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Gutenberg Board Game: Rules And How to Play?

If, like me, you love history, and ancient board games, then you’re going to be thrilled at the sounds of traveling back in time into the captivating world of Gutenberg. The game will take you on an exhilarating adventure through 15th-century Europe via compelling themes, bustling villages, and ancient towns.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the game from start to finish, telling you everything you’ll need to play and how to set up the game for the best experience.

So, by the end of this article, you’ll be fully prepared and armed with everything you need to know about the Gutenberg board game, including how to manage your resources, seize opportunities, print books, and earn victory points.

Now, let’s sharpen those wites and dive into the intriguing world of Gutenberg.

What You’ll Need to Play Gutenberg Board Game?

To embark on the printing adventure of Glutenberg, you’ll first need to get your hands on the set, which you can purchase on Amazon.

Gutenberg Board Game

Inside the box, you’ll find the following components:

  • 4 x Printing house boards
  • 10 x Character tiles
  • 4 x Screens
  • 40 x 3D wooden letter blocks
  • 8 x Spare tokens
  • 100 x Order cards
  • 16 x Patronage cards
  • 4 x Action cards 
  • 10 x Planning cards
  • 48 x Ink tokens
  • 57 x Guilders
  • 34 x Initiative markers
  • 20 x Player markers

You’re thinking, wow, that’s a lot of components to one board game, but don’t worry; it sounds a lot more complicated than it’s!

Stick with me, and you’ll get your head around the rules in no time.

Let’s Get Started

Despite the abundance of game pieces, Glutenberg is relatively straightforward to set up. Still, I’ll go through this step-by-step breakdown to keep things nice and simple.

Start by placing the board on a flat surface, such as a large table, and gather your friends and family.

By the way, you’ll need four players for this game to get the best experience.

  1. Shuffle the printing and refinement cards into separate face-down decks next to the board.
  2. Draw several printing and refinement cards depending on the player count, placing them face-up temporarily.
  3. Randomly select and place a printing and a refinement card face-up on each corresponding space on the board.
  4. Next, put all ink tokens into a bag and dish them out randomly on the ink spaces of the board.
  5. Shuffle and place the specialty cards in a deck beside the board, with one face-up card on each specialty space.
  6. Now shuffle and place the gears face-down in a deck beside the board, with a gear placed face-up on each allocated space.
  7. Place a patronage card face-up on each correct space.
  8. Set the round marker on the first space of the round track.
  9. Ensure guilders and types are accessible to all players.
  10. Now, you can decide who goes first using your own methods. However, in this game, it’s specified that you should determine the first player based on the thickest book they most recently read. Quirky!
  11. Players should now choose their color and take their printing house board, initiative board, screen, initiative markers, cylinders, markers, disks, guilders, and used gear markers.
  12. Each player draws two character tiles, keeps one, and returns the other.
  13. Starting with the first player, select one printing card and one refinement card from the face-up cards, and then repeat in reverse order for the second selection.
  14. Each player chooses three types from the pool and places them in their resources.

Gutenberg Gameplay

Gutenberg Gameplay

Now comes the point where you need to let your imagination run wild as each player becomes a visionary printing pioneer, running their own 15th-century printing house.

Prepare for an exhilarating journey spanning six rounds, where the fate of your printing empire hangs in the balance.

Players will engage in an exciting bidding process to determine the turn order. Secretly place your cubes on the initiative board, vying for the coveted top spot.

Remember, the player with the most markers takes precedence in executing actions, with fewer markers following suit.

Now you’ll embark on a series of strategic actions that will shape the destiny of your printing house. Create new orders, acquire valuable ink, hone your specialties, and enhance your printing prowess. Additionally, seize the opportunity to claim Patronage cards by meeting their requirements or opting for enticing alternative rewards such as extra orders, ink, money, or specialties.

Once all players have executed their actions, it’s time to reap the rewards!

Fulfill orders to earn money, points, and other enticing benefits. Remember, hold onto your precious letter tokens for future rounds while ink tokens are consumed and returned to the bag.

Watch your printing empire flourish and revel in the satisfaction of unlocking additional rewards as your specialties reach new heights.

As the game unfolds over six rounds, The printing house that captures the most fame will emerge triumphant, claiming victory in this exciting contest of strategic wit and printing prowess!

So, gear up, embrace the challenge, and let the ink flow as you strive to become the most renowned printing house in the land of Gutenberg!

Ending The Game

As the ink dries on the last round of the game, it’s time to unveil the victor and celebrate their printing mastery. Several key factors mark your journey to triumph.

First, your collection of Patronage cards; these tokens of recognition showcase your achievements and grant you additional points. So, strive to gather as many as possible!

But that’s not all! Your specialties play a pivotal role in your quest for victory. Develop them to level 4 or beyond, and watch your points soar high. Show the world that your printing techniques are a force to be reckoned with!

Now, let’s talk about money, my friend. Those precious guilders can make a world of difference. Don’t let a single coin slip through your fingers. Manage your finances wisely; every leftover currency adds to your final score.


Ah, fame and recognition—the sweet nectar of success! You’ve strived to earn fame and establish the most renowned printing house throughout the game.

Now, let your accomplishments shine like a beacon, for the printing house that shines brightest shall claim the crown of victory!

So, as you tally up your points, bask in the pride of your printing empire. Witness the legacy you’ve built and revel in your journey. The player who masters every aspect of the trade and reigns supreme with the highest score shall be hailed as the true master of Gutenberg!

The Final Print Out

Congratulations, brave printing pioneers, for embarking on a remarkable journey through Gutenberg!

As you’ve navigated the complexities of running your own 15th-century printing house, honed your specialties, and vied for fame and recognition, the game has unfolded with strategic brilliance.

Whether you emerge as the printing maestro or cherish the memories of an unforgettable adventure, the spirit of Gutenberg will forever inspire your love for the art of printing and bring you closer to your friends and family on game night.

Bravo, and may your legacy endure through the ages!

If you’ve enjoyed learning about this game and like this style of recreation, you might also enjoy reading about these farming board games, which also encourage immersive gameplay.

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