Castellan Review

by | Jun 13, 2015 | Game Reviews

After seeing a few people post about it on Twitter I decided I’d check out Castellan by Steve Jackson games.

I took a trip up to the “local” game store with my daughter and wandered around for a while as I always do, perusing all the cool stuff.  After fighting the urge to just whip out the credit card and fill up the back of the car with new games, I took a deep breath, paid for Castellan and we headed home.

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The basic premise is not much different then the game Dots and Boxes, a grade school staple.  American mathematician Elwyn Berlekamp made an extensive study of this seemingly simple children’s game and presented his Dots and Boxes theorem at the University of Calgary in the late 1960s.

In Castellan two players alternate turns attempting to create and claim courtyards.  Where the game differs is that your play is determined by playing cards that give you random wall and tower pieces to play.

Basic set up:

Players have 2 different card types, wall cards and tower cards.  Each player starts with 2 of each type of card.  On your turn you may play as many cards as you want but must play at least one card, you cannot pass.


Game play:

Collect the pieces denoted on the cards you played and start building the castle.  All pieces must connect to the same castle, you cannot start your own castle.  If you cannot play your pieces legally, pass them to your opponent.

When you completely enclose an area you have created a courtyard.  Claim that courtyard by placing one of your keeps inside.

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Once during the game you may place two keeps in a claimed courtyard, this will make it’s courtyard count double.

Once your turn is over draw one card from either your wall or tower card draw pile.  No matter how many cards you play during your turn you only get to draw one card, unless you played a card with the extra card symbol.  Then you would draw one extra card for each extra card symbol that came up.

Cards that have been played can be formed into a discard pile.

The game is over when both players have played all their cards


Your objective is to create courtyards but their worth is determined by the number of towers it contains.  The courtyard with the double keep is worth double points.  Towers maybe be counted for either player and a single tower maybe scored up to four times.

The basic game is two player but maybe played by up to 4 people by purchasing an additional set with different colored keeps.  Steve Jackson Games sells both a red and blue set and a green and yellow set.  At about 30 dollars it’s a relatively inexpensive game and it’s easy to pick up and play right away.  Game play is fairly quick with games lasting about half an hour.  I recommend it as a quick fun and easy game!