i’m sure there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Coimbra, a dice worker placement game of the Castles of Burgundy and The Voyages of Marco Polo ilk.  Except that nobody talks about it. And my friendly local game store had mountains of copies that weren’t moving. And then it went on sale. And after i bought it, it went on sale again. Still… it’s probably fine. …R-right?

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and i have a game here called Coimbra, which is a game that i’ve had my eye on for literally years! It’s been in my game store, and i thought “That looks really cool!” It’s a dice worker placement game, from what i understand, and if you know a bit about me, you know that i love dice worker placement games. So i never really quite… sort of… took the plunge on this one. The price was a little bit too high, to be honest, and the other thing that sort of detracted from it was that certain games get played, and people like them, and people talk about them. But Coimbra… years later, it’s still been on my… my wish list, my want list, but nobody’s really talking about this game anymore. It kind of, like, came and went. i don’t know who anybody, personally, who’s played it, or has said good things about it, so it seemed like one of these ones where the publisher might have had – you know – marketing budget to to talk about it right when it came out and then, you know, a few people did videos on it, a couple people bought it and were playing it, but then there’s a whole mountain of them at my friendly local game store that sort of weren’t moving, and nobody was discussing this game. And i really wondered why! Is it terrible? i don’t know! And you know what? You’re not going to find out in this video at all! All you’re going to find out with me is what’s inside the box! But i hope it’s not terrible. It looks very beautiful, and there are a couple of surprises in the box that i’m… maybe not surprised to me, because i’ve looked up pictures, but i’m excited to get my my greasy little mitts on them. Uh, if you’ve played this, i’m interested to know what you think of it. But look at this: look at the artwork on the back. So Coimbra is a city in Portugal just north of Lisbon, which is the extent of what i know about it, because i don’t do very much research at all for these videos, but it looks like it’s historical. i have seen a couple of pictures of it, and it’s giving me a little bit of a Carcassonne vibe, even though Carcassonne is a real city in the world that has these really cool labyrinthine walls, these high sort of fortress walls, but like – you know – wending all through the place, and this looks like there’s a little castle on top, and there’s some medieval looking people pulling a card across this bridge, and some dude on a horse. It’s a little bit more modernized now, but a lot of this structure that you see in this (by the way) beautifully illustrated cover… this is one of the attractions of it. i think “Look how gorgeous this artwork is! Lovely!” i didn’t look up the artist’s name, but i’ll flash his or her name, or names, at the bottom of the screen. Bam! There they are. i don’t know the designers, either: Virginio Gigli and Flaminia Brasini… hope i pronounced those correctly. Old ladies you don’t really see on board games too much. That’s interesting: there’s some interesting jazz going on here, but the artwork, and the fact that it’s a dice worker placement game are definitely the two big things that attracted me. And the reason that it is in my collection today is that it finally went on sale at a twenty dollar price drop, i think, because man… my FLGS just had so many copies of it that weren’t moving. Um, so i took the plunge, and get this: after i took the plunge, a week after the… the game arrived at my house, they had a further sale, and it was further reduced like 15 bucks! So i wrote them and said “Hey… can i kind of get like, uh… can i get that store credit?” And good on them! They said yes. So that is board game bliss in Scarborough, Ontario. Wonderful game shop. i, uh… i encourage you to shop there. At the very least, though, they’ll refund your money if they put something on sale a week after you… you buy it for a different price. Here we go we’re gonna open the box. (minor toot) Oh! Just a little thing. i don’t know if you heard that, but i’m going to say Box Fart-O-Meter: 1. And that, my friends, is the first Box Fart-O-Meter we’ve had in, like, 40 unboxing videos! So… y..yaaay(?) And… fireworks. Box Fart-O-Meters… they seem like they’re going extinct. i don’t know if it’s climate change, or what’s happening, but if you have a box that makes a dirty noise when you open it, could you please film that for me, and send me the video or a link to the video, give me permission to use it? i will put your box fart in a box fart compilation, and we can all enjoy it. It’ll be world famous! Not that anything i do on this channel is famous in the least, but that would be really cool if you could! Here is a little eggertspiele… right. And i… i do have a very good opinion of this publishing company, because i played Great Western Trail, and the production values on that game are excellent! Here’s a How to Play. i’ve also done an unboxing. Probably more interested in the How to Play. i spent a lot of time on it. But i like the production value of the stuff they make, and Heaven and Ale apparently is another excellent game by eggertspiele. So, yeah! A favourable opinion of those guys. Here is the instruction booklet that’s beautiful… i just love this artwork, because you so rarely find styles like this in board game design. It’s gorgeous. There are many pictures and muted colours… almost pastel colours. Really really pretty. And it goes to about 13 – what do we got? – 15, 16 pages. So pretty standard with, like – you know – a mid-weight euro-style game. And this, because i live in Canada, is the French version of the rulebook. Maybe you have the French/ English version like i do? Here are a couple of… well, there’s one card to punch out with these interestingly shaped chits, and that’s the shape on it. A couple of squares. Interesting big squares that represent dice with pips on them. Nothing too fancy. There’s a little interesting cut down here. So you’ve got sort of like a castle turret cut on some of these little… little tiles. And the ba…uh… the board. Let’s unfold that puppy right out, and it’s going to be pretty! Oh! Whoa! Ohhhhh. Look! Look, everybody: look. How pretty! How gorgeous! Oh, it’s lovely! i just want to play it. Don’t you just want to play it? Let’s play this! Man! i have a couple of games that i bought in the same batch from Board Game Bliss, because i think when you hit a certain threshold they’ll ship it out to you for free, so i put a couple of… couple of board games on the list. And of all of them that i have waiting, uh, to be unboxed like this in a video, i sort of say to my wife Cheryl, i say “Is there anything that you’re really dying to play from this batch?” And she looked, and she said “I think this one!” She pointed at Coimbra. So… this is the one that won out! Uh… we have a few… these are probably player boards, because there are four of them. Again, the art style is really, really nice. No idea what’s going on there. This looks like maybe some sort of point tracker. This looks like maybe an income icon, with a little hand out, i’m just guessing, based on other board games i’ve played. But the big news is that they have spent an inordinate amount of time making sure that the insert is really nice! Look: there’s spaces for all the things to fit in! i wonder if this insert is made by a GameTrayz, because GameTrayz is a company that does vacuformed trays which, if you’ve watched previous videos, we know is also a obscure, uh, nu-punk song. Uh… but it doesn’t say “GameTrayz” on it, but that looks like a really, really nice insert. And it even has little embossed shapes showing you which things go in the little different recesses! i really appreciate that, when a… i REALLY appreciate that, when a board game company spends time making sure i can put this thing away, and i don’t just throw everything in baggies and chuck it in so it sloshes around! Thank you. Thank you, eggertspiele! Uh… what do we have? We have these little lions, one in each player colour, i’m assuming. They’re very nice. That’s a unique… now, that’s really, really interesting. i don’t know if that’s laser cut or not, but i watched a video… here, i’ll bring it over onto the… let’s put it on the close-up cam. i watched a video on how they make, uh, meeples, and i was surprised to learn that it’s like a really long piece of wood, and they sort of use a router or another tool to chisel away little features at it, and then they slice it all like bread, and depending on how complex the shape is – you know – it can… they have to plan out their cuts, because it’s not really much wood to grab onto and throw through some kind of router or a saw so that looks like a really complex thing! i wondered if it was laser cut, but the thickness of it makes me think… (here: i’ll turn it on its side here) makes me think that no they did it in the loaf of bread style, but that’s a pretty impressive looking… you know, now that i understand the manufacturing process, certain things impress me a little bit more! And because of the cool insert, i know exactly where to put those little lions! They go in the space with a little lion shape! All right! We have a few cuuuubes… nothing too fancy there, but, again, because of the inser,t i know where the cubes go: they go in the cube pit! And some… so i think it’s safe to assume by now that these are the four player colours. So the primaries plus black. And the people go in one of the little people thing in there. We’ve got a bunch of blue discs that match the tray very nicely. It’s all very… the aesthetics of this are just gorgeous! And we have a bunch of discs… do we have something that says “discs”? This says “dice,” so why don’t we open the dice first? The dice are very unusual colors, too. Look at this: we have three – wow! – very unusual. We have one white die… well that… who cares? Get out of here. We’ve seen you before. Nobody wants to see white dice in 2020! And we have some really unusual… man! Boy do i love purple! And look: there’s some gorgeous purple dice! They go in the dice pit! Really nice looking (whew!) orange dice that show up really beautifully, and then some – maybe – forest green, and surprisingly gray dice. They’re going very colorful in this gr… on this game, so i’m surprised to see sort of a duller set of dice, the gray ones. They all go in the dice pit! Get in the dice pit! And we’ll put these dowel discs in the dice pit! But what’s really interesting are these things, and i’ve seen shots of this game with these little castley things laid out on the table. i think we’ll need a die for these. And the dice fit beautifully – boop! – right in these little castley containers, and they’re a little scooped-out so you can see what the pip count is on them. i wonder if that works for six? Yes, they’ve thought of everything! Look at that: it works! Lovely! Lovely, lovely. That’s really cool. Those are awesome! And i’m going to bring them… i’m going to bring the not-blue one onto the close-up camera so we can actually see some detail. Probably the red one will work the best. So what i wanted to show is that they’re textured: you’ve got sort of like a stone texture here, and on the side, it’s sort of like a stoney kind of texture, so – you know – some sculpting is being put into those things. They look really cool! i’m … that’s that’s pretty neat! i’m impressed! And finally, the last thing that you get in the box of Coimbra is a deck of cards. And if i were to estimate how many cards are in that deck… now, i’m terrible at estimating… um… mostly terrible at estimating. i get – you know what? i get pretty close. Um… so i would say there were probably about… let’s just say there’s 50 000 cards in there. So we’re going to open it up like so. And this is where a lot more of that artwork is going to shine through, i bet. So you have these interestingly… interestingly illustrated people, who kind of look like… now, part of this is going to get erased because it’s blue, so this transparent 4 area isn’t actually transparent on the card… but they look a little bit like… i had a book with some Italian stories on it, and they look like the illustrations from that. i wonder if the artist is Italian? or Portuguese? i mean, it would make sense if it’s a game about Portugal and the the designers are Portuguese. So i’ll put those two up there, and look at… there’s, like, a Popey-looking guy… and this dude. i put the auto focus on my close-up camera – i usually don’t like to do that with cameras but… well, you know… with the recent unboxing video, i didn’t know how small things were, and i put these tiny things on there, and they were blurry. So i’d rather have a little bit of autofocus going on so you can actually see what’s on the cards. Look at these gorgeous character illustrations! They’re so nice. Look at her. i would take her out for a milkshake. Not now, of course. i’m happily married. But yeah… back in the day it’s milkshake time with that lady. Uh… back to it. (giggles bashfully) Oh, and she… looks very sad. These are just really nice. They’re just really nice. And there’s a whole – look – there’s a whole pile of them. i’m not going to go through every single one, but look at them all! Oh my gosh. Really nice. Really nice illustration style. No idea what they do because i’ve never played the game. And i wonder so… if we dig through all the portrait ones, i wonder if we have…? Yes. Something different. Once again, this is going to show up kind of weird on the close-up cam, because there’s some blue on it, so that gray is actually blue, but this almost looks sort of like a Ticket to Ride quota thing. You know – you gotta sail from here to here, you gotta connect these two points on the map, or something like that? Barbados… that’s Sueta? Cueta? i don’t really know. Madeira… i don’t know how to pronounce my things in Portuguese. It took… took me five minutes to figure out how to pronounce “Comibra” properly. i’m not even going to attempt this one! But you know, i would before i play the game! i would go through and i would learn how to pronounce every single one of these towns so i can impress my friends! My friends… would not be impressed with that in the slightest, but i would waste my time anyway. If we go back… so there’s a bunch of these. Yeah. These very much look like missions, or quotas, to sail around and connect a couple of cities with these cards, and then you get the points that are referred to with the little laurel leaves on either side, which is a motif that we’ve seen in so many games, haven’t we? So many board games use those laurel leaves for victory points! i don’t see… nothing is jumping out at me, screaming “YOU WASTED MONEY AND THIS IS WHY THE GAME IS ON SALE!” It looks cool. It’s a style of game i really like, and man oh man, is the artwork blowing me away! They’ve spent all this time on this lovely insert. Um… i’m not too sure what’s not to like about this, but maybe you’ve played it, and you’re like “Oh, obviously it’s the phase where you have to repeatedly hit yourself in the crotch as hard as you can! That’s an awful game!” i don’t know. i… made that up, by the way. That’s not an actual rule in Coimbra that you have to follow. It’s more of a house rule. Like, if you want to, you can. Anyway. Uh… have you played this game? Do you like it? Do you not like it? Do you think that i will like it? Ff i don’t like it, do you want me to get rid of it and send it to your house for free? Please let me know in the comments below, or if you want to talk to me more in person, or talk to one of the lovely, lovely people who likes to hang out on the Discord server, i got that link on the bottom of your screen, and you can follow that and join us all there! Talk to… talk to us about board games until you’re blue in the face! But we won’t see it. It’s only text. So you’ll have to use some sort of emoji. Blue in the face emoji. Thank you so much for tuning into this one, and we’ll see you in the next video! Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe, and then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff! [Music – Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]

Get Your Own Copy of Coimbra

Since shooting this unboxing, i’ve actually played Coimbra. It strikes me as a cross between The Voyages of Marco Polo and Lorenzo il Magnifico, except not nearly as tight and unforgiving as either of those games. If you’d like to add a copy of the game to your own collection, shop using the Amazon link below, and i’ll receive a small commission!