Citadels - Board Game Box Shot

Citadels

| Published: 2005

A medieval city destined for greatness, immense power and importance beckons you. There is only one problem: it isn’t built yet. This vacuum presents the perfect opportunity for you. You must wisely spend your gold, bluff, intimidate and outmaneuver your rivals as you seek to build and control this new city.

Citadels is a game of nobles, intrigue, and cities for 2-7 players, playable in 20-60 minutes. The current printing of Citadels includes the Dark City expansion detailed elsewhere - look for the purple logo on your box lid if you're not sure if your copy includes the Dark City.

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88 of 95 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“This review comes with free pie!”

Sorry, I didn’t know what else to title my review…

Summary

Citadels is a game where the objective is to create enough districts to complete your citadel. There are 5 types of districts (noble, religious, military, trade, and special) each symbolized by a colored icon. Each district has a gold cost to create a building, and at the end of the game, the gold cost of the building becomes the point value for determining who wins. When someone makes a total of 8 districts, that flags the final round for all the players. Bonus points are given if achievements are met, such as being the first to get 8 districts, having 8 districts by the end of the game, and/or having one of each district type by the end of the game.

The real meat of the game are the roles you pick to help you hinder opponents or assist you in advancing your own goals. Each role has a number that represents their turn in the game. Every round, you pick a new role (Example, if you pick assassin first round you are only assassin for that round. Next round all the roles are gathered up again and players choose their roles one by one.). The roles are chosen in secret, but players can try to narrow down who you are by process of elimination. Once all roles are chosen, the King Narrates the game by announcing each turn. When it is a player’s turn, they are able to do one of the following:

– Take 2 district cards from the top of the deck, choose one to keep and the other on the bottom of the deck.

or

– Receive 2 gold.

Each player is limited to building 1 district per turn. Role abilities can be used at any point during their turn, as long as it’s not associated with another action.

Roles Available

1. Assassin – First in the round, names a role to assassinate. That role is unable to take a turn. Role killed remains face down until the end of the round.
2. Thief – Names a role to steal from. Role named loses all their gold to the thief at the beginning of their turn. Thief is not allowed to pick the Assassin or victim of Assassin.
3. Magician – Able to swap any number of cards from their hand to draw that many cards from the deck or you can trade hands with another player.
4. King – Takes the crown (meaning you pick from the roles first next round and you must narrate the next round). King is also able to collect 1 gold from noble districts you own.
5. Bishop – Protects your districts from the warlord. Collects 1 gold for each religious district you own.
6. Merchant – collects 1 extra gold after taking a basic action. Collects 1 gold from trade districts you control.
7. Architect – Draws 2 district cards after taking an action. May build up to 3 districts this turn.
8. Warlord – Can destroy districts by spending gold equal to cost of the district minus 1. Also collects 1 gold per military district you control.

(Special Note: Special districts normally have special abilities which you can also used to help you gain an advantage over others).

Impressions

Pros
– This game comes in a very small box. Easy for carrying and traveling.
– The game is pretty simple to pick up after showing the process of 2-3 rounds.
– There is lots of harassing that occurs in this game. So that’s a plus if you like grieving other players.
– Being able to pick your roles each round is nice, so you are not stuck with one role the entire game.
– Special districts give an added variable in addition to choose role abilities.

Cons
– Card quality could be better. It’s cheap cardboard that seems to absorb hand moisture, almost forcing you to get sleeves.
– The role of the king can be humorous at times, but during other moments the role will be passed to someone who is not as experienced with the game or someone who is shy and you must bear them fumbling through the round. Not that big of a deal, but can slow the pace of the game sometimes.
– The rule book has variations that fit 1-7 players. But anything below 4 players is really not worth playing.

Overall

The first time I played this game, I had a lot of fun. Then after seeing how small and convenient it was to carry around, I was pretty much sold. For the cons, I was tempted to say that the game might be simple for some players because the rules are not that elaborate. After all, the most confusing part is knowing what you can do as each role, but it is explained on the card. But don’t be fooled. A lot of time and thought is still put into choosing your role and planning for opponents’ moves as well. Honestly, I feel this game has something for everyone and is definitely worth trying out.

(pie)

 
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6
United Kingdom
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7
87 of 95 gamers found this helpful
“Build you citadel”

Citadels is a card game that’s easy to pick up and understand and plenty of fun.

So what’s the aim of the game?

Each card in citadels represents a building. Each building has a type and a cost. The game finishes when one person has 8 buildings and the player with the “best” citadel wins.

What makes a citadel “the best”?

There is a simple scoring system. You get points for having a large citadel (8 buildings), a diverse citadel (one building of each type) and expensive buildings in your citadel.

OK, so how do I build my citadel?

Each turn you have the option of picking up a new card or two gold pieces. Then you can spend your gold pieces to play a building in your hand.

Simple. Is that all there is to it?

No! At the beginning of each round each player chooses a character card. Each character gives you a special ability for your turn, and determines the order in which you take your turns for that round. For example, the Bishop can receive extra gold for your religious buildings, the Assassin can make a player miss a turn, and the Architect receives extra cards and can build extra buildings. I won’t go into every character here, but that should give you a flavour.

Sounds good!

It is! The characters add plenty of strategy to the game, and there is fun to be had trying to guess who has chosen which character before it is revealed.

Shouldn’t the review title say “Build YOUR citadel”?

I was hoping nobody would notice.

 
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Petroglyph
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I Love Playin' Games
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66 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“This is the game that got me into gaming.”

Up until about six years ago, I thought boardgames meant rolling a couple of dice, moving your marker along the board a little, and doing whatever the square you landed on told you to do. Then a friend introduced me to Citadels, and I saw how engaging, interactive and subtly strategic games without dice could be.

Players are city leaders, who seek to increase their city’s prosperity by building new city districts. Each round, players select one of a handful of roles that represent characters hired in order to help them acquire gold and erect new buildings. But not only will other players be competing for these same characters, they will be seeking to assassinate the powerful, and rob the rich … Citadels is as much a game about second guessing your opponent’s intentions while hiding your own than strategic city building.

Every character has a special ability, the usefulness of which depends on a player’s situation, and the situation of the player’s opponents. What’s more, player interactions are based on the characters they’ve hired instead of the players themselves, and as this role selection is hidden and never guaranteed — worked via a clever mechanic meaning you’ll never definitively know what role any player has until they reveal it — Citadels is ultimately an excellent game of bluffing, misdirection, and how well you know you friends.

Citadels is the grand-daddy of the role selection/draft genre, and must be Bruno Faidutti’s best title to date. It’s an elegant game of bluffing and second guessing, and it’s well balanced and relatively simple rules lead to rich player interaction without without the direct and blunt aggression of wargames. The medieval theme may be a little heavy for some, but for those that are fine with castles, cathedrals and catapults, Citadels makes for a fine evening’s social gaming that will even have the more strategic Eurogamer sitting at the table.

 
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“The designers got this one right”

Citadels has lots for everyone with plenty of player interaction, a good building mechanic, little downtime and is easy to learn. Winning takes some strategy, a little luck and is very satisfying. Not bad for a short game!

It’s a card game where players choose different roles at the beginning of each play by selecting one and passing the rest to the player on the left (the last King gets to start the next turn).

Once roles are chosen there is a predefined order of play, i.e., the Assassin goes first then the others in sequence. Actions are taken where wealth is accumulated or districts are drawn from the deck, and lastly new districts are built. Each character role has a power as well which can be used during the player’s turn. Some powers can hurt the goals of others or steal their wealth, so you must be careful to choose wisely — especially if you’re in the lead.

After each round, new roles are chosen and play continues until one player has completed 8 districts whereupon scores are totaled and the player with the top score is declared the winner.

So what’s so fun about it?

Choosing roles is important to maximize the benefits of your districts and stop those who are ahead of you. You’ll often skip an obvious prize if you suspect another player is going to pounce on you first. Or you can choose a role to stop another player from getting it.

Certain districts provide additional play benefits and some give big scoring bonuses too. You can really get caught up in building a powerful empire — just remember that in the end, the winner is the one who has the highest scoring districts.

Another nice thing is that the cards are simple without a lot of icons, numbers or other markings on them. Simple is good and it keeps things moving.

If you haven’t played this game I encourage you to check it out. If you haven’t played it in a while, I suggest you take it out and enjoy it once again!

 
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Paladin
Herald
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62 of 69 gamers found this helpful
“Boardless town building”

Citadels is a game about building a medieval town. But in fact I can easily imagine exactly the same rules with only naming changes to a number of themes, for example developing a trading enterprise or exploring the Universe. The rules are general enough, ant the genuine flavor suits them well.

The game is played with two decks of cards, a set of tokens representing gold money and a starting player marker – the crown. The decks are: the character deck and the town deck. The cards are well illustrated in a “dark ages” manner.

Game turns are divided in two main phases: during the first one the players choose the characters they impersonate in the current turn. Each of these characters has its own powers that benefits the player who has it and (in the cases of characters like “Thief” “Assassin” or “Warlord”) can harm the others. The choices are being made in “incomplete information” environment i.e. everyone knows their own character but have limited knowledge about the characters chosen by other players. Note that the knowledge is “limited” and not “none”. This creates a lot of opportunities for psychological trickery: “you think that I’d choose this but I choose that”. It’s important to guess the way of thinking of the opponents while hiding one’s own.

The second phase of the turn is about drawing and playing town cards representing various buildings. In order to play a card the player has to pay its cost so earning and accumulating gold is essential. This part is much more “mechanical” than the previous one. The players use the powers of their characters as well as powers of already played cards to be the first who has eight possibly most valuable town cards played. Eight cards is considered a “complete town” and it triggers the end of the game.

Citadels is an easy to learn, fast and funny game. It can be played basically by 2 to 8 players which extends to 9 with the expansion. A solo variant also exists. But in order to make the game reveal all its subtleties I strongly recommend playing with as many people as possible, let us say 6 at least. The 9-players games I had were by far the most interesting ones as all the characters were used and interactions between the players made the games be tense to their very end.

 
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56 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“LETS GET IT ON”

Citadels is a character selection game where your goal is to build the best city by hiring the right people to benefit you. But watch out! Others are out there trying to do the same. And instead of keeping up with the Jones’s, they would just prefer to kill the Jones’s off.

COMPONENTS – Pretty simple, four different parts
District Cards – There are five different categories of Districts you can build, four coordinating with a different character and one category that allows each card to have its own special ability.
Gold – Use it to buy your Districts, and in special cases to beatify or earn VP’s. These are made up of nice, thick plastic pieces.
Crown – Wooden crown signals who goes first. You get the crown from the King Character Card.
Character Cards – This is the heart and soul of the game. Each character has their own special ability that will benefit you in building your city.

LETS GET IT ON
You start the game with some gold and some district cards. On your turn you get to make an action of getting two more gold pieces or drawing two cards and keeping one. Kinda lame so far, but the real magic happens in the Character Cards.

Starting with whoever has the crown the character cards are shuffled and each person selects a character to help them build their city, or… or kill another character or destroy an opponent’s district. Character cards do everything from drawing extra cards, getting extra gold, building extra districts, to assassinating another character. Picking the right character to help you is key to winning the game, but if you are too predictable in your selection you make yourself an easy target for assassination.

The games ends with the first player getting to eight districts, but that is not how the game is won. The winner is decided by the value for each district, plus a few bonuses. Each district is worth its value in VP’s. Additionally, you can gain bonus VP’s by being the first to get to eight, getting eight districts in that final round, and by having one district of every category.

PROS
• I like how the game scales. I think playing with two players is my favorite, but it plays well with four and five as well. It can play a few more, but it could drag on a bit long.
• The artwork is very nice on all of the cards and even the gold pieces are great.
• The game is very easy to learn, it’s harder to explain then to learn I think. I usually just tell people to play along for a practice round and then they get it.
• The player interaction is nice, it’s not on every round, but when someone is assassinated it’s great. And when someone is tearing down a district with the warlord there is lots of swaying going on.
• The fact that it comes with an expansion already in it is great. This makes it easy to mix up the character cards when things start to get stale.

CONS
• The cards take a beating from shuffling them 20 times or so in a game. They see a lot of wear on them. I guess this is to be expected for a game you’re going to play a lot.
• You may have to stay on people to make a choice quickly or the game will drag on. If you’re looking for a game that you can talk over though, this is a great choice. You can talk all you want when its not your choice as long as you get down to business once it is.

OVERALL
The big pluses for this game are that its great with a lot of different sizes and is very easy to learn. The big down is that the larger the group, the longer the play. Of course this is par for most games. I’m very happy with this buy, but can tell it’s not for everyone. Give it a try before you wash it away for sure.

 
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55 of 62 gamers found this helpful
“A Classic for Newcomers and Vets Alike”

I won’t get into the rules of the game, other reviewers have and the review boardgaming.com already gave is spot on. Just to get right to it: 🙂

First off, I’ve known gamers who have said this game has been “beaten” by other games by now. Right off the bat, it throws some people there is sometimes waiting between turns (especially if you are assassinated), picking wrong and not have anything really happen on your turn, and a slight snowball effect. It’s here that some of these elements help make Citadels a unique experience.

If you’re playing with people who are a little experienced (i.e. played a game or two) than waiting for your turn does not take so long. Granted, with more than five players, this game can drag a tad bit. Picking the wrong person (e.g. with the thief or the assassin) is half the fun of picking them. And as for a snowball effect, experience will really help solve this.

The game is simple enough that anyone could really learn it in a round or two. There is some knowledge needed of the cards so you aren’t ruining your turn, but this is basic and minimal.
For such a small game with few components, this really does pack depth in its social interaction. Did that person take the thief and plan to steal everything all the gold I’ve gained? Or are they playing it safe and using the merchant to gain a ton of gold this round? The stakes can get pretty high, and it only gets better the more you play it.
One of the areas I think this game shines in truly is its replay ability. Playing with newer people is exciting and unpredictable, but its when playing with people who know the game is where things can get tricky. You’ll find yourself expecting what the other person is expecting so you have to do the unexpected…the game will regularly make you think like this. Not only this, but the base game now comes with a built-in expansion; giving more characters and districts to turn the game around.

This is also an amazing two player game. Spouses: get it for each other.

On the downside, by biggest grief is the quality of the cards. Now, these cards aren’t bad per se, it really depends on the how you and your group play. I know for me people will slap and flick these cards all over the table; and in a game where hidden roles are key, you don’t want the one card that gets used a lot to get jacked up so everyone knows what you’ve taken. Especially when you have expansion cards that don’t see a lot of table time.
For some gamers, getting knocked out of the round because of the assassin is a big deal. Knockouts in rounds happen and you can find yourself sitting there while everyone else takes a turn. I find this fun, but some might see this as annoying.
Although this rule can be tweaked for shorter games, I’ve had some games run a little longer than what it felt it should. To end the game, someone must build eight districts and everyone else gets a turn. What usually happens, whoever has the Warlord will have stopped you from building seven or eight, prolonging the games’ end. It isn’t a huge issue, but sometimes it can be a point for some who are looking for something shorter than this.

TL:DR
PROs:
-Small game, cheap
-Easy to Learn
-Surprising Depth
-Amazing Two Player Game

CONs:
-Knockouts(ish)
-May overstay its welcome
-Cards can’t be too damaged

Verdict: I would recommend this for the two player alone, but it does well with families and some groups. Light and sometimes infuriating in the best ways.

 
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Intermediate Reviewer
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54 of 61 gamers found this helpful
“Quick Card Driven City Building Game”

Citadels is a role-based card game where players are racing to be the most prosperous city by building districts into your own city and possibly sabotaging the efforts of your rivals. There are 8 different roles in the game, each offering a different power including, causing another role to lose its turn, stealing money from another role, swap hands with another player, get first pick of roles, protection, earn extra gold, build 2 districts in one turn, and destroy a rival’s district. Each turn the King shuffles the roles, discards 1-3 roles at random (one face down), then chooses from the remainder; each player then chooses a role from the remaining roles. Each player acts in the order of their role which are numbered 1-8, with the lowest number going first. In addition to acting on their special powers players must decide to either collect 2 gold or draw cards on their turn, then they have the option to spend their gold to build a new district. The game ends when a player has built their 8th district at which time the value of each district is calculated and the player with the most points wins.

Citadels is a lighter strategy game and once all the players know what each role does the game plays fast. The hardest choice players have is choosing which role they want from those available. The roles are varied enough in power that no one role is superior to another in the long run. Player interaction is limited to affecting another role (not player), with the notable exception of the ability to pay gold to destroy rival’s district. The distinction between stealing from a role and a player keeps the game from having a “take that” attitude, as you don’t know who picked which roles until it is that role’s turn to act.

 
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54 of 61 gamers found this helpful
“From the Mouth of Jormi - Citadels”

I had heard a lot of good things about this game and had thought about purchasing it many times, but had just never got around to it. Matt brought it over to one of my Monday Night Game Nights and we got a chance to play it two-player since no one else had shown up yet. After that, I knew that I wanted to purchase a copy for myself.

Gameplay – I know this game can spark quite a bit of controversy on the best way to play it, but I have found in my gaming circle that it scales very well. I have had very enjoyable games with two to eight players with the Dark City expansion. The game is a very different beast between two players and eight though.

The object of the game is to make the best city by building districts on each of your turns. Players start the game with four district cards in their hand and two gold.

Each turn a player selects a role from one of the eight roles numbered one to eight. The roles in the base game are 1 – The Assassin. This player can choose a character and if another player has chosen that character, they will lose their turn. 2 – The Theif, this character can select a character and if a player has chosen it, when they reveal that it, the thief can take their gold. 3 – The Magician, this character can discard as many district cards from hand and redraw the same number, or exchange hands with another player. 4 – The King, this character gets one gold income for each yellow district in the player’s city. The King also gets to take the crown token which will allow that player to choose first from the roles on subsequent turns. 5 – The Bishop, this character gets one gold for each blue district in a player’s city and makes that player immune from the Warlord. 6 – The Merchant, the player that selects the Merchant gains a gold for each green district in a player’s city, and gives the player a gold after they take an action. 7 – The Architect, this character allows a player two draw two district cards after taking an action and allows the player to build up to three district cards this turn. 8 – The Warlord, on the Warlord’s turn, that player can take one gold income for each red building and pay the cost of an opponent’s district minus one to discard it.

After everyone has selected a role, the King will call out the first role, the Assassin. The Assassin player will then take his/her turn. The player will start off by using the Assassin ability, then that player may take one of two actions. He or She may take two gold from the bank, or he or she may draw two districts from the district pile, but he or she must discard one. Then that player may build one district if he or she wishes. Play continues on with number the second role The Thief, the third role The Magician and so on, all the way to the eighth role, The Warlord. Players will then choose roles again and play out another round until at the end of the round someone has 8 districts out.

The game ends at the end of the round in which a player has build 8 districts. Players then score their cities. Each district is worth a point for each gold it cost. Four bonus points are awarded to the player that built 8 districts first and each player that also built 8 districts gets two bonus points. There are also three bonus points awarded to each player that has built a district of each of the 5 colors.

In a two or three player game, players will end up taking on two roles. I also feel that the Dark City expansion makes the two player experience a lot better by substituting the Witch for the Assassin.

I talked a little bit about the colors of the districts above. The red, yellow, green and blue all give income to their respective role, but there is one color that I haven’t talked about yet, and that is purple. The purple building each have their own special abilities that can be very helpful.

The game is basically a role choosing hand management game with some bluffing and deduction involved.

One’s seating position can have a positive or negative aspect on their ability to win, but overall I think that the King counter is easy enough to move around that eventually one will have an improved position if he or she wants.

I feel that the gameplay deserves 9 out of 10 gold.

Look and Feel – This game mostly shines in the look and feel department, but that also depends on which version one can get a hold of. I have the newer Fantasy Flight Games version that has the Dark City expansion included.

The art on the cards is great. I know there are a few cards that some people have mentioned are too risqué, or grotesque, but I personally don’t see any problems. I just see beautifully rendered artwork on each card. There is a negative to the cards though, they seem to wear really easily, especially the role cards. I know that they get handled a lot, but I think FFG would be aware of the amount of ware that at least the role cards would get, and could have produced better wearing role cards at least.

Gold pieces in the version I have are very nice plastic pieces that have kind of a gold yellow marbled look to them. They look and feel great, while performing their function very well. I know one of the other versions had cardboard punch out gold pieces, which would function fine, but would not be near as nice.

The only other item in the box is the crown counter, which is a nice painted wood piece. There is one thing that bothers me about it. Mine at least isn’t quite symmetrical, and it always just kind of sticks out at me like a sore thumb. I know it is really nit-picky, but I can’t help but notice it.

This box is also a pretty good one as far as boxes go. It is a little bit of an odd shape, but it has good solid construction and shouldn’t have trouble with warping. It has a little bit of extra space, but it is pretty much just a comfortable amount and not a waste like some games. The art on the box is also very nice to match the cards inside. It doesn’t give you a wrong impression; the quality of the art on the box is what you get inside.

The look and feel of this game earns Citadels 7 out of 10 gold.

Overall Score- 8 gold out of 10

Final Word – If you like role selection and or bluffing, this could be a good game for you. My wife and I like to play it just as a couple or with several other people and have fun both ways.

 
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“Heartless, but rewarding”

I write reviews for a game shop in Australia, but before I was writing I was a consultant selling games face to face. Citadels was my favorite game then, and I still hold it among my top classic choices.
This is an excerpt of my full review, which can be found here:
http://gameshop.com.au/blog/thegamesshopper/2012/11/06/review-citadels/

“Citadels is sometimes known as a game without mercy. It’s heartless and majestic, and it can be infinitely rewarding, but it won’t stop to baby you if you stub your toe or, more accurately, get assassinated and miss your turn. I’ve known people to dislike Citadels because of this, but despite its wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command (literature!) I still find it an exciting and worthwhile game.

In Citadels, you take on the role of a seedy building developer trying to improve your own slummy quadrant of a city that is, in itself, both seedy and slummy. What this translates to is the playing of district cards, each with its own value, until one player has played eight cards, at which time the person with the most points from their districts wins. This is hardly the crux of the game, though. The big idea revolves around the crooked officials who will help you build your rent-controlled hovels.
Each turn, the players each select an official to represent them that turn. There are eight or nine officials in each game, ranging from a greedy Merchant who will get you more money on your turn to a doddering King who procures you the starting player token. But the officials also include disreputable types like a Thief who steals from other players and the dreaded, notorious Assassin who has the power to snuff out entire turns. These more sinister characters are where the game gets its cold reputation. It’s certainly disappointing to plan out an entire turn just to have it denied, but there are ways to avoid the heartache if you don’t telegraph your intentions too much. This is one of the reasons I like Citadels. It’s about bluffing and predicting your opponent’s moves just as much as it is about choosing effective officials for yourself.

To break it right down, Citadels is a very fun game. It’s easy to learn, plays in less than an hour, and there’s also enough variety in the gameplay for it to stay interesting across multiple plays. I also love it with two players, since each player chooses two officials to represent them each turn, maximizing options and lightening the blow of finding some nightshade in your tea. But despite its merits, Citadels is not a game where you’ll come away clean. You will take a few hits. It’s really a game about shrugging off the little blows and dodging the big ones. Be prepared to see the Bishop who helped you so willingly last turn wind up in the pocket of your enemy in the next. Be prepared for the Warlord to destroy your buildings and for the Thief to run off with your wallet. Be prepared for change. Nothing is constant in Citadels. The game has such a message of transience that it’s easy to imagine how even after your masterful victory in which you beautified your slum with universities and wizarding schools and dragon gates with unknown purposes, in a few short years its all going to be dust again, with the lone and level sands stretching far away.

 
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54 of 62 gamers found this helpful
““Lands, titles, men, power, nothing.” - Robert the Bruce”

GAMEPLAY
Players build their cities up to eight districts. Every turn each player chooses one of eight roles. All roles, all secret until played, give the player a special ability from gaining extra gold for having districts of certain colors, choosing a role first next turn, destroying someone else’s district, or building multiple districts. On the turn the first player gets to eight districts finish the turn and count points to determine a winner.
COMPONENTS
The box is small and the pieces consist of two decks of cards (roles and buildings), gold tokens, and a king token. The art is a generic fantasy setting but bright and crisp and very well done.
THEME
The city building is secondary to the role selection process. The gotcha gameplay is well related to each of the roles. Some roles promote winning and some negatively impact the other players.
WHO IS IT FOR?
This game is simple to learn but there is a great deal of bluffing and deduction. The replay-ability comes from your group how well can you predict their actions and bluff your own? There isn’t back stabbing because there are no long term strategies. Knowing the others who play or guessing their tendencies is where the fun is. A great game for a group to warm up a game session. Players 10 and up will enjoy the game, it takes about an hour to play. It plays 2 to 8 players, try playing with 2 or 3, each player gets two roles, changing the dynamic great fun!

 
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“A different kind of "role" playing”

Citadels is a fairly simple card game in which players choose different roles each turn in an effort to build “districts” in a city. The turns are simple: you either get two gold coins or two district cards from which you choose one in your hand. Then you can build districts if you have enough gold. There are five colors for the district cards, each representing a different facet (green = trade, blue = religious, etc.)

The fun comes with the various roles. Depending on the number of players, some of the roles are not in play, and one starts out face down out of play. There is a king, who goes first and who chooses the first role, thereby knowing what roles are in play. Each role has a special ability each turn. An assassin can kill another role; an architect gets more cards and can build more, etc.

After each turn, the roles are reshuffled and reselected until finally a player builds 8 districts. Points are determined based on the value of the districts plus bonuses for reaching 8 and for having districts of all colors.

It’s a fun, simple game that doesn’t take long to play. It’s also a good introductory game to “role” type games (such as the more complex Puerto Rico).

 
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5
Thunderstone Fan
9
53 of 61 gamers found this helpful
“Fun game for new and experienced gamers. ”

Citadels is a simple card game in which midevil Lords are trying to build the grandest city before their rivals can.

First thing is to separate and shuffle the district and character cards and creat a deck for each. After this each player is delt four district cards and two gold from the bank, then a number of cards are removed from the deck based on the number of players. The crown then goes to the oldest player who secretly takes his pick from the remaining cards in the charecter deck, he then pases the deck to the player on his left who then chooses a character, this continues until all players have a character card. The names of the characters are then called out in assending order from Assassin to Warlock, when your card character is called you take your turn.
On your turn you will either draw cards from the district deck or take two cold from the bank and use your characters power and build possibly build a district. Once a player has built eight districts the round finishes and at the end the player with the highest gold value of cards in his city wins.
So that was a really boring and terrible description of the game.
The real fun is the player interaction. Never knowing exactly which character each character drew and cause some real tense moments. But Ceitadels isn’t all about tension and trickery , the joy comes from the fact that with such simple game mechanics most anyone can play and have a good time. Listening to my friends of all experience levels engaging each other and truly enjoying the game made me very proud to have added this game to my collection.

 
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53 of 61 gamers found this helpful
“Lots of Content, Great Game”

I love this game, however my friends do not. First I’m going to explain why I enjoy this game. Okay so I originally bought this game because of its similarities to Coup and Settlers of Catan. I enjoy games that involve strategy, deception. and large player numbers; this game brings it all. However my friends believe all board games should be fast paced the entire time, not trying to start stuff but I believe it might be due to their short attention spans. Seems to be a reoccurring problem within my generation. Anyway we are in the third round of playing and they start complaining this is taking to long and that they don’t like the game. I was trying to figure out why because I was enjoying the game and was dominating the table. Well all they could say was I don’t know I just don’t like it. So they got up and left the table and start playing some other game. Now I understand not liking a game but I believe you need more than two rounds to decide whether they like it or not. Anyway if your game nights have people that enjoy deception, and strategy this is a game for them, if they don’t like a moderately paced game this is not a game for them, a good game for them is Coup.

 
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10
54 of 64 gamers found this helpful
“A FANTASTIC game of role-selection and psychology!”

You may win this game by building the districts of your city, but the key here is role selection – not only yours, but guessing and acting on that of others! The way the hidden roles interact with the apparent needs of your city is at the heart of this game.
Points awarded for a diverse city (with districts of different colour/use), as well as getting to 8 districts first. Purple districts are also useful as they each offer a unique ‘rule-breaker’.
The cards are beautiful (artwork and quality) – sleeve the roles as they will be used the most.
Infinitely replayable (though choose the players carefully – a sensitive ego can get damaged here 🙂 ), and reasonably priced – with the expansion included (new roles and districts)!!
For me, this game epitomizes a ’10’! Have fun!

 
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5
Gamer - Level 5
Z-Man Games fan
Knight-errant
9
74 of 90 gamers found this helpful
“8 roles and infinit number of strategies”

1.General
Citadel is a card drafting, resource managment, guess, score point game with medieval city building theme.

2.Setup (1 minute)
There are 2 types of cards in game, character cards and building cards. Deal each player 4 building cards and two coins ( toffy like tokens, keep out of the reach of children )

3.Game play
Burn one character card face down and base on player numbers 2,3,4+ burn some cards face up ( these cards can not be the King ) and pass the character cards to players to select one or two(for 2 and 3 players mode) role from it.
After doing this each character come to play in pre derermined order on cards from Assassin to Warlord, as each character has been called the player who has selected that character shows her card and takes the character, she has chosen, dedicated actions (Take money and/or draw city cards from the pile, build city discrit and special action).
Repeat this sequence untill a player built 8 discrits. Then sum up the scores for each player’s buildings.

The character orders and relation between them are very well defineded.

Guessing who is who and hide what you will chose to prevent the Assassin from killing you( you will lose your turn ) and the Thief from rubbing your money that you have stacked up or you have rubbed last turn to build a huge building that scores you well etc., are the main challenging part of the game.

Play with 2 or 3 people is super fun and faster than play with more people, however play even with 7 player is still quick and fun.

4.Learn to play
The game is super easy to be learnt, as far as everything has been described on cards you dont need to memorize anything.

5.Game contents
2 decks of cards have intersting graphic design.
Coins are not delicious but they look like toffees.

6.Conclusions
This game is easy and inexpensive but there are infinit number of strategies you can imagin for this game.
Almost everyone will enjoy to play it.
It is not a family game due to the negative roles in game.

 
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2
I'm a Player!
7
53 of 65 gamers found this helpful
“Best value in gaming!”

I assert that in the 15-20 dollar range, you simply won’t find a better game. This game is great because:

It scales well from 1 to 8 players. With 2 it is cut-throat and intensely psychological. With 3 to 5 it is a fun card game that is easy to teach, and offers plenty of critical decision making. More than 5 can get long with chatty or AP prone players, but can still be fun with a fast group.

It travels well. Since the box is small, I can easily take the game along anywhere I think it might be nice to play a game.

The only downside is that the role cards seem to wear out quickly.

 
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6
Comic Book Fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
8
54 of 68 gamers found this helpful
“A tardis of a card game”

Im never sure about small box games, somehow i feel that nothing but disapointment awaits, that no matter how many good things i hear that small almost pocket sized box can’t contain a great game. Can it?

Citadels proves me utterly wrong.

I’ve played this game with friends, family and children and all get it. First you are dealt some cards and givena couple of coins. The cards are buildings of some sort or another and have small coin symbols on them (like a simplistic 7 wonders card). To play a card you pay the coins, can’t afford it? Then pick up a couple of coins instead. The first to play eit cards wins. And thats it. Almost.

The real game comes in which character card you take each turn. You choose your card secretly and the card decides who goes first as well as giving you a little something extra for that round.

You might to pick the assasin which means you go first and get to deal with that pesky merchant who keeps making all the money because that person at the table opposite you with the big pile of coins keeps choosing the merchant so you’ll show them. Won’t you? Unless of course that person has chosen the king and will be choosing first next time and oh dear you’ve assainated your poor mother who has but one card and will now do nothing this round.

Its a game of bluffing, guess work and is great fun to play and to teach. It the best game you’ll buy in a small box.

 
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6
Norway
I play yellow
Asmodee fan
Count / Countess
7
53 of 68 gamers found this helpful
“The city-building game where city-building isn't important”

The goal of the game is to build buildings of great point values and end up with the greatest score. But there’s a catch!

Instead of going around the table in turn order, there are roles to choose. The current start player (or king) chooses between the 8 roles avaliable. Then sends the rest to the next player, who chooses her role and so forth. When all have a role, the rest is put face down, and no one really knows what the others have chosen. Then, going from a pre-defined order, the roles are activated.

The first is the Assassin, which may kill off another role. It’s possible that a role isn’t in play, but that’s part of the plan. If a role is assassinated, that player won’t be able to take her turn.

You may never target a player, only a role, making the game more about bluffing and psychological “warfare”. If you get the roles correct and psyche out the other players, you will build your city, and hopefully score the most points in the process.

It’s a fun game. First plays may take a while to get used to the different roles, but when everyone’s accustomed to it, a game is very quick.

 
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2
Noble
 
54 of 70 gamers found this helpful
“Be ready to give up control or go crazy”

I had played Citadels some time ago, and out of some sense of forgetfulness decided to play it again yesterday. I went into the game with a vague memory of not being able to figure out if I liked it or not. Yesterday I came away leaning a bit more toward the “not.”

While I do enjoy winning a game, I don’t have to win to enjoy it. If I can plan and plot and manipulate to the best of my ability and still do not win, that is okay.

I think my main problem with Citadels is that there is not a single element of the game that is really within your control. Try to aim for a particular role, and that role might not be available. Try to flesh out your city with different types of buildings and you just might not pull them or someone might Magician you and swap your hand for theirs. Try to save gold and the Thief might just take it. Or the Assassin might just kill you and your round is shot altogether.

You see, I can handle a game with randomness. But a game where EVERYTHING is random and/or out of your control? I’m not sure if this is a recipe for frustration of dissatisfaction or both. My conclusion: if you can play a game and not take the ending too seriously, no matter how hard you try, then go for Citadels. If you like at least an iota of control, stay away.

 

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