Review – Council of Verona
A Romeo and Juliet themed bluffing game.
Title: Council of Verona
Year Published: 2013
Designer: Michael Eskue
Publisher: Crash Games
Game Time: 20+ Mins
Set-up Time: >1 Mins
Theme: Romeo & Juliet
How to win: Score the most points.
The citizens of Verona have grown tired of the constant quarrel between the houses of Capulet and Montague. As ruler of the region, Prince Escalus has formed a council to help mediate the conflict and bring lasting peace to Verona.
I have never played this game without the Poison expansion so it will be included here as apparently the game just isn’t the same without it. Also, I will be describing a 3-5 player game and not including the rules for 2 players.
If you are playing with 5 players, include the cards marked with a ‘5’ in the game, otherwise put them aside.
Deal each player one card. Choose a start player, they will get the rest of the deck. Also give each player a 0,3 and 5 point token and a Poison and Antidote token each. These are known as Influence tokens.
Each game is played over 3 phases.
Each game starts with the draft phase. The first player will pick a card from those in the deck and pass the rest to their left. This continues until the final player has the last two cards. They will draft one and remove the other from the game face down.
In a 3 player game each player will have 3 cards. I a 4-5 player game they will have 3.
This is divided into 3 parts, played in this order.
1 – A player MUST add a card from their hand to either the Council or in Exile.
2 – A player MAY activate an ability on that card if it has one.
3 – A player MAY place an Influence token, face down on ANY card in play that has a free space.
After this, play continues to the left until all cards have been played. When the last player has taken their turn, play passes around the table one more time allowing for each player to place one more Influence token.
After everyone has had their last chance to place a token, the game ends and scoring begins.
Firstly, all Influence tokens are turned face up. All characters with MORE Poison counters than Antidote counters are immediately removed from the game.
Now you need to find out which of the characters left in play have completed their agenda. (Note: We like to remove influence counters from those that have not completed their agenda.)
Players add the points printed on their successful Influence counters and add/subtract points from any modifiers on the slot they pick.
Whoever has the most Influence points wins. In case of a tie, the player earliest in turn order wins.
This is a nice light, fun game. It’s easy to teach but I do find that you have to play a game before people fully understand it.
The drafting part is good. You can draft a strategy if you’re lucky, or draft cards with abilities to force things to be the way you want it to be.
The Poison expansion makes the game, you never know if a character in play will even live to see the scoring section so you can’t put all your Influence in one basket.
There are a few downsides though…
Your starting card can determine your strategy.
You can end up with few ability cards and scoring cards so it’s hard to influence the game.
Its fairly random at times.
Having said that, it is fun to play once everyone knows what they’re doing.
Not my fave filler but it’s on the shelf if needed.
I give it 5/10