If I showed you a picture of a castle how would you know it was a castle? What features make a castle? A large part of what we think of as castles comes from the series of buildings built by King Ludwig in the 1800s. Well the designers of the Castles of Mad King Ludwig game took that idea as inspiration for this board game.
Castles of Mad King Ludwig Game
Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a resource management tile laying game. What does that mean? I’m glad you asked.
Resource management- on your turn you are purchasing rooms to add to your castle, you have to manage your money (resources) until you can earn more money the next time you are the master builder (more on that in a second).
Tile laying- on your turn you buy a room (a tile) and lay it as part of your castle. Another example of a tile laying game is Carcassone.
How to play Castles of Mad King Ludwig Game
This game, like many others we own go in rounds. The first player is called the “master builder,” and draws news rooms for the round, adds money to any room that didn’t sell last round, and then prices all of the rooms. Rooms sell from 1000 coins up to 15000 coins. You can also buy stairs or hallways for 3000 coins.
Once the prices are set each player, starting with the player on the master builder’s left starts buying rooms. Each person can buy room per turn, unless they receive a reward for completing a room. When they buy their room they pay the master builder, and when everyone has bought their rooms the master builder pays the bank for his room.
As you purchase and place rooms you gain points for each room you place, anywhere from 1 to 7 points, and then gain or lose points depending on what rooms are next to your new room.
Sounds simple right?
Here’s where it gets complicated
The strategy of Castles of Mad King Ludwig Game
At the end of the game there are two types of cards that are scored. Communal challenges, with points for 1-4 place, and individual challenges from cards you drew. These cards can completely change the result of the game. You could end up with another 50 points at the end of the game.
I was going to give you some tips, but really there are several different ways you can play this game, and I haven’t found a great way yet. You can go for the simple and easy buy the lowest cost room you can buy every time, which can lead to a very interesting castle. You can go for completing the most types of rooms that get you extra challenge cards, the shotgun approach of “it’ll hit something I have.” Or pick two of the 5 starting challenges available and go for getting the most points from those. I have seen all of these methods work, so there is not one particular way to win. It’s all in your personality.
Are you ready for what I love about Castles of Mad King Ludwig?
The meta game. Half the fun is making jokes about what your castle is turning into. The last game I had the entertainment castle, but you couldn’t sleep there. By contrast, Superman’s castle had nowhere to eat. NOWHERE, they were eating rats. I always crack up as I see the crazy castles we build. I don’t really care if I lose (which I frequently do), because it’s fun to see the castles everyone builds. I actually have to be really careful when we’re playing the game not to post 6 different pictures of the crazy castle on Instagram because I will. Along with silly comments like, “To get to the kitchen from the pantry go through the ballroom, the throne room, guard room, and then finally the buttery, and right after that is the kitchen. But in the entire game there’s only one kitchen, so there’s a good chance you won’t get it.
My last game I decided everyone was just eating beef jerky because I only had a meat room for making food.
There is a Castles of Mad King Ludwig Secrets expansion, but I don’t have it YET….. Hint hint, nudge nudge, to any husbands reading this…..
Want to see some more board game ideas? Then check out my pinterest board.