Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel holds a special place in my heart. My brother bought a copy from a big box store when I was a teenager, and despite the thin rules, we were absolutely fascinated by the game. Unlike any board game we’d played before, Siege of the Citadel had dozens of plastic miniatures, weapon cards, character sheets, missions, and a full campaign mode. The game was incredibly thematic and immersive, even if the rules left a few too many dots for the players to connect for themselves. We each gravitated towards our favorite Corporations, and we lost hours of our lives battling against the nefarious Dark Legion in order to earn Promotion Points and Credits for our teams of Doomtroopers. Simply put, it blew our minds.
The game has been out of print for years at this point and getting your hands on a complete copy has become more and more difficult over time. Thankfully, Modiphius has managed to get the rights to the game, and they have taken to Kickstarter to fund a fully realized second edition of the game. Siege of the Citadel Second Edition isn’t going to be just a prettied up version of the original game, as Modiphius have brought renowned designers Kevin Wilson, Jay Little, and Eric M. Lang on board to help original designer Richard Borg both update and re-balance the rules.
Siege of the Citadel is a mashup of mostly-cooperative play and 1 vs many play that puts each player in control of a pair of Doomtroopers that they will equip, fight with, and level up throughout the game’s various missions. Each mission pits the combined might of the Doomtroopers against the Dark Legion. The Doomtroopers are all working towards a common goal, but each squad also has Secondary Missions that might conflict with the goals of the other teams of Doomtroopers. The other pairs of Doomtroopers are best thought of as “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” rather than true allies.
One of the best features of Siege of the Citadel, a feature that still lives in this second edition, is how the game handles the Dark Legion. Instead of the typical 1 vs many setup in games like Descent, or Star Wars: Imperial Assault, control of the Dark Legion rotates from player to player each mission. A player doesn’t use their team of Doomtroopers when it’s their turn to control the Dark Legion, but the beauty of the system is that their Doomtroopers are still rewarded and powered up based on how well they perform as the Dark Legion. This means that the players are incentivized to do their very best when they are in control of the Dark Legion, yet doesn’t stick just one player with the task of being the baddies all of the time. It’s a competitive system that works really well, especially considering the level of competition between squads of Doomtroopers.
The gameplay lives solidly at the intersection of dungeon crawl and dicefest, and that fits the diesel-punk universe and the structure of the game very well. Not only does the game come with custom dice, but the miniatures are updated and look great, and the infamous plastic trays that hold the Doomtrooper character sheets have been reworked. The originals featured punchouts that had holes for little plastic pegs, but it was easy to dislodge the pegs, or worse lose them and lose track of character progression. The new game tracks progression with a combination of a character board and cards, and the mockup shown looks much more user friendly in the second edition than the ones from the original game.
Siege of the Citadel is being offered at two levels, the Doomtrooper level at $69 (the level that I have pledged at) and the Dark Legion level at $149. While both pledges come with the base game, the difference in the two pledges appears to be in what stretch goals will be available for each. At this point a few extra cards have been unlocked at the Doomtrooper level with some other goals announced. Apparently, the Dark Legion pledge level is getting all announced stretch goals regardless of whether they fund or not. This is a really interesting pledge level and something that I’m not familiar with.
Modiphius released this bit of clarification about the Dark Legion pledge level in the fifth Kickstarter update for the game:
The Dark Legion Pledge is GUARANTEED to get all visible Stretch Goals shown in the Stretch Goal graphic regardless of whether they are funded. That means those pledges are currently also getting the Double Stairwell Tile Set, the 3 Part Mini Campaign by Kevin Wilson and the Plastic Insert Stairwell & Tile (see below).
The Dark Legion Pledge is GUARANTEED to get all current Stretch Goals of the DoomTrooper Pledge (which include a bonus set of 5 cards for each card deck). As we unveil more of the Stretch Goals for this Pledge they will be added in as well.
Players can get their hands on extra miniatures, dice, and tiles via addons, and shipping costs are separate from the pledges, but there is a handy chart that show the maximum shipping cost based on the region in which you live.
Siege of the Citadel 2nd Edition is planned to be delivered to backers in October 2017.