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Tabletop Spotlight: Ex Libris

3 Minute Read
Nov 1 2017

I’ve never wanted to be a Librarian before – then we looked at Ex Libris under the Tabletop Spotlight!

When our friends at Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy pulled out Ex Libris, I was a little unsure what to think – “A game about making a Library?” I thought to myself. Only it’s so much more than that:

At it’s core, Ex Libris is a worker placement and strategy game. You assume the role of a rare book collector who’s attempting to become the town’s prestigious new Grand Librarian. Unfortunately, you’re book collecting friends are also in the running. You’re goal is create the most impressive collection of books and beat your friends when the official inspector comes around to score everything (and end the game).

In the game, you send your workers out to get books for you with the goal of getting a collection that appeals to your specific library’s specialty. There are 6 different types of books. Your library is going to specialize in one type and there will also be a “banned” book type – those are worth negative points. However, there are only so many books and you have to take what you can get!

You’re trying to also organize your books alphabetically as well as by the stability of your shelves. Sections that are rectangles count towards your score – but keep in mind banned books will still deduct points! The game has a couple of different play modes as well. You can play a game where you DON’T have special workers and you can’t really mess with your friends…but where’s the fun in that!? There is also a solo mode if you are so inclined. You can read all the rules HERE.

Ex Libris really won me over after I got a chance to read the book titles. They are silly and spooky – it’s right in my wheelhouse. If you’re an aspiring DM and looking for random book titles to toss at your players, I must say that this game has a WONDERFUL selection. I’m pretty sure they had a ton of fun making the names of the books alone. Also, the art work and the components are all really well done. I sincerely hope you give this game a chance – it’s pretty kid friendly while still managing to be appealing to adults. It can also get pretty cutthroat if you get really good at it so it’s more than just random luck. Ex Libris is out now – so go check it out!


Ex Libris $60

In Ex Libris, you are a collector of rare and valuable books in a thriving fantasy town. The Mayor has just announced a new seat in the Village Council, Grand Librarian. The prestigious and lucrative position will be awarded to the citizen with the most extraordinary library! Unfortunately, several of your book collector colleagues (more like acquaintances, really) are also candidates.

To outshine your competition, you’ll need to expand your personal library by sending your trusty assistants out into the village to find the most impressive tomes. Sources for the finest books are scarce, so you’ll need to beat your opponents to them when they pop up – especially if they match your library’s secret focus!

You only have a few days before the Mayor’s Official Inspector comes to judge your library, so be sure your assistants have all your books shelved in time! She is a tough cookie, and will use her Official Inspection Form to grade your library on several criteria including alphabetical order, shelf stability, prominent works, and variety. And don’t think she’ll turn a blind eye to books the Council has banned! You’ll need shrewd planning, cunning tactics, and perhaps a little magic to surpass your opponents and become Grand Librarian!


That’s one library you do NOT want to get late fees with.


Author: Adam Harrison
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