The Castles of Burgundy is set in the Burgundy region of High Medieval France. Each player takes on the role of an aristocrat, originally controlling a small princedom. While playing, they aim to build settlements and powerful castles, practice trade along the river, exploit silver mines, and use the knowledge of travelers.
The game is about players taking settlement tiles from the game board and placing them into their princedom, which is represented by the player board. Every tile has a function that starts when the tile is placed in the princedom. The princedom itself consists of several regions, each of which demands its own type of settlement tile.
The game is played in five phases, each consisting of five rounds. Each phase begins with the game board stocked with settlement tiles and goods tiles. At the beginning of each round, all players roll their two dice, and the player who is currently first in turn order rolls a goods placement die. A goods tile is made available on the game board according to the roll of the goods die. During each round, players take their turns in the current turn order.
The 2019 edition of The Castles of Burgundy includes eight expansions, seven of which were previously released as promotional items and one new to this release.