How To Play: Bonfire – Setup, rule summary and strategy

This guide provides a foundation on 'How To Play Bonfire,' from understanding the essential components and setting up the game, to outlining the gameplay sequence. It offers strategic advice on managing resources, sequence task tiles effectively, and maximizing points through guardian and bonfire placement.


Welcome fellow strategists to the ultimate guide on ‘How To Play Bonfire.’ Whether you’re sitting down for your first game or seeking to sharpen your winning edge, this guide is your beacon. As you’ll quickly discover, mastering Bonfire is no simple feat, with its intricate task tiles, complex resource management, and the careful placement of Guardians and Bonfires. Rest assured, we’ll provide an easy-to-follow outline of the game’s rules and unearth the best strategies to turn the tide in your favor. Prepare to embark on a mystical journey of strategy, efficiency, and cunning to claim victory!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 1 Main Ship
  • 4 Action Boards
  • 4 Players’ Ships
  • 4 Pairs of Action Details
  • 28 Tasks
  • 24 Guardians
  • 4 Purple Novices
  • 32 Bonfires
  • 8 Ship Movement Tiles
  • 7 Fiction Tokens
  • 56 Task Tiles
  • 1 Starting Player Marker
  • 18 Fruits
  • 32 Shells
  • 22 Roots
  • 65 Pearls
  • 24 Elders
  • 8 Offerings
  • 44 Fire Spirits
  • 13 Path Tiles
  • 30 Fates
  • 4 Overview Tiles
  • 4 100/200 Point Tiles
  • 12 Event Tiles
  • 4 Portal Tiles
  • 1 Rules Booklet

How To Play Bonfire: Rules Summary

Embarking on a mystical journey through the world of Bonfire, players will dive into a deep strategic experience. Here’s a comprehensive walkthrough of how to play Bonfire, from setup to claiming victory, tailored to usher newcomers into the magical realm with confidence.


  1. Assemble the central board, placing the bonfires and islands.
  2. Shuffle and deal task cards to each player.
  3. Distribute boats, action tiles, and starting resources.
  4. Place Guardians and Path Tiles by the game board.


  1. Players take turns performing one main action, such as placing action tiles or moving their boat to a new island.
  2. Complete tasks by collecting the necessary resources and uniting them with matching bonfires.
  3. Build strategic paths using Path Tiles to connect bonfires and earn points.


  1. Achieve the most points by completing tasks, uniting bonfires with Guardians, and creating paths.
  2. When triggering the game end, calculate points for completed bonfires, remaining resources, and tasks.

Special Rules & Conditions:

  1. Guardians can only be placed next to active bonfires.
  2. Each task requires a unique resource and bonfire combo.
  3. When the twilight hour card is drawn, the game enters its final phase, locking in strategies.

Best Bonfire Strategies

The Road to Victory: Mastering Task Tiles in Bonfire

Learning the subtle art of managing Task Tiles in Bonfire can give you a leg up on the competition. These tiles are at the heart of the gameplay, and understanding their sequences is crucial for your success.

Strategize Your Starting Tasks

Start your game with a plan in mind. Ideally, pick Task Tiles that naturally lead into one another, chaining actions for maximum efficiency. The well-planned sequence allows you to complete tasks quickly, unlocking vital resources and Paths.

Mid-Game Task Management

  1. Evaluate the current state of the board.reset Likely, the situation has changed since the initial phase, so adjust your strategies accordingly. Aim for tasks you can complete with your existing resources.
  2. Watch your opponents’ Task Tiles. This can give you insights on their strategies and potentially disrupt them.

The Endgame Tile Tango

As the game progresses, your priorities might shift. Consider selecting Task Tiles that grant you flexibility for various unexpected game moves, keeping your options open as the game draws to a close.

Anticipate and Adapt

Don’t get too locked into one path; Bonfire is about adaptation. If odds aren’t in your favor for completing a chain of tasks, ditch it. Focus on tiles that are achievable and pivot your strategy if necessary to ensure a steady flow of progress.

Mastering the Art of Resource Management and Timing

In ‘How To Play Bonfire’, understanding the ebb and flow of resources is vital to victory. Arguably, managing your stash of resources and knowing when to spend them is as crucial as any move you’ll make.

Evaluating Resource Needs

  1. Assess your upcoming tasks. Anticipate the resources you’ll need and plan turns ahead to ensure you have them on hand.

  2. Create a buffer. Try to keep a small surplus of each resource to adapt to emerging game situations.

Timing Your Expenditures

  1. Don’t overspend early. Be judicious with resource usage in the early game to avoid a mid-game drought.

  2. Synchronise resource spending with task progression. Expand your actions as you near the fulfillment of tasks to maximize your efforts.

Harnessing the Power of Lights

  1. Prioritize actions that gain you lights, as they are central to triggering many of the powerful game options.

Throughout play, it’s the harmonious synchronization of resource collection and spending that will streamline your path to the bonfire lighting victory. Keep your eyes on your reserves and your mind on the timing; your win could hinge on that careful balance.

Ignite Your Path to Victory: Advanced Guardian and Bonfire Tactics

Hey fellow gamers, let’s chat about the crux of scoring big in ‘Bonfire’ – strategically dancing with your Guardians and the Bonfires. It’s not merely about placing them willy-nilly; it’s a graceful ballet of position and timing, where understanding their synergy racks up those game-winning points.

Bonfire Boosting

  1. Place Bonfires near Guardians that complement their presence; assign Bonfires that synergize with a Guardian’s unique ability to amplify your points.
  2. Predict the flow of the game to ensure that your Guardian and Bonfire pairings have the opportunity to reach their full point potential.
  3. Remember, placement is a one-time deal, choose with foresight to maximize your endgame scoring.

Guardian Positioning

  1. Opt for Guardians that contribute towards fulfilling active tasks or Bonfires you’re aiming to light.
  2. Balance immediate benefits with long-term strategies; don’t just grab the closest Guardian, plan how its abilities will bolster future turns.

Synchronizing With Tasks

  1. Chronicle the tasks on your plate and align your Guardian actions accordingly; strategic timing here is key to unlocking a score surge.
  2. Coordinating task completion with Guardian capabilities is the bread and butter of scoring efficiency in Bonfire.

It’s my personal nugget of wisdom — spinning these intricate wheels of strategy profoundly boosts my gameplay. Gently nestle your Bonfires and Guardians into thoughtful slots, and watch how strategy blooms into a magnificent, point-scoring flame!

Igniting the Path to Victory in Bonfire

As you can see, mastering ‘How To Play Bonfire’ is a journey of strategic insight and timely decision-making. Whether you’re fanning the flames through task tile sequences, managing your resources with the precision of a seasoned gatekeeper, or placing your guardians to protect the sacred Bonfires, each game presents a new challenge and a chance to shine. Play smart, plan ahead, and remember, in the flickering light of the Bonfires, a strategic mind is the spark that ignites victory. Gather your friends, share the warmth, and let the dance of flames guide you to triumph!

Want to know what we think of Bonfire? Read our detailed review of Bonfire here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.