens, and 90 dice. The dice come in 5 colors red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. There are 18 of each color. That’s a lot of dice! The window patterns are double sided too.

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Private objective cards help with scoring. There’s one for each color dice. Tool cards help you out when placing or drafting the dice. You use favor tokens to activate a tool. First time a player uses a tool, it’s 1 favor token, every time after it costs 2. Then public objective cards are the scoring mechanism at the end of the game. They’re often sets of colors, numbers, or shades. In this game, each color has 3 different shades. Light are numbers 1-2, medium are 3-4, and dark shades are 5-6. Favor tokens give you points at the end of the game or let you use tools.

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Personal Goals
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Public Goals
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Tool Cards

For set up, each player will select a window board and matching score token. Next, shuffle the private objective cards and deal one to every player face down. This will let you know what color you want to try and collect to earn the most points. Next, shuffle and deal out two window patterns to each player. Window cards have dots on the bottom right corner of the window. These are how hard the window is to complete. Lower the dots, the easier it is to finish. Players will take favor tokens equal to the dots on their chosen window pattern. Slide that pattern into your window board. This will make it so dice don’t slide around when you’re playing. Next, shuffle the tool cards. Deal three out and place them under the round tracker. Do the same with the public objective cards too. Put all the dice in the large bag. Give it a couple of shakes to mix up the dice. This isn’t in the rules, just something I like to do. Now that everything is out, it’s time to start playing.

The game is played over 10 rounds. You’ll count the number of players, double that, and add one. Draw that many dice from the bag, and roll them. This is the turns dice pool. Players have a mandatory and optional action each draft. They can use a tool as the optional, but mandatory is selecting a die. With the starting player, they’ll select one die and place it in their window board. The first die placed has to be along the edge of the window. All other dice placed, bust be placed next to an existing die. There are a couple of restrictions when doing this. First, the color or numbers cannot be placed next to the same colors or numbers. So you can’t have a green die next to a green die or a red two next to a green two. The other restriction is the window pattern. You’ll notice that the window pattern will have colors and grey numbers on it. You’ll have to make sure to follow that when placing a die on that spot. After the first player goes, then the play continues clockwise until it gets to the last player. After they take their turn, then they take another turn and play goes counter-clockwise back to the first player. The die that is left over is placed on the round tracker. Then, first player moves to the next player and another round begins.

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Round tracker.

After 10 rounds, players will score their windows. Players will look at their private objective cards. They’ll add together all the dice of that color. Next, they’ll score the public objective cards. They’ll add any unused favor tokens. Next, they’ll subtract any empty window spaces. Players will use their marker tokens to keep track on the score tracker. It’s on the opposite side of the round tracker. The player with the highest points wins.

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18 Points from Reds + 5 Points from row variety + 10 for Column Variety + 4 for Light Shade sets equals 37. Not my best game.

So, what do I think of the game? It’s a good dice drafting game. It reminds me of Sudoku, but with dice, colors, and numbers. It’s easy to teach, and it’s a real thinker when playing. Sure, there’s luck involved with drawing the dice and rolling them. That’s part of the game though, sometimes it’s what you need, and sometimes it’s not. I wish there was a little bit more player interaction with the game, as the only interaction is when someone else picks the die you want. A couple of tools where you could “break” a players window or exchange a die with someone else would have been nice. Everything fits nicely inside the box, and the components are top notch. The look of the game is something that will catch anyone’s eye. I really like the drafting aspect of the game and how when it gets to the last player, they get to go again. This makes it not so bad with being the last player. It’s nice how the window patterns are double sided and vary in difficulty. I wish there was a couple more patterns in the box, but that’s just a personal opinion. Do I recommend this game? I didn’t think I liked it the first couple of games due to lack of player interactions. The more and more I play it though, the more and more I’m liking it. If you’re a fan of puzzle games and dice, I highly recommend this one. There’s an expansion that pushes the game from 4 to 6 players. I recently bought the expansion, but that will be a separate article.

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