Capo dei Capi Review

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Capo dei Capi is a game by Steve Finn published by Dr. Finn’s Games.  It is for 2 players.  It is a game of area control and dice rolling with a bit of press your luck thrown in for good measure.  The goal is to have the most victory points by having the most influence on the area cards.  To begin, you place the Mayor card in the center of the play area, then put the 3 cards with “white dice” symbols on one side and the “black dice” symbols on the other side in numerical order.  You place 2 of the red value cubes on the Mayor card and then place the other supply markers on either end of the area cards, sorting the influence tokens, mayor chips, bribe tokens and value cubes.  Place the “hitman” pawn to the side and determining who goes first.  The first player takes 4 mayor chips and the other player takes 5.  The first player now rolls the dice.  This is where a bit of luck comes in.  Each roll of the dice will allow one of 5 different actions, depending on the outcome of the roll.  The first action is Influence, when both die roll a 3 or less.  The player chooses one of the dice to represent an influence token and the other die to represent an area, matching color of the dice.  The next action is Extort, when 1 die rolls a 4 and the other is 3 or less.  The player places a mayor chip from the supply next to the mayor card and moves the red pawn the number of the dice that was not a 4.  If a player ends their turn and the mayor pawn is at level 5, they take half of the value cubes from the mayor card.  If it is at level 6, they take all off them.  The next action is Bribing, when 1 die is a 5 and the other is 4 or less.  If the other die is 3 or less, the player takes a bribe token from the supply and places it next to the area card that matches the die that was not a 5.  If the player rolled a 4, then a bribe and extort action take place.  The following 3 actions then take place.  The player flips one of the opponents bribe tokens on an area card.  The player then raises the extortion level on the mayor card by that number.  If there are no bribe tokens, the player raises the level by 2 instead.  Then finally the player places a mayor chip by the mayor card.  The next action is Invest, when 1 die is a 6 and the others are 5 or less.  If the other die is 3 or less, the player moves a value cube from the supply onto the matching area card.  If the other die is a 4,  the player Invests and Extorts.  Placing a value cube onto the mayor card, he then raises the extortion level by the number of cubes on the mayor card and places a chip beside it as well.  If the other die is a 5, the player Invests and Bribes.  Placing a value cube from the supply onto any area card of their choice and then flipping an opponent’s bribe token on that card.  The final action is the Special Action, when the player rolls double.  First off they will take the “hitman” token.  Double 1s – double 3s, the player places an influence token of that amount next to any area card.  Double 4s, the player takes a mayor chip, places a mayor chip next to the mayor card and raises the extortion level by 1.  Double 5s, the player places a bribe token next to any area card.  Double 6s, the player moves a value cube from one area card to another.  If there are no cubes, the player takes one from the supply and places it on any area card.  Each player will push their luck trying to gain as much influence and placing as many tokens as possible without busting.  Busting happens in one of several ways, by rolling doubles twice, by being unable to place a token (only one token may be placed near an area card at a time) and by exceeding the maximum extortion level of 6 on the mayor card.  If the player busts, he loses all the tokens that were placed near the cards during that turn, however any influence cubes remain on the cards.  Once the player decides to end his turn, he moves all the tokens onto the area cards and takes any mayor tokens he received during his turn.  He then resets the Extortion level back to 0 on the Mayor card and returns the hitman back to the supply.  As I learned from the designer, “most of the strategy in the game lies in the use of the mayor chips.”  These chips can help you during your turn by keeping you from busting or even allowing you to move influence and bribe tokens onto area cards, freeing up space for more tokens.  They can even hurt your opponent, making them reroll the most recent dice roll.  Play continues back and forth until 1 of 3 things happens, there are no more value cubes, no more bribe tokens, or no more influence tokens of a particular value.  Scoring then happens by adding up all the tokens on each area card.  The player with the highest number takes the card and all the value cubes on it.  Each area card and each value cube is worth one point.  The player with the most points wins.

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COMPONENTS
Every piece in this game is high quality, from the box to the components.  The tokens are very thick and sturdy as are the area cards.  The area cards have beautiful artwork reminiscent of movies like “the Godfather”.  The pawns and value cubes are brightly colored wood.  They are very nice.  There are even player aid cards that show how each roll of the dice works and summarize the mayor chip abilities.  Everything here screams quality.  I can’t complain about anything in this one.
10 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook is a beauty of design.  With beautiful pictures and examples throughout, there’s nothing here that isn’t helpful.  Everything is easy to read and understand.  It didn’t take long to read through and begin playing right away.  I think more designers should take a look at this rulebook on how things should be done.
10 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This game is very entertaining.  As you play through your turn, you feel the pressure of losing like a Las Vegas gambler.  It’s always a balance of knowing when to keep rolling and when to stop before you lose all the progress you made.  It’s a very quick game and only takes 15-20 minutes to play.  I can see this one getting plenty of repeat game play from us as either a filler or when there’s not a lot of time to play.  It’s also very quick to set up, so not much wait time on this one.  Again, there’s nothing to complain about here.
10 out of 10

OVERALL
Capo dei Capi is a light weight filler game with a strategic press your luck feel to it.  It also has a small portion of area control to it as well with the area cards. As I’ve stated numerous times, there’s nothing to complain about with this game.  I absolutely LOVE it.  It’s fun and it’s fast.  So many times during gaming sessions, we will get done with a large game and not have time for another game.  Well not any more, with this little jewel in hand, games can still be played.  Needless to say, I highly recommend this game to everyone.  It works well with every level of player.  PICK THIS ONE UP!!!
10 out of 10

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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