Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Guildhall  

Game-Guildhall
Producer-AEG
Price– $50 here http://www.amazon.com/Alderac-Entertainment-Group-AEG5601-Guildhall/dp/B00AQJ5Y92/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410285314&sr=8-2&keywords=guildhall
Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 40 minutes
TL; DR-An awesome, quick card game. 88%

Basics– Rise up through commerce!  In Guildhall, you play someone who starts a guildhall in the middle ages vying for power through the economy.  You do this by creating the most powerful guild in town.  You start with a hand of six cards.  These cards each show a profession and a color.  Each turn you choose two actions: play a card, discard and draw up to six, or buy victory points.  When you play a card, you place it directly in front of you and get a benefit based on the number of other cards of that profession you already have in your guildhall.  The current card does not count for this. That is really important! As an example let’s look at the weaver.  If you have no weavers in your guild hall, when you play a weaver from your hand, you get to place one card in your guild hall.  If you have two weavers in your guildhall already, you get to place two cards directly in your guildhall, but you have to take one card back to hand.  If you have four weavers in your guildhall, you can place as many cards as you want from hand into your guildhall, but you must pick up two cards from your guildhall.  There are five colors to each profession.  You can only play cards that you do not all ready have.  As an example, you can’t play a red farmer if you have a red farmer, but playing a blue farmer is ok with a red farmer in your guildhall.  When you have five different color cards of one profession in your guildhall, that stack is turned over and can be used with the second action to buy points.  As another action, you can spend one or two stacks of cards by placing those cards in the discard area to buy a victory card.  Some of these cards are just a ton of points while other cards give some points and extra actions or free cards.  The last action that you can take is to discard as many cards as you want and draw up to six cards.  After your two actions, you move all your played cards into your guild hall, and the next player goes.  The game continues until someone scores 20 points and is the winner.

Mechanics-I love this game. The mechanics are tight and card combos come out really quickly.  Nothing is too broken since any card you have a chance to get could always show up in your opponents hand too.  It moves quickly, teaches easily, and is a great game even in a short timeframe. 5/5

Theme-This is not a theme heavy game.  The art is all nice and the characters look like their concepts, but beyond that it’s just playing cards.  Some of the actions the cards do is related to the role on the card, but it’s not as strong as I would hope for some cards.  The game is really fun, but the mechanics and theme are just too separated. 2.5/5

Instructions-AEG does an excellent job on these rules.  It’s even written in two languages-English and German.  The rules have text, but columns and boxes to break up the text making this a quick easy read.  It’s read quickly and teaches the rules really well. 5/5

Execution-This game is executed really well.  The box is way too big for the cards in it, but the box also comes with some really cool plastic dividers to help make the size less of a problem.  The cards are nice quality and don’t tear easily.  The coins are nice and chunky.  And the iconography teaches the rules in a way that requires no language, just concept pictures.  Well done! 5/5

Summary-I love this game.  It’s a quick game to get out either between longer games as a filler or as a few games over a night.  It’s less than an hour even for four players.  I wish the theme was a bit stronger, but that’s my only problem.  This is a game I keep in my car when I’m out and about.  You never know when you might want or have the opportunity to get a good game in, and this one is easy to teach, quick to master, and a blast to play. 88%

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