How To Play: Shakespeare

Just wrapped up another game night, this time with 'Shakespeare'. We delved into character selection, nailed resource management, and rehearsed like pros. Who knew managing a troupe could be so wild? Better say, learning How to Play Shakespeare turned us all into drama queens. It's strategy, laughs, and a bit of luck.

Hey fellow board game lovers! Ever wondered how to master the art of theatre in a game? Well, you’re in luck! Today, I’m breaking down ‘Shakespeare’, a game where strategy meets thespian prowess. This guide will not only outline the game rules but also dish out the best strategies to claim victory. Whether you’re a newbie or looking to sharpen your skills, this is for you. Let’s get your show on the road!


What’s in the box

  • 1 game board
  • 4 individual player boards
  • 28 wooden discs (7 per player in 4 colors)
  • 16 wooden cylinders (4 per player in 4 colors)
  • 4 wooden player markers
  • 1 Day marker
  • 1 First Player token
  • 80 coins
  • 48 Costume cards
  • 30 Set cards
  • 15 Ambiance tiles
  • 8 Actor tiles
  • 4 Objective cards
  • 20 Rest tokens
  • 20 Stage Decorations (in various shapes)
  • 1 rulebook

How To Play Shakespeare: Rules Summary


  1. Lay out the game board in the center of the table.
  2. Each player chooses a color and takes the corresponding player board, pawns, and markers.
  3. Shuffle the role cards and deal a certain number to each player, based on the number of players.
  4. Place the resource tokens and coins near the board to form the general supply.


  1. Players take turns in clockwise order, starting with the player who has most recently seen a play.
  2. On your turn, you can either recruit a new character, build a set piece, or take a special action card.
  3. Use your characters and set pieces to prepare for the final performance.
  4. After each player has taken five turns, the week ends. Perform a scoring round to see who gains the most applause.


  1. The game ends after six weeks (rounds).
  2. The player with the most applause points at the end of the sixth week wins the game.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. If a player cannot perform a play due to lack of characters or set pieces, they must take a penalty.
  2. Some characters have special abilities that can affect the gameplay significantly. Use them wisely.
  3. Money is tight, so managing your resources effectively is key to putting on a successful play.

Playing Shakespeare feels like directing your own theater production. Each decision you make affects the outcome of your final performance. Remember, timing and resource management can make or break your play. So, grab your director’s hat and get ready to put on a show that will be remembered for ages!

Best Shakespeare Strategies

The Winning Edge: Mastering Character Selection and Upgrades in Shakespeare

Know Your Cast

Picking the right characters is crucial. Always start by assessing their unique abilities and how they can fast-track your victory. Go for a balanced team that supports both your immediate and long-term game plans.

  1. Consider characters with strong early-game benefits to secure a quick advantage.
  2. Don’t overlook those with powerful late-game impacts.

Strategic Upgrades

Upgrading your characters wisely can turn the tide. Focus on enhancements that align with your winning strategy.

  1. Invest in upgrades that boost your characters’ strengths or mitigate their weaknesses.
  2. Watch your opponents’ moves and adjust your upgrade path to counter their strategies.

Timing Is Everything

When to upgrade is just as important as what to upgrade. Leap at opportunities when they arise, but save some resources for critical moments.

  1. Upgrade early for a snowball effect, but save some resources for mid to late game.
  2. Timing your upgrades right before key scoring rounds can give you a crucial edge.

Mastering Resource Management for Victory

Winning often hinges on smart resource management and investment. First, assess your resources early. Know what you have and plan how to use them. Then, adjust your strategy as the game unfolds.

Early Game Assessment

  1. Identify your starting resources.
  2. Set short-term goals for resource use.

Mid-Game Adjustment

  1. Review your progress and adapt your plan.
  2. Invest in resources that offer the highest return.

Late Game Strategy

  1. Focus on securing resources that ensure victory.
  2. Block opponents from accessing critical resources.

Mastering the Stage: A Guide to Rehearsal and Performance Strategy

Winning in Shakespeare isn’t just about picking characters or managing resources. It’s also about nailing your rehearsals and performances. Here’s how:

Early Game Rehearsal Focus

  1. Start rehearsals early to build momentum.
  2. Focus on versatile actors that can adapt to various roles.

Mid-Game Rehearsal Expansion

  1. Expand your repertoire. Start rehearsing more complex plays.
  2. Use resources to improve your set and costume quality.

Late Game Performance Polish

  1. Maximize rehearsal outcomes by finalizing your strongest plays.
  2. Strategically adjust based on audience preferences.

Transitioning smoothly between these phases and focusing on the strength of your performances will keep you a step ahead of your competitors.

Take Your Final Bow: Mastering Shakespeare

After countless nights of laughter, dramatic reversals, and strategic maneuvering, we’ve reached the curtain call on our journey through ‘How to Play Shakespeare.’ Remember, the heart of this game lies not just in the mechanics or the careful planning but in the shared moments of joy and challenge with friends. Keep experimenting with different strategies, character combinations, and, most importantly, keep enjoying the drama and the competition. May your troupe always be ready, your stages grand, and your stories memorable. Break a leg!

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