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Subject: Almost Solitaire... rss

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Jason Martin
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Subject: I know this sounds weird...but Citadels is largely solitaire.
The game really lacks player interaction IMHO, because you target ROLES as opposed to PEOPLE.

As a result, it'a all but impossible to dealmake, and chance completely takes over.

A friend of mine, in a completely random rock paper scissors-type mishap spent a full HOUR missing his turn due to being assassinated several times in a row.

Without some way to replace the Assassin role with something that does not exclude the player from taking a turn, I cannot rank this higher than a 5.
 
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Solution: Dark City Expansion?

The expansion has 1-to-1 replacements. Simply swap out the Assassin for the Witch card in the Dark City Expansion which, by the way, is included in the 3rd Edition.

How The Witch Works
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Jason Martin
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markgravitygood wrote:
Solution: Dark City Expansion?

The expansion has 1-to-1 replacements. Simply swap out the Assassin for the Witch card in the Dark City Expansion which, by the way, is included in the 3rd Edition.

How The Witch Works


Yeah, but the witch still makes them skip their turn, de facto.
 
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Lacombe
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Anjohl wrote:
A friend of mine, in a completely random rock paper scissors-type mishap spent a full HOUR missing his turn due to being assassinated several times in a row.


Surely he had at least one chance in there to grab the King?
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Jason Martin
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NateStraight wrote:
Anjohl wrote:
A friend of mine, in a completely random rock paper scissors-type mishap spent a full HOUR missing his turn due to being assassinated several times in a row.


Surely he had at least one chance in there to grab the King?


No.
 
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Not really. You get to draw a card or gold. You 'bewitch' the special ability to the Witch player, yes.

I'm not sure I'd let one game that happened to have a very unlikely chain of events kill it for me, but to each his own.
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Mike Sobotta
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I totally disagree. I cannot say what happened in your game, but it seems like your friend wasn't choosing correctly, people were being malicious, or you take a really long time playing your rounds.

1.) There are games where I have been assassinated or robbed for the first three turns. It was all because I got behind early and needed to catch up quick so I became predictable.

2.) In one of my game groups the assassin is rarely picked as it doesn't really offer the taker anything. You don't get any special bonus in coins or special abilities like building more districts.

3.) A full hour? This game should only take like an hour once you get up to speed it can move pretty quickly unless you have one of those over analyzers in your group.

I like this game it's one of those games where you have to change strategy with each group you play with. Which in my mind makes it very unlike solitaire. Race for the Galaxy is much more of a solitaire game and you rated that an eight.
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Jason Martin
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markgravitygood wrote:
Solution: Dark City Expansion?

The expansion has 1-to-1 replacements. Simply swap out the Assassin for the Witch card in the Dark City Expansion which, by the way, is included in the 3rd Edition.

How The Witch Works


Thanks for the link, but the Witch seems too weak to me, risking skipping your turn to maybe force someone to skip theirs?

I think an optional #1 that would be better would be something similar to the magician.
 
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Your game, remove the Assassin then and add a "9" card to the deck. That might work...i think it's important to keep the cards in sequence when you call them, however. Not sure though...
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Ben Lott
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Anjohl wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
Anjohl wrote:
A friend of mine, in a completely random rock paper scissors-type mishap spent a full HOUR missing his turn due to being assassinated several times in a row.


Surely he had at least one chance in there to grab the King?


No.

Or the Assassin?
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Lacombe
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Blott wrote:
Anjohl wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
Anjohl wrote:
A friend of mine, in a completely random rock paper scissors-type mishap spent a full HOUR missing his turn due to being assassinated several times in a row.


Surely he had at least one chance in there to grab the King?


No.

Or the Assassin?


Or go second after the previous king and see that both the assassin and king were missing?
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Ben Lott
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I also find it funny that your comment is that the game is solitaire because of this problem. The player in question lost his turn again and again because of the action of another player. If that's not player interaction, what is?

Also, there's nothing in the rules that says you can't tell others what role you selected. So the player in question could say "Please don't pick the Merchant, I just want one turn!" And if the Assassin is feeling merciful he can spare him.
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James Boardgame
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I get pretty much all my enjoyment out of Citadels in trying to second guess other players, and I tend to enjoy it immensely whether or not my guesses are close to the mark. I think it is reasonably accurate to describe that kind of play as inter-active, though I will concede that it's a form of inter-action that clearly isn't to everyone's taste.

I don't see the lack of deal-making as a problem, or that it reduces the game to chance, even though chance does generally play a large (and for me, but obviously not everyone, enjoyable) part in proceedings.

Plus, one obvious point you miss is that the Magician card can target players and not roles.
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Lacombe
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Blott wrote:
Also, there's nothing in the rules that says you can't tell others what role you selected. So the player in question could say "Please don't pick the Merchant, I just want one turn!" And if the Assassin is feeling merciful he can spare him.


If you want to be really sneaky and don't think the Assassin is likely to be merciful, you can call out a role you didn't select: Choose the Architect and yell out "Please... not the Merchant again... anything but the Merchant."
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Cameron McKenzie
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Anjohl wrote:
Subject: I know this sounds weird...but Citadels is largely solitaire.
The game really lacks player interaction IMHO, because you target ROLES as opposed to PEOPLE.

As a result, it'a all but impossible to dealmake, and chance completely takes over.

A friend of mine, in a completely random rock paper scissors-type mishap spent a full HOUR missing his turn due to being assassinated several times in a row.

Without some way to replace the Assassin role with something that does not exclude the player from taking a turn, I cannot rank this higher than a 5.


The best reason to pick the Assassin is to slow down the leader.
If one person was constantly assassinated, he clearly is not the leader.
Since everyone will probably agree that the leader should be assassinated, the person who picks the Assassin should ask the other players for input on which role to name. If he's just picking randomly, he'll pick someone who is not doing well. The Assassin doesn't want that. The player who isn't doing well doesn't want that either. But it can easily be avoided by communicating.

As mentioned before, the "poor" player just tells the Assassin what he picked. The Assassin is happy, because he's more likely to correctly name the leader's role with that information. The poor player is happy, because he won't be assassinated.
If the Assassin goes after the poor player after receiving this information, he's not just merciless, he's also playing very poorly and disregarding what the Assassin is intended for.

The problem with the Witch is that the player choosing the Witch has some incentive to guess an active role, regardless of who holds it (the witch provides more benefit to the user, and less penalty to the target). In a close match, the Witch will likely just pick a role that is popular without regard to who picked the role. This means that the witch's victims are actually more based on chance and less on careful deliberation.
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Actually the only thing I don't like about this game is the cards that let you target specific people.

And I love Citadels because of the insane amount of interaction -- backstabbing, lying, bluffing, guessing, etc. It's all about the other players and what you're going to do to them and what they might to do you. Warlord and the like are a bit kingmakery but oh well.
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Blott wrote:
I also find it funny that your comment is that the game is solitaire because of this problem. The player in question lost his turn again and again because of the action of another player. If that's not player interaction, what is?

Also, there's nothing in the rules that says you can't tell others what role you selected. So the player in question could say "Please don't pick the Merchant, I just want one turn!" And if the Assassin is feeling merciful he can spare him.


It might be implied, however, since it does say to "secretly choose a character card". I know, I know, you can brush semantics all over that and say it's not specifically saying you can't tell someone, but the spirit of the rule is that roles should remain secret throughout the round. Isn't that why when the Assassin announces his assassination character that person is required by rule to remain silent? I think it's the same thing.
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Kevin C.
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Hello Jason,

I thought you were done with Citadels after that whole "Social Gamer" thread. Nice to see you are giving it another chance.

I've played Citadels dozens of times and nothing like what you described has ever happend. That the Assassin would be picked every turn and that he would then target your friend's choice is really wacky. Maybe some meta-gaming was going on in people trying to guess what he would pick instead of picking the best role for themselves or some groupthink thing...who knows? Quite an odd turn of events, though.

Once the routine had run to the absurd, I probably would have taken the Assassin out and let your buddy get a turn in. Or I would have made some other change on the fly to get him back in the game and enjoying himself.

If you still have the stomach for it, give it another chance. Something like this shouldn't happen on a regular basis.

At this point, though, after what you've been through with this game, I wouldn't blame you for not touching it again.

Kevin






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Ben Lott
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markgravitygood wrote:
Blott wrote:
I also find it funny that your comment is that the game is solitaire because of this problem. The player in question lost his turn again and again because of the action of another player. If that's not player interaction, what is?

Also, there's nothing in the rules that says you can't tell others what role you selected. So the player in question could say "Please don't pick the Merchant, I just want one turn!" And if the Assassin is feeling merciful he can spare him.


It might be implied, however, since it does say to "secretly choose a character card". I know, I know, you can brush semantics all over that and say it's not specifically saying you can't tell someone, but the spirit of the rule is that roles should remain secret throughout the round. Isn't that why when the Assassin announces his assassination character that person is required by rule to remain silent? I think it's the same thing.

I agree, there is something to "the spirit of the rules." And I have never seen people openly talking about what role they selected. However "a full HOUR missing his turn" has crossed over into the realm of the ridiculous, so I think even Bruno Faidutti himself would say let's give the guy a break.
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markgravitygood wrote:
Your game, remove the Assassin then and add a "9" card to the deck. That might work...i think it's important to keep the cards in sequence when you call them, however. Not sure though...
Having played it a few times using this method, I can confirm that it does work.

Players that don't like being too cutthroat in games have generally liked it better that way, and it also seems to speed the game up slightly because there are never any missed turns.

The Queen would probably work best if you had 4 or more players (it's a little too powerful with 3-players), but we usually stick with the Artist because that works well no matter how many players you have and it never has to miss out on its bonus unless the player spends too much gold on their turn.


If you didn't like either of the #9 cards you could also double up on any of the other numbers. Just treat the from the expansion card as a half point, so it goes in order right after the non-expansion card of the same number.
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MasterDinadan wrote:

The best reason to pick the Assassin is to slow down the leader.
If one person was constantly assassinated, he clearly is not the leader.
Since everyone will probably agree that the leader should be assassinated, the person who picks the Assassin should ask the other players for input on which role to name.

Let's say you [MasterDinadan] pick the assassin. Do you go around the table and ask non-leaders "Who should I assassinate?" and get answers like "Not The Warlord...","Not the Bishop..." etc? Assuming 4-6 players, you'd narrow it down to two unknowns - the facedown card, and the card in the leaders hand. I understand the rules don't specifically prevent this, but, is that in the spirit of the game? Not saying yes or no either way. Just curious what your take is on that seeing as you seem to have some insight into Citadels. TIA.

MasterDinadan wrote:
If he's just picking randomly, he'll pick someone who is not doing well. The Assassin doesn't want that. The player who isn't doing well doesn't want that either. But it can easily be avoided by communicating.

As mentioned before, the "poor" player just tells the Assassin what he picked. The Assassin is happy, because he's more likely to correctly name the leader's role with that information. The poor player is happy, because he won't be assassinated.
If the Assassin goes after the poor player after receiving this information, he's not just merciless, he's also playing very poorly and disregarding what the Assassin is intended for.
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We actually remove the Assassin entirely when we play with 3 players (which is most of the time).
The official 3-player variant seems pretty unbalanced (particularly because the role selection means that everyone knows at least 2 roles which were, without a doubt, selected by one of their opponents, which throws off the balance).
We just use 7 roles, and have each person select one (out of 4 available, with 2 face up and 1 face down on the table).

I think one of the online implementations was played like this with three players (though it did not explicitly mention that Assassin was left out, it was ALWAYS face up on the table when you played with three). We've found it works best.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Let's say you [MasterDinadan] pick the assassin. Do you go around the table and ask non-leaders "Who should I assassinate?" and get answers like "Not The Warlord...","Not the Bishop..." etc? Assuming 4-6 players, you'd narrow it down to two unknowns - the facedown card, and the card in the leaders hand. I understand the rules don't specifically prevent this, but, is that in the spirit of the game? Not saying yes or no either way. Just curious what your take is on that seeing as you seem to have some insight into Citadels. TIA.

There's usually a better way to deal with the leader. The only reason I should resort to picking the Assassin in the first place is if a player has such a huge lead that I have no chance otherwise.

As was mentioned, the player picking the Assassin gets no real personal benefit. He can only hope to take down the winning player, which is a benefit for everyone. In order for this to be a viable option, I would have to be in second place, with first significantly ahead of me, and third significantly behind me. If third is not significantly behind me, he will probably get ahead of me by picking something other than Assassin and getting a benefit I didn't get, and I don't want that.

In a sense, picking the Assassin is a bit like a Prisoner's Dilemma. It's best for all of the losing players if someone picks the Assassin, but nobody wants to be the one who does it. The person who picks the Assassin is basically a martyr, taking one for the "team."
 
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Anjohl wrote:
The game really lacks player interaction IMHO, because you target ROLES as opposed to PEOPLE.


?
Assassin and Thief target roles yes, it'd be too easy if you could pick who you wanted to get. (and either the Thief would keep picking the Thief, or a huge pile of gold would just circle the table)
Magician targets a player, "I have no cards, you have 5, guess what?"
King, Bishop, Merchant, and Architect, no real interaction.
Warlord, again targets players.

So there are 2 vs. Role. 2 vs. Player, and 4 others.

Although your main problem seems to be that whoever picks the Assassin just kills someone purely at random, the more people play the game the better they get at 'matching' role to player.
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Well in my group the assasin is taken most of the times by the king or second player. The king takes it being afraid of being stabbed by the second player or as a safe character that nobody can damage.

Most of the times the assasin will target the Merchant or the warlord, because are the most benefical characters for my gaming group, so most of the times everybody knows that getting one of these have a high chance or end death, but thats what risk assesment is for.

The assasin cannot be stolen so if you have plenty money is a good choice and can be used to get rid of the pesky warlord if the Bishop is not available.

Sometimes I have choosen my characters randomly under the table when i know somebody before me got the assasin and i have high profile characters left. But thats the I think he thinks that i think... part of the game that I love.

Summary is that sometimes is better to get the lame character that will survive than the ass kicker character that will get stabbed.

The bright side of being stabbed is that you dont get robbed hahahaha
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