Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 2-4
Amount of time to play: 45-60 min
Age requirements: 12+
Set-up time: minimal
Guildhall is a set collection card game. You must collect five different colored cards in one profession to gain victory points. Also the more cards in one profession you have the more powerful they are to help collect your sets and thwart your opponents.
Guildhall is all about professions. There are six professions in the game, Assassin, Dancer, Farmer, Historian, Trader and Weaver.
Setup consists of shuffling the deck of professions and dealing each player nine of them. Shuffle the Victory Point cards separately and place five face-up in the center of the table.
After you receive your nine cards, you may discard as many as you like and draw back up to nine cards. You must put three cards into play and they are grouped by their profession. Once each player has done this the game begins.
On your turn you take two actions. The actions available are play one card and resolve it, discard as many cards as you like and draw until you have six cards or buy one Victory Point card.
When you play a card it has an ability you may use based on its profession. Assassins allow you discard cards from another player’s guild. Dancers let you draw as many cards as you have Dancers in your guild. They also give you another action. Farmers get you Victory Point tokens. Historians let you take cards from the discard pile. Traders let you swap cards from your guild and another player’s guild. Weaver let you take cards directly from your hand and place them in your guild.
Like I said above the more cards you have of a specific profession the stronger their effects are when played. For example playing an Assassin when you have none in your guild lets you remove one card from another player’s guild. However if you have two Assassins in you guild when you play one you can remove two cards from another player’s guild.
The only restriction when you play a card is that you cannot play duplicates. This means once you have a red Historian in your guild you cannot play another one. You also cannot place duplicates (via the Trader) into another player’s guild.
Once you have a full set of five colors for a profession it is complete and you flip it over. Completed sets cannot be affected by players’ actions and profession abilities. You use completed sets to buy Victory Point cards from the center row. These cards grant you VPs and may give you a special ability that triggers as soon as you buy it.
The first player to 20 VPs on their turn wins the game.
Guildhall has set collection with direct conflict. You need to be aware of what others are doing or might do to your guild and plan accordingly. This medium-weight card game has a good mix of luck and strategy.
I like the way all the professions interact and how they grow more powerful based on the number you have. There are some fun combos you can play that can help you get ahead or slow down your opponents. You are likely to have a favorite profession or two but all are useful.
The artwork looks nice and rules are good and easy to follow. This game can be taught to and enjoyed by gamers and non-gamers alike. The game plays quick and is usually close all the way to the finish.
Guildhall is a fun set collection game that can fill a niche in your collection. It is highly portable, not too heavy and not too light and has a nice mix of strategy and luck. You should be able to play and enjoy it with a lot of different people too. You can read more about Guildhall on Alderac’s website.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 4 out of 6
Luck 5 out of 6
Player Interaction 6 out of 6
Replay Value 4 out of 6
Complexity 4 out of 6
Fun 5 out of 6
Overall 5 out of 6