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Subject: A brief review of a great game rss

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Kristof Tersago
Belgium
Sint Truiden
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What’s it about?
'Caylus' is a round-based 2 to 5 player game where all players build on a city and a castle to obtain the most victory points.

How does it work?
'Caylus' is played in several rounds. Each rounds basically consists of two phases.

Phase 1

During the first phase, workers are put on the different locations on the board. This can be in the castle, on the road (i.e. the city) or the bridge. More on those locations later. For each worker placed, a player has to pay money. The amount of money you pay, increases when more players have passed.

Phase 2

Once all players have passed, the second phase starts. In this phase, all buildings on the road starting from the castle are activated. The first buildings you will see are printed on the board and don't belong to anybody. They give you the possibility to alter the player order, decrease the cost of placing workers, earn extra money and so on.
Next you'll go over the bridge. The players have put a disc here in the order they have passed in the first phase. The first player that has passed will now be the first to change the location of the provost with up to three spaces. This provost, represented by a white disc, indicates which buildings will be activated during this round. After the first player, the next player that has passed can do the same and this goes on until all players had their chance (and the bridge is crossed).
Now we enter the city where at first only some neutral buildings are placed. These buildings give you the possibility to build new buildings, earn money and earn resources.


These new buildings, always build on the next free spot down the road, can be selected from several piles, each with their own possibilities. Some buildings give more resources, some give money and some give you points.
Players continue to activate buildings until the location is reached where the provost is placed. This will be the last building to be activated.

Now the castle will be build. Players who have placed workers at the castle, can now, at the cost of three resources, build parts of the castle. This will give you immediate victory points and some nice extras if you have a majority after each of the three parts is completed.
To end the round, the city counselor is moved forward down the road.

At the start of the next rounds, players will get all their workers back, get some starting money, depending on which building they own and the next rounds starts.

It is not the goal of this review to indicate all minor rules and tweaks but I will indicate a few that make this game very interesting:
-) If you build a building, everybody can use/ activate this building. But if other players place a worker on your building, you'll gain a victory point.
-) Although building parts of the castle is quite expensive, it gives you a lot of victory points and if you haven't build in a part of the castle, you'll even lose points.
-) There is a rewards table, which can give you extra money, VPs or free buildings. Although these rewards come at a price, they can be very powerful


-) Changing the location of the provost can not only speed up or slow down the game, it can also seriously hamper your opponent if you change its location so buildings with their workers are not activated.

Where is the fun?
'Caylus' is played on many levels and allows for many strategies and paths to victory. The different kinds of buildings allow for a wide variety in game play and some difficult choices. There is also a lot of player interaction but still it is possible to play your own game.
When placing the workers, you should keep an eye on which building's effect you want to have but also if you want to give the owner of the building an extra VP and if the building will be activated this round (Provost location). When the activation of the buildings start, you need to keep a close eye on the order in which all buildings are activated. You might want to get some resources in one building to be able to use them later on in another building.
Do not expect any 'genie from the bottle' techniques with effect cards or hidden possibilities. You can see all there is on the board and there are no hidden effects.
'Caylus' can be considered both tactical (placing of the workers) as strategical (which building to build, selection of rewards, ...). A feeling similar to e.g. La Citta and Puerto Rico.

Why should I like this?
- Heavy euro-game
- Lots of player interaction
- Both strategic and tactical game play
- Little or no luck involved

Why shouldn’t I like this?
- This game can be a brain-burner
- Feels a bit dry sometimes

Final verdict
'Caylus' has been seriously hyped, even before its release. Therefore it has some high expectations to fullfill. But if you look at this game from a neutral point of view, you'll discover a gem in euro-gaming that, with a fairly simple concept, has tons of depth and lots of interesting choices. If you are a euro-gamer, I would suggest a buy without play.
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Thomas Cauet
France
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I really like the review with pictures. Very nice idea. Thanks!
 
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Kristof Tersago
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Thanks for the remark. I'm planning on updating my other reviews in the same manner. A picture sometimes says more than a thousand words.
 
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Steve Wessels
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I've been doing the same thing in my reviews. My preference is to make it read more like something you would find a gaming magazine - complete with pictures. Often the pictures I've taken myself. Sometimes they are other pics here on the Geek. One of the challenges with including new pictures in a review is that you need the pictures to be approved before you can reference them by ID in your review.
 
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Kristof Tersago
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There seems to be a way around this. But I haven't figured it out yet.
 
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Ben Sones
United States
Rochester
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I agree with the above remarks; good, focused review, and including pictures is definitely a great idea. I hope that trend catches on here at the 'Geek.
 
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Kent Reuber
United States
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I especially like your "why you would/wouldn't like the game". I'm not a fan of games with absolutely no luck element, so perhaps this game isn't for me.
 
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David Pugh
Japan
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I liked the game overall; what I didn't like was the length of time it took. It was the only game that I played on that day at the boardgame meeting, where I usually like to play 3 or 4 different games. Okay, it was a learning game, but there always seems to be some new player learning the games we play

Nice review, by the way.
 
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Erik Grey
United States
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Exelent review, well done. The pictures are a huge help, great idea.
 
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John Heder
United States
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Good review. I've allready played several times, but can see how this would have been a help before playing or purchasing the game.
 
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