Designer: Paul Abrahams, Luke Badger, Andy Richdale
Artist: D.J. Phillips
Publisher: Badgers from Mars, TGG Games
Year Published: 2020
No. of Players: 1–4
Ages: 10+ on box, 8+ online
Playing Time: 5–20 minutes
Main mechanic / Theme: Cooperative / Strategic combat hand maintenance
Down with the evil Regency! Who’s with me?
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
Regicide has players working together to defeat twelve rulers. The game is designed around a standard deck of playing cards with two jokers. Players are defeating the face cards by using the abilities of the rest of the deck.
Regicide is a competitive cooperative game. There is a solid balance based on the number of players that make this game one that is difficult to beat. We found this much more enjoyable because it was harder to beat. I expect there are more games lost by the players than are won. The fun was figuring out what needs to be done, what can be done, and developing strategy on the fly based on the cards in your hand.
Gameplay and mechanics
Setup for playing Regicide is quick and easy. The face cards are placed in a semi-random order in a single Castle deck. The first four cards of the Castle deck are the Jacks, then the Queens, and finally the Kings. You’ve probably already figured out they are harder to defeat the higher the rank.
Each player has a hand, the size of the hand is dependent on the number of players.
The first Jack is turned face up and the starting player takes their turn.
Every card has an amount of damage it deals and an amount of damage it can take. The player lays down card(s) to deal damage against the card on the top of the Castle deck. When enough damage is done, you move onto the next card until they are all defeated. You can also capture face cards so they go into the players’ discard pile so they can be used later in the fight.
Some cards can be played in combinations to strengthen the player’s attack. Aces are familiars that can be played with another card. And you can play certain sets of cards to increase their strength. This is important because you combine the abilities of the suits.
Suits are important because each one has a special ability. Some of the special abilities occur immediately while others come into play as the hand progresses. Face cards are immune to the special ability of cards from their own suit. There is a way of getting around their immunities by using the jokers.
If you don’t defeat the card on top of the Castle deck, it attacks back. Damage dealt to the player must be paid with cards from their hand. If they cannot withstand the damage, the players are defeated. After discarding to pay the price of damage it is the next players turn.
Play continues until a player is taken out or the last King is defeated.
Theme, Artwork and Illustration
Each card of the deck (except the two jokers) has its own artwork. All of the art done by D.J. Phillips fits into a fantasy theme illustrating a game of combat. The cars are high quality cards that will last through a lot of playing.
This is a fast-paced cooperative game that can work well as a filler game. This could be good for when waiting for others to arrive and when you want a game that allows more socializing. This is because there isn’t a board and a series of moves taking place you have to pay heavy attention to. Because of its size this is also a good cabin/travel game that can be taken out and played on any flat surface.
The strategy is the pairing of cards and suits against the opposing card. The suits are used to maintain hand size and a draw pile, so that is part of the strategy you need to consider.
Even though we didn’t defeat the fourth King in our attempts, we had fun. Regicide was easy to learn. We liked that it wasn’t a cooperative game that allows the players to easily win. This will give a challenge for some time and when we do defeat the Kings, we will be able to lift our ales and give a salute to each other at the tavern.
About the Author
Daniel Yocom does geeky things at night because his day job won't let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He's written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines after extensive research along with short stories. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join him at guildmastergaming.com.