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Subject: A Little-and-Often Review: Capital Lux rss

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Adam Taylor
United Kingdom
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Plays: 5
My rating: 8.5

This was one of the first games that I picked up at this year's Essen and so far I'm very glad that I did.

My attention was initially caught by the artwork: the four suits are each represented by a bright, slightly abstracted, oil-painting type image (in fact, I think the originals may actually have been oil paintings). It is striking, interesting and unlike anything else that's currently on the market.

When I looked a little closer I discovered that the same could be said on the gameplay. In a nutshell: The deck contains multiple copies of four suits numbered 2-6, in each of the three rounds there's an initial brief draft of five cards (which evens out the luck of the draw a little and increases your knowledge of what's in play) then you play cards either into your tableau (your city) or into the centre (the capital). Adding to the capital grants you a small bonus action dependent on colour (such as drawing an extra card or adding a hidden modifier to the value of a suit in the capital). At the end of the round you must discard any suit from your city with a higher sum than that suit in the capital, then the players with majority in each suit take bonus cards (from the capital) and the next round starts. At the end you add up the values of your bonus cards and everything left in your city.

The rules are very simple but make for a really engaging game of calculation, bluff and brinksmanship. For a short game (around thirty minutes) with simple components and straightforward rules, it delivers a really interesting experience with difficult decisions - any one of which could lead to glory or defeat - and really involving, direct player interaction.

If I were looking for a negative; it can slow down a little as the end of the round approaches and everyone starts calculating values but that's really not a major problem and not enough to put me off. It is definitely a filler, there's not enough here to build a whole evening of gaming around, but it's one of my favourite fillers from recent years.

In short: Capital!
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