Friday, May 4, 2012

Citadels - Definitely a game of intrigue

The Review Crew's Take on
Citadels
# Players . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-8
Game time . . . . . . . . 45-60 minutes
Set up . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 minutes
Luck . . . . . . .6 . . . . .Strategy
*Interplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Visual Appeal . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Component Quality . .. . . . . 5
*Replayability . . . . . . . . . . . 6

*See "How we Rate" for a definition.

The first time we played this game, Mark(the Spy) was the first to take a turn, in the role of the Assassin, allowing him to kill another player--that player loses his turn for the round.  His first words: "I kill Jeff (the Businessman)."  But little did he realize, he didn't know which character the Businessman was that round.  This gives you the first glimpse of how the game works.  There are 8 character cards in the game (9 if you play with 8 players), and no one knows who is playing which character each round--each player takes a card and passes the remaining cards to the next person.  The characters each have a designated numerical rank, which dictates the order in which they are played.  They are interesting characters, like the Assassin (#1), who can name another character who gets killed during the round, the Thief (#2), who can name another character whose gold he gets to take, or the Warlord (#8), who can destroy a building of another player.  Each character possesses certain advantages or powers.  But you have to choose carefully, because the ones that seem to be the best frequently get killed or robbed (for example, the King (#4) or the Merchant (#6)).

The object each round is to collect gold and "district" cards, and build the districts within his/her city (or kingdom).  Districts have different costs in gold and point values at the end of the game.  Once someone builds their 8th district, the game ends.  The player with the most points wins.  I really like the interaction in the game, and I enjoy the uncertainty of not knowing who is playing which character each round.  Another feature--the game contains 8 bonus character cards that can be switched out for the standard characters, which means there are countless combinations that can be played, making each game very different.

Lastly, I would recommend purchasing plastic sleeves for the cards.  We didn't do this, and the standard character cards have become worn faster than the bonus characters, so you can tell the difference if you look closely.  If you like The Resistance, Werewolves, or games of Dominion with attack or intrigue cards, you'll like Citadels.

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