Keyflower: A Guide to Strategy, Gameplay, and Winning


Keyflower is a game I’ve played a lot. It’s a mix of auction, tile placement, and worker placement mechanics. The game is for 2 to 6 players and takes about 90 to 120 minutes to play. It was designed by Sebastian Bleasdale and Richard Breese and first published in 2012. The game is set in the medieval period, where players develop their own village by bidding on tiles that represent buildings with various abilities.

Each season, new tiles come up for auction, and you use your workers to bid on these tiles or to generate resources, skills, or other actions. The game has a unique twist where the workers are also your currency, and their color matters. The game ends after the final season, winter, and the player with the most victory points wins.

Quick Tip for Keyflower

Always keep an eye on what your opponents are doing and be ready to adapt your strategy. Flexibility is key!

Rules for playing Keyflower

Understanding the rules of Keyflower is important to enjoy the game. The game is played over four rounds, each representing a season: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. In each season, players will bid for tiles to build their village and use their workers to activate tiles. The workers come in three colors, and you can only use a tile with workers of the same color that was first placed there. You get points by having a well-developed village and for specific goals that change each game.

Each round has three phases: the bidding phase, the working phase, and the cleanup phase. In the bidding phase, players take turns placing workers on tiles they want to bid on or on tiles to use their abilities. In the working phase, players can activate their own or other players’ village tiles by placing workers on them. Finally, in the cleanup phase, players collect their workers and prepare for the next season.

There are also boats that bring new workers into the game each season. Players can bid on these boats to get more workers. At the end of the game, winter tiles are revealed, and these often give points based on how you built your village. After the winter round, the game ends, and points are tallied to determine the winner.

You can find the full English rules & rulebook for Keyflower at the bottom of this post in a PDF.

Equipment and Setup for Keyflower

To play Keyflower, you need the game box which includes a bunch of hexagonal tiles, meeples in different colors, resource counters, skill tiles, and boats. You can make your own version of the game, but it’s a lot of work. The tiles represent different buildings and the meeples are your workers.

Setting up the game involves laying out the tiles for the first season and giving each player a home tile. Players also get a set of workers in a secret color and some in a shared color. The boats with new workers are placed on the table, and the game is ready to start.

How to Play Keyflower and Game Mechanics

  1. Setup: Place the tiles for the current season, give each player their home tile, and place the boats with new workers.
  2. Gameplay: Players take turns placing workers to bid on tiles or activate them. The color of the worker is important for both actions.
  3. End of the Game: After the winter round, tally points from your village and any winter tiles to determine the winner.

How to Win at Keyflower

Winning at Keyflower involves planning your strategy from the start. You need to balance getting new tiles, using them effectively, and not running out of workers. Pay attention to the winter tiles because they can give a lot of points. Also, try to get tiles that work well together to make your village more efficient.

It’s also important to watch what other players are doing. If you see someone collecting a lot of a certain resource, they might be going for a specific winter tile. You can use this information to block them or to adjust your own strategy.

Best Strategies for playing Keyflower

One of the best strategies in Keyflower is to focus on a few types of tiles that complement each other. This can make your village very efficient. Another strategy is to be flexible and adapt to the tiles that come up for auction. Sometimes you need to change your plan based on what’s available.

Also, don’t forget about the importance of worker colors. Having a variety of colors can give you more options, but having a lot of one color can give you control over certain tiles. It’s a balance you need to find.


If you find yourself with too few workers, try to get boats with more workers or use your tiles to generate more. If you have too many resources and not enough points, look for tiles that convert resources into points.

If another player is getting a lot of points from their tiles, you can try to use their tiles by placing your workers there. This can give you some benefits and also block them from using the tile again that round.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use someone else’s village tile?
A: Yes, you can place your workers on their tile, but you need to use more workers than the tile already has.

Q: What happens if I run out of workers?
A: You can’t place any more bids or activate any more tiles. Make sure to manage your workers carefully.

Q: Can I change my bid?
A: No, once you place workers on a tile for bidding, you can’t take them back or add more to change your bid.

Additional Tips for Keyflower

Remember to keep an eye on the seasons. As the game progresses, the actions you take should help prepare you for the final scoring in winter. Also, don’t underestimate the power of skill tiles. They can be very valuable for certain strategies.

Lastly, try to be unpredictable. If your opponents can’t guess your next move, it’s harder for them to block you or outbid you on important tiles.

Keyflower Official Rulebook [PDF], courtesy of Richard Breese

Keyflower Review [Video]