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Thinking Out Loud

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel >> An All-Time Favorite

You can read my full review at BoardGameGeek.

Introduction: Discounting card games, where you can quickly rack up a lot of games played in a single evening, I'd wager that there are a handful of games I've played more than any others. These games have been a significant part of my gaming experience since first getting into the hobby. This core group of highly played games includes quite a few you've seen me tout on BGG -- Minion Hunter, Blood Bowl, Road to the White House, Cosmic Encounter and Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel.

Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel (MC:SotC) saw a lot of play in college with a wide range of different players. MC:SotC still holds up incredibly well today, even when compared to the invasion of Eurogames into the American marketplace. And it outshines clear competitors like Doom by FFG, offering a cleaner, more compelling gameplay experience. With its blend of incredible components, edgy sci-fi theme, tactical gameplay and well developed campaign rules, it's easy to see why Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel is -- and always will be -- one of my favorite games of all-time.

So Why Is It Awesome?

- The learning curve is ultra-short. I can fully explain the entire game in the time it takes to setup the board for the first mission. If a player still has questions, we'll just have him go last in the turn order during turn one.

- The gameplay is fast and there is very little downtime between turns. Even during the bad guy turn, during which he might have a dozen or so figures to move, things go quickly.

- Despite the simplicity of the rules, there are still some important tactical decisions to make -- split up your team or stick together, pick off weaker creatures or focus on bigger threats, when to spend your precious few extra actions or special action cards, move directly to the mission completion or soak up XP to help level for the long run, etc.

- The game encourages cooperation on the part of the mercenaries to ensure survival of the group overall, but yet each individual team has their own goals and interests (either via secret mission cards or simply self-interest in earning more XP or a bigger mission bonus).

- There is a wide variety of events, secret mission cards and special action cards, ensuring that even the same mission could play out very, very differently over repeated playings.

- Character advancement and development over the course of the campaign is really cool, and you start to feel an attachment to your mercs.

- The missions vary enough to make each mission in the scenario a new experience. Plus since the role of the bad guy rotates each mission, you can enjoy each mission as both a merc or as the bad guy.

- The components rock. The game is both tactilely engaging and visually engrossing.

- It's a helluva lot of fun to play. 'Nuff said.

The Bottom Line: 10/10 -- For its time and its competition (in terms of game style and genre), Siege of the Citadel has few peers. It is an excellent value, even by today's standards. Siege of the Citadel features incredible production quality, simple rules, fast gameplay and furious action. It's a great blend of RPG and tactical elements to appeal to a wide range of people. Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel is an amazing game design and production feat. It is and will always be one of my All-Time Favorites. I still love playing Siege of the Citadel. I love it so much I've tracked down 4 copies just to have more boards and bits.


  • One of my favorite games, as well! I have many fond memories of playing this with my college buds.

    By Blogger thew, at 3:30 PM  

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