To tell you the truth, I had never even heard about Siege until it showed up on my doorstep a few weeks ago. Apparently, AEG is aware that people may have missed out on this game with the craziness that is the holidays. Released in December of last year, Siege is a card-based strategy game of deduction for 2-6 players.
The rules for Siege are actually really easy, taking only a few minutes to learn. The game is setup my each player placing all their cards face down in a row in any order they wish. The cards are kept hidden from other players, but each player can always peek at their own cards if needed. Each turn a player must take one of four different actions:
- Go Into Siege
- Launch an Attack
- Fall Back
When a player goes into siege they take one of their cards and place it up against another player’s card. The card that was moved is now “In Siege” while the other player’s card is “Under Siege.” This is the meat of the game and the basis for setting up an attack.
A player may launch an attack with one of their cards that are “Under Siege” or “In Seige.” The defender then secretly compares the combat values of each card without revealing the cards to anyone else. If the defender’s combat value is equal to or greater than the attacker’s, the defending card stays where it is and that attacker gets discarded. If the attacker’s combat value is higher, both cards are discarded.
Sacrificing a card lets you flip it over, activate its ability (if it has one), then discard it.
Falling Back is the only action that can’t be chosen, but it forced upon a player. If, at the start of their turn, a player has a card “In Siege” without it being opposite to a card that’s “Under Siege” it must fall back into the player’s row of cards.
Along with these actions each card has it’s own unique ability with the exception of the Gong Farmer. Examples are the assassin’s ability to instantly kill a King or Knight, or the Gatekeeper’s to get a boost in combat value if they’re on either side of the player’s row. Gong Farmers have no ability or combat value. They’re basically canon fodder.
Play continues until only one player’s king is left standing.
For the full rules click here.
There’s not much in the sturdy box AEG provides for Siege. There are a rulebook and 42 cards, six cards in six different colors. One color for each player. The cards themselves are oversized, glossy, and pretty thick. They almost feel like a cross between heavy cardstock and cardboard. They have a very pleasant feel to them and they seem like they’ll hold up well over multiple plays of the game.
A sample of Siege cards
The first time I tried Siege was a two player game with my oldest son. It was a bit rough as we got used to the cards and how they interacted with each other. It also felt a bit…off with just two players. Adding in more players made the game much more enjoyable, providing a much longer game and a more interesting dynamic between players.
The fun here comes with the unknown. At any point, an assassin may show up to instantly kill a King. Each attack has the potential to instantly win the game for the attacker, or severely cripple their plans. Sacrificing and Gong Farmers become essential to save your other cards and figure out how your opponents have their cards lined up. Sometimes just having a card “In Siege” without actually launching an attack can be a good tactic to save your bacon for another few turns.
Having never heard of Siege, I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got a chance to put it through its paces. While it’s not my favorite game my AEG, it’s certainly a solid little game, especially for the price.
A copy of Siege was provided free for review by AEG.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
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