English reviews Strategiespellen


Game summary

A game for 1 – 4 players

Play time is 60 – 90 minutes

Publisher is Board&Dice


In Barcelona, you will take on the role of builders in 19th-century Barcelona working on the new expansion to the city.

For almost 150 years, the city of Barcelona has been considered a strategic stronghold under military control. For that reason, it was not allowed to grow outside its walls, resulting in buildings and factories being cramped within and making it the most densely populated city in all of Europe. Living conditions in old Barcelona were very poor, and disease outbreaks were frequent; the life expectancy of a worker was only 23-24 years. Shortly after the walls were finally destroyed, Ildefons Cerdà, who is now considered the inventor of urbanism, presented the plan for the creation of the “Eixample,” the expansion that Barcelona so desperately needed. Its construction began in 1860.

Your main goal is to construct buildings to accommodate the citizens who want to leave the old city, and in the process, you will also build streets, create tram lines, and establish public services. You may even decide to explore Modernisme, a new architectural and arts style that has been gaining popularity among the rich.

Let’s get it on the table

Start by placing the main board in the middle of the table.
The Building Bonus tiles can be placed on the dedicated spaces on the main board.

Shuffle all the Action tiles and place one on each Action tile space on the main board. You may skip this step and use the printed setup instead.

Prepare the Citizen track depending on the player count.

Place all remaining Citizen tokens in the cloth bag. Then randomly select three Cerdà Scoring tiles and place them on their designated spaces.

Now prepare the side board and remove the Modernisme tiles that correspond to the three Cerdà Scoring tiles placed on the Citizen track.

Shuffle the remaining Modernisme tiles to create a face-down stack, placing the stack on its dedicated space. Reveal the top four tiles and place them on their reserved spaces.
Also, separate the Public Service tiles by type and stack them in descending order of cost in Coins. Randomly select five of these stacks and put them on their spaces on the side board.

Separate all building tiles by type and create four separate stacks with the non-building side.

Divide the Sagrada Família tiles by level and place them next to the board. Create two separate piles of Coins and Cloth tokens next to the main board to form the general supply.

Take a player board and all the components in the chosen color. Place your player board in front of you on the table. One of the small disks can be placed on the leftmost space of the Sagrada Família track. Then place five cubes next to the Modernisme Project Spaces, one on each bottom space.

Place the Tram and your remaining five Passenger cubes on the corresponding spaces of the Tram area. Create a stack of Narrow Street tiles and Wide Street tiles, and place it on the dedicated spaces.

Place all your Intersection tiles on their dedicated spaces.
Each player takes 1 Coin and 1 Cloth token, and places each of them in the Warehouse.
Place six Cobblestone tiles in your Warehouse.

Place eight large Building marker disks on the spaces at the bottom of the player board, first creating three stacks of two disks and then placing two single disks on the last spots.
Prepare for the first turn, and each player should place their last large disk on the “0” space of the scoring track and their last small disk on the starting space of the Cerdà track on the main board.

Determine the first player however you prefer and give them the First Player token.
We used the statement, who visited Spain latest 😉.

Finally, each player should now draw 2 Citizen tokens from the bag and place them face down near their player board.

Now we’re ready, and let’s rebuild this beautiful Barcelona.

Barcelona is played over a variable number of rounds interrupted by three scoring phases before a final scoring phase. Every round, each player takes a single turn consisting of two or more actions, a building phase, and then prepares for their next turn.

Starting with the first player and continuing clockwise around the table, players take turns consisting of four mandatory steps that must be done in the following order:

  1. Place 2 Citizens on a street crossing on the main board, then optionally perform the street crossing’s corresponding actions.

Take the citizens and place them in an order of your choosing on a single street crossing that has no citizens on it. If the chosen street crossing has a visible printed cost in coins, you must first pay that cost.
After placing the citizens, you may perform any or all of the actions corresponding to the streets meeting at that crossing in any order. You may perform each of the following once:

  • the action corresponding to the vertical street
  • the action corresponding to the horizontal street
  • the action corresponding to the diagonal street, should the selected street crossing also intersect with the diagonal street.

Actions that can be triggered by the placement of Citizens are:

  • Gain Cloth and/or Coins
  • Place cobblestone from your Warehouse and place it on the Sidewalk section of the sideboard onto an empty space that is orthogonally adjacent to at least one other Cobblestone.
  • Build a Narrow or Wide street
  • Build an intersection
  • Improve a Modernism Project Space
  • Take on a Modernism project
  • Build a Public Service
  • Place or Move your Train
  1. After you have finished performing all your actions, if you are able to, you must construct one building, either on an empty block or on top of an already-built building. Remove citizens from street crossings to construct a building, placing the selected citizens on the corresponding citizen tracks on the main board.

Building categories are divided into Level 1, 2, 3, and corner buildings.
Each category has its own costs and benefits, which are clearly indicated on these tiles.
Nice thing is that a level 1 can be overbuild by an Level 2 or Level 3 building.

  1. At the end of each player’s turn, check if a scoring phase has been triggered. Meaning whenever a section of a Citizen track becomes full, place any extra Citizen(s) of that type on the next section of the Citizen track. All players score that section’s face-up Cerdà Scoring tile.

After all players have scored the current Cerdà Scoring tile, flip this tile face down, even if another Citizen track within it is filled. If this is the first or second Cerdà Scoring, reset the disks of all players that have advanced beyond the starting position to the starting position on the Cerdà track.

Every time you are given the opportunity to move your marker on your Sagrada Família track, you may move it to the next space. If you cross over a dedicated slot for a Sagrada Família tile, select a Sagrada Família tile of the corresponding level from the offer, place it in the slot just passed, and immediately gain the benefits of that tile. If you gain multiple resources from the tile, you can get them in any combination. You may flip the tile after resolving it.

  1. After you have finished all possible actions, take 2 Citizens at random from the bag. Than the round will be repeated as described above.

At the end of a player’s turn, if the last section of one of the Citizen tracks has been filled to or beyond its marked Cerdà Scoring space, the game end is triggered, and all players score the final Cerdà Scoring tile. Then, if this was not the last player in turn order’s turn, play continues until all players have played the same number of turns. Afterwards, proceed to Final Scoring.

The player with the most Victory Points at the end of the game is the winner.

Final Conclusion & rating

Weight: 3.35/ 5
Replayability: 7
Our rating: 8 out of 10 dices

Barcelona, at first I was a bit skeptical but Mark convinced me.
Of course, the game looked very nice and colorful. But after receiving this copy and starting to read the gameplay, what a blast. I believe we both have had some very nice and refreshing game nights with Barcelona.

The quality of the game components is great. Although it would be nice to have some metal coins and cloth tokens, it would be perfect. And after using the insert from Folded Space, setup time has been the final gift for this game.

A real blast and my skepticism was mainly on the diversity of tracks and if they would all be part of the gameplay. Well, yes, they all blend in very nicely. None of them are unused or delaying the play.

It’s smooth and very satisfying during the game. There is some nice interaction with the other players when placing the intersections or a street, hoping that it will not interfere with your strategy.

Awesome, that’s what it is, and looking forward to what the expansion will add to Barcelona.

We want to thank Board&Dice for this review copy and the opportunity to write about this game..

Dit vind je misschien ook leuk...