Development Board Games

St. Ives Tabletop

Please note: These are just a sample of the games we have - to give you a taste!


A pick and place game with tiles featuring the walled towns, monasteries and farms of the Carcassonne region of France. A simple game to learn but a lot of strategy in the placement of meeples to score points from the landscape features.

Carcassonne mid game

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Chocolate FactoryNew entry

A resource management game with a confectionary theme. There are a variety of ways to earn victory points as manager of a chocolate factory either selling to corner shops for one off cash payouts or providing candies to big department stores, with endgame points for the most stores you serviced and the most goods sold to each. First you have to make the chocolates which means converting beans to cocoa to chocolate bars or chunks to wrapped candies (nuts or caramel) and finally to luxury boxed chocs which obviously earn the most but need the most input. This means building new equipment in your factory and careful management of your coal. Each turn you gain one new factory part and one employee of the day who grants a special power and ability to sell to one of the 5 department stores, so choice of these new assets and then placement of these is vital to optimise your factory. Each day has 3 shifts with an interesting conveyor belt push mechanic to move the chocolate through the factory and upgrade it as required. You have 6 days to develop the factory and sell the most chocolates. The mechanics are a little tricky with 3 phases per day and multiple days to plan so a couple of plays are required to fully appreciate the game and become a master chocolatier.

Chocolate Factory Chocolate Factory

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One of the first and best deck building games, Dominion has a medieval theme and a huge selection of card combinations within the base deck and through a host of expansions leading to massive variety between games.

Each player starts with the same deck of 10 cards; 7 copper and 3 estates. The aim is to acquire the most victory points before an end condition is reached, usually the supply running out of province cards, the maximum victory point card type.

Each turn you draw 5 cards, play action cards following rules on each card and then spend any treasure cards from that hand to buy other cards. Discard all used cards and once your draw pile is exhausted shuffle the discards to become the new draw pile. This means your deck is constantly growing and cycling and the aim is to keep the deck balanced and maximise the chances of powerful card combinations drawing in the same turn so your available treasure grows and you can buy the big victory point cards.

There are 10 different action cards available per game from a selection of 25 types in the base game. Action cards frequently let you chain multiple actions, draw extra cards, swap or rearrange cards, acquire treasure, or attack other players. So you can try and build a “card engine” that lets you cycle through most of your deck in one turn to access all your treasure or you can try and streamline your deck and convert lower denomination treasures into higher ones so you draw more treasure from fewer cards. Very satisfying when your strategy pays off and frustrating when you are 1 coin short of that final province!

Dominion start layout Dominion end game Dominion showing winning 'card engine'

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For SaleNew entry

This is a property game in 2 phases. First you draft your properties, then you try and sell them for a profit. There are 30 property cards numbered 1-30, with property 1 being a cardboard box in a grubby alley and 30 being a space station, with all kinds of interesting locations in between. Each auction round you reveal an equal number of properties as players and then they bid on them, as players pass they acquire the lowest valued property remaining in that round.

Once all the properties are sold (so everyone has an equal number) then the selling phase starts. Following a similar mechanic, an equal number of money cards as there are players are revealed and each player secretly chooses one of their properties to bid in the round. Highest value property snags the highest value money card and so on down the chain. Play continues until all properties are sold and you count up how much money you made. As the money values per round are randomised and range between £0 and £15,000, by the end of the game there can be some quite surprising sales with that cardboard box netting more than a nice riverboat or a camper van doing better than a luxury apartment.

It is a quick and fun game with some nice card artwork, another good filler game or ice breaker with family or less seasoned gamers.

For Sale

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Settlers of Catan

An island is generated from hexagonal tiles so every game is different. You need to connect and develop your towns using natural resources which are generated by rolling two dice each turn. The numbers 2-12 are linked to each land based hex tile. The twist is some numbers and hence some resources are more common than others and you gain resources depending on which numbered tiles your towns border. You need to balance your resources based on your key incomes and trade for what you are missing.

Catan setup Catan midgame

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Ticket to Ride

Build a network of train routes across the map, numerous geographical versions are available, the Europe variant is shown in the images. A simple game mechanic, on your turn pickup colour cards or play the cards and place trains to claim the coloured routes on the map. Your score more for building longer routes or at game end by demonstrating that you have connected the cities according to tickets secretly chosen at the start of the game.

Ticket to ride setup Ticket to ride zoom

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The CityNew entry

A good filler game for the start of a session, quick to play and explain. Players draw 7 cards with city based structures like shops, housing, parks, schools, industry or monuments, discard down to 5 and then each round play a card into their city. To play a card you discard the number of cards indicated in the top left with more powerful cards requiring higher numbers of discards. Everyone secretly selects their card and plays at the same time, then everyone looks at the bottom of the cards in their entire city and counts up victory points and number of new cards they can draw. Thus over the rounds the number of new cards gained and victory points steadily increases. Maximum hand size of 12 cards, first to 50 or more points and many of the cards interact for additional points.

The City

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