Review – Council of Verona from Crash Games
Design – Michael Eskue
Art – Darrell Louder, Adam P. McIver
In Council of Verona, players take on the role of influential citizens of Verona and act to use their influence to either add characters to the council or cast them into exile.
Ah, Romeo and Juliet got all the publicity and celebrity but what about all the shenanigans between their warring families behind the scenes? What was up with those Capulets and Montagues anyway? Well Crash Games brings you Council of Verona, a game of intrigue and family feuds and most of all wielding influence. Before we go any further, I will say up front that this is a light game, not a heavy Euro game with tons of mechanics but a social deduction/bluffing game easily playable in a short time.
A card based game, you would probably class this as a “micro” game. There isn’t much at all in terms of components –
- 17 cards
- 20 tokens
Yep, that’s it. I love the art which is somewhat Disney-ish and I think it really suits the game. The cards are of an excellent standard and will stand up to many plays. I think it was a bit risky using the Old English font but it works and the cards and easy to read. If anything, I would say that the the tokens are too small. It would have been nice if they were larger. But its not a problem really.
Before the game starts the cards everyone gets their first card randomly but then you get to choose the others in your hand. Interestingly, the cards you start with don’t belong to you, as they are just played. And you don’t pick cards into your hand. Effectively you play a card each round and tally up the score. Plays pretty fast.
1. Play one card. The card may be placed in one of two locations:
The Council or Exile.
2. Use the Action on the played card. This is OPTIONAL and only applies to cards that have an Action listed on the card. The actions are simple to understand and bring the “influencing” to life beyond just placing the tokens on the character cards.
3. Place one Influence Token (face down). This is OPTIONAL and the Token may be placed on any Character Card that has an Influence icon.
The Influence tokens have numeric values and are placed on character cards on Influence icons as you are trying to have the most influence over characters who complete their agendas by the end of the game. The numeric values remain face down so you can try putting lower value tokens down to bluff your opponents. The icons have value modifiers as well.
A mini expansion adds Poison and antidote tokens which I really like as this adds more uncertainty and bluffing and backstabbing which increases the fun.
The process goes on until all the cards have been played and players have a final chance to play an Influence token. Then, the players’ Influence tokens are scored for the characters who have completed their agendas. The winner scores the most Influence points.
There aren’t many choices to make but enough for a fast playing game. Its very easy to understand and the game process works smoothly.
Did I enjoy Council of Verona?
I am fast becoming a fan of micro games as they are quick to play and very social and I’m all for both of these. Micro games are great for introducing non-gamers to cool games. Easy to teach, fun to play. So for me, Council of Verona ticks a lot of boxes. There is nothing earth shattering here but the design is solid and stands up well. I do agree with Tom Vasel of The Dicetower that you have to play with the Poison expansion as it adds more sneakiness and increases the replayability. Without it, Council of Verona would probably not be very interesting after a short time.
The theme is nice but not deep and could be interchangeable with almost anything else but in a micro game I’m not bothered. Its the gameplay in a micro game for me and the social interaction. This game is reminiscent of games like Love Letter and Coup and you could easily play in it a pub which is the aim of Crash Games’ Pub game series. The quality of the cards is very good which is a nice touch too.
Overall, Council of Verona is good fun, nicely done and fits well along side similar micro games. The kind of game that is great to break out for some fast, light fun and social interaction which is one of my favourite things about playing games. Nice one!
For more information go to – http://crashgamesaz.com/