Once upon a time ... 1289. To strengthen the borders of the Kingdom of France, King Philip the Fair decided to have a new castle built. For the time being, Caylus is but a humble village, but soon, workers and craftsmen will be flocking by the cartload, attracted by the great prospects. Around the building site, a city is slowly rising up. The players embody master builders. By building the King's castle and developing the city around it, they earn prestige points and gain the King's favor. When the castle is finished, the player who has earned the most prestige wins the game.
Rio Grande Games
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This heavy eurogame game was the huge hit of 2006, winning multiple awards and shooting up to top ratings on boardgamegeek.com. It richly deserves all the praise it has been given. It is also one of the most complex designer games, with a long and seemingly impenetrable rule book. Think of it as about 3 times as complex as Settlers of Catan. On the other hand, it is no more complex than the typical historical wargame or 18xx railroad game. And it is much quicker to play than a wargame or rail game.
Caylus is worth the trouble to learn. Once the rules are understood the play has a very smooth and natural flow to it. There are no dice, or any random factor to gameplay whatsover. If you win or lose it is due to the choices you have made, an the choices of other players. All the interlocking elements of gameplay connect beautifully. The players are competing to build the King's castle and win royal favors. Each turn brings interesting developments, which affect all players...
As my family will attest, I really like strategy games. I also abhor most games of chance. If a game comes with dice, I'm immediately leery.
Caylus does not have dice, which made a good first impression for me. It did, however, take us about 2 hours to learn. After the first game, I was skeptical about how strategic it was, but I played it a couple of more times against experienced players--and I got clobbered! While this appears to be an ironic endorsement of the game, it revealed to me that there was much more strategy involved than I initially thought.
Based upon how many players and how the initial pieces are played, there are many different strategies available. Additionally, the game offers you the ability to try and determine your opponents strategy and either overcome it or thwart it.
Caylus is now one of my favorite games because it offers many options, stimulates the brain, and is rarely the same game twice.
This is a board game. It is, as I am writing this, amongst the top 10 board games on boardgamegeek.com, the most popular board game site on the planet. This isn't idle opinion either, as Caylus has nearly 12,000 user reviews. That's 12,000 people who have, collectively, decided that it is one of the best board games of all time. Now I admit that some amongst those 12,000 obviously have dissenting opinions. But, nonetheless, the majority really, REALLY like it.
This would appear, at first glance, to potentially conflict with other reviews here on Amazon that state that the game is "ridiculously complex." After all, if an individual with a PhD in bioengineering, and several other "highly educated" people were unable to figure it out, then it would seem that the game is obviously too complex for pretty much anyone on the planet.
That leaves two possible explanations:
1. The thousands upon thousands of individuals on BGG who positively reviewed the...
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