In 2013,designer Michael Eskue brought us into the world of Romeo and Juliet with the game Council of Verona. The main objective: gain the most influence points by manipulating cards and placing influence cubes in order to complete your hidden agendas. Along the way, opportunities for bluffing and deception abound, bringing to the forefront the rivalry between the Montagues and the Capulets. Now comes an expansion that really fleshes out the game and gives even more opportunities to manipulate and control the action in the game. Enter the Corruption expansion for Council of Verona, a set of mini cards that give Council of Verona an added layer of fun.
The setting: Verona, under the rule of Prince Escalus, with rival families The Montagues and the Capulets being present in the game. There are also some neutral characters making their appearance as well. Players take on the role of citizens of Verona, under the order of Prince Escalus to work to either add characters to the Council in Verona or exile them from the land in order to mediate the conflict between the rival families and bring peace to the land.
Council of Verona uses a drafting mechanic. Once all character cards have been drafted, the Corruption cards are shuffled, and four cards are dealt to each player. Players choose two of the cards to keep and the other two are discarded. Once the cards have been selected, place the Council and Exile cards on the table in the center to form the playing area in the shape of a T.
On a player’s turn each player will play one Character card, placing it into either the Council or Exile, executing any abilities on the card when played, or wagering influence on any Agenda cards if desired. A player may play one Corruption card at any time during their turn. The Corruption cards are either an instant action that is resolved when the Corruption card is played or it can be attached to a Character card already in play. A Character card can have multiple Corruption cards attached to them.
Once attached, if a Character card is moved, any Corruption cards attached to it are moved with it. Corruption cards that are attached to a Character card may be placed face up or face down below the Character. If the card is placed face-up, that effect is in play for the rest of the game, unless it is removed by another Corruption card. If a Corruption card is placed face-down, the card effects will be resolved at the end of the game.
Corruption cards that have an instant action can be played face-up to resolve their effects or placed face-down and attached to a character as a bluff.
Once the last Character card has been played, players have one last chance to play any remaining Corruption cards. Any Corruption cards not used are forfeited and have no effect.
Next, all of the agendas on the character cards in play are evaluated to see if their condition is met. Face-down Corruption cards are revealed and their effects are resolved. Any characters cards have agenda conditions that are not met, any influence tokens placed on them are discarded. The influence cards that have agendas that are met, are scored at the value of the influence token +/- any modifiers on that space.
The player with the most influence wins. In the case of a tie, the win goes to the person who had the earlier turn order.
Council of Verona is a nice fun, light game that includes, card drafting, some wagering, and some bluffing as well. The mechanics of the game allow for a nice level of tension and excitement as card abilities are used to shift characters between the Council and Exile. The Corruption expansion adds a new level of tension to the game without tainting the original feel of the base game. Corruption cards also offer an additional avenue to manipulate cards on the table as well as affecting the influence placed as well. It offers the additional opportunity to bluff: first with the influence tokens, and now with the Corruption cards as well. Thematically, the Corruption cards enhance the feel of the rivalry between the houses of the Montagues and the Capulets. The expansion is easily added to the game, bringing in a separate deck of cards to be used. I feel after playing with the Corruption expansion, I won’t be playing the base game without it. The game still maintains a casual feel to it I feel this is a must-have expansion for the game.
This expansion will be available through a Kickstarter campaign from Crash Games.