Gameday First Play – Citadels

Posted on by Jesta

A game I requested and my wish was granted.

I nearly bought this before but decided not to, did I make the right choice?Citadels is one of those hidden role/bluffing games I love so much.

The game blurb pretty much says it all…

InĀ Citadels, players take on new roles each round to represent characters they hire in order to help them acquire gold and erect buildings. The game ends at the close of a round in which a player erects her eighth building. Players then tally their points, and the player with the highest score wins.

Players start with a number of building cards in their hand; buildings come in five colours, with the purple buildings typically having a special ability and the other coloured buildings providing a benefit when you play particular characters. At the start of each round, the player who was king the previous round discards one of the eight character cards at random, chooses one, then passes the cards to the next player, etc. until each player has secretly chosen a character. Each character has a special ability, and the usefulness of any character depends upon your situation, and that of your opponents. The characters then carry out their actions in numerical order: the assassin eliminating another character for the round, the thief stealing all gold from another character, the wizard swapping building cards with another player, the warlord optionally destroys a building in play, and so on.

On a turn, a player earns two or more gold (or draws two building cards then discards one), then optionally constructs one building (or up to three if playing the architect this round). Buildings cost gold equal to the number of symbols on them, and each building is worth a certain number of points. In addition to points from buildings, at the end of the game a player scores bonus points for having eight buildings or buildings of all five colours.

So you draft roles, play the ability, gain gold or draw cards, build a district. Simple.

The roles we used were…

  1. Witch – You take your action then name a role. When it’s that roles turn they are bewitched. They get to take gold/draw cards but then the Witch player take their character ability. In the normal game this would be the Assassin that basically takes the named role out for that round. The Witch at least allows the bewitched player to take their action.
  2. Thief – You name a role on on that roles turn before they take an action, they give their gold to the Thief.
  3. Magician – You can either name a role and on that roles turn you exchange your hand of cards with theirs, or you can put your hand on the bottom of the deck and draw that many cards.
  4. King – You gain a gold for each Yellow (Noble) district in your City and become the first player in the next round.
  5. Bishop – You gain a gold for each Blue (Religious) district in your city.
    Additionally, the Warlord can not destroy your buildings this turn. As we didn’t play with the Warlord (See number 8) this should be subbed out for the Abbot who takes money form the person with the most instead.
  6. Merchant – You gain a gold for each Green (Trade) district in your city and you gain an extra gold when taking your action.
  7. Architect – When you take your action you draw 2 extra cards and can build up to 3 buildings.
  8. Diplomat – You gain a gold for each Red (Military) district in your city.

All in all it was an enjoyable game but it does drag on… Turns take a long time, drafting can be slow. Sometimes the odd player forgets to reveal his role right away from either not paying attention or just forgetting…

But role choice and drafting is great. When you want to draft the King to get Gold for all those Yellow districts you have and to go first next turn but you know the Thief knows you’ll do you risk it?

Lots of choice, very fun game, just plays a lot slower than it should do.

I made the right choice not buying this but I’m glad a couple of copies are hanging around the game group so the option to play it is there.

 

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