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Best Renaissance Board Games

Last Updated on January 12, 2023

The Renaissance was a time of rebirth and rediscovery. Though the exact dates for the Renaissance are nebulous, it marks the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern era.

It was characterized by conscious efforts to revive and revere the achievements of antiquity. It was the time of Da Vinci and Michaelangelo, of the Mona Lisa and the Medicis. It was a time when the arts flourished and new ideas around politics, philosophy, science, and religion abounded. 

It also makes for a great theme for board games. Immerse yourself in the world of the Renaissance with our list of the best Renaissance board games out there.

🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Renaissance Board Games

In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.

02/03/2023 07:00 am GMT
Best Renaissance Board Games

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice

Assassin’s Creed is one of the best and highest-selling video game franchises of all time. Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 it has sold over 200 million copies. That’s pretty incredible. 

Brotherhood of Venice is actually part of the same universe so can be played in tandem with video games. Indeed, lovers of the video game series will immediately recognize and enjoy the artwork, themes, and storylines in the game.

Set in Venice in 1509, it takes place between Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Revelations and includes many of the characters from the video game series.

That’s not to say those who are unfamiliar with video games shouldn’t play the Brotherhood of Venice — they should. Especially if they are looking for a legacy-style game

What we Liked

The production value is exceptional and the game offers an immersive, expansive campaign with excellent storytelling and character development. 

What Could be Better

The box is pretty hefty so it’s not a very portable game

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice
$129.99 $107.31

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02/05/2023 12:30 am GMT

Endeavor: Age of Sail

Endeavor: Age of Sail board game box and components

There once was a time when the world was undiscovered (at least from a European perspective) and unconnected. Endeavor: Age of Sail takes place during the Age of Exploration.

This time marks the beginning of European colonialism and the first hints of globalization. Europeans set sail around the world discovering and ultimately conquering new places and people. 

In Endeavor: The Age of Sail, you aim to expand your country’s empire by venturing forth from Europe and establishing hegemony on the high seas. To achieve glory you will need to establish trade routes, develop cities and spread your culture throughout the world. The player with the most glory points after 7 rounds wins. 

What we Liked

The game offers multiple paths to victory, as glory can be attained through economic and cultural dominance, not purely military capacity. 

What Could be Better

There isn’t much in the way of combat, so if you’re looking for more battles between players you might be disappointed. 

Endeavor: Age of Sail
$120.82

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02/05/2023 02:00 am GMT

Lorenzo il Magnifico

The most brilliant leader of one of the most influential families in history, Lorenzo de Medici was a key figure of the Italian Renaissance.  He was the leading patron of the arts in Florence, and under his sponsorship artists such as Michaelangelo and Da Vinci thrived. 

In Lorenzo il Magnifico, you play as the head of a noble family during this transformational era. Throughout the game, you aim to earn more prestige and fame than your opponents.

There are many ways to achieve this so strategy is key to victory. Over 6 rounds you will acquire new territories, undertake new ventures and spread your influence far and wide. 

What we Liked

Lorenzo il Magnifico is best played with 3-4 players and offers an engaging eurogame experience, with difficult decision-making necessary throughout. 

What Could be Better

Some games can go on for quite a long time so unless you’re a huge fan of worker placement games, it can get repetitive. 

Lorenzo Il Magnifico (2nd Edition)
$76.44

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02/03/2023 07:00 am GMT

Keyflower

Keyflower Board Game

With the discovery of the New World, Europeans began to establish towns and settlements there. Some towns survived and prospered, while others failed and collapsed. In Keyflower, you arrive in the New World and aim to develop the most prosperous town over the space of a year. 

Keyflower is broken into four rounds, with each round representing a season. From very humble beginnings, your town will attract more immigrants over the four seasons. In order for your town to thrive, these newcomers need to be put to work on the best tiles.

This involves a combination of worker placement with auctioning for new tiles. Matching workers of the same color earn skills and resources while winning tiles at auction expands your village with new buildings. 

What we Liked

The combination of auctioning with worker placement offers a unique gaming experience. 

What Could be Better

Keyflowers’ theme isn’t the strongest. It’s set in the New World and is about building a prosperous town. But that’s it. 

Keyflower
$72.99 $52.49

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02/01/2023 09:54 am GMT

El Grande

El Grande Big Box Board Game Box and Board Setup

In Renaissance-era Spain, the King is losing power. This emerging power vacuum offers a sudden opportunity for the powerful noblemen of Spain, the Grandes, to establish control and expand their influence throughout Spain.

In El Grande, the legendary area-control game, you will become one of these noblemen, recruiting Caballeros to your cause. You will command your Caballeros across Spain increasing your domination across the different regions of the country.

But always beware the King. Weakened, yes, but he is not beaten yet and still commands respect. If he moves into a region, you cannot move your Caballeros out until the King is moved to another region. 

What we Liked

Area control is essential to earning points, so players who want to play a quintessential area control game should definitely check El Grande out. 

What Could be Better

El Grande can definitely feel random. Well-planned strategies can crumble quickly. 

El Grande

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Coimbra

Portugal played a leading role during the Age of Exploration, and during the 15th and 16th centuries, the Portuguese Empire reached its zenith. During this era, Coimbra was a key artistic and cultural center in Portugal.

In Coimbra, you will take the role of a prestigious and powerful family in the city and compete for power and prestige. Coimbra is a eurogame so there are a lot of different choices to be made each turn.

You can invest in expeditions, earn money and respect by associating with the city’s most important residents, and send your pilgrims to nearby monasteries. 

What we Liked

The game is played over four rounds, and the player with the most victory points wins. That’s, of course, fairly standard. But in Coimbra, there are many different ways to score these victory points. 

What Could be Better

There may actually be too many ways to score points. It can feel like point salad.

Coimbra
$47.79 $45.02

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02/03/2023 07:30 am GMT

Amerigo

Columbus may have sailed the ocean blue in 1492 but the continent was named after another explorer: Amerigo Vespucci. Columbus died thinking he had discovered a new route to Asia but Amerigo Vespucci was the first to demonstrate that the New World was in fact an entirely new, previously unexplored part of the world. 

In Amerigo, you play an explorer with the aim of helping Vespucci discover and colonize new lands. The game takes place over five rounds and there are many decisions to make in each round.

Usually, the early game involves aggressive territorial expansion, as players aim to establish the most trading points. But following this stage, there is a huge amount of variety between games so the same strategy won’t work twice. 

What we Liked

Victory points are the aim of the game and there are a ton of different ways to earn them. 

What Could be Better

The cube tower can detract from the overall gameplay. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. 

Amerigo
$74.99

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Azul

Azul Family Board Game

The Alhambra is considered one of the most stunning architectural achievements of all time. Certainly, Manuel the First, the king of Portugal thought so. Upon visiting the complex he immediately commanded that his palace be decorated in a similar manner. 

Welcome to Azul, the tile placement board game where you aim to adorn the king’s palace with beautiful white and blue tiles, known as azulejos.

You take the role of a tile layer and it’s your job to create the most beautiful tile pattern of all. Play your tiles in elegant, exquisite patterns and earn more points than your opponents. 

What we Liked

Azul is an excellent abstract game that works fantastically with any number of players. It’s easy to learn and quick to play. 

What Could be Better

Azul lacks any kind of storyline or character development so if you’re looking for a game with some narrative, this won’t be it. 

Azul
$39.99 $29.00

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02/06/2023 03:00 am GMT

Brides and Bribes

In Renaissance-era Genoa, the Doge was the head of state and the most powerful person in the city. Originally the Doge was elected for life, but after 1528 they were elected for terms of two years.

Not to say it was a truly democratic institution. The Doges were selected from a small group of influential merchant families and competition to become the new Doge was fierce. 

In Brides and Bribes, you take the role of a powerful Genoan family and aim to become the new Doge. To do this you need to marry off your family wisely and curry favor with the city’s elite.

Marriages must be chosen carefully and timing is everything as political fortunes change. But marriage isn’t everything. You can also invest in commercial ventures and even poison your opponents in order to climb to the top of the greasy pole.

What we Liked

There’s a lot of interaction between players which makes this a lot of fun. 

What Could be Better

If you take an early lead it is likely you will be targeted by all the other players, which can be frustrating. 

Brides & Bribes
$24.09

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Splendor

Splendor Board Game Box and Card Setup

Since time immemorial, precious gemstones have been a way to measure and flaunt one’s wealth. This was no different during the Renaissance. Rich aristocrats had money to spend and a desire for the finer things in life. 

Welcome to Splendor, an abstract open-drafting game where you take the role of a wealthy merchant looking to capitalize on the demand for precious gemstones. Throughout the game, you will spend resources wisely to expand your business and increase your wealth. 

This is no easy task. Gems need to be mined, transported, cut, and polished before they can be sold. You will need to invest in gem mines, transportation methods, and skilled artisans to turn your raw materials into precious gemstones fit for nobility. 

What we Liked

Spendor is easy to learn and simple to play. The components are of high quality. If you’re looking for a fun, simple game, this one’s a real gem. 

What Could be Better

The theme really isn’t that special. It’s about gathering and selling gems. If you love it, that’s great. But there’s not much else to it. 

Honorable Mention: Black Rose Wars

Black Rose Wars is not strictly historical. It’s set in a fantasy version of Renaissance Italy. It includes all the trapping of the era, though, so deserves an honorable mention on our list. 

Set in Nova Aetas in Italy, Black Rose Wars is a deck-building fantasy game where you will play as a powerful mage in the Black Rose Order. You will compete with other mages, mastering spells and becoming ever more powerful.

Ultimately, each mage wants to become the new leader of the Black Rose Order, so you need to build the best deck, master the best spells and beat your opponents to become the Head Magister. 

What we Liked

The theme is excellent and the gameplay is chaotic and fast. There are a lot of rules but once you’ve mastered them, learning new magic spells is just loads of fun. 

What Could be Better

Events can seem too random and some schools of magic seem overpowered compared to others. 

Black Rose Wars
$81.60 $74.99

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02/05/2023 07:00 am GMT

Wrap-Up

We hope you enjoyed our list of the best Renaissance board games! Have you tried any of the games on this list? Did we miss any of your favorites? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.

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Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice
$129.99 $107.31

Buy from Amazon Buy at Walmart
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/05/2023 12:30 am GMT