The Last Banquet – Tabletop Game Review

As a member of the royal court your presence is requested for a very prestigious banquet in honour of his majesty the King. This party will play host to the King’s friends, trusted members of council, and various levels of parliament; too bad they are all trying to kill him. Among the buzz of conversation, the slushing of wine, the laughter and the music it is the perfect occasion for an assassination. In Fantasy Flight’s game “The Last Banquet” you play as one of the many people at the party intent on the King’s demise. With only his family in his corner the King will be doing everything he can to get through the night without being stabbed or poisoned. 

The Last Banquet tabletop game reviews Gameapalooza AustraliaThe Last Banquet party game – Eat, drink and be merry!

Setup & Gameplay
Designed by Michael Nietzer, Oliver Wolf, and Britta Wolf, The Last Banquet is a multi-sided social deduction game that places you within one of six unique scenarios, all with deadly intent. It has a wonderful mix of strategy and teamwork that relies on players understanding their team mates capabilities while thinking ahead to manage the chaos of the turn order. Despite the King being significantly outnumbered, managing a successful assassination provides a significant challenge.

You begin each scenario by selecting a character card that will determine your gender, role, status, and even temperament. On the back of each character card is a list of actions that your character can perform, including a “favour” that you may perform only with the permission of the King. Along with your character you will select a token to wear around your neck that will indicate what faction you belong to, the Towers or the Roses. The third faction at the party is the King, the Queen, and other members of his family depending on the number of players. The goal for the king is simple, stay alive. The Towers and the Roses will provide one member of their party the assassin’s weapon and this person alone will be able to perform the murder. To ensure the King’s demise all your team has to do is ensure their assassin is seated next to the King at the end of any of the three rounds. As every group is in direct confrontation this task proves trickier than you may think. A careless move or an obvious play can result in the assassin’s identities being revealed increasing the complexity of the task.

You begin the round standing in a circle and the King’s sceptre is passed from player to player in any direction the King desires. It will continue in the same direction until the end of the round regardless of any changes to the player positions within the circle. This means players will have their turn jumped regularly, but the round does not end until every player has had a go. Upon receiving the sceptre each character may use one of their actions printed on the back of the character card and then sit down in their place indicating their position at the banquet and that their turn has ended. Each team must use their abilities wisely to position their assassin next to the King while stifling the other faction. Should you and your opposition both manage to position their assassin next to the King on the same round then both assassin’s are identified and the game continues with this information revealed to all players. 



Throughout our plays of this game we had plenty of player interaction and even after each turn was completed players had a lot to say on what moves to take next and what players should do to out fox the opposition. The Last Banquet uses physical space and seating as a clever mechanic for creating complexity of game play. Players must manage their abilities, seating positions, and turn order creating a stimulating game play, as well as encouraging players to get into character and act up a storm. 



Our players only managed to get through the first scenario in our time playing and left feeling that we could have done so a few more times. The fact that there are an addition five more scenarios to play leaves a lot of game play in the box. This is to say nothing of the number of characters that can be swapped in and out to further mix things up. 

The Last Banquet game review from Gameapalooza Australian tabletop game news and reviewsWell you have to admit, the art is nice.

Gameapalooza House Rules
None.

Players 6-25 (yeah 25)
Ages: 10+
Setup Time: About 5 minutes (10 the first time)
Play Time: 45 minutes

Game Build Quality
The components are exceptional, the artwork is wonderful, and the character flavour text and abilities are all thematic assisting with immersion into the game. The rules are easy to follow, clearly and succinctly walking you through the first game and subsequent scenarios.

Overall


The Last Banquet is a fun interactive party game that will work as a light social game, but has enough depth to keep more serious gamers engaged. The game moves quickly and encourages lots of player discussion and group problem solving. It will require a bit of room to move and a good number of players. We played with 15 people which was a great number, but if you struggle to get more than 6 people to a games evening this may not be the game for you. If you can however, it is highly recommend. 

[author] [authorimage timthumb=’off’]/content/images/2016/02/gameapalooza-micro-review-icon-sm.gif[/authorimage] [authorinfo]Micro Review – If you’re looking for a fun interactive party game with some depth for veteran gamers, give The Last Banquet a try. It’s fast moving, thematic and fun, though it does require a larger number of players. Highly recommended.
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info] [/author]