Monday, June 10, 2013

Caylus Magna Carta: Card version of Caylus!

All that's missing is the board! lol...
Now I have Caylus the iOS version and had a difficult time trying to understand what's happening and how to play the game. Besides, the game takes quite a bit of time to finish even for the iOS version which is surprising since many of the iOS versions cut down the time to play. AI is also quite good I think so I wasn't too keen on Caylus. However, since my friend brought over the card version, I was ok to give it a try more so to finally learn how to play the game properly.

Caylus is essentially a worker placement game with an interesting "track" portion which has a marker on it that will determine which buildings on the track will activate and which buildings will not. The main way to score points will be to build your own buildings onto the track, building luxury buildings or building parts of the castle.
Resources available to you during the game are food (pink cubes), wood (brown cubes), stone (grey cubes), gold (yellow cubes) and money. The resources are used to build buildings which you can do, during your turn and you place your building at the end of the track (as you can see from the image above). Money is used to pay when you are placing your pawn onto a building in the track, in hopes of it being activated so that you can get the rewards given by the building. Players take turns performing 1 action and when you pass, then you are out for that round.
After the actions phase, the marker on the track (or Provost) will now move. Players in passing turn order can decide to move the Provost left OR right for 1-3 spaces by paying 1-3 francs. You can also pass. Once all players have had their turn, the next phase begins and ALL buildings behind the Provost all the way to the beginning will be activated. This is where sabotaging can happen and if you planned wrongly, then you could have wasted $ placing your workers there and your round as well.
Once every building has activated, then players have a chance to build parts of the castle which will give you points. The one who has built the most parts will get a favor. This is where I think the card game version which I played differs from the boardgame version. I must check it though but I think the favors are quite different.
That signals the end of a round and the start player card passes to the left and a new round begins. If no one built any pieces of the castle, 2 pieces are automatically discarded. The game ends when there are no more pieces of the castle left to build and the player with the most points will win the game.
Its a medium weight euro game but kinda feels a whee bit too long. The sabotaging part is subtle but manageable. The turn order is quite important in this game because you have to decide when to build and when to place your worker because those slots which you may have wanted to place your workers maybe taken up by other players. It probably is better with more players because the tension will be heightened. All in all, I had fun and I don't have many complaints. But I do recognize that this is probably not a game for everyone. Try before you buy.

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