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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Citadels - Deceptively Simple, Outright Fun
Citadels has become a great addition to my group's gaming headliners among Settler's of Catan and Puerto Rico. Depending on who you play with, this can be a very strategic and tense game as you vie for the best roles and the largest stash of gold.

If you've played Puerto Rico, then you might be familiar with the role-based mechanic of the game. There are a...
Published on June 28, 2009 by Erik Willett

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best 2 player game
Citadels is not exactly what I expected, but I blame most of that to me not reading a ton and just going off of board game addiction, great reviews, and a price drop to $13.00

We mainly play games with 2 people total, so this review will be based on that premise.

You can find the pros and cons about this game in many of the reviews, so mine will be...
Published on February 13, 2012 by Mark Downing Heese


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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Citadels - Deceptively Simple, Outright Fun, June 28, 2009
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Citadels (Toy)
Citadels has become a great addition to my group's gaming headliners among Settler's of Catan and Puerto Rico. Depending on who you play with, this can be a very strategic and tense game as you vie for the best roles and the largest stash of gold.

If you've played Puerto Rico, then you might be familiar with the role-based mechanic of the game. There are a total of 8 roles in the base game and 10 more in the expansion that comes included (Dark City). Your choice of role provides you with different options to backstab others, build up your own city, or gather the necessary resources. It also determines the turn order. For instance, the Assassin goes first and can choose anyone to assassinate (who ever took that role skips their turn). The Thief goes next and can steal gold from a role.

Roles are taken secretly, with some put aside at the start of the turn to make sure no one can easily figure out who is who. You must balance between getting the role you need and the role which no one will suspect you of because the Assassin or Thief can shut you down in a pinch. Once roles are obtained, they are called out one by one in order - if that's your role and you haven't been Assassinated, you go.

The eight roles are:
Assassin, Thief, Magician, King, Bishop, Merchant, Architech, and Warlord

The expansion adds 14 interesting Special locations. It also adds the following eight roles correspond to and replace ones from the base game (they're similar in spirit but do drastically different things):
Witch, Tax Collector, Wizard, Emperor, Abbot, Alchemist, Navigator, Diplomat

The expansion, which is included, as features roles that take up position 9:
The Queen, and the Artist

The artwork on the card are all very interesting and roles themselves take on a life of their own with caricature-like depictions. You'll quickly gain a connection with the style and capabilities of each role ("Damn Warlord!"). We all really get into it.

Expansion cards are marked with stars for easy separation.

2-7 players, 30-60 minutes (depends on who you play with), and ages 10+ (though one or two locations depict naked people in the background, hard to really pick up on at first but when waiting for the roles to be passed around you might notice)

All-in-all, one of my favorite games for casual or intense play. It has plenty of character, quick to pick up, and is deceptively simple - making for great game play on the fly.

---

TIPS: For your enjoyment and the preservation of the product, I offer some tips:

-Put the role cards into plastic card protectors; this will prolong the life of them as they will be shuffled and battered by the players throughout the game

-Get more gold counters; this isn't an issue most of the time, but with more players and with certain roles a player can stock up quite a bit of gold at times (this is important when using the expansion characters); quality of the gold counters depends on the version, from cardboard to plastic pieces

-Print or write up a card with the numbers of each role; at times, people will forget who goes next and a card like this is not provided
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply fun, December 4, 2007
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Citadels (Toy)
This strategy card game is fun, quick to set up and doesn't have a lot of pieces or rules to keep track of. I've played with 2 players and with 5, and it was just as fun either way, which is unusual for this genre. It takes about 10-15 minutes per number of players.
The objective is to build 8 buildings and gain the most points, which are printed on the building cards. Each turn players act as one of the characters and use the abilities: collect money for certain districts, steal from or assassinate another character, trade or draw extra cards, be the first to choose a character, destroy a character's building, etc.
Characters are drawn secretly, and at least one is randomly excluded. Each character goes in a predestined order, and collects money or cards, may build, and can use their ability during their turn. Whoever gets the king chooses a character first for the next round, giving them an advantage. The strategies change as the game goes on, and you're always wondering what another player is going to do, if they can sabotage you, if you can foil them, and eventually who is going to call the game by building their eighth building.
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65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comes with Dark City expansion!, March 8, 2008
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Citadels (Toy)
The game is awesome; all great reviews are spot on. Just wanted to add that this game comes with the "Dark City" expansion, so that you don't need to buy it separately. It says this on the box, but it's too small to see from the product photo.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from a newbie, March 22, 2012
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Citadels (Toy)
Admittedly, I have only entered the realm of card/board gaming within the past year. I grew up playing Monopoly, Risk, Stratego, Sorry!, and other similar games that are easily found in everyday stores. I never realized how big of a gaming world there was outside of my little box! Now that I know, I find myself constantly trying to find new and exciting games to add to my small collection. With that background info out of the way, here's what I think of Citadels.

Citadels is one of the first games I tried since my new craze started. It absolutely amazed me due to the unique and simple, yet surprisingly deep, game play. The goal in Citadels is to get the most points. Points are chiefly earned by building districts (represented by cards) with gold (sturdy plastic tokens). Once one player builds their 8th district and the current round is completed, everybody scores their points to find the winner. Here's how the game actually works. Players choose a role to play each round (there are 8 roles in all, unless you play with the included expansion cards that include 9). You choose your role secretly, and only reveal your choice when it is your turn. Turn order is decided by the role you choose. For example, the Assassin always goes first, and the Warlord always goes last. One role card is randomly dealt face down at the beginning of every round so that the second player to choose a role doesn't know what the first player chose.

The key to Citadels is choosing your roles wisely. Each character has their own unique skill that will help them in the game (e.g. The Assassin can attempt to murder other players, the Warlord can demolish other players' built districts, and the Merchant acquires extra gold). After everybody takes a turn, the current round is over and everybody chooses roles again. Therefore you will be able to use different characters throughout the game. Bluffing and using reverse psychology is one of the most important skills in this game. It's often better to pass on the character that you really want to use in a given turn. Why? Because if you consistently choose the optimum character for your current situation the Assassin is sure to assassinate that character. For example, if it would particularly benefit you to choose the Architect (one of the most commonly assassinated characters in my experience) then the player who chooses the Assassin could say "I choose to assassinate the Architect" in the hopes of making you lose your turn. However, if you anticipate this, you might choose a far less useful character to avoid being the target. The psychological mind play that goes on in this game makes for some hilarious moments. I've accidentally killed players that were losing handily just because I guessed wrong!

Another strategy is to simply pick a character that you know would help another player just to keep them from gaining a huge advantage. The strategies in Citadels are what really excite me about this game. Strategy plays a larger part in this game than luck, which is a huge plus. Making sacrifices, taking chances, bluffing, and using reverse psychology are the name of the game in Citadels. If you don't like being killed or stolen from, you probably won't like this game. But if you enjoy choosing secret roles and playing mind tricks, I highly recommend Citadels.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Citadels is an AMAZING game for men, women, and kids, February 17, 2010
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= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Citadels (Toy)
I bought Citadels years and years ago on a whim. (I later got off the whim, but that's beside the point.) It's the single best board game purchase I've ever made.

The game is easy - 2 to 7 players (although the game works best with 2, 3, 6, or 7) each choose a different character from a list. The characters have special powers - the assassin can kill another player, the thief can steal someone's money, the architect can build more than one thing, etc. Once all your characters are chosen, you play out the round, putting down buildings from your hand (paying for them with gold pieces which look a lot like butterscotch candies). The goal is simply to put down as many buildings as possible.

The reason people love this game is the bluffing aspect. With 2 or 3 players, each player takes two character roles per turn and you get an amazing "guess who has what role so I can get THEM" aspect to it. When you guess wrong, it's funny, as your action is either wasted or hits the wrong person! With 6 or 7 players, it becomes a huge group "I'm not that character! He must be!" aspect to it. Not *quite* a party game, but still really fun.

I definitely recommend Citadels. It's no longer my most loved game (I own Dominion now!), but it's definitely in the top three.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun strategy game, May 18, 2005
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This is a great strategy game. There are not many items in the contents, and the instructions are only 4 pages long, but the fun comes when the game is played. It takes a little while to learn the game, but once you get the hang of it, the fun comes. I enjoy this game because of the strategy that must be employed while playing, and this strategy changes depending on what cards are left for you each round. At the same time, you would be trying to think how others are playing their strategy, and what to do to steal their gold, kill the person for that round, or destroy their property. Though the game can be played with 2 players, I find that having about 7 players is most fun. When the group grows beyond 7 players, the game may get very long to complete, but nevertheless, this is great fun!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great card game, January 10, 2008
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Citadels (Toy)
Didn't realize when I ordered this that it was entirely a card game, so when the smallish box arrived I was somewhat concerned. Have played several times and must admit to being extremely happy with this! The game is so simple to learn, but so deep in its play that I foresee this hitting the game table many times. Every gamer should own this gem.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best 2 player game, February 13, 2012
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Citadels (Toy)
Citadels is not exactly what I expected, but I blame most of that to me not reading a ton and just going off of board game addiction, great reviews, and a price drop to $13.00

We mainly play games with 2 people total, so this review will be based on that premise.

You can find the pros and cons about this game in many of the reviews, so mine will be much more specific and focus on things to think about after you purchase the game or after you have a firm understanding of the premise of the game from its description & reviews.

I enjoyed the game and will play it on occasion going forward but this will not be a mainstay like carcassonne, blokus, or pandemic. There are a couple of issues I find with two players (and presumably 3) that I don't think would come into play with 4+ players. These issues really do take away from the game as things can be confusing and you are forced to make up or fill in the blanks in the rules by yourselves and prior to the game (so people dont get fussy during the game)

First off, the rules are not specific enough in general (no matter how many players) on occasion and one of the more specific questions we've had (and had to make up a rule on) is if a merchant does his action, then builds a green district afterwards, does the merchant get 2 gold (1 for action 1 for green district) or 1?

A different rule issue that mainly comes into play for 2-3 player games (where people have 2 characters instead of 1) is one with the Bishop... in a 2 player game, does the bishops anti-warlord ability (districts cannot be destroyed) apply to districts made during the round by the other character the player has (before or after the bishop is played)? In a 4+ player game, the player with the bishop would only have the bishop, so there is no question as to what is protected, in a 2-3 player game, the player with the bishop will have another character such as the architect. Later in the round the architect will play - building districts, are those districts protected?

It's small issues like these that are not flushed out and explained well enough, and depending upon the actual intended rule, balanced well enough, that really detract from this being as good of a 2-3 player game as it could be.

The real telling factor is, when playing the game, we often say "well this wouldn't be this way in a large group game" which is rarely a good sign of a games balance and group size adaptability.

Other things to note:
+ the box is nice and very petite
- the cards are standard affair when it comes to their durability, although the company does make card sleeves you can buy specific to fit for their games
+ the artwork is very well done and varied
+ the addition of expansion cards is nice
- would be nice for there to be a "crown" card with the character names and numbers for newcomers that don't have them memorized
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent game, September 27, 2011
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= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Citadels (Toy)
This game is somewhat similar to Dominion and Settlers; you build a "city" out of "provinces" to win. Unlike Settlers, there are no dice, just a central deck that everyone draws from. And unlike Dominion, you never have to shuffle, and the game scales extremely well between 2 and 7 players.

The cool, defining "game dynamic" used by this game is that at the beginning of each round, each player chooses one of the "role" cards which gives him or her special abilities on the next turn. The great scaling for different numbers of players stems from the creative ways that roles are chosen. For example, with 4 players, you put 1 role card face down and 3 face up, and then pass the remaining cards around starting with last round's "king." The last person chooses then puts the 1 remaining card face down as well. So all of the players have some idea about what roles the others chose, but there's no certainty, so it becomes a mind game where you try to anticipate each other's moves.

For people who like social strategy games, this is a definite must-have.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We Return to It Now and Then, April 18, 2012
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= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Citadels (Toy)
This has never been a favorite game for my group, but we do return to it now and then. We have fun when we play it, but there isn't enough replayability to make it a go-to game. And it's never a game we play all night long. Instead, it's more like, "Hey, we haven't played Citadels in a while, how about a game of that before we call it a night?"

The good thing about the game is that it's simple while still having a level of strategy. The changes in character selection from turn to turn, while sometimes easy to predict, can also be a surprise and can make it harder for the group to gang up on one player. Scoring is often fairly close in our group, which allows a player to come from behind and win, or at least means that a player never feels like he or she is out of the game and now has to sit and endure while watching other players get farther and farther ahead. It also brings out a sense of direct competition and interaction that some of the recent card games lack.

What's bad is that the character selection doesn't quite give enough diversity between turns/games to make us want to play it repeatedly. As one other reviewer said, the games go just a little too long so that a few turns before the end, I'm a little bored with one turn being very similar to the last. And finally, I'm not a fan of games where players can lose a turn and must sit out, a situation the Assassin character creates.

Citadels is not a must-have game, but if you can find it at a deal, it's a good filler when a gaming night ends just a little too early.
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Citadels
Citadels by Fantasy Flight Games
$27.99 $19.75
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