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Subject: Is this a gamer's game? rss

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Kendahl Johnson
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Syracuse
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My nephew stopped at our house last night on his way through on a vacation. He works for Primerica and I listened to his spiel in exchange for him playing a game with me. He likes games, so I got the lesser end of that deal.

Game was with my nephew David, his wife Ashley, my wife Jen, and my daughter Kaylee (14). I'd only played a half learning game once before. It was about 10 pm when we started, so tiredness may have played a part .

We played with the Diplomat instead of the Warlord and went to six districts instead of eight. I have heard complaints that this game is too long, but with these two adjustments, we played for less than a half hour. After teaching the rules and playing one round, it was clear that it wasn't going over too well. Confusion seemed to abound, so I reset and explained again.

Everyone seemed to understand the mechanics, but no one seemed to be making strategic decisions, except my nephew. For example, I had two green cities in my district. I picked cards first and took the merchant. It seemed to me that anyone paying attention would assassinate me or steal from me, but that didn't happen. I got five coins on my turn and built the purple dragon district that costs 6 gold but is worth 8 points. (I would have stole this card with the diplomat, but I was allowed to keep it for the rest of the game.)

Whenever the assassin or thief picked their target, it seemed to be random. Twice, the player announced the character whose card was face up in the middle. (I don't think the thief was that strong in our game, as no one was saving gold for more expensive districts.)

I think this might just be a gamer's game, despite the simple rules. At least that's how it was approached by the other players in my game. No one really stopped to think about the implications of their choices. I think the realization that the game has many more layers dawned on my daughter when on her turn as thief she drew two cards to bring her hand to five. On my turn as the magician I swapped my hand of one with her. Not a nice thing to do, but I was at five districts and couldn't build the district in my hand. With her hand, I was able to build my last district and it put me to six to trigger game end. I scored 18 points with a 4 point bonus. My nephew also had six and had 18 points in his city. Everyone else had scores around 10 or so. My nephew and daughter wanted to play again, but the two wives clearly were ready to be done.

I really, really like this game. I think it's a clever design. I can see a lot of opportunities for bluffing and second guessing, which I like in games. I personally would play with the Warlord. It adds some tension that I think was missing from the game (or just missing from my game). One of my purple cities in my hand allowed me to add a destroyed city to my hand for one gold. And some of the cities built were immune to the warlord. And so was the bishop. I was told the warlord is too cutthroat and prolongs the game, but I think it would add an extra layer to the game that would be intriguing.

I rate this game an 8 and could see that rating climb. It packs a great punch in a short playing time, with simple rules. I think it has so many layers to explore. I'm bringing it to game night Tuesday to see how it might go over with gamers a little more serious than average. I'm going to try keep playing with my family too. I think my daughter will be willing to play again.
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Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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One of the nice things about Citadels, is that it can be a family/casual gamer game, AND it can be a gamer's light game. In a family env't, it's light and simple enough that people will enjoy it, and with experienced gamers, they can explore the more strategic aspects, there's a lot of meat there as far as strategy and bluffing. Carcassonne is similar in that way.

The only real requirement is that your opponents have a thick skin and don't mind some "nasty" gameplay cool
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Rich Charters
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Chandler
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kendahlj wrote:
Whenever the assassin or thief picked their target, it seemed to be random. Twice, the player announced the character whose card was face up in the middle.
This makes it seem like they really didn't understand the basics of the game. You play the assassin for 2 reasons: 1) it ensures you get a turn since noone else can kill you (or steal from you). 2) it allows you slow others down....but only if you can guess the "right" character. The most interesting part of the game is to determine which characters players are likely to select so that you can counteract them. If someone tries to kill a face-up card, it's an excellent teaching opportunity.....explaining the mechanics and then explaining the next level of strategy.

The main problem I see with the game is that with a large group of new players the game takes TOO LONG. The mechanic of every player looking at all the cards, pulling one and passing along the others is just to slow when you have people referencing the rule book and asking questions about how they work.

However, whenever I've introduced Citadels to new players, they've always had a great time with the game. So I think it is a good gateway game.....even if it a little frustrating to the experienced gamer teaching the game.


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Ken Bush
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richcharters wrote:
kendahlj wrote:
Whenever the assassin or thief picked their target, it seemed to be random. Twice, the player announced the character whose card was face up in the middle.
This makes it seem like they really didn't understand the basics of the game. You play the assassin for 2 reasons: 1) it ensures you get a turn since noone else can kill you (or steal from you). 2) it allows you slow others down....but only if you can guess the "right" character. The most interesting part of the game is to determine which characters players are likely to select so that you can counteract them. If someone tries to kill a face-up card, it's an excellent teaching opportunity.....explaining the mechanics and then explaining the next level of strategy.


I've played with people before who actually choose the face up character to assassinate so as not to piss off their friends/spouse. Anymore we never play with the Assassin, always with the Witch, at least the target player gets something. The game can get unluckily brutal for one player if they get assassinated multiple times when they are not the leader.
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Kendahl Johnson
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klbush wrote:
richcharters wrote:
kendahlj wrote:
Whenever the assassin or thief picked their target, it seemed to be random. Twice, the player announced the character whose card was face up in the middle.
This makes it seem like they really didn't understand the basics of the game. You play the assassin for 2 reasons: 1) it ensures you get a turn since noone else can kill you (or steal from you). 2) it allows you slow others down....but only if you can guess the "right" character. The most interesting part of the game is to determine which characters players are likely to select so that you can counteract them. If someone tries to kill a face-up card, it's an excellent teaching opportunity.....explaining the mechanics and then explaining the next level of strategy.


I've played with people before who actually choose the face up character to assassinate so as not to piss off their friends/spouse. Anymore we never play with the Assassin, always with the Witch, at least the target player gets something. The game can get unluckily brutal for one player if they get assassinated multiple times when they are not the leader.


If I was on the receiving end of that, I'd probably be annoyed. But as a player, I think this would just be incredible funny to watch unfold...

Remind me what the witch does. In our game the assassin landed as the face down card or the face up card. Twice I was last to choose and the assassin was still available. It just wasn't used all that much.
 
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Ken Bush
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The witch steals the target role's ability. The target player still gets the 2 gold or draw 2 keep one, but they lose everything else. The witch gets her action (gold or card) then on the target's turn they get the targets ability and can build.
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