Blueprints is a fun, quick to learn game that centers around building secret structures with dice. Really, what more do we need? 😉
During each of the 3 rounds of the game, players build structures on a blueprint card hidden behind their personal shield out of dice drafted from a random supply. At any given time there are 7 dice in the center of the table, from which the current player chooses 1 and adds it to their building. After 6 turns each the round is over and players reveal their buildings for scoring.
There are 4 types (colors) of dice, which all increase your building’s value in different ways:
- Orange dice add based on the number of other dice (any kind) it touches.
- Green dice add based on the total number of green dice in your building.
- White dice add based on the face up side.
- Black dice add based on how high in your building they are placed.
Buildings are worth an additional 6 points if you manage to complete your blueprint for the round, but while you can’t build on X’ed spots you are otherwise NOT REQUIRED to follow the blueprint. The highest buildings each round gain “medals,” which translate to victory points at the end of the game. Building scores reset between each round.
Besides the medals there are “prizes” awarded each round, and this is where the game really opens up to varying strategies. There are always the same 4 prizes available:
- Building contains 4 or more of the same number face up.
- Building contains all numbers 1-6 face up.
- Building contains 5 or more dice of the same color.
- Building is 5 or more dice tall at its highest point.
Obviously a couple of these are contradictory, but it is still possible to get more than one a round. The prizes are each worth as much as a silver medal, so there are times when abandoning your blueprint or otherwise failing to maximize your building score might prove advantageous.
One last element I want to talk about is “desired materials.” Each round two (different) dice are chosen to be the most and second most desired materials (dice) for that round. Tiebreakers are decided based on how many of these type of dice each player has in their building. This becomes VERY important since only one of each prize is given out each round, and often more than one player will qualify. The mechanic itself is wonderful, since by drawing the in-demand dice from the same supply players build from those dice are automatically slightly more scarce for that round.
I’ve played this a few times now with different groups and like it quite a bit. It’s extremely easy to teach and plays very quickly, which makes it valuable to have on hand for in between longer games. However the setup and nuances make it more than just filler and add a reasonable amount of strategy and depth. It’s quirky, well designed, and most importantly fun.