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Tumult Royale

December 4th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Put simply, the word tumult means “loud confusion or disorder by a large number of people”.  As royals, players will be taking commodities from the common people in order to build statues, but not so many as to make them unhappy.  The goal of each player is to erect as many statues as possible, so you’ll not only be managing resources but pushing your luck while you do it.  Before I go any further, I’d like to thank the folks from Thames & Kosmos for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.


Tumult Royale

Tumult Royale: 2-4 Players, Ages 10+, Average Play Time = 45 Minutes



The game includes 100 statues (25 of each of 4 colors), 39 commodity tiles (1-3 bread, marble, or tools), 37 supporter tokens (values 1, 5, & 10), 10 region tiles, 6 frame pieces, 4 castle boards (1 of each color), 4 nobility cards (ranks 1-4), 4 mercy cards, 1 tumult spinner, 1 hourglass, and a rulebook.

Setup & Gameplay

Game setup is rather involved and takes up a page and a half in the rulebook so I’ll opt to streamline this part.  Players will get a castle board and statues of their color, a mercy card, a nobility card, and supporters.  Extra supporters are put off to the side.  Commodities are placed face-down in the center of the table so that they don’t overlap.  The frame/board is assembled with region tiles, some face-up and some face-down.  The highest ranking player (per the nobility card) gets the spinner & hourglass. Starting with the lowest ranked player, each player puts a statue onto one of the unoccupied pasture fields.  Some nobility cards and commodity tiles will not be used in a 2-3 player game…the rulebook has the specifics.

The game is played over several rounds.  Each round has seven phases.  Again, I’m going to opt to streamline this a little to keep the review moving.

1. Gauge the People’s Sentiment – The king spins the arrow on the tumult spinner.  The number shown indicates the number of commodities the people want to still have after players collect taxes.

2. Collect Taxes – Players set aside three face-down commodities each from the central pool, not to be used this round.  Then, once the timer is flipped (twenty seconds), they’ll all (at the same time) secretly look at commodities and take the ones they want (using only one hand).  Taken tiles go face-down on that player’s castle board.

3. Resolve Potential Tumults – Players check each commodity tile that hasn’t been stolen by flipping them face-up.  If, for a certain commodity type, the number of commodities depicted on the remaining tiles is equal to or greater than the number on the spinner, then no tumult ensues for that commodity type.  If there is a tumult, each player sums the number of that commodity they just took.  The greediest player loses three supporters and must give back all of the tiles they took this round of that type, except for one of the lowest-value commodity tile of that type.

4. Place Statues – Starting with the king, players can pay resources to place statues onto an unoccupied field.  The costs vary depending on the terrain type.  Players can earn back supporters by not placing statues or by overpaying.

5. Redistribute Ranks – The player with the most supporters becomes King, with the player with the second most receiving the next in line, and so on.

6. Crown the New King – The player who is King gets to place a statue on the next empty space on the score track, though loses five supporters to the bank.

7. Receive the People’s Mercy – The player with the fewest statues gets to flip their mercy token to the positive side.

Rounds continue until a number of statues line up along the score track, to the point where you’ll see numbers beneath the spaces.  The player with the most statues will sum them, while the player with the fewest statues sums theirs.  Then, the latter is subtracted from the former. If the result is greater than the number below the score space on the track, the game ends. The player with the most statues, wins!

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.




The Review

There’s a lot of things to like about “Tumult Royale”.  For one, the game balances well in that players will rarely be able to monopolize themselves as being the King every round…not unless their opponents screw up and lose supporters by being greedy on a regular basis.  I also enjoyed the mind games that can be played with the resource pool…that is, trying to tailor the remaining resources to cause the people to revolt against an opponent instead of you.  Doing this is rather sneaky and requires a pretty good memory.

From a learning curve standpoint, it took me a little bit of time to understand how everything flowed together.  It’s not until the fifth phase of a round do your supporters actually mean something so new players may be like, “oh yeah…that’s why I want those guys on my side”. After all, whoever has the most gets to be King and thus, a statue of their color on the score track.  I didn’t really begin appreciating the game until I got past the initial hurdle of tying all of the gameplay mechanics together, so if you don’t get “it” right away, try to be patient and stick with it.

The components are well done and very colorful.  The modular boards will ensure a slightly different playthrough each time, since different terrain spaces have different costs associated with them.  There was no box insert sadly, though there were enough baggies to hold all the smaller pieces.  “Tumult Royale” combines push-your-luck, area control, and resource management mechanics very, making it something you should consider picking up (or at the very least, look into).  The $39.99 MSRP is a little steep for my tastes, though you can find it for about $32 on Amazon as of 12/4/15.

Final Verdict: 8/10

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