Episode 169: Caylus

Click here for the direct download link for this week’s episode

1) The Pegs discuss their recent game plays including Bus, Cthulhu: Death May Die, Nanty Narking and many more;

2) All the Pegs review Caylus; and

3) Look back at Forum Trajanum.

Join in the conversation for this episode over at our Board Game Geek guild.

Show Notes

00:01:01 – Trivia: Alexander Selkirk, and upcoming changes to the trivia contest.


00:07:35Golden Geek Nominations! VOTE FOR US HERE!

00:09:50 – Quarantine Check-in

00:26:10Christina and Jeremy Play Fiasco Live – Heroes of Pinnacle City with Chris Whitpan, Pep MacDonald, Leland Steele, and John Kanost.


00:30:45Bus [Buy] – Capstone Games; Designer: Jeroen Doumen, Joris Wiersinga; Art: Herman Haverkort, Tamara Jannink, Daan van Paridon, Thijs van Paridon, Joris Wiersinga;

00:39:09Cthulhu: Death May Die [Buy] – CMON Limited; Designer: Rob Daviau, Eric M. Lang; Art: Nicolas Fructus, Karl Kopinski, Edgar Skomorowski, Adrian Smith, Richard Wright

00:48:10Nanty Narking [Buy] – PHALANX; Designer: Martin Wallace; Art: Jakub Skop, Bartek “bartosy1” Jędrzejewski, Miłosz Wojtasik, Grzegorz Ryszko

00:57:39Message from our sponsor, Queen Games: Late pledge available for Winter Kingdom.

00:59:17First Contact [Buy] – Cosmodrome Games; Designer: Damir Khusnatdinov; Art: Viktor Eredel, Alexandr Kiselev, Alexandra Sharyapova

01:06:51Unmatched: Battle of Legends * [Buy] – Restoration Games, Mondo Games; Designer: Rob Daviau, Justin D. Jacobson; Art: Oliver Barrett

01:14:21Campaign Manager 2008 [Buy] – Z-Man Games, Inc.; Designer: Christian Leonhard, Jason Matthews; Art: Josh Cappel


01:23:50 – Frosthaven Design News

01:27:50 – Origins and CharCon (a favorite local con) are canceled.

01:33:30The Game Designers documentary

01:35:4018 Card Legacy Challenge from Button Shy Games

Featured Review: Caylus

01:39:20 – Rules Breakdown

Caylus is a 2005 worker placement game designed by William Attia, published by Ystari Games, and developed for online play by boardgamearena.com.  In Caylus, players attempt to gain the favor of the King of France by expanding the town of Caylus with production buildings, residences, and prestigious constructions, while also contributing to the development of the nearby castle.

Players will, in turn order and one by one, place a worker on one of the buildings on the board.  At the start of the game there are several standard buildings that are printed on the board, and several other starter buildings whose location is random along a linear road winding down the game board.  Over the course of the game, though, players will construct additional buildings with advanced production, all snaking farther and farther down the road. When a player places a worker on a building, they will pay for the privilege based on the current state of the Passing track – as players pass for the round, they will place a token on the leftmost available space of this track, making subsequent building placements more expensive with each passing player.

In addition to buildings, players may place a worker on the Castle track.  Here, they will eventually contribute goods to the building of different sections of the castle for points and potential favors from the king.  Placement here adheres to the same cost rules as the placement on standard buildings.

After all players have passed, they will resolve their actions by starting at the beginning of the road and working their way down building by building in order.  Whether or not a building is activated, however, will be determined by the placement of the Provost token – buildings farther down the road than the Provost’s final landing place will not activate.  Initially, the Provost is placed at the end of the row of starter building tiles. However, players will be able to manipulate the location of this disc – either through a standard building allowing them to move it for free, or for a cost when the players resolve the bridge space.  Here, players may move the Provost disc from 1 to 3 spaces in either direction along the road, based on the order in which they passed – with the earliest passing players moving the disc first. In this way players may pay – and even conspire – to move the Provost far enough back along the road that their opponents will not get to activate their buildings – thus wasting the coins they spent to locate there.

The meat of the game is the building actions, the concepts of which will be familiar to players of worker placement games.  Buildings will grant resources, provide opportunities to trade, allow for the construction of new buildings, increase income, and grant points.  As players add new buildings to the town of Caylus they will indicate ownership of those buildings, which will then grant them points or resources when other players use them, or discounts when they use them themselves.

After all buildings are resolved, players then resolve the castle.  Here, they will contribute groups of three different resources, one of which must be food, to the construction.  Each group allows them to play a house into one of the available construction buildings in the castle. Such placement will provide some scoring opportunities, and certain majorities will allow players to claim special favors from one of four tracks granting points, coins, resources, and building actions.  In addition, different sections of the castle will score at three different points in the game, granting additional points and favors depending on the number of houses a player has in a section – and penalizing players who have contributed nothing to that particular phase of the castle.

Play continues like this until the Bailiff token – whose movement is determined by its relationship to the Provost each round – ends on or past the final castle scoring space on the road.  Then, players will score the last section of the castle and convert remaining resources to points. The player with the most points gains the favor of the king as the most illustrious contributor to the development of Caylus.

01:43:16 – Review

02:05:40 – Ratings


02:15:56Forum Trajanum [Buy] – Stronghold Games; Designer: Stefan Feld; Art: Michael Menzel;

Check out our original review for GAME during Episode 143.

Gameplay Photos

* Disclosure: These titles were received free of charge by the publishers or distributors. If you are interested in submitting a title for review, please read our Review Policy.

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