GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
8,409 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
20 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Castles of Mad King Ludwig» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Rushed Review of Castles of Mad King Ludwig (Smoothsmith) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
flag msg tools
http://www.youtube.com/user/SmoothCJS
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Welcome to my short(ish) review! I decided to review every game I own, and seeing as that takes a while, they're kinda rushed! I tried to break things down nonetheless, and I hope you enjoy the review!

Rushed Reviews Of All My Games

Castles of Mad King Ludwig

The Short Sell:
Build beautiful, utterly ridiculous castles in this fantastic tile laying game, with a high level of player interaction and interesting yet easy to grasp mechanics.

Components

Lots of bits of cardboard in this game!
- ~5-10 each of 10 tile sizes in their various shapes.
- ~20 End-Game bonus tokens.
- Deck of small tile-cards
- Deck of small bonus-cards
- Game boards (*4)
- Cardboard coin tokens.

When I first punched out the tokens for Castles, I thought they felt a bit flimsy, after a couple of plays though, you realise their slightly thin size and smooth feel faciltates shuffling them easily (Which you have to do at the start of a game), and they perform their job just as well as card twice as thick. Cards being small size is also a non-issue, with their being very little text, with heavy focus on iconography.

I would have liked to have had an insert to keep the pieces organised though, and I'm sure thicker bits would still have shuffled. Still, its' nice as a whole!

4/5

Setup

Without any kind of custom changes to storage, this is more of a 2, but its' easy enough to box or bag the pieces so they can be taken out much more quickly. You do still have to shuffle 10 piles (Though they're small) of tiles, and the 2 decks of small size cards which can be a bit of a pain. Will have to do an insert for this sometime to try and get it quicker still I think.

3/5

Gameplay

Gameplay is fairly straightforward. One player is the master builder for the round, and they arrange the available rooms across a buy area, such that they cost between $1000 and $15000. Each other player then may buy one room in turn, paying the master builder for the priviledge. Finally, the master builder builds a room, paying the bank. The MB wants to make sure noone takes the room he/she wants the most, but also wants the other players to pay high in order to gather money for buying this the rest of the time.

When a room is placed, it scores points if certain rooms are adjacent (It says on the tile), or if its' a downstairs room, points for all rooms of a listed type. When a room is completed (All doorways to it matched to other doorways), it triggers a bonus effect, based on the room type (E.g. Food Room - Take an extra turn, Activity Room - 5 bonus points, Utility Room - Take 2 bonus cards and keep 1, etc).

As well as points for placement, players score points at the end of the game based on 4 publicly known bonus tiles (Or less in 2/3 player I think), as well as for any bonus cards they hold (You start with 2 and get more via utility rooms). Most points wins!

The gameplay here comes together remarkably well, making you not only care about your own castle, but everyone elses. The master-builder each round needs to think hard about what will be useful to the other players, so you're constantly watching what people are going for so you know what you can get them to overpay you to pick up. Fantastic gameplay, love it.

9/10

Theme:

I'm going to have to admit, I don't really know the why of us building castles in this game. That's not, however, to say that I don't find myself absorbed in and excited by the theme in this game. When I look at what I'm building in the game, I can imagine the insane reality of it, spires and dungeons both, as my sleeping room spam castle comes together (My castle from last game, if build a few hundred years ago, would be a very awesome hotel by now =P). More so than that, the concoctions of the other players are exciting to look at too.

The first time I played this game, one player got both a 'points per outside room' and 'points for money' goal. The completion bonus for outside rooms is to gain 10,000, and this led to him building a beautifully expansive garden, with but a few dotted castle parts around them. In that game I started with a drawing room, with attached panic room, then began an expansive underground with a dungeon and crypt, lending a creepy, paranoid feeling to the persona I was building my castle for. Another player has copious amounts of food rooms, ensuring his family and servants dined well.

The fact I can remember so much about my first game when I've played a couple of times since surprises me greatly. For most games, I might remember an awesome moment, or how well people scored at the end, but this is one of very few games where you care about everything. Its' unique, and fantastic, love it.

8/10

Variability

While there are more tiles than you're likely to each game, there's not many extra, so for the most part you'll see the same things come out. The utility deck is cycled through quickly and every card is probably seen in a game (Albeit by different players). There are a lot of goal tokens, but they're very similar to one another.

2/5

Personal

You can very likely tell from my overlong section on theme, but I like this game very much! It makes you think about what the other players are doing so much more than most games I've played, and does it in a very straightforward and easy to understand manner. Not only does it provide challenging decisions and high interaction, but it's just so damned beautiful to see what you've created.

If there's one thing I find disapointing, its' that the game doesn't go on longer. I think that the length makes sense, but would absolutely love to have a bunch more of all the tiles so we could run through the deck a second time and have mega-castles if we wanted to ^^.

8/10

Overall:

9/10
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with the review, for the most part, but I'd give a higher score to the variability. Even though the tiles are mostly the same every game, the ones you get are different, so you always end up with a different castle. You can't do the same thing every game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Carey
United States
West Coast
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
msaari wrote:
I'd give a higher score to the variability. Even though the tiles are mostly the same every game, the ones you get are different, so you always end up with a different castle. You can't do the same thing every game.


Agree, variability/replayability is high with this title.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Francisco
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review. As far as why you're doing it, you just need to read the history portion about the Mad King. He spent MILLIONS of marks (then) to build castles and the running joke was that he liked building them more than living in them. I agree that a little more variety (i.e. expansion) for the tiles would be cool, but the playtime is just about perfect in my book.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
And if the game sells, I'm quite sure there's an expansion in the pipeline, considering the history of Bezier and Ted. This game just begs to be expanded with more rooms.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Francisco
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a big fan of games where you DON'T see everything in every game. The requirement of having to adapt on the fly is really something that attracts me in games.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.