Thoughtful Games

1244: The Fall of Montsegur

The development of the game is currently on hold.

In March 1244, the castle of Montsegur surrendered after a 10 month long siege. The castle was home of the Cathars, a group of people who followed a religion with roots in early Christianity. The besieging army was crusaders blessed by the Catholic Church. When Montsegur surrendered, the survivors were given the choice of renouncing their faith or being burnt at the stake. More than 200 chose death.

1244: The Fall of Montsegur is a strategic board game inspired by the historical event. One player takes on the role of commanding the crusading army. The other player takes on the role of commanding the defense of Montsegur. In a series of turns the players fight to gain control of the area around Montsegur and the souls of the Cathars trapped inside the castle. At the end of the siege, victory points are scored to determine if the Cathar faith survives the fall.


The goal in 1244: The Fall of Montsegur is to claim the majority of the souls of the Cathar perfects trapped inside the castle. The inquisitors of the Crusaders try to get the misguided to repent, while the Cathars perfects try to escape or to have faith to make the final sacrifice: Burn for their belief.

The religious struggle takes place on the background of a military campaign, where each side strives to gain control of the battlefield and to endure the hardships of the long siege.

In a number of turns each representing roughly one month of the siege, each player in turn plays cards to advance his goals and to sabotage his opponent. Each card can either be played for the point value on the card to take one of the standard actions or be played for the event on the card. Some events benefit solely the Cathars, others the Crusaders, and some can benefit both depending on who plays it and what the position on the board is. In every turn one card from each player's hand is not played but is kept for the final scoring.

Feedback from players

"Well-balanced, historically amusing, challenging and fun!"

"The experience of being in a siege was spot on! Nice!"

"The game constantly presents tough choices to be prioritised."

"A story emerges from the event cards."

"Simple mechanics with complex strategy."

"I like that you don't win by attacking the opponent - but you have to attack the opponent in order to win."

Nominations and awards

"The Fall of Montsegur combines the lovely theme with an array of the best known, most modern mechanics of the rest of the board gaming world."

--- Fastaval 2013 Board Game Jury

Download (playtest)

Sample cards

2013 Thoughtful Games