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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Meddling Mochas

This week we find ourselves north of our normal territory, so we took the opportunity to visit our favorite coffee shop in Muncie, the Caffeinery. Whenever we visit, I find myself wishing they had a location in Fishers as their coffee & food offerings are consistently delicious. Today was no exception, with Claire enjoying their signature Steve Albini, a maple cinnamon latte that was just the right level of sweetness. Chad had a white mocha, as is his tradition, and greatly enjoyed it as well. While sipping our coffee, we snuck in a round of Fidelitas, “A Game of Medieval Meddling.” Keep reading to find out our thoughts!

In Fidelitas, the objective is to complete hidden objectives by wielding your influence and maneuvering citizens into key locations around the city. This is done over a series of turns, each player managing their hands and scoring points as they complete their secret objectives. While it does come in a small box, Fidelitas does take up a fair bit of space as you can see. Five location cards form the city and they each have a unique Guild symbol on them. Set up is fairly simple and at the beginning of the game, each of these locations is assigned a random Virtus card, and each player is provided with 2 Virtus cards and 2 Missio (secret mission) cards. The Virtus cards have a character and guild on them. During the game you will be moving these characters throughout the city in order to complete the objectives on your Missio cards. Each objective gains you points, depending on the difficulty of the mission. For example: “Gather 4 different Guilds at the Warehouse” will get you 1 point, but “Gather characters from 6 different Guilds across both Academic locations” will get you 3 points. The turns are simple: each turn you play a Virtus card, score Missio cards (if able) and draw replacement cards. In addition to the character and guild, the Virtus cards have an ability such as “Swap 1 card with any other card in a different location”, “Discard 1 card from your hand. Draw 3 cards” or “remove any 2 cards to the discard pile.” The Virtus cards must be placed in the location that matches their guild. The Butcher & Baker must go in front of an Artisan guild, the Shopkeeper & Broker in front of a Commerce guild, etc. Throughout the game you will be playing, moving and discarding the Virtus cards at the different locations in attempts to compete your Missio cards while your opponents do the same. This certainly poses a challenge the more players you have, and even at just 2 can sometimes be a bit pesky.

One of the standouts in Fidelitas is the Disney-esque art. The characters are interesting, well drawn and more diverse than you often see in tabletop games. Clean, cohesive design makes games so much more enjoyable and Fidelitas is no exception. The abilities/actions of the characters on the Virtus cards are well balanced, as are the point values of the Missio cards. We have played this games several times and one thing worth noting is that if you have players with directly conflicting missions it can start to become tedious. For example, one player is trying to accumulate X amount of cards in a location another player is trying to clear, etc. This doesn’t happen every game, but it is a possibility. Some cards enable you to draw new Missio cards, but not many, so this can loop for a bit and become taxing. Overall, Fidelitas is an interesting little game with beautiful art and constantly changing strategy that keeps you on your toes!

Overall Meeple Rating: 6.5/10

Game Mechanics:
1) Hand Management
2) Set Collection

Have any thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below.

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