ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips for Playing Castle Panic, a Tower Defense Game

Updated on August 22, 2017
Board-Game-Brooke profile image

I love board games and card games, particularly ones that allow cooperative or solo gameplay.

Defeat monsters in this fun tower defense game

Learning a new board game can be difficult, especially if you don't have any seasoned players in your group. There are so many rules to remember, and the instructions rarely give you the tips you need to win consistently.

While I learned Castle Panic by watching Wil Wheaton's TableTop, I felt like they didn't cover much strategy. I've been playing this game using the solo rules for over a year and I've only lost once. So here are my tips so you can play Castle Panic like a pro!

(Note: these tips are for playing the base game, not the Wizard's Tower expansion.)

Do you play Castle Panic?

See results
The game
The game | Source

Set-up tips

Before you start to play...

  • The instructions say to stack the monster tokens, but that's not such a good idea. Always use a cup or other container that allows you to mix the pieces up thoroughly. You don't want to get Draw 4 Monsters followed by Draw 3 Monsters two games in a row! (It may sound far-fetched, but it actually happened to me. It was NOT fun.) On TableTop, they used a big coffee mug; I use an old margarine container.

  • When you're positioning the first set of monsters, always divide them up so that you have one goblin in each color block (red, blue, green) and one troll or orc in each color. That way, the harder monsters are spread evenly and you won't have more than one in any color. The last thing you want is a troll AND an orc in the same color if you don't draw any defense cards for that region. (This tip is more critical if you play solo or with two players; the more players you have, the more likely that someone will have a card you need.)

Castle Panic
Castle Panic

The original game. Can be played solo (which is how I play) or by as many as six players, with both cooperative and competitive variations.


Playing tips

  • When it's your turn, the first thing to do is decide if to trade a card with another player or discard and draw a new one from the deck. I usually do both, because it's rare that I can use every card in my hand. Trading is the more valuable option since there's less risk: you can see what the other players have and judge whether any of those cards are useful against the monsters on the board. Discarding is chancy, since you have no idea what you'll get, but I still recommend you try it if you're holding a card that's of no use on your current turn -- especially if you've got a troll or a boss that's threatening a wall or castle. There are some cards (brick, mortar, missing) that are worth holding until the right opportunity, but don't be afraid to discard them if your defensive needs are urgent!

  • When you're ready to play your cards, start with the ones that can only be played a single way – for instance, a red archer when there's only one monster in that ring. Once you've got the obvious pairings of monsters and cards out of the way, it's easier to look at what's left and decide how to play the cards that could be used against more than one target.

  • This may seem obvious, but you aren't limited to playing one card per monster. (For instance, you can hit a single troll with two archers and a hero to wipe it out.) If you have a troll or a boss getting near a wall (or worse, an unprotected tower), use any card you can on that monster first! Monsters are very hard to kill once they get into the tower ring, so you want to be sure to stop the toughest ones early.

  • On a related note, don't pass on damaging a big monster in the knight ring because you plan to hit it in the next round. I've had the bad luck of doing that in order to eliminate a smaller monster and then drawing a "monsters move" token that caused the troll to move an extra time -- thus losing me a wall and then a tower.

A close-up of the game board
A close-up of the game board | Source

Trick the deck tips

  • I give Wil Wheaton full credit for this tip, since I learned it from Tabletop. If you have both Draw 2 Cards and Scavenge in your hand, you can play Draw 2 Cards and follow up by playing Scavenge -- only you scavenge Draw 2 Cards from the discard deck, allowing you to play it again and draw another two extra cards. This is a great way to beef up your hand in a pinch!

  • When might you want to hold rather than play Draw 2 Cards? Before you give in to the instinct to use this card, consider your hand. Do you have enough ammunition to defeat the current crop of monsters on the board, or can you at least neutralize the immediate threats? If so, you might do better to hold that card for the moment. Here's an example. On the board: Orc in Green Knight ring and Goblin in Blue Swordsman ring. I have a blue Hero in my hand that will defeat the Goblin. I also have a Green Knight and Green Hero, which will kill the Orc. So I'm playing three cards this turn and will be able to replenish those cards. If I play Draw Two now, I'll get two extra cards, but then I won't draw as many to replenish my hand. Since I don't need extra cards immediately, I'm better off holding the Draw 2 for a later round.

  • When the deck runs out, don't shuffle until you're ready to draw a new card. That way, any cards you play up to that point will end up in the re-shuffled deck and therefore be available to draw again. While that advantage may seem trivial, it's very important for certain rare cards like Draw 2, Scavenge, Fortify, and Drive Him Back – you want to maximize the odds of getting those cards another time.

Castle Panic on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop

Still feeling unsure about your playing ability? Watch Wil Wheaton and friends play a round on Tabletop!

© 2014 C A Chancellor

Share your tips to win at Castle Panic

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)