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Avignon: A Clash of Popes - Dastardly Review #122

Avignon: A Clash of Popes by John du Bois and published by Button Shy Games is a fun, strategic push/pull tug-o-war game.

Two players compete as Popes to get three people into their congregation.

If you don't know Button Shy, they have a unique niche in the gaming industry - high quality card based games delivered in a nice wallet which makes them perfect for sticking them in your purse, pocket, backpack or car. Each game typically has a maximum of 18 cards.

Setup is super easy. Five location cards form the coast of Italy and your playing area. Next to the middle location card five random people cards are placed. The rest of the people cards form a draw deck.

Play is also quick and easy...well not really as this game requires a surprising amount of strategy. During your turn you get two actions:

Beseech - pull one card towards you

Chastise - push one card away from you

Excommunicate - remove/replace a card

Petition - use a card's power

And the game isn't as simple as getting three people in your area. Some card combinations are deadly. If you get a Noble and a Peasant in your congregation you lose. Or if you maneuver a Knight into your opponents area you win!

This simple game has enough variations within it to make it really really fun.


We thoroughly enjoyed Clash of Popes. The cards are high quality with simple, classy art and easy to understand instructions and icons.

Another winner by Button Shy!

The Good: Game play is fast and challenging. We won multiple ways. There was no single method that worked best. Play kept adjusting to the cards that came up.

The Bad: Not much! I hope they bring out more character cards and maybe 2 more location cards to make the play area 7 cards long.

The Dastardly: This was one of the most deceptive games we have played. When you open it you think 'wow this is too easy'. Then as you play you gain appreciation for the depth of the game. Then after you finish the game you immediately want to play it again to try a different strategy. Well done!

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