Another good city-building game is Citadels. While the basic play is just purchasing buildings, there is also a draft each round in which you select a role. This role­—hidden from other players until it is your turn that round—affects both the order of play and the special ability you have. Some roles increase your income based on the type of buildings you have; other roles attack other players or allow you to draw extra cards.

Not every role is in use each turn, which also affects the abilities of some of the cards. For instance, if you’ve chosen the Assassin, you can’t be sure that anyone has chosen the role you’re targeting. A lot of the strategy in this game requires figuring out your opponents’ likely strategy each turn—which role did they choose? Who are they going to target? Will they have enough money to place a final building and trigger the end game this turn?

I enjoy having to account for my opponents’ strategies as part of my own. If I want to choose the architect this turn, is it too obvious? Should I choose something else so that I don’t get assassinated? What helps me without being too obvious?

You have to build a flexible, wide-ranging plan. The player in the lead fluctuates regularly as buildings get destroyed or a role gets assassinated. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

An updated edition was released last year, which includes an expansion and several new roles.


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