Charterstone was on our whish list for a long time already, so we were very happy when we got the chance to get it and express our opinion about the game. We heard so many good things about charterstone, but the idea about permanently changing your game with stickers sounded very scary. Of course we weren’t going to let that stop us and we dived right into the game the moment we received it. From that moment we were hooked in the world of Charterstone with the Immortal Forever King and the Endless city all presented in a cute cartoonish story driven way.
How to Play.
Since this is a legacy game, this will be a different review then what you are used to from us. We want to share our opinion as much spoiler free as we can so everyone can still enjoy the game the most. Note that you will come across minor spoilers about your first charterstone game in this review. The game will change during the campaign in many different ways and the rulebook, or other sources of information will guide you trough everything you need to know.
When you are ready for your first game, don’t open anything unless specifically instructed. Follow the steps you are given and take your time to get to know the game and any new things that are added to the game. And most importantly, enjoy the ride!
In the first game of Charterstone, you will learn some the basics of the game. Each player has two workers that they can use to gain resources. To gain resources, select a building and place your worker on it. If there is a cost to pay, pay it, then gain the reward from the building. On your turn you always have to place a worker on a building, or take your two workers back. That means, if both of your workers are placed, the next turn all you can do is take them back. Only one worker can stand on the same building at the time. If you still want to use an occupied building (either by your own worker or from an opponent), you can place your worker on that building and knock back the worker that was standing there to it’s owner.
During the game, you can use the market to buy assistant cards. Assistants can help you with your tasks and they will provide you with different kind of bonuses, like victory points. You can also try to complete revealed challenges. If you have completed a challenge, you complete it at the Grandstad building in the middle of the map to gain victory points. With some actions, you can also choose to gain reputation. If you choose to gain reputation, simply place one of your influence tokens on the reputation track. The player with the most reputation will receive ten victory points at the end of the game. Each player has twelve influence tokens that they can use. Some buildings require influence tokens to be able to use the actions they provide. Your influence tokens are permanently placed in a common supply if you choose to use them and you won’t gain them back, so choose wisely.
The game ends when the progress token reaches the end of the progress track. The player with the most victory points wins the game.
Playtrough of the game.
When we started Charterstone, we unlocked our first items pretty fast, meaning you get to take a look at the hidden cards and secrets in the index. Once we received our first sticker, we were so scared we would place it wrong, or crooked. But with every sticker or change, you are creating your own personal village, unlocking more items, buildings and abilities on your way. You can even name your charters and characters making the game really feel personal. You have created this and you have made the decisions how to create it and why. Once the campaign is completed, you still have a worker placement game, but it won’t be fully functional anymore once everything is unlocked in the game. Thankfully, with some house rules, the post campaign game can also be a good game to play. But you can also choose to play the entire campaign again. The game board is double sided and you can buy a recharge pack to provide you with everything you need for a second campaign. The difference will be that you know what you are heading towards now and you can use it for your benefit.
The quality of Charterstone is excellent and that is what we are used to with all of the Stonemaier games so far. But we also really like the style and universe that is created for Charterstone. The gameplay is very smooth and fast, but when you are unlocking many things at once, there could be some waiting time for other players. You can play this game with six people, but we found that it’s also awesome to play with only two people. You might unlock things slower then if you play with more people, but that just means you can enjoy unlocking surprises longer.
Charterstone is a strategic city building legacy game where you and other villagers are given the task to create the best village you can build. This game can feel very personal since everything you unlock or change is done by yourself and you can even give your own charters and characters a name. Since the campaign can be played twice (if you buy a recharge pack), there are many strategies and surprises to explore throughout the game. But also after the campaign, you are left with a good worker placement game that can even be better with some house rules. We absolutely love this game and the style and universe it comes with.