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Posted by admin On April - 2 - 2011


Description: Guillotine: The Revolutionary card game where you win by getting “a head!”
Length: 15-20 Minutes
Age: 12+
Players: 2-5


I go to Wednesday game night every week and recently there was a newbie there. We, of course, invited him over to play a game with us to welcome him to our little board gaming community. After we had played a game or two, he pulled out two stacks of cards, and asked us if we’d try a different game with him. He had been wanting to play all night and apparently, everyone was too busy playing other games. “Sure” we said. Commence Guillotine! Everyone knows what a guillotine is, you know the whole “off with their head!” And most know that the device is noted for its use during the French Revolution. Many people, even nobles, were executed by means of the guillotine. The common folk just loved killing off people of high society! Which is the premise of this game, it may sound morbid at first, but that aside, this game really is a bloody good time!

Object & Game Play:
There are 3 days, aka 3 rounds. Each “day” 12 nobles are lined up and the executioners, aka the players, take turns killing off the ones at the beginning of the line. Each noble is worth between 1 and 5 points. You have action cards that you are allowed to use once per turn to effect the noble you get to kill off. The action cards are super important and they are where the strategy comes in. They allow you to manipulate the order of the line gaining characters of higher notoriety as well as affecting the other players head count. After three days worth of beheading, the highest total wins.

In example, if Marie Antoinette is in the line up, the action card “Let them eat cake” allows you to move her to the front of the line and collect her. Which is a big deal because she’s worth 5 points! “After you…” allows you to put a noble at the front of the line into another player’s score plie. This is a good way to get rid of negative valued nobles. “Stumble”, “Pushed”, and “Trip” cards allow you to move nobles forward or backwards in the line up. There’s a whole stack more of actions with different little neat mechanics altering the execution line in some way or another. Along with a few ways to get extra points in the end

Final Thoughts:
The artwork is very well done, but the box is kind of a pain. The cards fall down and get stuck around the flaps and around the guillotine. Once past that, during the course of Guillotine everyone is smiling and laughing and backstabbing, there really is a lot of interaction and fun to be had. They’ve incorporated real history too. Like Marie Antoinette. She’s one of the most notorious in the citizens eyes at a whopping 5 points. Which of course made me wiki her. If a game makes you want to learn something afterward, how can that not be an awesome addition to once collection? By the end of a few rounds, it was time to leave. I left the game store that evening only after purchasing this little addiction.

** Many people do not know what the little guillotine cut out is for. FYI, it is used to keep track of the front of the line. For example, the action card that allows you to reverse the order of the line.. Instead of actually reversing all the current cards in the line up, you just put the guillotine cut out at the opposite end. Done!

Unfortunately, the German Edition has a nicer Guillotine and box, but it looks to be out of print and a little hard to find, and the words at the bottom of the cards a little difficult to read because they are in, well, German. :o)


But you can always go above and beyond like some over achievers that I have to give a shout out too, and build your own guillotine!

Final Final Thoughts:
Quality: 3/5
Fun: 5/5
Substance: 3/5
Re-playability: 5/5