EXCERPTS FROM THE SUMMER 2000 GA REPORT
FROM “POINT OF VIEW”:
CITADELS (Hans im Gluck; about $12)
Last year, Marcel Andre-Casola Merkel’s game, Verrater (Winter 1999 GA REPORT) received a Spiele des Jahres nomination, somewhat unusual for a $7 card game. However, the game boasted an unique mechanic allowing players to choose a personality and an action on each turn and played like a boardgame, also somewhat unusual for a card game… France’s Bruno Faidutti was impressed and went a step further…coming up with the brilliantly conceived and executed Ohne Furcht und Adel, which translates as “Without Fear and Nobility” and is known here as Citadels…
Citadels is a raucous, fun-filled adventure in city building. Each turn, the players get to choose who they will play from a list of characters, most of whom have special abilities. For instance, the Assassin, gets to do away with one of the other characters (NOT a player per se but a character assumed by a player), the King gets to choose his character for the next round first, the Architect can erect two buildings on a turn, the Thief can steal all of a character’s gold, the mercenary can burn down a building etc. Since the process of choosing characters is secret and at least one of the characters remains hidden from all, you’re never really sure who is whom and your chosen action may not work as planned…
Players start with a hand of four building cards. The deck has building worth as little as 1 Victory Point and as much as 8 VPs. The cost for construction is essentially the same as the number of Victory Points…
The player with the King marker announces each character’s turn in a specific order. The Assassin plays first. If the character has not been chosen or has been assassinated, the King announces the next character to play. On a player’s turn, he can take the top two cards from the building deck and keep one or take each turn’s allotted income of two gold pieces. Then, the player may build by playing a building card from his hand to the table and paying its cost in gold pieces…
Buildings come in five different colors. Having at least one of each color is worth a bonus of 3 VPs. Purple coded buildings allow a special ability like the Biblioteque (Library) which allows the player who builds it to take an extra card on his turn. A four point bonus is awarded to the first player to construct his seventh building and anyone else who is able to construct a seventh building receives a bonus of two VPs. When a seventh building is constructed by any player, the end of the round is also the end of the game.
Citadels (Ohne Furcht und Adel) is a wonderful little game in a beautiful package. That the game has won not a Spiele des Jahres nomination but has also made it to the short list for the prize…is a testament to the game’s value. In this case, good things come in small packages. – – – – – – – – – – Al Newman
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Summer 2000 GA Report Articles