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Subject: this is not a review... just a strategy discussion rss

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jose silva
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citadels is by far my favorite game
In terms of card strategy, my favorite one would be to pick the school of magic early - which actually happened once playing in BSW, and as I took the thief on round 1, was able to build it on round 2. It is hard to loose a game if you are lucky enough to do that

But my favorite strategy in this game is definitely to play low profile. Dont lead early - even if you can, avoid it, as you will catch attention of the others. In fact, you should be behind and allow someone else to get early attention, and bring the attention of the others to him. Dont have all 5 colors early either, as someone will go after it to destroy.

In my favorite performance in citadels, I was dead last for the majority of the game and started the last round with 23 points, while the leaders had 25 and 26. There was a 4th player with 21, but he already had 5 colors (so technically, he had 24 pts if the game ended there). They did not have 7 building, which I had... but only had 1 gold, 1 card and not all building colors, so they probably figured I wouldnt be able to upset them.. I had 2 yellow, 1 red, 2 green and 2 purple and missed the blue. I picked the king(a very targeted character throughout the game, but not so on the last round, as there wont be a tomorrow), got 2 gold from it + 2 gold as action. suddenly I was able to build the cathedral and got +4 and +3.
Ended the game with 35 pts, despite only 23 in the beginning of last round... 12 points in the last round alone!!! an amazing come from behind win
ninja

Another thing I like to point out is the strength of the magician... unlike the assassin and the thief, who target characters, the magician target players. Having someone stealing your hand and staying with his zero cards can be deadly, especially in the end. Therefore, I always avoid to be the players with most cards at any given time of the game
 
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Boris Dvorkin
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Wow, strategy in Citadels! Who'd have thought.

My favorite move, which new players tend not to know about, is this:

Say that you're the second to last player to pick a character. You're given:

- the thief
- the assassin
- the merchant (or somebody else)

Whom do you pick?

If the person to your left has a decent chunk of gold, it's usually good to pick the thief. Then the last player will see the assassin and (for example) the merchant. He knows that he can pick the useful character and not get killed (because he's turning down the assassin himself), so unless he's really bloodthirsty or has a pressing need to go first that round, he'll pick the character that helps him (rather than the one that indiscriminantly screws someone else, or nobody at all).

But then when the assassin's turn comes up, and it's revealed that nobody picked him, you know exactly which character is held by the player to your left, and you're guaranteed to get his gold. This is the only scenario I can think of in which you are 100% certain that a given character is in the round (and who has him, to boot).

This can also work if you're earlier in the character-picking line-up and EVERYBODY to your left has a bunch of gold, but then the odds are greater that somebody will crack and take the assassin (or that you'll misguess and steal from somebody with less/no gold).

As a result, if you're playing with a lot of "expert" players, letting the assassin/thief combo pass too far to the left, particularly if the last player to pick has a bunch of money, is likely to give one of your opponents a boon; so if all else is equal, you should take the assassin or thief yourself.
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jose silva
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Boarass wrote:


If the person to your left has a decent chunk of gold, it's usually good to pick the thief.


When playing citadels, I am a person who usually push people around by intimidating with the assassin... to keep the game fair (when I say fair, I mean them to think twice when trying to get my gold... and not take the thief in a next equal scenario)

So, If I have a lot of money, I am the last to play and the assassin and the merchant are the options left, I take the assassin and kill the thief. I know I dont gain anything by doing this because I play earlier and not only cannot be robbed but could also spend the money, but I do that to intimidate, really. Next time I have lots of money, people will think twice on picking the thief and allowing the assassin to pass to me
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Miguel de la Casa
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I'd say MOST people would take the Assassin in said situation. You have to be very brave to take the Merchant when you have a lot of gold and you know the thief is taken (or very unlikely, it was the first discard).

But if you think it twice, it could work. If everybody think you'd have to be nuts to take the Merchant, then they could target someone else... ninja

This is what I love about Citadels!
 
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Miguel de la Casa
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Regarding the low profile, I go the opposite way. Just as in any other game, I try to do the best for me. Of course, in Citadels what is best for you is not always the obvious choice. And I win far more than my fair share of F2F games (never tried in BSW).
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jose silva
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very rarely, in the games I played, the leader midway in the game eventually wins. You become such a target that is impossible to defend. I tried to lead early and open a wide lead ASAP, but the majority of those games I was eventually defeated by a coup of everybody against me

I got much better results by playing low profile. and I am able to win quite a bit doing that
 
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Matt Vollick
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I have found with citadels that having too much of anything makes you a target. If you have too much gold you're a target for the thief, if you have too many points and buildings you're a target of the warlord and the assassin. If you have too many cards you're a target of the magician.

In fact in almost every 4+ player game of citadels I have played the person who gets "victimized" the least wins the game. If you never get assassinated, have your gold stolen from you, or cards forcibly exchanged, you will win the game 99% of the time.

In regards to the Thief character, if you manage to steal a whopping pile of gold, you can't use it till the next round, in which case everyone is eyeing up your newly "found" treasure. What defense do you have to protect your stack?

1. If you pick first you could take the assassin (unlikely since last turn you took the thief and almost always takes the king).
2. Take the thief and you're probably safe, true the assassin can target the thief but over all it's pretty rare.
3. If 1 and 2 are gone then make sure everyone sees you draw your character randomly. People who like citadels like to outsmart other players, the whole I know you know that I know.... schtick, but when it forces them to make a guess as what card you might have it completely removes the "I outsmarted you" so they might try to outsmart someone else.
 
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zezzo wrote:
In my favorite performance in citadels, I was dead last for the majority of the game and started the last round with 23 points, while the leaders had 25 and 26. There was a 4th player with 21, but he already had 5 colors (so technically, he had 24 pts if the game ended there). They did not have 7 building, which I had... but only had 1 gold, 1 card and not all building colors, so they probably figured I wouldnt be able to upset them.. I had 2 yellow, 1 red, 2 green and 2 purple and missed the blue. I picked the king(a very targeted character throughout the game, but not so on the last round, as there wont be a tomorrow), got 2 gold from it + 2 gold as action. suddenly I was able to build the cathedral and got +4 and +3.
Ended the game with 35 pts, despite only 23 in the beginning of last round... 12 points in the last round alone!!! an amazing come from behind win
you having 7 buildings and everyone else having only 6 would've set off alarms right off the bat. Being 3 points behind means nothing given how +7 potential points and a final card can play out.

That is a reason I love eurogames. People who are trailing the most can comearound and win (Settlers, Samurai, TtR, this, etc.)
 
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Boarass wrote:
Say that you're the second to last player to pick a character. You're given:

- the thief
- the assassin
- the merchant (or somebody else)

Whom do you pick?

The merchant. As said above, picking thief doesn't work because the player with the big pile of gold on your left takes assassin, and becomes immune to thief. He doesn't even have to kill the thief, but he can if he still doesn't want to spend.

So it's between assassin and merchant. Since this is a six-player game, plenty of players will be targetting one another, why shouldn't I pick a role which helps me and doesn't antagonize anyone (lay-low strategy)? Merchant it is!
 
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ronaldinho @boardspace.net
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How exactly do they target you? The only way to target a specific player is with magician and warlord. There are ways around the magician, and if anyone's destroying 3 or 4 cost buildings repeatedly he is playing an irrational losing strategy. The other players aren't discussing which roles they picked are they?

Frankly, I cannot agree with the lay low strategy. And really, if a game actually rewarded that type of strategy, it'd be a shit game. I don't think Citadels is a shit game.
 
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ronaldinho @boardspace.net
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NtNScissors wrote:
Boarass wrote:
Say that you're the second to last player to pick a character. You're given:

- the thief
- the assassin
- the merchant (or somebody else)

Whom do you pick?

The merchant. As said above, picking thief doesn't work because the player with the big pile of gold on your left takes assassin, and becomes immune to thief. He doesn't even have to kill the thief, but he can if he still doesn't want to spend.

So it's between assassin and merchant. Since this is a six-player game, plenty of players will be targetting one another, why shouldn't I pick a role which helps me and doesn't antagonize anyone (lay-low strategy)? Merchant it is!

If I am getting the thief and the assasin, I am picking the assasin and killing the merchant.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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ronaldinho wrote:
If I am getting the thief and the assasin, I am picking the assasin and killing the merchant.


Really?? If I'm picking last and given the Assassin and Thief, I see little benefit to myself for murdering anyone. Either way, I know I'm first and safe from both these evil roles.

I'd prefer to be the Thief and steal from the Architect. Rookie mistake is to steal from the Merchant, but the Merchant is the character you usually choose when you need gold, not when you have it. The Architect, however, gives you plenty of chance to build and enough cards to do it. The only thing you need to have is gold, so the Architect is a veritable Thief-magnet.

The only other role to choose when you have a stash of gold is the Warlord, since you can build and destroy something, but stealing from the Warlord is a great way to have your 3-point building razed as punishment. You want to use that ill-gotten gold? Good, use it on repairs!

Still, while the strategy of taking the Thief and passing the Assassin and Merchant might work, it also might not. The player has gold, so shouldn't need more. Why risk losing it?

If the game were too formulaic or everyone played it the same way, it would suck. That there are so many potential, viable outcomes in the case of those three roles being handed to the second-to-last player in a six-player game where the last player has a lot of gold, the game remains exciting.
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David J
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Quote:
But then when the assassin's turn comes up, and it's revealed that nobody picked him, you know exactly which character is held by the player to your left, and you're guaranteed to get his gold. This is the only scenario I can think of in which [you are the thief and] you are 100% certain that a given character is in the round (and who has him, to boot).


Another scenario is when you are seated to left of dealer, and the dealer turns the king face up; it is then replaced by another card and goes back into the pack; but when dealer passes you the pack, the king is missing, meaning s/he chose it. Actually no matter where you are seated after that, when you get the pack without the king you will know it's in the game, just not who has it, so the king becomes a valid assassination target, although not necessarily a valid thief target unless you know who has it.
 
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Jorge
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Trinket Magpie wrote:
Another scenario is when you are seated to left of dealer, and the dealer turns the king face up; it is then replaced by another card and goes back into the pack; but when dealer passes you the pack, the king is missing, meaning s/he chose it. Actually no matter where you are seated after that, when you get the pack without the king you will know it's in the game, just not who has it, so the king becomes a valid assassination target, although not necessarily a valid thief target unless you know who has it.


That's not quite right. I also used to get this wrong at a point, but you're doing wrong the order of setting aside the unused characters. In particular, in 4er and 5er games:

1) FIRST you set aside 1/2 characters, face up. If the King shows up, replace him with another character.
2) THEN you set aside a face down character. Thus, you also may set aside the King like that, face down.

It's very important to do (1) -> (2) and not vice-versa.
 
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David J
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Picon wrote:
Trinket Magpie wrote:
Another scenario is when you are seated to left of dealer, and the dealer turns the king face up; it is then replaced by another card and goes back into the pack; but when dealer passes you the pack, the king is missing, meaning s/he chose it. Actually no matter where you are seated after that, when you get the pack without the king you will know it's in the game, just not who has it, so the king becomes a valid assassination target, although not necessarily a valid thief target unless you know who has it.


That's not quite right. I also used to get this wrong at a point, but you're doing wrong the order of setting aside the unused characters. In particular, in 4er and 5er games:

1) FIRST you set aside 1/2 characters, face up. If the King shows up, replace him with another character.
2) THEN you set aside a face down character. Thus, you also may set aside the King like that, face down.

It's very important to do (1) -> (2) and not vice-versa.


That would potentially be a better way to play it, but my rulebook is quite explicit that the order is the other way around.
 
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James Newton
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Trinket Magpie wrote:
Picon wrote:
Trinket Magpie wrote:
Another scenario is when you are seated to left of dealer, and the dealer turns the king face up; it is then replaced by another card and goes back into the pack; but when dealer passes you the pack, the king is missing, meaning s/he chose it. Actually no matter where you are seated after that, when you get the pack without the king you will know it's in the game, just not who has it, so the king becomes a valid assassination target, although not necessarily a valid thief target unless you know who has it.


That's not quite right. I also used to get this wrong at a point, but you're doing wrong the order of setting aside the unused characters. In particular, in 4er and 5er games:

1) FIRST you set aside 1/2 characters, face up. If the King shows up, replace him with another character.
2) THEN you set aside a face down character. Thus, you also may set aside the King like that, face down.

It's very important to do (1) -> (2) and not vice-versa.


That would potentially be a better way to play it, but my rulebook is quite explicit that the order is the other way around.

You are correct that the Citadels rule book has it in the less ideal way round, but you could do it the other way - that is one of the extremely few things in any game that I house rule.

Interestingly, Lost Temple which is by the same game designer and uses exactly the same role selection system, specifies face up cards and then face down - even though it doesn't have the rule to reshuffle in any of the role cards if face up. I take this to mean that the game designer now thinks that placing cards face up then the face down card would be the better way to do it, which is why I don't have a problem with house-ruling it for Citadels.
 
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Jorge
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Trinket Magpie wrote:
That would potentially be a better way to play it, but my rulebook is quite explicit that the order is the other way around.

It's true that the English Rulebook has it this way. However, the French Rulebook has it the other way; you first set aside the face-up characters and then the face-down.

Considering that Bruno Faidutti is French, these should be the original game rules. I guess FFG has been lost in translation...

Check them here #1 and here #2. They have the exact same format as the French Rulebook from Millenium.

There's a table listing:
a) "Cartes écartées face visible" or "face up discarded cards".
b) "Carte écartée face cachée avant le choix des personnages" or "face down discarded card before choosing the characters".
c) "Carte écartée face cachée après le choix des personnages" or "face down discarded card after choosing the characters".

It pretty much shows the order that this has to be done. It also states:
Quote:
Le Roi ne doit pas être parmi les cartes écartées faces visibles. Si le Roi est tiré, il est immédiatement remplacé par une autre carte. Enrevanche, rien n'empêche que le Roi ne soit la carteé cartée face cachée.


Meaning: "The King cannot be among the face up discarded cards. If the King is drawn, he is immediately replaced by another card. However, nothing stops the King from being the face down discarded card."

This is not written in the English rules.
 
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Trinket Magpie wrote:
Picon wrote:
Trinket Magpie wrote:
Another scenario is when you are seated to left of dealer, and the dealer turns the king face up; it is then replaced by another card and goes back into the pack; but when dealer passes you the pack, the king is missing, meaning s/he chose it. Actually no matter where you are seated after that, when you get the pack without the king you will know it's in the game, just not who has it, so the king becomes a valid assassination target, although not necessarily a valid thief target unless you know who has it.


That's not quite right. I also used to get this wrong at a point, but you're doing wrong the order of setting aside the unused characters. In particular, in 4er and 5er games:

1) FIRST you set aside 1/2 characters, face up. If the King shows up, replace him with another character.
2) THEN you set aside a face down character. Thus, you also may set aside the King like that, face down.

It's very important to do (1) -> (2) and not vice-versa.


That would potentially be a better way to play it, but my rulebook is quite explicit that the order is the other way around.


This game is already house-ruled a fair bit that I'd be happy to follow it this way instead.
 
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David J
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churchmouse wrote:

Interestingly, Lost Temple which is by the same game designer and uses exactly the same role selection system, specifies face up cards and then face down - even though it doesn't have the rule to reshuffle in any of the role cards if face up. I take this to mean that the game designer now thinks that placing cards face up then the face down card would be the better way to do it, which is why I don't have a problem with house-ruling it for Citadels.


Picon wrote:

It's true that the English Rulebook has it this way. However, the French Rulebook has it the other way; you first set aside the face-up characters and then the face-down.

Considering that Bruno Faidutti is French, these should be the original game rules. I guess FFG has been lost in translation...

...


This is what is known as a one-two punch. surprise I'm convinced!! I wonder if this will be corrected in a future English edition?
 
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