Viceroy review

We ran through Joe’s fancy kickstarter version of Viceroy from Mayday Games. It’s a card builder apparently based on a Russian CCG called Berserk.

Viceroy, one person's pyramid
Viceroy, one person’s pyramid

The only thing I knew about the game going in is that it has a gem building mechanic. I was assuming this would end up being very important, but it turns out it was at most a detail (though a fun one). The real gut of the game was the bidding and adjusting your strategy based on the bidding of others.

Every turn, 4 new character cards become available, each randomly tied to a color. The players blind bid for which one they want, then resolve their bids simultaneously. If your claim is unique, you take it, otherwise you lose your bid and a second card is added to that row and you bid again. In case of ties between 2 players in a color with two cards, you take one of the two cards based on the initiative of the pyramid.

This is the mechanic that drives the game. You end up not only picking for yourself (“Oh, another Scroll character would go nicely with my high scroll scores”) but also bidding to block others (“But man, if he gets another gear that will let him complete a 2nd set so maybe I should block him on that”).

Another nice small thing about the game is it just looks nice on the table with all the pyramids going up:

Viceroy, the whole table hogging 4 player thing
Viceroy, the whole table hogging 4 player thing

The scoring is a hair confusing at first with lots of steps and ways to earn points, making this a game that gets better on repeat play. Especially since at first play you have little grip of when to build for more resources, and when to start building for points. Overall a good mid-to-light card builder.