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Citadels Review

June 2, 2015

citidels.pngI got a chance to play an intriguing card game over the weekend called Citadels from Fantasy Flight. It is a fairly balanced blend of strategy and randomness that I look for in board/card games. The goals is to build a diverse city as quickly as possible, while assuming different roles each turn that provide different abilities to give you advantages over the other players. Some roles like Bishop, Merchant, Warlord, and King give you extra income based on what districts you already have built in your city. Assassin allows you to choose a role that cannot act that round (murder!), thief allows you to steal the gold from a particular role, architect allows you to build multiple districts in a round, and draw more cards, etc.

The interesting mechanic is how these roles are chosen. Each round, the roles act in the same order, and whoever chose King the last round, picks first for the next round. One role is randomly removed and not available that turn. Once the current King chooses whatever role they want for the next round, they pass the cards to the next player. Once it gets all the way around to the last player, they can choose either the last card, OR the one that was randomly set aside by the king. Players can use logic, and what roles were available when they chose their role to try and figure out what others chose, but there is always a bit of mystery about who chose what. When the thief or assassin announce their targets, they chose ROLE targets, not player targets, making it quite entertaining to conceal your role, while still gaining a tactical advantage in building your city faster than the other players. More information can be found at this intro site.

character-fanI would certainly recommend picking this one up. We were playing with 7, but can be played with between 2-7. I would think this game would be better with more players rather than less to increase the amount of available roles and intrigue. If it is out of stock at your FLGS, take heart! According to the Fantasy Flight site, it looks like a restock is on the slow boat from China.

 

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