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

Quick Summary

Lisboa is a strategically rich board game set in 18th-century Lisbon, where players take the roles of influential characters tasked with rebuilding the city. This comprehensive strategy guide equips you with the knowledge and techniques to master the game and emerge victorious.

Through effective resource management, you can ensure a steady supply of materials, while strategic tile placement allows you to shape the city and optimize its benefits. Utilizing clever cardplay and leveraging character abilities are key to gaining an edge over your opponents, while political influence enables you to manipulate the royal court and dictate the city's laws.

Planning and adaptation are essential in this deep and immersive game. The guide offers advice on advanced strategies and urges holistic thinking that considers the interconnected systems of Lisboa. By combining these elements, you can amass victory points and steer the city towards a prosperous future.

With a solid understanding of the rules and a toolbox of proven strategies, you are now ready to tackle the challenges and revel in the triumphs that await in the rich world of Lisboa. Immerse yourself in the rebuilding effort, embrace the complexity, and become the visionary who shapes the destiny of Lisbon.


Welcome to the Lisboa Strategy Guide! In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the exciting world of Lisboa, a challenging and immersive board game set in 18th-century Lisbon. Whether you are a seasoned player looking to refine your strategies or a newcomer diving into the depths of this intriguing game, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and winning strategies to help you on your quest for victory.

First, we will provide an outline of the game rules, ensuring that you have a solid grasp of the fundamental mechanics of Lisboa. Understanding the rules is essential for success, as mastery of the game’s mechanics unlocks strategic opportunities and enables optimal decision-making throughout.

Next, we will delve into the heart of the guide, exploring the best strategies for winning Lisboa. We will break down key aspects such as resource management, tile placement, cardplay strategies, character abilities, and political influence. Within each section, we will provide detailed strategies, tips, and techniques to empower you with the knowledge to make informed choices and steer your path to victory.

No matter your skill level or experience with Lisboa, this strategy guide will equip you with the tools you need to conquer the city of Lisbon and emerge as a successful visionary. Get ready to dive into the world of Lisboa, where strategic decisions shape the destiny of a city and determine who will rise to prominence amid the ruins!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 120 Building Tiles
  • 60 Influence Discs
  • 31 Card Ministry Decree
  • 17 Card Design Publication
  • 11 Card Loan
  • 10 Card Red Seal Promissory Note
  • 63 Goods Cubes
  • 10 Largon Tokens
  • 100 Lyons Goods Tokens
  • 50 Paisleys Goods Tokens
  • 50 Lilies Goods Tokens
  • 25 Birdhouses Tokens
  • 8 Ship Tokens
  • 90 Seal Tokens
  • 63 Victory Point Discs
  • 100 Bank Resolution Papers
  • 10 Port Tokens
  • 4 Player Pawns
  • 1 Secretary Marker
  • 7 Player Dashboard Improvements
  • 4 Character Disks

How To Play Lisboa: Rules Summary

1. Setup
  1. Assemble the game board and place the building tiles, influence discs, and cubes in their respective supply areas.
  2. Give each player a player board, character disk, influence discs, goods cubes, and victory point discs.
  3. Distribute the royal court cards and display the current decree.
2. Gameplay Overview
  1. A turn consists of four phases: Acquiring/Activating/Paying Influence, Taking Decree Actions, Deploying an Officer, and Drawing Cards.
  2. During the Acquiring/Activating/Paying Influence Phase, players can take actions using their influence discs, such as gaining resources, constructing buildings, or influencing the royal court.
  3. In the Taking Decree Actions Phase, players choose one of three available actions on the decree card.
  4. The Deploying an Officer Phase allows players to place or move an officer on the board to receive benefits or take actions related to specific locations.
  5. During the Drawing Cards Phase, players replenish their hand by drafting from the available ministry cards.
3. Collecting Resources and Goods
  1. Players can collect resources such as stone, wood, money, and more by taking specific actions or constructing buildings.
  2. Goods can also be acquired by exchanging resources and using the ability of certain buildings.
4. Building and Scoring Points
  1. Construct buildings by paying resources according to their requirements.
  2. Each building provides unique bonuses and victory points based on its type and position on the board.
  3. Achieve victory by accumulating victory points through various means, including fulfilling public demand contracts, occupying influential positions, and controlling the royal court.
5. Advanced Strategies and Planning
  1. Plan your actions strategically, considering the opportunities presented by character abilities, board positioning, and the timing and effect of implementing laws in the royal court.
  2. Optimize your resource management, building placement, and influence manipulation to outwit your opponents and achieve maximum success in rebuilding Lisbon.

With these rules in mind, embark on your journey to rebuild and rise to prominence amidst the ruins of Lisboa. Good luck!

Best Lisboa Strategies

Resource Management Strategies

Effective resource management is crucial in Lisboa, as it greatly influences your ability to implement your plans and make progress in rebuilding the city. Here are some key strategies to help you stay on top of your resources:

1. Prioritize Resource Generation

  1. Focus on acquiring buildings and tiles that generate the resources you need consistently.
  2. Invest in cards or abilities that enhance your resource production.

2. Plan Ahead for Scarcity

  1. Anticipate potential shortages of specific resources and adapt your strategy accordingly.
  2. Trade or negotiate with other players to secure the resources you lack.

3. Efficient Resource Conversion

  1. Explore different combinations of resources to maximize their value and flexibility.
  2. Convert excess resources into points or use them as bargaining tools with other players.

4. Timing and Sequencing

  1. Consider the turn sequence and plan your actions accordingly to optimize resource management.
  2. Take advantage of cards or abilities that allow you to manipulate the availability or cost of resources.

Implementing these resource management strategies will give you a competitive edge in Lisboa, ensuring that you have the necessary means to execute your plans and pursue victory.

Strategies for Tile Placement

Mastering tile placement is crucial in Lisboa, as it allows you to shape the city and optimize its resources and benefits. Follow these key strategies to make the most of your tile placement decisions:

1. Strategic Building Placement

  1. Consider the long-term benefits of each building and strategically position them on the board.
  2. Prioritize placing buildings that generate resources or provide special abilities in key locations.

2. Maximize Tile Synergy

  1. Look for synergies between different types of tiles to create powerful combinations.
  2. Place tiles that amplify each other’s effects close together to optimize their impact.

3. Influence Board Control

  1. Position your tiles strategically to control important areas of the city and gain advantages.
  2. Block opponents by occupying crucial spaces before they can utilize them efficiently.

4. Flexibility and Adaptation

  1. Maintain flexibility in your tile placement to adapt to changing circumstances and exploit new opportunities.
  2. Consider the potential long-term consequences of your tile placement decisions and plan accordingly.

By employing these tile placement strategies effectively, you can exert maximum control over the city of Lisboa, optimize your resources, and gain a competitive edge toward victory.

Cardplay Strategies

Selecting and playing cards strategically is a crucial aspect of achieving victory in Lisboa. Utilize these effective cardplay strategies to enhance your chances of success:

1. Hand Management

  1. Always evaluate the potential value and timing of each card in your hand.
  2. Prioritize playing cards that provide immediate benefits or help you achieve your objectives efficiently.

2. Resource Optimization

  1. Use cards that allow you to gain or convert resources to maximize their utility and flexibility.
  2. Look for cards that synergize with your overall strategy and amplify your resource collection or manipulation.

3. Timing and sequencing

  1. Strategically time the use of certain cards to maximize their impact or disrupt opponents.
  2. Coordinate the play of multiple cards to create powerful combos or efficient action chains.

4. Character Abilities

  1. Understand and leverage the unique abilities of each character to optimize your cardplay.
  2. Align your card choices with the strengths and specialties of your chosen character.

By employing these cardplay strategies effectively, you can leverage the power of your cards, maximize your resources, and outmaneuver your opponents on the path to victory.

Character Abilities Strategies

Utilizing character abilities effectively is a key aspect of achieving victory in Lisboa. Consider these strategies to make the most of your chosen character:

1. Understand Your Character

  1. Familiarize yourself with the unique abilities and strengths of your chosen character.
  2. Evaluate how your character can complement your overall strategy.

2. Capitalize on Special Actions

  1. Carefully plan and execute the special actions provided by your character.
  2. Identify opportunities to utilize character abilities for maximum impact.

3. Synergize with Character-Specific Cards

  1. Identify and prioritize acquiring cards that synergize with your character’s abilities.
  2. Utilize these cards in combination with your character’s abilities for greater effectiveness.

4. Adapt to Your Character’s Limitations

  1. Recognize and plan accordingly for any limitations or restrictions imposed by your character.
  2. Develop strategies that mitigate the impact of such limitations, or capitalize on alternative paths to victory.

By employing these character ability strategies effectively, you can harness the strengths of your character, optimize your gameplay, and increase your chances of emerging victorious in Lisboa.

Political Influence Strategies

Mastering political influence is a key factor in achieving victory in Lisboa. Utilize these strategies to effectively navigate the political landscape and gain an edge over your opponents:

1. Build Strong Political Connections

  1. Allocate resources and actions to establish strong political ties.
  2. Aim to secure influential contacts that grant you access to valuable resources and advantages.

2. Manipulate the Royal Court

  1. Strategically utilize your political influence to manipulate the rules and regulations of the Royal Court.
  2. Implement laws that benefit your overall strategy and impede your opponents.

3. Leverage Political Power for Economic Gains

  1. Propose and enforce regulations that favor your economic activities.
  2. Gain control over key areas that influence the economy and use that power to benefit your own resources and financial goals.

4. Intervene in Political Events

  1. Seize opportunities presented by political events to enhance your standing and disrupt your opponents.
  2. Plan and position your resources to take full advantage of the outcomes of political events.

By skillfully employing these political influence strategies, you can shape the political landscape of Lisboa to your advantage and pave the way towards achieving victory in the game.


Congratulations on reaching the end of the Lisboa Strategy Guide! Armed with a solid understanding of the rules and insightful strategies, you are well-prepared to embark on an exciting journey through the ruins of 18th-century Lisbon.

By mastering the art of resource management, strategic tile placement, optimized cardplay, utilizing character abilities, and wielding political influence, you can become a flourishing visionary and lead the rebuilding effort like no other.

Remember, Lisboa offers a complex and deep gaming experience, requiring careful planning, adaptability, and strategic thinking. The key to success lies not just in focusing on individual actions, but in developing a holistic approach that considers the interconnected systems of the game.

We hope this guide has inspired you, provided valuable insights, and ignited your passion for diving into the world of Lisboa. May your journey be filled with clever decisions, exhilarating discoveries, and triumphant victories.

Now, it’s time for you to leap into action, shape the city’s destiny as a savvy builder and influencer, and witness the grandeur of Lisbon rising from the ashes.

Want to know what we think of Lisboa? Read our detailed review of Lisboa 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.