Guillotine by Avalon Hill is fast to learn, fast to teach, fast to play, and quickly delivers on fun! I have not been able to do much if any tabletop gaming recently. I don’t think I can emphasize enough how quickly you can step into this game with no prior experience. The main object of the game is to be the most renowned executioner by beheading the highest profile or most despised members of the aristocracy. This is accomplished by taking turns executing the front most victim. You use your action cards to switch up the line up or mess with your opponents. It makes for a great party game with a varied group of friends, assuming they are OK with being executioners.
Fast to Learn
The learning curve for Guillotine is incredibly shallow, but in a very good way! The rules fold up into a nice compact little accordion. Aside from the initial set up rules and conditions for victory, you really could do without this little printout. The cards for the victims to be executed as well as the action cards give you all the additional rules and guidelines you need. The only factor to consider when reading the text on the cards is to take it literally. If you can’t do exactly as the card says based on the scenario at hand, you forfeit that action.
Fast to Teach
Any game that is easy for it’s owner to learn, will typically also be a game that is easy to on board new players to. These factors usually go hand in hand. This game is very easy to teach, especially to players who are mostly familiar with traditional games (a la Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, etc.). My brother in law introduced me to this title, and could easily explain it as we played. Leveraging the actions on the cards can result in some deeper strategies and combos to gain the most points, but even as a new player you can still win if you are not lax. (I won the one game I jumped into, well technically tied with my wife)
Fast to Play
The pacing moves fast! You can easily get through a game in 10 – 20 minutes no problem. The game is enjoyable and doesn’t feel like it abruptly ends by any means. You play through three rounds, player with the most points at the end is the winner. The pacing picks up as you have more action cards that allow you to interrupt your opponents plans or when you discover a means to alter the victim order massively in your favor. Even when the momentum is disrupted by a devastating action, the game doesn’t really feel like it slows down.
All in all, this is a solid quick play game. It has a low price point ($15 on Amazon.com) and comes in a compact box (which of all things, is the worst part because the packaging is flimsy). I don’t own this yet, but plan to pick it up sooner than later to add to my collection!