|Our Recommended Age:||6+ (With help at first)|
|Play Time:||2 hours but time varies.|
Chaostle is a fun sort of capture the flag type game with actual castle (well plastic) pieces on the game board! It combines board games and miniatures in a fantastic way! Assemble the castle, choose your army and be the first to claim Chaostle for your own.
I really love interactive game boards like this. The setup takes a bit but to me to have those miniatures and castle pieces, it is totally worth it. There is a LOT to this game so patience and time are needed, especially for the very first game but it IS fun and my 6 year old has been playing for almost a year.
The game comes with an awesome storage compartment for the pieces. Seriously my love for organizing is sooo please with the inside of this box. All the plastic castle pieces fit into specially designed places inside the insert. The character boards fit in piles on top of some of the castle areas and there is a compartment for all the figures and the bags of little pegs and the 3 dice fit in the middle of another set of castle pieces. Beautiful!
I could literally go on and on about the organization but I’ll spare you that and instead tell you about the pieces themselves. The castle pieces are plastic as I said but not the cheap stuff that breaks easily. I mean we haven’t exactly tried to break them but we have dropped a couple and on their way from our table to our carpet they’ve hit a chair and a child with no damage.
This is great since my son plays on his own and drops them…often. My daughter tries to play and drops them more often. Usually they drop on the table and bounce a bit when she does it…which is actually ok to as the pieces are fine and have held up nicely.
The little pegs are just tiny goldenish pegs that are plastic and fit into the little boards to mark stats and such. Not much to say about them except they are a lot of them and usually we lose a couple when we play…the vacuum tends to find them though with no trouble. Dice are standard 6 sided dice, one red and two white.
The figures are bendable plastic and are all gray but you can always paint them. We can’t because we never have time and my son wants to learn to paint such things so we have to wait until he can…I really want to paint them but alas I will wait. There are also rubber bottoms for the figures in different colors (to identify teams) that just slip on the figures bottoms.
If you lose any you can cut a square of felt to rest of them on…we do this sometimes when we want other colors and because we are missing a couple of one color. It happens when you have a 4 year old who tries to play and a 6 year old who plays a lot…with friends hehe. Felt works the best though as it slides on the board without coming out form under the figure very much.
The character boards are pretty thick. Not sure what they are made out of but they do not bend very easily and the holes for the pegs are cut neatly into them.
The character sheets are printed either directly on (which is how it looks) or applied very well as I actually tried picking at a corner and could not get it to peel up. The back is equally smooth and nice except it has two white labels with the info for the character on it such as Agility, Neutral Protection, etc.
I don’t mind the labels and in fact they have updated the rules so you have to get the new sets from their online store but I wish they looked like the front. That might be the ocd in me and is not actually a big deal. The artwork is pretty and well done. It reminds me of art for an RPG novel which is fitting I suppose given the extensive story behind and for the game.
The beginning of the instruction book has two pages of story that is well written and makes me want to read more. I’m pretty sure it would be an interesting book but I’ll settle for a few pages and finishing the end by playing the game…which I will explain now as best I can.
Be the first to reach the center of the castle (or the Sanctuary) with however many fighters you have agreed on.
Setup could take a bit of time but is kind of fun to do. Take out the game board and open it up…you knew that already then start taking out the castle pieces. There is a nice diagram in the instructions on how to set up the castle pieces but basically there are numbers in circles on the board in what are sort dark gray sections. That is where the pieces go and each piece has a number underneath that goes along with one on the board. Assemble the board and enjoy.
You can play with 2-8 people and the rules and how to play vary depending on how many people are playing. Also, the game comes with just enough for up to 5 players so you would need to purchase additional characters for games with more than 5. I will explain the 2 player version as this is how we end up playing usually. Either my son wants to play and only one of us can OR just the adults want to play so it is our usual version.
Determine how many characters need to reach the Sanctuary in order to win and then every player needs to pick their characters for their army. Roll a die to see who gets to pick first and line up all of the characters so everyone can see. When we play we put the characters on top of their character boards so we know what the stats are and can see their levels…or in my son’s case how cool they look.
There are no real rules on choosing characters so you might want to have something in place ahead of time like every player can only have 1 level 3 or something like that to be fair. First person chooses one and then you go around counter-clockwise until everyone has 3.
Now you have to put a character in the starting position. You will notice colored squares with crowns in them near the center of the board. These are the starting areas for each color army and the crowns are Queen and King spots. Queens are Green, Red, Orange and White and Kings are Purple, Black, Blue an Yellow.
Queens move a counter-clockwise and Kings move clockwise but otherwise the Queen or King thing doesn’t actually matter. It depends on what color you want really and then THAT decides the direction you move.
When playing with 2 players you only use half the board and the two colors must be next to each other. Any other number of players will use the whole board.
The last thing you do is to set up the health of the Castle. This determines how long the game will take and of course how hard the castle is going to be. All it has are defenses so that’s something at least.
You literally just choose how many health points it has but they recommend 100. Put the pegs into the Battle Card for the castle to the left of the 1 in the Hundreds place, 0 in the tens and 0 in the ones place and you have 100 health. Ta-da! you’re set up! Now to play!
On your turn you will have movement and possibly combat…movement might also not happen if you are unlucky. Roll 1 white die to determine how far you move and what things will happen. Each number on the die has a certain action associated with it.
1-2 – You can either bring a character into play on the starting position OR move one of your characters already in play the 1 or 2. You can’t split it up. You can however add a character into play and then move if you roll a 2 and characters can only be put into unoccupied spaces unless you battle for position. No you can’t fight your own army.
3 – You must move a character already in play 3 spaces AND you get to take another turn. If want to after you move the first 3 spaces you can also move that character the number of spaces it shows on its card and THEN take the extra turn.
4 – You must move a character already in play the 4 spaces and you can add the character’s movement from their battle card if you want to. If you roll a 4 you do not have to move at all if you don’t want to but if you choose to then you have to move all 4 spaces.
5 – You must move one character 5 spaces and you can add the character card movement if you want to. Be very careful who you choose because this is called a Fate roll and very good things could happen or very bad things could happen…I’ll explain more in a second.
6 – Simple. You must move one character already in play the 6 spaces.
Now to explain the Fate. You have two cards in the box that I haven’t mentioned yet. One says Happiness and one says Doom…gotta love the balance of cheery and epic destruction in the words hehe. If you roll a 5 you then have to the Red die. This die determines your fate. No you cannot change your fate…this is not Brave.
The number you roll determines the column on a card. If you roll a 1,2 or 3 you get Happiness but if you roll a 4,5 or 6 then you get Doom! So so sorry…Now roll the two white dice and add them together to see what you get to do. The number you add to will have a word beside it on the card you got and you have to find it on the list. There is a sheet for Happiness and one for Doom. Simply find the word on the sheet and do what it says.
Some fates will apply to just your character and some will apply to your whole army or even other players characters or armies. Yeah..it’s like dice roulette…fun times! This is the chaos part of Chaostle and my son’s favorite part. It makes the game way more interesting and of course at times makes me giggle.
When it comes to moving through the castle there are 3 levels you can move on. The first is the easiest route but is also the longest and the third is faster but more difficult. You can move backwards but only in the section of the board your character is currently in and you can never go backwards past your starting point.
There are a lot of rules about the way characters move but I don’t want to go into all of that. Make sure you read the whole rule book before you begin playing as it also covers jumping. If you are on the third level you might have to “jump” across to another castle piece. To do this you have roll enough movement spaces to get to the next piece including spaces between the pieces.
If a castle piece is two spaces away from you and you are on the edge then you need to roll at least a 3 to cover the spaces AND land on the third on the piece you were jumping to. You cannot jump diagonally or from level to another. There are a few other rules so make sure you read about them as well.
If you end your move close enough to an enemy character you can choose to fight. This is optional of course but if you land ON an occupied space at the end of your move then you HAVE to fight for control of the space.
Loser’s character is out of the castle and removed from the board but not the game. You can always bring them back but you should try to win or avoid the fights.
Each character has 6 attacks on the card. Each attack has its own Range which is the distance in spaces between you and the other player’s character you are wanting to fight.
First roll a die to determine which attack you are going to use which are listed 1-6 on the character card. If your range is equal or greater than the space between you and the other player’s character than you successfully attack and do damage. The other player then gets to attack you in the same way and you keep taking turns until a character hits 0 or one misses due to range. If this happens the other player can choose to end the fight or to attack again.
When you are fighting for control of a space there are ONLY successful hits. This is a fight to the death and cannot be stopped. You can also get unlucky enough when fighting from a distance that the other player has a higher range than you and you sit and just get demolished. That happened to my husband…a couple times actually. He envisions the elves in LOTR and he is the only person on the other end of the arrows. He is a bit over dramatic…gee wonder where the kids get it.
The goal is to get to the Sanctuary. You have to make your way all around the board (or half of it when playing with two players) and to the stairs next to your starting spot. You have to end up climbing the stairs and are on the castle wall. You can now attack the castle once per turn at range 0 so you always hit. Woo-hoo! Another bonus is the castle doesn’t attack back!
Deduct the damage you do from the Castle’s health by moving the pegs and then your turn is over. Once the castle is defeated then any character can move into the Sanctuary.
Depending on what your group decided at the beginning one person in the Sanctuary will be the winner or you have to move the number of characters into the Sanctuary that you decided at the time.
Once the requirements are met the game is over and a winner is declared. Bragging rights are given and acted upon and loser or losers are hanging their heads in shame. Unless your playing with a kid and then it’s good game and shake hands…unless they can take the bragging hehe.
I highly recommend reading all of the instructions completely before you start playing. They can be a bit confusing at times but it all makes sense after you get started.
Chaostle has what I call a learning curve but is a fascinating game and a lot fun. The game is recommended for ages 8 and up by other gamers any age can play if they understand the rules. My son is 6 and can play without the character special abilities but otherwise no modifications are needed.
This is great with more players but perfect for 2 with the adjustments. If you are looking for an interactive and fun game for your game nights this is a good choice.
Show us your Chaostle army! @MyGeeklings #Chaostle @chaostle