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Subject: A Game Built for Two Previews: Guile rss

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Kristen McCarty
United States
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The world and mystery of King Arthur and his Knights of the Roundtable has long been a favorite. Knights and ladies performing brave deeds and chivalrous acts filled my young mind with wonder. I ignored the intrigue and deceit and focused on the good. Guile, on the other hand, looks at that trickery as one player becomes Sir Mordred who seeks to influence the Round Table, of course Arthur's noble knights won't let him down as they use their own wile and guile to keep the Round Table safe.


As I only had a preview copy, I can't discuss the quality of the components but I can say that I love the artwork that Brett Owens has created. Each knight has their own unique personality and the style is beautiful.

The game comes with eight Knights of the Round Table Cards, in the two factions: allies of King Arthur and Pawns of Sir Mordred. The Knights of King Arthur have red lion in the back ground the Pawns of Sir Mordred have gold and blue bands behind them. There are also ten influence cards (three ones, three twos, two threes, and two fours). The double sided Excalibur cards signifies the first knight in the cycle when turned to the side with no coins, and when showing coins it signifies the final cycle when influence will be totaled. The game also comes with one turn card that identifies the current Knight-errant and three victory cards.


The knights are placed face-up in a circle, alternating by faction to form the Round Table. Next, choose the start player. It should be the last person who preformed a chivalrous deed. They choose a faction to control. The start player places the turn card above the Knight Errant of their faction (outside of the Round Table) and Excalibur pointing toward the same Knight (inside of the Round Table).

The influence cards should be shuffled and four should be dealt to each player. The two remaining cards should be set aside as they are not needed this round.

Each player should look at their cards and place one face down on top of each of their faction's Knights. Remember where you place each card and keep them secret from your opponent.


On their turn the player controlling the Knight-Errant (identified by the turn card) takes one of two available actions.

A. Look at the influence card of the Knight-Errant (they must remain secret)

B. Exchange the influence card of the Knight-Errant with the influence card of any other Knight of the Round Table, including a Knight in your own faction.

Once the action is complete, the players move the Turn Card clockwise to the next Knight. The controlling player then takes their turn, and so on.

Once the Turn cad returns to the start Knight, the first cycle is complete. at this time, flip the Excalibur card coins up. (Influence will be totaled at the end of this cycle.

Play continues until the Turn Card returns to the start Knight once again. At this time play stop and the round is over.

Flip all the influence cards face-up and the faction with the highest total influence wins the round, and the controlling player receives one Victory Card. The cards are set up for the second round and play continues as it did in the first.

If neither player has won two rounds: set up the Round Table once again and move the turn card clockwise to the next Knight. Flip the Excalibur card coins-down and point it at the new start Knight. Begin a new round and play as before.

A Stalemate?

In the event of a tie after totaling influence, the faction with the highest influence card wins the round. If there is still a tie, the Influence card with the dagger wins the round.

A Victory

The player who wins two rounds is victorious!

My Thoughts

As a young girl the Legend of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table was nothing more than brave stories of loyalty, love, and brave acts. I didn't look below the surface to see the full picture of what was happening behind the scenes in Camelot.

The same can be said of Guile. Don't be fooled, there is more than meets eye in this memory game. Of course you can enjoy the surface view of the game but looking deeper and seeing the deception, bluffing, and devious side of the game is what will draw even more players.

I must admit that I am not usually attracted to a game like Guile. I'm very poor at bluffing, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I'm not very good at hiding my intentions. I make a very poor traitor in games like Shadows over Camelot. So those who are like me may not fully enjoy Guile. But I know more who would. I can easily see my 7th grade students eating this game up in a battle of wits and cunning. They would enjoy the meta-game of decisions to switch cards, just look at their card, or deciding to switch a good card with another player just to make them think they gave a bad card. But they really gave you a good and hope you'll either give it back or they can take it in the second round.

I also know there are many gamers out there that would have a great time playing Guile. The great thing is that you can play Guile as a simple memory game or play the 'meaner' version depending on who you are playing with and what type of game they want.

Guile is very well designed game with a lot of thought put into ease of play and the fun factor. The Excalibur Card and Turn Card are invaluable when remembering whose turn it is and who started the round. I love the clockwork mechanic of moving the Turn card to the next player. This could be useful in other games when trying to remember who started the round. I know some games use start player tokens, but I like the visual reminder that stays out in the middle of the table the entire game. I also like the tie-breaker rules. At first I wasn't sure what the dagger was for but it insured there was not tie when we played.

The rules are simple to read and learn. That's a big plus for someone who doesn't like heavy rulebooks or long rules discussions. Like many games, the difficulty isn't in the rules but in the game play and decisions to be made. Its small footprint is another plus for those who want a portable game. This would make a great portable game.

Anyone interested in Guile should check out the Kickstarter page at:

Quick Stats:

Designer: Justin Schaffer
Artists: Brett Owens
Publishers:Terra Nova Games
Players: 2
Game Length: 20 minutes
Ages:8 and up

Picture Credits: Justin Schaffer

Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures! Also, please note that I received a review copy of this game.

Check out more of my reviews at: A Game Built for Two (and sometimes more) Game Reviews
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