Fidelitas Review

Designer: Philip duBarry and Jason Kotarski

Artist: Jacqui Davis and Darrell Louder

Publisher: Green Couch Games

Number of Players: 1-4

Duration: 30 mins

Fidelitas popped up on the radar around the middle of 2014 when Jason Kotarski of Twenty Minutes of Filler Podcast fame, put the game up on Kickstarter under his new Green Couch Games banner.

The game itself is a Hand Management card game, with players taking the role of citizens of a fictitious medieval city as they try and move characters around the city as they try to gain influence over the city-folks in order to win the game.

Each game starts with the city looking the same way, their are ten locations in the city with a tavern in the centre as the meeting point for any characters who aren’t ready to settle in a location. The two piles of cards that players need to know about are Missio and Virtuis cards. Missio cards are each players secret mission, each has a Victory Point value and depending on the number of players in the game depends on how may points you need to win. The Virtuis cards, are the character cards which players place around town in order to fulfil those Missio cards.

Each character represents a Guild which is present within the city, plus a few special cards which have no corresponding location. They also act as action cards, which come into play once they have been placed in the appropriate place in town.

The general theme on most of the Missio cards is to get amount of guild types at a certain location, or get one particular character to a certain location.

Now the action part of the cards is where it starts getting fun. You see the bit I left out above is that each Virtuis card can only go in the location with the matching guild on the card (except for special guilds and when going to the tavern). Which makes it impossible to complete Misso’s. However actions let you move cards around the town to help you succeed.

Saying that, there are a few Virtuis cards that you are left stabbing in the dark about what the action actually does, as they can be a bit vague. There is a cheat sheet on three of the spare cards about some of the Virtuis but not all, and not the ones you want to know about most the time.

There are many lessons I think that future designers going on Kickstarter can learn about this game, one of those is making sure that you have art as a priority pretty high up on that list. So often games are put on these crowd funding sites and the art is playing catch up because it’s either too much money, and their is a fear they wont reach their goal or they just haven’t thought about its importance. This game looks gorgeous, from the box cover all the way down to the player designs.

On the whole this is a great little filler game, which is exactly what you would expect from creator Jason Kotarski if you have ever listened to his podcast, this is his thing. The game claims to be 1-4 players, however I have only played with 2 and I am very dubious about the claims that this can be played with 4 players. The rule book also states that for a four player game it is best to play in teams, so go figure. There is nothing wrong with creating a near perfect two player game, so why try and force it with more player numbers on the box.

There are also two cards that come with that are pretty much surplus to requirements, they sit at either end of the city to remind players which way is which. This isn’t needed as they are also indicated on the cards on the edge of the city. I know these additions where from stretch goals, but really two cards that could have been used as turn order reminder.

The game is no longer on Kickstarter so if you are wondering how you will be able to get your hands on it next, Green Couch have announced that it is available via Amazon which is good to hear, as it is always a shame when you’ve missed a crowd funded game and have no way of ever getting you hands on it.