Citadel: evolution of a game

Citadel, which is defined as a stronghold or fortification, is also the name of a board game first published in 1976.

As first presented Citadel was a action adventure game for two players. The playing area consisted of a six level citadel each represented by a different grid map. The two players were combatants. One player assumes the role of good while the other is evil. The evil player placed obstacles on the grid such as sinkholes, monsters and doors in a effort to prevent the forces of good capturing a talisman. Movement and destruction of obstacles was controlled by a roll of a pair of dice. Completion of the game required negotiating all six levels and involved skill plus the roll of the dice.

The first evolution of Citadel involved the addition of miniature pieces to represent warriors and monsters of each side. The first miniatures were moulded plastic. Later cast metal miniatures were introduced. These figures were unpainted and allowed the gamers to customize them to their tastes.

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Miniatures are now available in plastic and cast metal depicting all manner of heroes, villains and monsters. The miniatures themselves are now highly sought after collectables. Miniature warriors have names such as Orc, Bolt Thrower and Man-mangler. Spears, crossbows and shields are also available for the warriors. There are at least seventeen varieties of dragons including Oriental Dragon and Zombie Dragon. There is a museum in Nottingham, UK devoted completely to Citadel miniatures!

The original version of the game can still be found but gamers and game companies have changed it many times over. Versions of the game now include Citadel Realm of Battle, Siege of Citadel, The Horde and multiple versions of Warhammer.

The game board has also changed. It is now available in four moulded plastic 2ft x 2ft sections which can be used one at a time or connected into a 6ft x 4ft game table. Moulded plastic additions that can be purchased include a tree covered woods area, a watchtower and a molded hill. Some gamers custom make their own game boards and scenery.

The number of players has also morphed to include up to eight players in some incarnations of the game.

Citadel has now jumped into the 21st century with software that allows you to play against the computer to practice your strategies or play other gamers on line. Xbox 360 also has a Citadel game.

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