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This card game is a black-humored view of the French Revolution. The players operate the Guillotine and want to behead the most important nobles. Since Marie Antoinette gives a player more points than a usual count, the players' action cards can change the order in which the nobles go to the Guillotine, to change who gets which points.
If you lead the other players by a head, you win!
Players: 2 - 5
Time: 45 minutes
Ages: 12 and up
Weight: 291 grams
Language Requirements: Game components contain substantial foreign text. An English translation of the rules is provided, but no translation of the cards is available.
- 50 noble cards
- 60 action cards
- 1 guillotine
Average Rating: 3.9 in 39 reviews
As I said and so many others, this is a great light game that has mass appeal. I have used this game several times as a fantastic filler while a group wait for others to arrive for a bigger game. It has also served as a wonderful game for youth groups. Kids and adults can pick it up in no time and be off having fun (and with the heads). It is also a nice and rather 'thinking' game with just two players. The more players the more luck (but the more banter and fun). Keep chopping them heads. Now only if they would come up with a Bush administration version!
Once my husband & I introduced our friends to this game, when they invite us around for dinner all they want us to bring is Guillotine. They Love the game. We have just taught our 7yr old nephew and he caught on so quickly. It is a game for children & adults!!!
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Ready to experience a real slice of history? This wickedly delightful game takes place during the French Revolution, with Nobles lined up to be beheaded. Each is assigned a value according to rank. For example, you win five points for executing the King, but lose three if you decapitate the Hero of the People. The highest score wins. The first Noble in line is usually yours, but Action Cards often allow you to rearrange the row and bring the highest-ranking heads your way. The cards are so beautifully designed and humorous that any reservations about the game's theme will quickly leave your head.
"The revolutionary card game where you win by getting a head". So says the blurb on the box, and if this type of humour appeals to you, then you will probably enjoy Guillotine. You take the part of a guillotine operator in revolutionary France trying to get the most prestigious collection of noble heads.
Play begins by shuffling the two decks, 60 action and 50 noble. Then 5 action cards are dealt to each player and a starting player is determined. The rules themselves are fairly simple. In each of the three "days" of play, twelve nobles are lined up, from the top of the noble deck, ready for the chop. In clockwise order each player takes a turn which consists of up to three actions.
- Firstly you may play an action card from your hand. This could allow you to alter the line in some manner, gain extra points or affect another player.
- Then comes the chop. You must collect the noble now at the front of the line, following any instructions on the noble's card.
- Finally you must draw another action card from the pile, whether you played one or not.
And that's all there is to it. So is it any good? Well, yes and no. Guillotine is fast, pretty and fun to play. The artwork is humourous and the quality of the cards top notch. If you simply want a fairly quick, light, fun game, where all concerned can have a good time, then Guillotine could well be for you. If you want any strategy, or even much in the way of tactical play, then this is not the game you are looking for. To be fair, it doesn't purport to be anything other than what it is and I may be being a touch harsh, but its biggest drawback to my mind is the lack of player interaction in scoring. As each player may play an action card before claiming the lead nble, and since a majority of the cards allow line manipulation, it is all but impossible to affect the next player's score, let alone any other. There are cards that end the day prematurely, cancel scores or actions and "Callous Guards" prevents any line alteration until that card is removed, but these are not generally enough to influence the victory in any controllable way and so the result can be something of a lottery.
Due to the fact that the nobles are lined up and bumped off one by one, Guillotine has been compared to Mayfair's Family Business. The comparison, however, ends there, as Guillotine has little of the ability in Family Business to directly target other players' pieces. As a result, it loses the fun of having an impact on positions other than your own and using this to further your own ends.
In summary, I don't want to sound as if I didn't enjoy Guillotine and discourage you from giving it a try. It is a fun game and that after all should be the point of playing. It's perfect for when you don't want anything deep, because your brain is seizing up due to several hours of intensive game play or work. I do recommend Guillotine, but a little more meaningful interaction would have made it so much better.