Castle

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Castles
Castles.jpg
Info
Cost $3
Type(s) Victory - Castle
Kingdom card? Yes
Set EmpiresEmpires icon.png
Illustrator(s) Julien Delval
Card text
Sort the Castle pile by cost, putting the more expensive Castles on the bottom. For a 2-player game, use only one of each Castle. Only the top card of the pile can be gained or bought.

Castle is a type of Kingdom card from Empires. It is a Split pile with 8 differently-named unique Castles; when Castles are selected as a Kingdom card for a game, they are ordered in ascending order of cost in a single Supply pile, of which only the top card can be gained at any given time, though you may look through the pile to see which Castles are next. The Castles are all Alt-VP cards, though some also fit into other card categories as well.

Castles cost from $3 to $10 in ascending order.

Every Castle is a Victory–Castle card, though 3 have an additional type as well. They are all worth some amount of VP.png, and most have different abilities as well.

Contents

[edit] List of Castles

In games with more than 2 players, an extra copy of 4 of the Castles (Humble, Small, Opulent, King’s) are added to the pile, still in ascending order of cost.

[edit] FAQ

See individual Castle pages.

[edit] Strategy

An article was written by user Titandrake in this topic. It was edited after some comments by user Faust, among others.

[edit] Strategy article

Despite having lots of different effects, Castles aren't that complicated. Just think of them as having a 2nd pile of ProvincesProvince.jpg in the game. If it's the kind of game where that's appealing to you, then imagine when you'd start greening in a game with 2 Provinces, and start buying Castles about 1 shuffle or 1-3 turns before that.

If you do the math, buying 8 Castles gives you 45VP.png, plus whatever VP.png you gained from buying Grand CastleGrand Castle.jpg. 8 Provinces gives 48VP.png. In principle, this shows that buying only Castles is competitive with buying only Provinces. In practice, no one will ever let you buy all the Castles uncontested. At minimum, expect competition on the $8+ Castles. Sprawling CastleSprawling Castle.jpg and Grand CastleGrand Castle.jpg are almost always worth more VP.png than a Province, and players will buy King's CastleKing's Castle.jpg just to deny VP.png from the player who has more Castles.

Having more VP.png in the kingdom leads to all the follow-on effects you'd expect. More VP.png makes the game go longer, and longer games favor building your deck more. Many of the Castles help with this - all the Castles between $4 and $7 give you more than just VP.png. The two Action castles, Small CastleSmall Castle.jpg and Opulent CastleOpulent Castle.jpg, are particularly important. Small Castle can quickly upgrade itself into a better Castle, whereas Opulent is important because it can produce a lot of money when players start greening. This makes buying either Crumbling CastleCrumbling Castle.jpg or Haunted CastleHaunted Castle.jpg a bit of a risk, because it gives your opponent the first chance at buying Small Castle and Opulent Castle respectively. Of course, how big a risk this is depends on how long you think the game is going to go. The sooner the game ends, the less the Action castles matter. Buying Haunted Castle also makes it less likely your opponent hits $7. I often find that the risk of revealing Opulent Castle is worth the 2VP.png + GoldGold.jpg + topdeck attack that Haunted Castle gives.

As for Humble CastleHumble Castle.jpg, it's a little weird. It gives VP.png for every Castle, and there's only 1 Humble Castle, which can make it look like it's worth fighting over. However, it's still a genuinely bad card to buy. At the end of the game, Humble Castle is usually worth 3 to 5 VP.png, and although that's above-average rate for $3, buying it early on is a huge opportunity cost. There are two cases where it's worth buying Humble Castle early. One is Shelters games, to turn your starting Hovel into a Copper. The other is KeepKeep.jpg. In a Keep game, Humble Castle is always worth at least 6VP.png. Even in this scenario, I don't like opening Humble Castle. 6VP.png for $3 is very cheap, but opening buys are very, very important. On most boards I'd gladly give my opponent 6VP.png if they were forced to open Copper.

Besides these considerations, Castles are mostly a tactical decision, not a strategical one. They aren't like Gardens, or Duke, or Fairgrounds, where you have to plan a bit to get VP.png out of them. Castles are just there, and whether the VP.png is worth it or not depends on where you think your deck and the game are at.

[edit] Versions

[edit] English versions

Print Digital Text Release Date
Castles Castles from Shuffle iT Sort the Castle pile by cost, putting the more expensive Castles on the bottom. For a 2-player game, use only one of each Castle. Only the top card of the pile can be gained or bought. Empires June 2016

[edit] Other language versions

Language Name Print Digital Text
Dutch Kastelen
Finnish Linnat
French Châteaux
German Schlösser German Version Spielvorbereitung: Sortiert die Schlosskarten nach ihren Kosten und legt diese hierher (die teuerste nach unten und die günstigste nach oben).
Bei zwei Spielern wird nur ein Exemplar jeder Schlosskarte verwendet.
Es darf immer nur die oberste Karte des Stapels genommen oder gekauft werden.
Japanese 城 (pron. shiro) 城カードをコストが低いものが上になるよう重ねて山を作る。2人戦では各1枚のみ用いる。一番上のカードのみ購入・獲得可能。
Polish Zamki Polish language Castles
Russian Замки (pron. zamki)

[edit] Trivia

Official card art.

[edit] Preview

Looking at the other previews this week, you may have gathered that Empires’ theme is “different paths to victory”. You’ve got Landmarks that reward different strategies, and more uses for VP.png tokens than ever. But you may have wondered, where are the actual Victory cards? Today I’m previewing eight, though they’re all in the same pile. Like a split pile, the Castles are sorted by cost, with the cheaper ones on top. In a 2-player game, you use one of each unique Castle card. In a game with more players, there are duplicates of four of them (Humble, Small, Opulent, King’s). I’ll say a quick word about each one.

[edit] Secret History

There was an old idea in the file, a pile of Victory cards with different sizes. One day we needed a promo (which became SummonSummon.jpg) and Matt Engel decided to try this out. He made 8 cards for it, including Small Castle and King's Castle, and converting Opulent Castle from an old outtake from Hinterlands (there a straight action). He also had a vanilla treasure-victory card ($2 and 1VP.png). I thought it was important to have a cheap one that rewarded you for loading up on them, and made Humble Castle for the first one. Small Castle trashes itself or another Castle, so Crumbling Castle is something nice to trash, and Haunted Castle isn't so bad there either. Sprawling Castle and Grand Castle interact with some of the other cards and are also nice for people not going for Castles.


Mostly the cards didn't change after the second version; they just worked out. There were a couple cards in the Haunted Castle slot. I tried a Castle that shuffled cards from discard into deck, after an old outtake; I tried a one-time Cursing one (like Ill-Gotten GainsIll-Gotten Gains.jpg). Haunted Castle couldn't work at weird times (such as when gaining it with SaboteurSaboteur.jpg) and so ended up saying "on your turn," to be as friendly as possible (still works with Small Castle) while shutting out weirdness.


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