Games With Rondels

Rondels are a popular board game mechanic. Here are some games that use rondels well.

In Medieval times, a rondel was a dagger with a tapering needle point. In the 14th century, a rondel was a type of French lyrical poetry. In the 16th century, a rondel was a round piece of armor used to cover vulnerable joints. 

In gaming, a rondel is a round, wheel-shaped mechanic that typically represents the actions available to players—actions that are restricted by the necessity of taking actions in a circular order around the rondel.

If you haven’t played a game that uses a rondel, here are some great games to try.



Players share Matt Dixon’s mechanical creatures and move them around a rondel, collecting resources. Build up your robots, build pipes, and collect birds and butterflies for points.

Disney Big Thunder Mountain Railroad


Mining cards move clockwise, from shaft to shaft, interacting with the contents. You might find water, you might find gold and ore, or you might find the Red Ball of Fate.

Glen More


Each player is the leader of a 17th century Scottish clan looking to expand their territory. By moving around a rondel, you’ll collect territory tiles, but you also may be limiting your overall number of turns.



Stefan Feld’s game of the titular wizard and the knights of the round table—a round table that also acts as the rondel for moving knights and taking actions.

The Red Cathedral


Prove yourself to be the greatest builder in the city by going around the rondel that is The Red Cathedral to gather resources , gain favors, and go to market.

Viscounts of the West Kingdom


Construct buildings, write manuscripts, work the castle, and acquire deeds to gain victory points, all by “going around” the kingdom as you gain influence in the different parts of society.

Teotihuacan: City of Gods


Move around a modular board, gaining an action and a worker upgrade or powerful bonuses, all as you work to build the great Pyramid of the Sun.



Uwe Rosenberg’s game about quilting. Choose which polyomino to add to your quilt based on the available pieces each turn, pieces that are set out in a rondel around the scoring board.



You’re a Mallorcan farmer, working to harvest as many tropical fruits as possible, fruits based on your location on a rondel and their location on the map.



Randomly set out a ring of townspeople, then travel from person to person in a clockwise manner to get the resources each one offers. Build factories to receive the goods they produce, build the right combination of buildings to score points.

Heaven and Ale


Brew the best beer as the head of an ancient cloister by collecting the right resources from the common rondel and adding them to your monastery board.

About the author

Tom Franklin

By day, I'm a mild-mannered IT Manager with a slight attitude. By night I play guitar & celtic bouzouki, board games, and watch British TV. I love abstracts, co-ops, worker placement and tile-laying games. Basically, any deep game with lots of interesting choices. 

You can find my middle grade book, The Pterrible Pteranodon, at your favorite online bookstore.

And despite being a DM, I have an inherent dislike of six-sided dice.

1 Comment

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  • Although it is not presented in a circle, the primary mechanic for Empyreal: Spells and Steam is a rondel. You work from the left side to the right. After you perform the end-of-the-line action, you return to the start-of-the-line to continue down the range of actions again.

    Empyreal is one of my favorite games! The way the rondel works — with spell (rail) cars being added into the slots of each space in the rondel, creating more opportunities — is quite fun to attempt to optimize as you play. Great game.

    Thanks for list of games to check out!

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