Guildhall - a Hidden Gem review

Written by Colin Y / Published April 25th, 2013 / 0 Comments

There is a glut of games available to transport you back in time to the Dark Ages, those centuries after the fall of Rome where everything in Europe went down the toilet. Including toilets.

Many are the times that I have sat down with friends in order to farm land, collect rocks, and build castles, but one night, in a passion, I swore never to play another game where I would have to deal with workers, craftsmen, traders and builders. (Except for Carcassonne. No one hates Carcassonne.) I am here today to say that I have rescinded my pretentious proclamation, because a new game – which includes farmers, weavers and traders, set in the Dark Ages – is too fantastic to ignore.

I was taught Guildhall, the new card game from AEG, the other week, and I cannot get enough of it. It has simple mechanics, but its simplicity facilitates teaching rather than stifling playability. You have a hand of cards, all of which belong to one of the six professions in the game. Each profession, when played, gives you a particular action and goes into your guildhall, a personal tableau, at the end of your turn. The more cards of a particular profession you have, the stronger the effect is when another is played on subsequent turns. The professions are collected into sets (five different colours), which give the player the opportunity to buy point cards – first to twenty points wins.

It is a remarkably fun game. Frankly, I wish I were playing it right now, rather than working on this article. So long as you heed my words and give it a try next time you’re in the café, my painful sacrifice will not have been in vain. So play Guildhall right now. If it can make me excited to play another game set in the Dark Ages, it can win over anyone.

- Colin Young

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