pic1727393_t[1]By Paco Garcia Jaen

Light games with just a few components are all the rage at the moment. In the last few years there have been a number of games that require very few cards and feature quick gameplay with simple and fun rules anyone can pick up in a matter of minutes. It’s not that they didn’t exist before, but certainly now they are seeing quite a lot of exposure.

Council of Verona is a light card game from Crash Games that puts the players into the Shakespearian setting of Romeo and Juliet and will require the players pick characters and place them either in Exile or in the Council.

As you can imagine, the characters can be either Montagues, Capulets or Neutral. Some of them have agendas – conditions that, if met, score points – and others have abilities that will allow the players to perform certain actions, like looking at someone’s card, swap characters from the Council to Exile and vice versa, etc.

To score points, you can add a token to whatever character you think will meet its agenda. Those characters have three spaces and the player, as one of her turns actions, simply places the token on one of the available spaces in the character cards, but the token will be upside down. The rest of the players don’t know how many points the betting player would get if the agenda was met. This is important for two reasons, firstly because you don’t want to attract the other player’s wrath by showing them you think Romeo and Juliet will end up together at the end of the game and placing the four points on the card, but also because one of the tokens is worthless. Zero. Nada.

Yes, there’s a bit of bluffing in this game and it is rather lovely.

Production is pretty impressive. A small box so sturdy you can use it to nail nails to the wall (this is a bit of an exaggeration… don’t do it!) and small enough to fit in your pocket. The cards are of the right thickness and lamination and the illustrations are really nice, very congruent with the setting. The rules are easy to follow too, so overall this is one to come with you everywhere.

Conclusion

With a game time that’s under 20 minutes and a deceptively deep gameplay, Council of Verona is quite a lovely little gem.

Very fun to play, with a bit more complexity than Love Letter and a bit less than Citadels, it’s an absolute joy to get this to the table. Although it’s not the sort of game you can keep playing for hours on end, it is the sort of game you can bring to the pub and play while you’re having a beer or waiting for one of your friends to show up.

Very highly recommended!

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