Castellan Board Game
I found the Castellan Board Game, while lurking in the Game Store this weekend. Castellan is a (primarily) two-player game, designed by Steve Jackson, where you are in charge of building and securing a castle. It reminds me A LOT of that game we used to play with dots and lines on a grid…. But it’s way more fun, and you get to build a Castle!
Be warned… Castellan comes in a strange haped box. Not sure why. The actual GAME is in a smaller box within the funky box. The bigger part holds an external display of a few pieces. Maybe they wanted to let people know that it was a building thing? Who knows… just toss the big box (after liberating the pieces from under plastic.
How to Play the Castellan Board Game
I think what I loved the most about this game is that the basic rules are so darn easy. This is not a complicated game to learn… HOWEVER… don’t go thinking that it’s boring to play. On the contrary; there is some serious strategy to be used.
To begin, choose which color Keep (box shaped thingie) you want to have. Then each player is allotted a set of cards. Castle building pieces are set in a central space for both to use. Castle pieces consist of: short wall pieces, long wall pieces, tower pieces that connect the walls.
You start with 4 cards in your hand. Each card has symbols of construction materials. You must play at least one card, you may play all of the cards in your hand. When you play a card, you pick out the construction pieces shown on the card, and build with them. If you manage to enclose a space, you fill it with your Keep.
Then the next person takes their turn.
When it’s your turn again, you take one card. Again, you can play as many as you want, but you must play one. Continue building until all the cards are gone. The number of pieces with the set matches the number of pieces depicted on all the cards.
When the game is done, count to find out which player has the most towers surrounding their keep.
Straightforward? Yes…. Easy? Not always….
What is counted is the towers… not the walls or the size of the keep, so if you build a square linking multiple small pieces rather than one big piece, it’s worth more.
Sometimes you set yourself up for a great creation… and the other guy swoops in.
One time during the game, you may place two keeps into one completed enclosure. It has to be done right when it’s built… and it doubles the point value of that space.
Who can Play Castellan?
Anyone can play. This game is a wonderful starter game into the world of building games… and it’s a great game for people who just love playing games. The box says 12 and up, but I think a child as young as 8 should be able to grasp it. It’s short-ish (play takes about 20 minutes), so it’s a good warm up for something else.
NOTE– There are two different sets available… one with red and blue, the other with yellow and green. Both are identical, except for the color. You can opt to play this as a four person game by combining both sets! (Haven’t tried it myself yet)