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It is the beginning of the 17th century, and Armand Jean du Plessis -- better known as Cardinal Richelieu -- and Queen Maria of Medici are fighting bitterly for supremacy in France. both want to gain influence over as many parts of the country as possible to reinforce their political position.
The players take on the roles of the two protagonists, trying to outdo each other at every opportunity. But no sooner does one of them have the backing of the majority of a region, than the other manages to achieve the same...
Time: 30 minutes
Ages: 12 and up
Weight: 205 grams
Language Requirements: Game components contain foreign text that does not impact play. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).
- 48 playing cards
- 6 square property markers
- 14 round disks
Average Rating: 3.7 in 3 reviews
Richelieu is a well made, interesting game for two. Despite a previous review, the current Ravensberger version is NOT a poor production game. Rather, the tiles are very nice, colors and symbols all clear and coloful.
I have played this game with several people, all of whom enjoyed it. The rules are simple enough to grasp right away, but as usual with these types of game, how to play the game and win is another matter. The previous review explains the gameplay very well, so I won't repeat it again.
Each turn you are faced with enough choices that it usually means you must take a bit of time to consider things. You can get caught up in over analyzing, but if you know the 'anal-ists' in your group, don't play it with them.
I like the pace of the game, it moves right along, so within 20-30 minutes, you are done. But the game is not light by any means, so you are rewarded with a challenging game easily palyed 2-3 times in little over an hour. I might add, this goes over well with the wife, who enjoys the game in part because it does not drag on.
For those familiar with Web Of Power, this has little to do with that game, other than you are vying for control of the different provinces or regions. Richelieu adds the different tokens you can get, which add a layer of variety so that each game is different.
I liked the game from the first play on. The price is right, you can't really go wrong in getting a copy. 4 stars for a well done 2 player game.
The game is relatively simple as far as rules go, but the variable set up, and tough choices, make for an interest game with a decent amount of strategic depth for such a simple game.
The play mechanics are simple. Pick one or two cards from either end of the 4 lines of cards (all face up). Then collect more of the 9 colors in the game. Very basic, but a few twists are added, that give the game more depth.
First, the cards have either two shields on them or a shield and symbol. You can take a max of two shields worth of cards during a turn, of the same color. Because of the card mix, you may only have one shield of a given color on a card.
Secondly, the symbols (there are 3 types) besides the shields. These symbols represent 3 additional suites you can collect. Because they are spread out amongst all the colors it leads to another twist. These symbols and colors are what you use to score. If you get more than your opponent of a symbol or shields of a color, then you score as many points as these you picked up and your opponent gets nothing. A tie means NO ONE gets it.
Third, each player is given 3 property chips they can place on a card during their turn. These chips prevent an opponent from grabbing a certain card (and indirectly possibly other cards inside this card in the same line). One can burn one of their property chips to remove an opponent's chip, but they are gone if they do that, and your opponent gets their chip back. They also get a chip back if the grab a card with their chip on it.
Lastly, there are these bonus chips distributed amongst the cards. There are 8, placed faced down in a V pattern on the cards. These chips serve as a bonus symbol or shield of a color (giving one point extra. There are about 14 or so (one for each color, one for each symbol, and 2 get a property chip back), and only 8 are placed out. This gives the game a randomizing factor, and bluff element, and increase the replayability of the game.
All and all I really like this game. What I described above is pretty much the game.
For anybody who, like myself, bought the Kardinal und Koenig Kartenspiele and spent hours trying to neatly cut it apart, this rehash of that game is a bit irritating.... Of course, I still like the basic game, but had I paid more attention, I probably wouldn't have bought this one, since I really already had it....
Can you make ends meet--or at least match? From a starting layout of four rows with 12 faceup cards each, draw a card from the end of any one row. You may draw a second card of a matching color in similar fashion. Eight of the inner cards start with a random facedown token you acquire when selecting the card. Use one of your three property markers to reserve a card for future grabbing. Calculate the score when all cards have been taken.
The cards (in nine colors) and the tokens show a variety of symbols: shields, swords, crosses, and towers. At game's end, the player with more of any particular symbol scores points equal to the quantity he owns. A player loses five points for each missing color or symbol. Simplicity and astonishing depth are just two of Richelieu's cardinal virtues.
This game was seen last year as the card game version of Kardinal and Knig (or Web of Power). This production is very clear and an excellent 2 player game.48 cards are laid out on a 12 by 4 grid. The idea is to collect sets of cards (which feature shields) and there are nine sets of varying numbers. The winner of each set is whoever has collected the most shields (not card numbers) of the set and that person then scores the number of shields available in the set. For example, the 10 value shields feature 10 shields but these are not on 10 separate cards. Some cards show 1 shield, some 2, while others have 1 shield of that set and one of three bonus symbols, which themselves form a group across the different coloured cards. The scoring for these is the number of symbols collected by the winner for that group of symbols. In order to collect the cards, players must take them from the ends of the rows, so there are initially 8 choices. If two cards match in colour (which means that they are part of the same set), then you can take two cards providing that they have no more that 2 shields from that set. This means that you can take two single shield cards (with symbols if they have them) or one double shield card. As the cards are played face up, there is perfect information about the selections to be made. Two rules make this more challenging and one adds some uncertainty to the game. The first is that each player gets three property markers that are played at the end of each pick up round. When placed on a card, the opponent must surrender one of his property markers to gain that card and the property marker is then out of the game. As you only have three of these markers, it is imperative that you keep at least one in play otherwise you can get really stitched up. The uncertainty is introduced by 14 round discs, 8 of which are placed face down on the tableau of cards. These represent an extra shield of a colour, the three bonus symbols and 2 chances to return your property markers. When a player takes a card with one of these discs, it adds to your score of that card type. Clever. The game is very tactical. I remember thinking "if I take that card and he takes that one, then I'll get the card I want". Except of course your opponent is thinking slightly differently and so you're thoughts need to take a different line. The game can produce tight finishes and is probably best played in a quiet room as you ponder the options. As the game concludes the options become clearer, so after 40 minutes of concentrating, you'll find out who has won. I have really enjoyed the games that I have played. The setting (different regions of France) and the symbols (military (sword), clerical (cross) or political (tower) power) didn't strike any chords with me, but I liked the options and the difficulties posed by the rules. If this was part of the series of two player games that have come from Kosmos, then I would rate this as an 8/10. Not the best but very good.