(Anton, Dave, Paul L., Mike)
We played Citadels last week, and it went over well enough that we gave it another shot. Mike and Paul L. didn't get to play last week because they were in the Amun-Re game, so they were particularly eager to get in this one. The Power Grid game was a long way from being over, so we played to 8 buildings (as specified in the rules.) We typically end the game at 7 at MVGA to shorten the game, but we were aiming to finish at the same time as Power Grid. We did play with the variant that allows an assassinated player to collect two gold; this lessens the harshness a little, especially when you are assassinated several times by mistake.
Three of the players demonstrated a commitment to sound engineering by building large, costly buildings, but Anton took the opposite approach, slapping one- and two-point buildings down willy nilly on his way to eight buildings. Under normal circumstances Anton would have been mercenary bait (the mercenary can demolish a one-point building at no cost or a two-point building for just one gold coin.) In this game the mercenary was one of the roles discarded at the start of the hand (and thus unavailable) most of the time. Near the end the mercenary was available, but no one stepped up to select him and Anton soon laid down his eighth building to end the game. Anton had the fewest points in buildings, but with his bonuses for ending the game and for having a building in every color he eked out a narrow win.
Final scores: Anton 17 + 4 + 3 = 24, Paul L. 23, Mike 23, Dave 19.
Eric's rating: 9. Citadels is not a game in which a "perfect plan" can win. Your opponents can stop any particular plan. However, your opponents can't stop everything. The assassin and thief must target a role and not a player, so they can't attack you unless they can guess which role you have selected. The mercenary can do a lot of damage, especially to a player who builds small buildings, but you'd better move early, because you can't knock down a building belonging to a player who has built 8 (or 7 if you're playing our usual variant.) In most games, the winner is the one who dodges calamity and then races to lay down the winning building as his opponents clutch at the hem of his cloak (who *was* that masked man?)