Citadels – a blast from the….. before now


Citadels is as old as Adams first game of apples to apples. It’s still a cracker of a game and packs a lot of longevity and replay into a small box (oh err missus)

It was my pleasure to teach someone how to play it last Thur (the fact that I WON is neither here nor there let’s move on, I don’t like to talk about it to be honest) having played this game a lot I know the rules intimately. That said veteran drivers pick up bad habits so I had a quick reread and all was fine. For once I had been playing it right. Also I knew the rules. The world didn’t end.

Citadels is a fairly simple game. It’s pretty quick and can accommodate up to eight. Unlike a lot of 8 player games it’s not that light or luck based. Players are endeavoring to build eight buildings (districts) before anyone else (of a higher value than anyone else). Buildings come in one of five colours (yes colours autocorrect not colors) and each colour is associated with a particular character that you pick at the start of your turn.

Players need to acquire building cards and the gold to build each property. To facilitate this they in turn (starting with the king)(player one) secretly choose a role from those remaining and take the roles action in numeric order.


The basic roles are assassin (kill someone), thief (rob someone), merchant (more income), magician (swap hands), architect (draw more, build more), king (take first player marker), bishop (immune to warlord), warlord (destroy opponent buildings).

When you assassinate or steal you pick a role to do it to. Not a person. This is key. So it’s a bit of a guessing game whom took which role.  Depending on where you are in the queue to pick a character and the ones available you can get a reasonable idea as to whom everyone is.

There’s a lot of naval gazing where you need to keep an eye on everyone’s building and try to hold them back while you move ahead.


The game lasts, depending on the number of players (up to eight) around an hour or so. It whips around pretty quickly and your have to keep your beady eye of Sauron on everyone so there’s no down time. The game usually ends with groans of “oh dear me* I would have won next round” one of the best ways to end a game.

Just like a tuxedo or a black dress (or both)(I don’t judge) this is something you should have in your wardrobe. It’s a classic game. It comes with an expansion in the box and after dozens plays I still haven’t exhausted its play ability. A modern classic. Get a copy.  It’s cheap.




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