FTW Staff Picks - Guillotine

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new. 


Genre: Card Game

Designer: Paul Peterson

Player Size: 2 to 5 Players

Game Length: 30 minutes

For fans of: Jaipur, Uno, No Thanks!

Today we're throwing it back to a late 90's classic. Guillotine is a game about chopping the heads off of nobles. A wise man once said, "The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword." Ironically, that man would be beheaded just a few episodes later. Nonetheless, the objective in Guillotine is to behead the higher rank nobles in order to gain favour with the people. 

The game comes with a little cutout guillotine to represent the front of the line. Noble cards are lined up in a row awaiting their turn to meet their sharp demise. On a given player's turn, they may play one action card before collecting the noble at the front of the line. The action cards allow players to manipulate the current order of the line. The game plays over the course of 3 days (or rounds), and the player with the highest total value of nobles is declared the winner!

Guillotine is a very simple card game. It makes for an excellent warm-up and gateway experience to teach things such as basic set collection and hand-management. Though it can play up to 5 players, the game actually performs quite well in a head-to-head configuration. It's one of the lesser-known titles that I like to recommend for 2, alongside the usual suspects like Jaipur and Lost Cities. 

There are some games that I would label as cafe games. The types of games that are often not the greatest value when it comes to buying, but fill a niche in casual settings. I like to think of Guillotine as a cafe staple, alongside games like Coloretto and No Thanks! It's a very simple game that can be used as a buffer between longer games. Plus, there's just something oddly satisfying about beheading rich, fancy folk. 

Earl OliverosComment