The Heidelbär often has a good nose for board games. And even with the title "The Council of Four" by Cranio Creations, the fine bear nose cannot be deceived and unerringly points to an insider tip. This board game for 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, is not for the faint-hearted as it is all about wealth, power and outplaying the competition. That's right: The Council of Four is a classic free-for-all board game.

Mighty Mighty Meeples!

With rounds lasting up to 80 minutes, The Council of Four board game will entertain 2 to 4 power-hungry players about as long as a good movie and lends itself perfectly to equally exciting replays.

The game idea was penned by Simone Luciani and originally came from the Italian game publisher Cranio Creations. Thanks to the extremely strong commitment of Heidelberger Spieleverlag, the title is now finding its way onto German shelves. The age limit is set as low as 10 for a game of this strategic proportions - I would recommend The Council of Four for 14+ players. From this age, children are simply better at dealing with power and wealth.

The game concept is reminiscent of the board game "In the footsteps of Marco Polo", which Simone Luciani also designed. Similarities are therefore not purely coincidental!

Get rich or die tryin ': The Council of Four
Get rich or die tryin': The Council of Four

The Council of Four revolves around the members of six influential families who direct the fortunes of the kingdom from their positions in the four councils. The players slip into the roles of merchants who are striving to increase their wealth (Oh wonder!). The action takes place on a modular game board, which provides variety with a variety of combinations.

A total of 10 buildings have to be placed on the central part of the game board, and in doing so, they develop very different bonuses, ranging from additional workers to amounts of money and important victory points. A strategic approach is therefore required in order to bag the greatest bonuses and thus always be a trading cart length ahead of the competition. As in real life, however, it is not simply allowed to build, but permits are required, which are issued by the councils. Each council must be convinced by matching cards or a hefty sum of money. But watch out: The mighty Emperor is able to prohibit construction projects! This brings additional excitement and tactics into play and makes "The Council of Four" a full-length entertainment title. The individual members of the council are represented by wooden meeples (there is no board game without meeples!), so that the composition of the positions of power is clearly recognizable. With the receipt of a building card, further action options open up for the successful player, which can be combined into multi-level action series.  

"The Council of Four" is demanding, but does not quite reach the complexity of the ideal predecessor "In the footsteps of Marco Polo". Nevertheless, "The Council of Four" is a wonderful, exciting and tactically demanding board game that knows how to entertain beginners and veterans alike. The interesting game concept and the pretty look of the game material make this board game from Heidelberger Spieleverlag more than just an insider tip.

Trade strategists and board players who like building action chains will love The Council of Four. All others risk at least a second look and let themselves be taken in by the exciting game concept.