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Board game review & gameplay of: Brian Boru

Game design: Peer Sylvester

Illustrations: Deirdre de Barra

  • 8/10
  • 14+
  • 3-5 players
  • 60-90 minutes


In this game players try to unite Ireland under their domain as Brian Boru did years ago.

Each round players draft a hand of cards and play tricks in order to pick actions. If they win a trick, they get to take the top action (which always includes getting influence in a city) and if they loose they get to choose one of the bottom actions.

Through the actions players try to control vikings, to earn extra points and maybe let them raid in other players cities; try to get influence with the church to enhance cities and start exploring next turn and they will try to send enough loveletters to the princess, in the hope it was enough for them to marry them and get an end of round bonuss.


This is a game that got me intrigued the past few weeks. Is it too tight? Do I love it for being so tight? I think in the end I really like it just because it makes me think about it so much! The game interests me and makes me want to explore it more and more. The trick taking is deliciously mixed with performing satisfying actions and winning cities.

👍 I really like how simple the core of the game is. You play tricks, perform top or bottom action and you play tricks again. The difficulty is in what way you choose to play the tricks, do you want to win or lose?

👍 There are some interesting choices to make in this game. Do you want to win or does losing give you the better action this turn? It’s a very interesting puzzle

👍 It’s not difficult to learn and teach

👍/➖ Some players don't like the tightness of the game. I'm still turning my head around this one; I get why they say that. But I like that tightness somehow. Feels somewhat elegant to me.

➖ It’s a game which is not for everyone.


I tried the BGG solomode created by Ricky Royal. It plays very well and ensures a nice puzzle.


A copy of this game was provided to me by Osprey Games for the purpose of writing this review. My opinion however remains my own.

Boardgamegeek BGG

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