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Store:  Strategy Games, Card Games
Edition:  Guillotine
Theme:  French Revolution
Genre:  Beer & Pretzels
Format:  Card Games


English language edition

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Ages Play Time Players
12+ 30 minutes 2-5

Designer(s): Paul Peterson

Publisher(s): Wizards of the Coast

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Product Description

The revolutionary card game where you win by getting a head.

This irreverent and humorous card game takes place during the French Revolution. Players represent rival guillotine operators ving for the best collection of noble heads over three rounds.

Each round, twelve nobles are lined up for the guillotine. The nobles are worth varying points, depending on their notoriety. During your turn, you play action cards to change the order of the line so you can collect the best nobles. The plater with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Will you be skillful enough to bribe the guards to collect Marie Antoinette? Or will you lose points for beheading the Hero of the People?

Heads are going to roll!

Product Information


  • 50 noble cards
  • 60 action cards
  • 1 guillotine
  • rules
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.5 in 13 reviews

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Simple and Quick Card game with a dark twist
October 02, 2015

In Guillotine at the end of each turn the "Noble" closest to the guillotine loses their head and the player collects it (each "Noble" is worth so many points). A turn consists of these phases:

1. Play 1 action card (this is optional but also allows you to adjust the line-up, giving you the chance to collect a Noble of more value... or play an action to prevent other players from getting what they would want. And possibly play a 2nd action card if the first one allows it)

2. Collect the Noble at the front of the line and add it to your score pile. Then you slide the line down and it's the next person's turn.

You line up 12 Noble's in front of the guillotine and play continues til all 12 heads are gone. That ends Day 1 (round 1) and you add 12 more heads and start Day 2. The game consists of 3 Days (3 rounds) and at the end of the 3rd, the player with the most points wins. Super simple to teach and play. Very quick and fun, and although the theme could be argued I would say that they did a great job at sticking to the theme and making a light game have a strong feel.

I highly enjoy this game and will be giving it out for Christmas since it is so quick and easy to learn/play and quite affordable!!

by Driggs
A good strategy game for two players, a party game for more.
March 02, 2011

My favourite game reviewer, Tom Vasel, wrote in his review that this game is not a strategy game. This is particularly true if you play with more players than two.

However, when played by only two players, this game is a great strategy game. There ARE skills for playing this game that can be learned, and if used, will ensure more victories. Tbat is why I normally win the game against a less experienced (or less "educated") player.

The reasons why the game becomes less strategic with more players are few, but considerable. I have listed some:

1) Fewer points per player
The fact that the game involves the same number of nobles (and their points) to be collected means that each player will average a lower score, actually a third lower than before (33 percent instead of 50). This means that each noble card is much more valuable, given its larger share of the total. If one player has a lucky strike, this element of luck will have a relatively larger impact on the score. In a game of two players this is more likely to even out, as players will have more turns each. A game will not always include the same amount of turns for each player, and the longer the game, the less significant this will be.

2) More opponents, less control per player
In a two-player game there will be an equal number of friendly players (represented by you) and opponents (represented by the one you play with). This will help balance the game; each player has theoretically half of the control. The game is about manipulating the line of soon-to-be-decapitated nobles. Your job will be to snatch the best nobles for yourself, but also (if you can) to leave no easy grabs for your opponent. With only one opponent, this task can often be achieved. Losing a two-player game often results from failing to adhere to these principles. However, with more players, the number of opponents has doubled, tripled or quadrupled, leaving you only a fraction of control. You will find yourself at the whim of their combined actions.

3) Longer reach
This makes far less possible to keep those juicy nobles near the back safe from being snatched. If you're player number 1, and you keep that juicy noble four spaces back, player number 2 will most likely reduce this distance as he collects his noble. This means that a considerably larger amount of cards can be used to snatch the noble, compared to the 2-player game. If an idiot sits left of you, he might pave the way for the next player.

4) Fewer good cards
Also, making sure that others fail is less important with more players, as it is more important for you to gain your own points. With two players, these factors are equally important. A -2 inflicted upon your opponent is worth the same as a +2 in your score pile. With more players, the main focus should be gaining positive points, as reducing the scores of both opponents will prove too time-consuming a task, compared to building your own score. This means that the cards that offer opportunities for personal gain become more valuable, while the rest decrease in value. Cards that boost the value of other cards in your score pile also pay off less, as the cards that power these bonuses are distributed among more players than before. Result: The game balance is further compromised, as luck plays a greater role (as whoever gets the few good cards gains an advantage over those who get normal stuff).

Still a good strategy game for two players:
Having said all this, this is a great two-player game. However, when both players have learned the "tricks of the trade", luck will be the deciding factor. Anyway, mastering all the cards in any situation is a rewarding enterprise. A lot of different situations might appear, due to the various possible combinations of cards. When these cards have been exhausted, the game could turn repetitive. For me, this has not happened.

If an expansion were made, the game could be improved, introducing more possible combinations. Furthermore; with twice or even three times the amount of cards, the game could be extended, somewhat reducing the problem of two few points per player. As far as I know, however, Guillotine will remain a standalone game, so I guess no such expansion will ever emerge. Sadly.

Four stars for the game's quality as a humorous, light, quick strategy game for two players, playable in less than a half-hour. Illustrations are neat, rules are complex enough for medium depth, easy to understand and allow little need for interpretation. The game could easily be played a hundred times, so it's well worth the money.

Simple Game, But Lots of Fun
October 30, 2007

I picked up a copy of Guillotine based on the reviews at and I must say that I am not disappointed.

Each player is a rival guillotine operator who is trying to collect the most valuable heads in the French Revolution.

The artwork on the cards is beautiful and funny. It's true that there is not a whole lot of strategy to the game. But what the game lacks in strategy it makes up in social interaction. In playing a game of Guillotine, there is plenty of room for joking, backstabbing, and trash-talking.

I have played about 15 games with both young adults and teenagers, and everyone seems to enjoy it. In fact, we have even figured out a way to turn it into a drinking game. (Don't worry - no teenagers involved).

My only complaint is that the actual guillotine - which you place at the end of the line of nobles who are about to be beheaded - is a thin, stand-up cardboard prism. It would be so nice if the game were packaged with a 3-D, wooden mini guillotine. But I suppose the price of the game would be much higher. Plus, the truly dedicated fan could make his or her own guillotine!

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