As usual, the cabin did not disappoint. There were guests in and out, and I sadly missed the guitar concert that started the morning. Listening to my brother play guitar is one of life’s great times for me. I felt especially excited to be there because I’d thought there was no way I could do it because I had a kid. Yet again, Carlton proves he’s dad of the year!
We ate delicious food and treats, many prepared by the host’s mom (my cooking inspiration since high school). There were also decadent fried biscuits and apple butter. These are Nashville mainstays that are required for the cabin-ness to be complete. We watched a bit of the Colts game and talked while the adults were there (I call them the adults but realize that I am technically an adult- but I cannot call them by their first names, so you know what I mean, right). After the adults left, we exchanged some gifts and got down to the business of gaming. Our host had, of course, a new game for all to try. I’m in!
Citadels was an absorbing, fun game. It was very easy to learn the mechanics and we started playing quickly. The only hitch was that the host had to write the character classes on a napkin so we could remember order of play; the game, being card-based, could have had this printed on a master card. It did contain some game mechanics on cards for each player.
With each round, the play changed. First people vied for their favorite characters (not shockingly, there was a spat between LBFH and Ken over who would be King each round. Ah, the Alpha male!). I stupidly played obvious characters, making it easy for other characters to guess who I was and assassinate/rob me. At one point, maybe feeling sorry for me because I kept losing, Thurbrand passed me the card of the character I wanted to play that round. It was very nice, but I definitely realized my game style was obviioouuuus! It became a very good intellectual game, with some things left to chance but others required strategy, bluffing, and knowing your fellow players’ styles.
I noticed with amusement that I, and some of the others, were resisting using Magic-style moves with our cards, such as tapping, even though no such mechanic was needed. It must be in our blood…
It took about 1-2 hours for play, and was taking longer and longer as each round, the players were more savvy and were going through more permutations of next moves and other meta plays. It can be a quick parlor game or a serious battle to the death, depending on the players’ skill, experience, and BAC.
I loved the game so much that I’m buying it. I want to have a little gaming session at my house, just to see old friends and also to play games again. I do miss gaming. The nice thing for me about games like Citadels is the defined end, as opposed to role playing. For me, I tend to fade quickly due to my demanding parenting schedule (Five AM is ugly early). I can play middle-earth-type games, visit with friends, and opt out for an early bedtime without risking my character’s life (I’m looking at you, Athran the Button Pusher).
We had a between-games break before starting a round of Carcasonne, during which LBFH pulled out the guitar and several of us sang along. We caught sight of a gorgeous moonbow that Ken noticed while out on the deck. Sadly, though I was supposed to have one of my brother’s deliciously prepared cabin breakfasts, I had to depart early. Ah, parenthood!