The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Posts Tagged ‘Castle

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I got to try Zooloretto. Not bad. Good. I could play it again. I wouldn’t fret unduly if I didn’t.

I finally got in another game of Struggle of Empires … unlike my NC group here people drive their peasants hard; two nations hit 19 unrest (and I, sadly, came in second worst at 14, losing by 4).

We also played Castle. Castle is one of those games that I rarely think of, but enjoy when we play. Like earlier sessions, we played twice. Apart from the usual variant (“You may not draw a card if you have as many cards as you started with in hand”) I think I should errata the Merchant so that you can’t play him the turn you go out. (I now see this is an official variant).


Written by taogaming

September 1, 2007 at 10:48 pm


I posted my quick thoughts on Castle a few years ago. I wrote:

Basically, each player has a hand (and deck) of people that you’d find around a mythic castle. The king, his mistress, the queen, witches, soldiers, siege engines, and the like. A player gets two actions, which can be drawing a card from the deck, exchanging cards from the hand and an open pool of players, and playing a character. Characters can only be played in certain areas (inside the courtyard, on the ramparts, outside the castle) and certain characters have other restrictions. For example, the mistress can’t be played if the queen is around. The object is to empty your hand. The catch is that once you play a character, it is marked as yours. And it is very possible (easy, even) for characters to be sent back to their owners hand. For example, whenever the king (or queen) is played, the player can send back a character of their choice. Soldiers and Siege engines wage a war for dominance. Castle is a fairly simple and chaotic game.

I never expanded the review, Castle is such a simple game. You have a hand of cards. You have a deck of cards. There are a group of cards (face up) that you can exchange with. Take two actions: Draw a card, play a card, exchange a card are your choices. First player to empty their deck and hand wins.

Every card is unique, but each card is in every game; there is a fair amount of planning. Obviously, with less players you have more control. I’ve been told that Castle plays very well with two players. I normally play with four or five, which is chaotic, and often ends when multiple people are threatening to go out. Player A stops player B from winning, then B has to stop C, and C has to stop D. Often it’s just luck. Not much strategy, but this is a fast game.

When I first got Castle I played it a few times, and had some sessions with 5+ games in a row. Two years later, I’m still pulling it out. If that’s not the sign of a good game, what is?


I always play with the following rule: “A player cannot draw a card unless his hand is smaller than his starting hand.” That forces players to make plays early (instead of the first few turns just being everyone drawing their hand) and adds uncertainty to the game.

Hey, it’s a re-re-review. I haven’t actually played Castle in a few years, but I suggest it every now and then. With the variant and a few players, it’s not a bad game. I defended it as one of my first blog posts … (see link below) Don’t play with 6.

Author 	 Bruno Faidutti & Serge Lalet
Players  2-5
Company  Eurogames Descartes
Time 	 30 minutes
Cost 	 $13

Written by taogaming

April 2, 2005 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Reviews

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