Boardgame Review: Citadels

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CitadelsAt the risk of cementing my geek credentials even further, I have to admit that one thing I enjoy in this life is a good boardgame. For the past decade or so I’d treated this as ‘the love that dare not speak its name’, until my new girlfriend encouraged me to vive la difference! and bring my boardgames out onto the bookshelf in plain view. Now I’ve rediscovered the joy of gathering friends around a table of an evening, downing a few bottles of good wine and laughing your head off around a well-designed game.

So I’m adding boardgame reviews to Headless Hollow. In recent years there’s been a rash of excellent, high-quality boardgames published, especially from Germany. My first review is of Citadels (2-7 players, 20-60min playing time), orginally German but now available in English from Fantasy Flight Games.

In Citadels the object is to build a medieval city of eight districts before the other players. The twist is, each round the game changes as players secretly choose who they are for the round—king, architect, merchant, thief, bishop, assassin, etc—and these new roles bestow different powers and income. All the classic ingredients of bluff, last minute reveal, treachery and diplomacy are there in an easy-to-learn and quite short game. The card artwork is beautifully done and has a lot of personality, and the little solid plastic gold pieces are a great touch. Though better with four players than two, the game is a winner and highly recommended for an evening’s entertainment.

4 and a half gold pieces out of 5.

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