Citadels is a game where players take on different roles each round to help them acquire gold and create districts. Depending on the number of players, once a player has seven or eight districts, that becomes the final round and everyone tallies up their points at the end. The player with the highest score wins. Theres a lot to this card game and a great one to have in the collection.
This is a 2-7 player game that takes 20 to 40 minutes to play. I have the small box version, its easy to pick up and bring with you. For any new players after one or two rounds they start to pick it up pretty quickly.
Players begin the their hand with 4 district cards, the district cards come in 5 colours, purple districts have a special ability and the others work when you play certain characters.
To start a round, the player who was last king chooses one of the 8 character cards and discards face down. This is important because nobody knows for sure what character any other player has during the round. Then they choose their character card for that round and the remaining character cards are passed to the next player until all players have chosen a card. Every character has different abilities so you need to choose wisely. The cards are then played in numerical order.
This is the order of character cards:
- The Assassin – chooses any character for the round to eliminate. The character that is killed must stay silent and skip their turn without revealing the card.
- The Thief – can choose any character to rob. Once its the chosen characters turn they must hand over all their gold to the thief.
- The Magician – can either exchange their entire hand with another player or discard any number of cards facedown and draw an equal number back.
- The King – can gain one gold for every noble district in their city and get to pick first next round.
- The Bishop – gains one gold for each religious district in their city and districts can not be destroyed by the Warlord.
- The Merchant – gains one gold for each trade district in their city and gain one extra gold as well.
- The Architect – gains two extra cards and they can build up to three districts during this turn.
- The Warlord – gains one gold for each military district in their city. They can also destroy one district by paying 1 less than its building cost. However, districts in a completed city cannot be destroyed
When it’s your character’s turn, if you haven’t been killed you use your ability and then either earn two gold or draw two building cards then discard one. After that you can construct one district from your cards. Each district is a certain amount of points at the end of the game so the districts you choose are important. The cost to build a district is the number of gold symbols on the card.
Depending on the number of players, once a player has seven or eight buildings, your city is complete and scores are tallied as listed below:
1 point for coins on your district
3 points if you have one of each district type
4 points if you were the first to complete a city
2 points for any other player that completes a city
Any extra points from your unique district cards
This game doesn’t take long to play, but there’s a lot of strategy in that short time. It’s not just the cards you choose but more what you predict others will choose. It’s a combination of getting the best card for you while not being obvious, gaining coins without someone stealing them and building the best districts without letting them be destroyed. It’s a lot to think about. In this type of game you really want to pay attention to what’s going on with the people around you and predict what they’re thinking to come up with the best strategy. This one’s a keeper, the more I write, the more I want to play.
If you like Citadels, try one of these games: