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- Ages: 13+
- Number of Players: 2-5
- Playing Time: 120 minutes
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Once upon a time ... 1289. To strengthen the borders of the Kingdom of France, King Philip the Fair decided to have a new castle built. For the time being, Caylus is but a humble village, but soon, workers and craftsmen will be flocking by the cartload, attracted by the great prospects. Around the building site, a city is slowly rising up. The players embody master builders. By building the King's castle and developing the city around it, they earn prestige points and gain the King's favor. When the castle is finished, the player who has earned the most prestige wins the game.
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This item Caylus
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|Sold By||Owl Central||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||giftsbyrenee||Book Depository US|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||8.66 x 12.2 x 2.76 in||8.5 x 12.25 x 2.75 in||7.67 x 7.67 x 1.77 in||6.3 x 2.8 x 9 in||8.9 x 12.5 x 2.9 in||11.7 x 2.5 x 8.75 in|
|Item Weight||2.4 lbs||2.2 lbs||1.24 lbs||1.25 lbs||2.85 lbs||4.87 lbs|
Top Customer Reviews
The concept is that each player is a master builder who is working to build a castle for the King of France in the thirteenth century. Along the way, they will build buildings, collect resources, and court royal favors for some much-needed boosts along the way. The buildings get built along a road, which serves to plot the progress of the game as well as to add to the theme.
Caylus is not a game for casual gamers who like light, simple games that play quickly. Caylus is for those who are willing to give it all they have for 2-3 hours while the game unfolds like a tapestry before them. Open-minded gamers usually love it, but everyone else starts to lose steam after an hour and a half. It's either an acquired taste, or one that appeals to those who are open to trying something radically new. And in my opinion, it doesn't get much better than this.
Decisions: 5/5. It doesn't get much richer than this. Each turn you will either be making a lot of guestimations, or else performing mental gymnastics to keep track of what's going to be coming in and what's going out. If you're like me, you will love this level of tactical depth, provided that you don't overthink the game or cling to tightly to your plans. There's always something you can do if you look closely enough!
Artwork: 4/5. Visually, this game is classic Euro all the way. The resources are wooden cubes, the workers are colored cylinders, the tiles are cute little buildings, and the board looks like a painted canvas, which is a nice touch.
Replayability: 5/5. How is it possible that a game with an almost identical setup can vary so much from game to game? I don't know, but depending on what buildings people build, the game can go in one of a thousand different directions. Talk about exquisite game design!
Awesomeness: 5/5. This one is a legend, a game for all time. Each time it comes out of the box I get excited, like it's Christmas morning. So fun!
Bottom line: If you don't like long games, give it a miss. But if you are willing to put in the time, you won't find many better games out there.
However, if you have not played games of this caliber before, you will have a rough time getting through the rules. A game that I would highly recommend you try first is Stone Age (also by Rio Grande Games). Stone Age is another, though simpler, worker placement game that involves gathering resources to construct buildings and purchase other items. It is a good introduction to this type of game. Once you are used to that, the rules to Caylus are not nearly as daunting.
Caylus is certainly a very complex game- it's absolutely best to have it explained to you by somebody who is familiar with the mechanics. Even without that, though, you should be fine as long as you have at least some experience with Eurogamee. However, if your sole experience with board games has been things like Monopoly or Risk, then Caylus will probably overwhelm you. It's not a great introductory game to the genre. If you're looking for an introduction to Eurogames, I'd recommend Settlers of Catan or Carcassone over something like Caylus.
That being said, my favorite part of Caylus is the absolute minimization of luck. There's no cards to draw, no dice to roll, and really next to no element of random chance in the game. If you enact a good strategy there's really no chance for anything random to have anything more than a minimal impact on it. (Other players may try to stop you, of course, but that's hardly random) There's a lot of different strategies to play, and as the game progresses it becomes quite the brain exercise to keep everything straight.
If you are the time of serious board gamer that groans every time you have a bad card draw or crappy dice roll, you absolutely must pick up this game. I cannot recommend it highly enough!