A to Z Gaming: Sagrada

Player board depicting a tall stained glass window with a circular design at the top and a 5x4 grid at the bottom where there are colorful dice laid out. Two spaces in the grid do not have dice. Next to the board is one clear stone-like token and a card showing a yellow square and the text: Shades of yellow

We built out stained glass windows using translucent dice in Sagrada, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Box cover with a round stained class window in the center-bottom, surrounded by additional stained class including one each red, blue, yellow, green, and purple die and the word "Sagrada"

Players: 1-4
Time: 30-45 Minutes
Designers: Adrian Adamescu, Daryl Andrews
Artists: Peter Wocken
Publisher: Floodgate Games

Sagrada is a dice drafting puzzle game where players are building out a stained glass window on their private player board. Over the course of ten rounds players fill up their boards, and whoever can best meet the public and private goals to make a beautiful window will win.

Game table set up for a 2-player game of Sagrada. On the left is a colorful dice tray and a black bag with "Sagrada" written on it and multicolored dice spilling out the top. Each player, one at the top of the photo, one at the bottom, has a stained glass window board, a card with a grey die on the back, and six clear stone-like tokens. On the right is a round tracker showing ten rounds in a rainbow of colors. Above the tracker are three public goal cards and below are three tool cards.

Game play

The game is set up by giving each player a board, a private goal, and two window patterns. Once players have chosen a pattern, they slide it into their board and take the associated number of favor tokens. Then the tracker board is placed on the table with three public goals and three tool cards dealt nearby. The dice are placed in the bag and given to a randomly selected start player.

The game is played over 10 rounds. Each round, the start player will take a number of dice out of the bag based on the player count (two times the number of players plus one) and roll them. Then that player takes one of the dice and places it in their window grid following the placement rules. The next player clockwise chooses one die, and so on around the table until the last player takes a die. Then that last player takes a second die, and play proceeds counterclockwise back to the start player, who takes one of the remaining dice. The final die (or more than one if someone wasn’t able to take a die) is placed on the round tracker on the round number that just finished. The dice bag is passed to the next player clockwise, and they become the start player for the next round.

Two tool cards from Sagrada. The one in front says "Grozing Pliers" with a depiction of changing the value of a die by one. This card has one clear stone-like token on it. The second card, toward the back of the photo, is out of focus, but says "Lens Cutter" and shows a die being drafted and then traded for a die on the round tracker.

When placing a die in their window, players must start on one edge of the window, and subsequent dice are placed in one of the spots around a die already in the window, including diagonals. However, the same color can’t be placed directly adjacent to another die of the same color; nor can the same number be placed directly adjacent to another die of the same number. In addition, the window card that the player choose at the beginning of the game will have some spaces that depict a color or a number, which is a restriction they must meet when placing in those spots.

On their turn, players can also optionally spend favor tokens to use one of the available tools. The first person to use a tool spends one favor token, and each subsequent use costs two tokens. But a tool can be used any number of times. The tools have various powers that break the rules just a little.

The game ends after the 10th round. Players then tally up their points from their private goals — this will give them points according to the pips on the dice of a certain color throughout their window. They then tally points from the public goals, which will vary from game to game, but will give points for things like pairs of different numbered dice or placing unique colors or numbers in rows or columns. Players get one point for any remaining favor tokens and negative one point for any open holes in their window where they couldn’t legally place a die. Then, the player with the most points wins.

A player board in the shape of a tall stained glass window with a circluar window design at the top and an inset grid in the bottom where dice are placed. In some of the grid spaces there are dice of different values. Where there aren't dice, some of the open grid spaces have numbers, others have colors, while several are just plain white.

My Thoughts

I picked Sagrada up shortly after it was published because it sounded like a game just for us. I love dice drafting and puzzle games, so this seemed like a great fit for me. And it has not disappointed.

The rules are fairly simple — take a die, place it in your window, so we can introduce this to a number of different players. But the strategy of the game is deep as you decide which die to draft on the first go-around, hoping to leave a couple that you can use so there might be one left when the dice pool gets back to you.

The dice are translucent which makes such a beautiful effect by the end of the game with a lovely window.

Action shot of a colorful dice tray and five dice in the process of being rolled. The dice appear fuzzy, because they were snapped in action. There are three purple dice, one blue an done green.

Three Quick Questions

How is it as a 2-player game? Sagrada works well as a 2-player game. The dice pool is much smaller, so it can be more of a challenge to get all of the right dice for your window, but if you use the tools judiciously, it can still be done. There’s also a variant where you cull the dice poll at before playing so that there are equal numbers of each color and just enough dice for the full game — this can help you know that you’ll get a set number of each color of dice.

How about the art and component quality? The player boards are wonderful quality — they are dual-layer which allows you to swap out the different window cards and then holds your dice in place once you’ve put them in. The dice are beautiful, and their translucence leaves the player with a gorgeous window by the end of the game.

Will this stay in my collection? Absolutely yes. We love pulling this out when we want a quick game or just want to chuck some dice. It works with many different levels of gamer, and is a great addition to our collection.

Running along the center of the photo is a rectangular board with a rainbow of small stained glass-style spaces showing numbers 1-10, though the first five spaces have dice o different colors on them instead of seeing the numbers. Above the round tracker are three cards showing different goal cards, below are three tool cards.

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