News for July 2010
Smash and Grab 13
A look at the fast and furious race for loot in Cadwallon: City of Thieves
Cadwallon: City of Thieves | Published 15 July 2010

The honest people of the city have both gone to sleep, and the moonless night belongs to revelers and thieves. As ubiquitous as the stray cats that brawl noisily for discarded scraps in the alleyways –and every bit as hungry– the thieves of Cadwallon are cunning and ruthless in their pursuit of wealth. But never count your treasure until you hear the clang of the portcullis behind you... and should you be lucky enough to “liberate” some cheap bauble from a sleeping aristocrat, prepare to defend it with your very life. This is Cadwallon, and for the lowlifes that prowl its dark streets, the promise of a single shining ducat is incentive enough to spill your blood.

Last week we announced the impending release of Cadwallon: City of Thieves, a fast-paced game of cunning thievery and ruthless skullduggery in a fantasy city steeped in magic and intrigue. In it, two to four players each control their own gang of four thieves, competing to amass the greatest haul of loot from the many carefully locked chests scattered about the board. This is no friendly competition, however, and there is little loyalty among thieves in Cadwallon...

Today we’ll take a closer look at the fine art of burglary in Cadwallon, and we’ll see how its thieves move about the shadowy streets, claiming loot from the homes of sleeping citizens while avoiding the attention of the authorities... and each other.

After setting up the board by randomly distributing treasure tokens in each of the buildings, each player chooses a gang of four unique thieves. In turn, players then place their thieves one by one on any of the “deployment spaces” along the edge of the board.

Gameplay is quick and easy to learn, meaning you’ll be bashing chests (and skulls) in minutes! On each of your turns, you have seven action points to spread among your four thieves. Each character must be activated in turn, meaning you must finish with one of your thieves before moving on to the next. During a thief’s activation, he can perform one movement and one action, in any order.

Take a look at the chart above. In it, you’ll notice that moving each thief will cost one of your gang’s seven shared action points, and that this will entitle that thief to traverse a number of spaces up to his or her Movement value. For your action, you may attack or spend points to open a chest.

Now, meet Valdur, a mysterious member of the cruel and violent Nocturnis Gang. You’ll notice that in addition to his special text ability and portrait, Valdur has three stats: his Combat value, Movement value, and Mind value. While attacking your opponents and grabbing their loot is certainly a valid strategy in Cadwallon: City of Thieves, we’ll cover combat next week. The significance of Valdur’s Movement value of four is clear; by spending one action point, he can move four spaces. But what about his Mind value?

When you find yourself in a room with a locked chest full of loot, you’ve got two choices in claiming it. You can either attempt to pick the lock, or you can just unceremoniously bash it open. Bashing a chest ensures entry, but takes additional time, so you’ll pay two of your team’s precious action points. On the other hand, picking the lock is faster, but doesn’t always work. To try, simply roll a single six-sided die. If your result is equal to or less than your thief’s Mind value, you may claim the treasure inside!

Getting to the treasure (then getting away from your opponents once you have it) is the tricky part, however. The winding streets and all-to-common choke points, along with the fact that all characters block movement (you cannot move through an enemy, you must attack him and cause him to flee from your path), makes Cadwallon: City of Thieves a strategic game of blocking and evasion.

In fact, you can only move into a space with another thief if you intend to (and are able to) spend an action point to attack him during that activation!

In the diagram below, the massive brute Tortok of Kaldern’s Gang spends an action point to move into a space with Faras, a necromancer of the Nocturnis Gang. Regardless of his Movement value, Tortok must stop moving as soon as he shares a space with Faras. Now, if Tortok spends another action point, he can attack Faras... but only if he hasn’t already taken an action on the current turn. If Tortok had begun his activation by bashing a chest, he could not attack, which would prevent him from even sharing a space with Faras. He could, however, end his movement in such a way as to block Faras in (if Faras were in a space with only one exit path), limiting his movement later on.

A diagram showing Tortok moving to attack Faras. Note the detachable colored bases,
indicating the gang color for each thief.

Of course, for every chest you’re able to claim, there will be another thief willing to open your throat and take your prize. Join us next week when we take a look at combat, as well as the magical Arcana cards and their fantastic abilities!

Cadwallon: City of Thieves is a fast-paced board game of cunning thievery and ruthless skullduggery in a fantasy city steeped in magic and intrigue. Two to four players each control their own gang of four thieves, competing to amass the greatest haul of loot from the many carefully locked chests scattered about the city.

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Comments (13)

Published: 7/23/2010 6:24:00 PM

I thought I heard you laughing. I thought that I heard you sing. I think I thought I saw you try.

Great line from a great song to describe what will be a great game. Can't wait. When's it coming out?

Published: 7/23/2010 3:02:14 AM

The fact that this game was not created by one of the "star designers" of FFG gives some that it has not myriards of useless bits and cards and is playable for normal people with too. So it becomes interesting and is on my radar now.

Published: 7/16/2010 2:09:37 PM

This is going to be a interesting game,  I must say.

Published: 7/16/2010 12:25:34 PM

This was already going to be cool with multiple gangs.  But with the removable stopped being solely about the gangs and started being all about the individual thieves.  I can't wait to see people challenging each other's hand-picked guilds!

Published: 7/15/2010 11:38:14 PM

"Note the detachable colored bases,
indicating the gang color for each thief."

That is awesome.  I assume with 20 figures, there are 5 figures for each gang, allowing one to customize their gang of 4 thieves.

Published: 7/15/2010 9:36:28 PM

@Torbal: and they're 20 unique sculpts, if I'm not mistaken. Also, the art and character design looks awesome.

This took me by surprise when it was first announced (I blame Dust Tactics' higher profile), but I trust FFG's good eye for picking great games to publish and this goes right to my never-ending, wallet-emptying wishlist.

Published: 7/15/2010 8:41:41 PM

$59.95 price point with 20 miniatures and the usual high standards in production values that FFG is known for (Whether it's their own game or another publisher's that they are distributor for): this looks like a good game at a good price.

Gunamar Ironwill
Published: 7/15/2010 7:25:10 PM

Looks really great...the tiles themselves reminds me of the now out of print Rackam ones,and the miniatures...well,they look nice, I just hope they'll come unpainted.

Published: 7/15/2010 6:51:45 PM

I'm so looking forward to this game!

The Sundance Kid
Published: 7/15/2010 5:19:54 PM

Will there be deluxe pre-paints like AEG was suppose to have?

Published: 7/15/2010 4:21:37 PM

What scale are those figures 25mm? per chance? 

Published: 7/15/2010 4:15:31 PM

 I love the little doll attached to the sheath of Valdur's sword!

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