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Board Game Expansion Review: Guildhall: Job Faire

2014 May 20
by Michael Schroeder

The economy isn’t doing that well still. That’s why Alderac’s Guildhall is having a job faire!

Guildhall: Job Faire

Guildhall: Job Faire 

Designer: Hope S. Hwang

Number of players: 2-4

Age: 12+

Time: 45 minutes

What’s the game about?

A description from the publisher…

The not-so-Dark Ages is blowing up! Skilled workers clamor to get into your guildhouse. Organize them into chapters and put them to work. Each additional worker you add to a chapter provides a bigger bonus to the workers you play in the future. But look out–your opponents might steal your valuable workers for their own chapters!

In Guildhall: Job Faire, 2–4 players compete to create a prosperous kingdom by recruiting skilled laborers into their guild chapters. Collect sets of cards with unique abilities.
Use completed sets to claim victory cards. But will you go for points or use a special power? Which will lead to ultimate victory?

Basic idea in my own words…

Guildhall: Job Faire is a standalone expansion to Alderac’s hit game, Guildhall: Old World Economy. Guildhall: Job Faire can be played entirely by itself or you can blend the new professions into the base game as you see fit. This review is a supplement of the original Guildhall: Old World Economy review that I wrote. Job Faire comes with 6 new professions…

  • Robber
  • Scholar
  • Tax Collector
  • Bricklayer
  • Hunter
  • Peddler

For those who haven’t read my review of Guildhall: Old World Economy, I’ll give you a quick synopsis and rundown of the play, along with details of the 6 new professions.

In Guildhall, your goal is to get different professions into your guildhalls of the 5 different colors. Once you have a single profession of all colors in your guildhall, you can immediately close that guild. Once you have a closed guild, you can use the profession cards in that guild to buy victory point cards which are laid out in the middle of the table. Your goal is to have the most victory points through cards and victory point chips. As soon as one player gets 20 points, the game ends, and whoever has the most points, wins!

How do you play…

After first player is determined, as the first players action, during setup they’ll draw profession cards randomly and then draw 3 more. At this point, they can discard what they want and start their game ending with 6 cards in hand. During setup as well, the player lays down 3 professions of varying professions into their guildhall. You will be cascading your cards by profession into a row of cards in front of you. The professions bundled in the rows are called chapters.

This proceeds around the table for everybody and then starting with the first player, each player resolves their 2 allotted actions a turn. Each player may choose to resolve any acton they wish, repeating them or mixing them as desired, but only 2. Actions are as follows.

  1. Play 1 card into your action area and resolve it
  2. Discard any number of cards from your hand and draw up to 6
  3. Buy 1 VP card from the center row

1. Play 1 card – A player decides what profession they want to play out of their hand and lays it down in their tableau, but off set from the cards or “chapters” already in their guildhall. The player may take an appropriate action of the card. The cards have varying numbers on them. For instance, if on the left of the card, there’s a 2, and you want to take that action, the 2 means you would have to already have 2 of that profession laying down in a chapter. Of course, you can always take a lesser action, if it permits. A 0 action, can always be taken. Leave your profession card that you just played away from a chapter still. They don’t go into a chapter until your turn is done. There are different actions for the different professions. I will go over the professions in a bit. 

2. Discard – You may simply discard any number of cards from your hand and draw up to 6. This is the only way to get new cards into your hand, not through a special action or profession. So when your turn is done, you don’t automatically start with new cards.

3. Buy 1 VP card – This is the action to win you the game. For 1 action, you may turn in a completed chapter to the discard pile and choose a VP card.

Victory point cards and chips

The obvious large number in the middle of the card is the number of VP’s. The bottom of some cards have bonus actions. When you buy these cards, you can use its special ability. On the top of the card you will see icons of cascaded cards. These are completed chapters. It is the cost to buy the card. Either 1 or 2 chapters. Victory point chips can only be gained by using the farmer’s ability. If you have 20 points after this action, the game has ended.

Professions and their abilities:

I will go over some of the professions…

Robber:

Robber

Robber

The robber allows you to take a varying number of cards out of an opponent’s hand and put them into your guildhall.

Tax Collector:

Tax Collector

Tax Collector

The tax collector allows you to take victory point chips equal to the number of tax collectors in your guildhall.

Scholar:

Scholar

Scholar

The scholar enables you to put a varying number of cards from the deck into your guildhall.

Game rules:

Now, if you were just collecting professions, it may not be that interesting, so there’s a rule structure the game is build around. The limiting structure is that you can’t place duplicate cards down in your guildhall. There are 5 colors of each profession, so you can’t have down two yellow farmers. So this creates a sense of urgency and chasing down the colored card you want. And this creates a lot of interaction between the players.

Game end:

After a player takes his/her two actions, play proceeds clockwise and once a player earns 20 points, either through the purchase of cards, and or by victory point chips, the game is immediately done. The game can last as little as 20 minutes or as long as about 45 minutes.

Breakdown

Components: 3/5

The cards are of typical, good, Alderac quality, as is the box. The insert also helps, but I wouldn’t want to store the game vertically. The rule book is fully colored and detailed as well.

Theme: 3/5

Medieval-ish themes seem to be my favorite. That or themes baked in history some how. I like the theme, it works well with the game.

Luck Factor: 4/5

Where there’s a card game with random draws, there’s an intense amount of luck. But the game doesn’t last very long, so it shouldn’t be a surprise or anger hard core gamers that want a pure strategy game if they lose.

Strategy: 3/5

There’s good/average amount of strategy in this game. It’s not as random and pure luck game more along the lines of Killer Bunnies, but hey, there’s a lot of random card drawing but you need to play smart. It can seem a bit chaotic though with 4 players. It seems you can’t hold onto a chapter too long without someone taking cards.

Overall Feelings: 4/5

I liked the original Guildhall, and Guildhall: Job Faire is no exception. I have roughly the same feelings about Job Faire as I do with Old World Economy. However, I don’t care for some of the roles in Job Faire as much as the base game. And because I experience the base game first, it will always hold more a special place for me. Regardless of what I just said, I would absolutely recommend Guildhall: Job Faire. It’s a fun, and interactive game where you don’t feel like you are playing a solitaire game because there is constant interaction between the players.

Review copy kindly provided by Alderac Entertainment Group.


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