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Review of Reviews: Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Posted Monday, 29-Jun-2015

A Compilation of reviews for Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

Contributed by Troy Pitschman

 

Castles of Mad King Ludwig was designed by Ted Alpasch (Start Player, Suburbia, Ultimate Werewolf) and published by Bezier Games (Subdivision, One Night Ultimate Werewolf) in 2014.

The tile-placement game calls on players to build a castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria; who might just be insane. Players will compete in building the biggest, most extravagant castle for the Mad King. It won’t be easy though because King Ludwig II has a tendency to change his mind quite often and thanks to a unique twist you’ll have to rely on others for your victory.

 

How Do You Play?

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a game for 1-4 players in which you will compete to build the best castle in the land. A tile laying game at heart, Castles of Mad King Ludwig also offers some unique mechanics to make the game stand out.

 

For starters, each room you build offers points for construction and depending on what the room is you’ll also get points for the connecting tiles as well.

Levi Bushue, writing for Living the Nerd Life offers some additional details regarding the tile laying mechanic:

“The tile laying aspect that goes into your room placement is reminiscent of games like Carcassonne where tile placement is very important to maximize the amount of points you will receive.”

Essentially what this means is that a tile’s points will be based off of the surrounding rooms, which adds a strategic element to the game.

 

Tile placement plays a large role for players of Castles of Mad King Ludwig.
Tile placement plays a large role for players of Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

 

Another tactical consideration for players is that the different rooms are going to be auctioned off between players, which is where things really start to get interesting.

Jacob Coon from Whose Turn is It Anyways offers some additional insight to this concept in his review of the game:

“Each turn there is one Master Builder and it is their job to determine how much money that room will sell for… Once they place the rooms at the determined price the other players get a choice to buy a room/staircase/hallway or just take 5,000 Marks.”

Any purchases made during that turn go directly to the Master Builder so there’s a bit of strategy involved there; you’ll need to set your prices high but not too high that no one will want to buy them.

Additionally players will have to adhere to the whims of King Ludwig II if they want to pile up the most points, which means that as the Master Builder you’re going to want to adjust your prices accordingly.

 

Purchasing power and the wishes of the king must all be brought into account for a successful strategy.
Purchasing power and the wishes of the king must all be brought into account for a successful strategy.

 

The rules in Castles of Mad King Ludwig are fairly straight forward and relatively simple to understand, however these rules end up providing the game with some great strategic elements that keeps players on their toes. Can you please a mad king?

 

Is Castles of Mad King Ludwig the Right Game for You?

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a great game for people who like building-centric games, enjoy architecture or the thrill of economic negotiation. Furthermore it’s a game for those who like a little bit of humor to their board games.

This sentiment was echoed by Dan Cristelli of Board Every Day when he stated, “Rare is the time where you don’t find yourself laughing at the monstrosity of a castle that you’ve built, wondering who in their right mind would put the Queen’s Bedroom right off the Singers’ Chamber and just downwind of the Meat Locker?”

If you’re looking for a more serious game without some of the more humorous antics found within the title then Castles of Mad King Ludwig is probably not the right game for you. Additionally if you’re not a fan of tile placement or construction based games with a capitalist economic basis then you’re better off looking elsewhere.

 

Castles of Mad King Ludwig players should be ready for a serious lesson in tile-placement strategy.
Castles of Mad King Ludwig players should be ready for a serious lesson in tile-placement strategy.

 

However, if you’d like a tile placement construction game that’s easy to learn, has a humorous side and a surprisingly unique strategic framework, then Castles of Mad King Ludwig is definitely worth checking out.

 

See What Others Have to Say

Jacob Coon from Whose Turn Is It Anyways? praised the game’s auction mechanic in his review:

“I love the auction mechanic in this game. The idea that you have to set the prices and then whatever money you get, is what you have until your next turn as Master Builder…”

Meanwhile, Living the Nerd Life writer Levi Bushue urged people to give the game a chance in his review:

I strongly suggest trying out this game. The wide variety of tiles and different objectives means you will likely never play the same game twice… If you like games like Carcassone, Suburbia (By the same designer, Ted Alspach), or Keyflower this game will   satisfy your tile laying needs. It plays quickly in about an hour and is tons of fun!

Likewise Board Every Day’s Dan Cristelli also praised the game in his review, “All in all, I would highly recommend Castles of Mad King Ludwig. It’s rare that we’ll find a game which is able to successfully inject a little silliness into our game sessions while still providing a solid base of gameplay.”

Finally iQ Gaming writer Dan Vasile commented:

Over all we enjoyed this game and had a lot of fun playing it. The different rooms caused a number of discussions and everyone was very keen to play it again. This would be perfect for any who like Alhambra, and other tactical games. It is also a good starting   game for people who haven’t played many before.

 

Mad King Ludwig II is ready for his new castle, are you up to the task?
Mad King Ludwig II is ready for his new castle, are you up to the task?

 

If you’re ready to build the biggest, most extravagant, best castle in the land for a mad Bavarian king Castle of Mad King Ludwig should be on your table during your next game night.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is available from $36.99.

 

Ready to buy?  Find the best prices for Castles of Mad King Ludwig on BoardGamePrices.com.

Published by BoardGamePrices.com



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