$10.00
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Kingdoms» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Kingdoms - a short, entertaining game for 2-4 players rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
W. Tan
United States
San Mateo
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Kingdoms is an older, matrix-based tile-laying game by Reiner Knizia. Players take turns drawing and placing counters that have positive numbers, negative numbers, or special effects printed on them. They may also place claim markers instead. The claim markers are unequal in terms of strength - some apply a 1x multiplier, while others apply a 2x to 4x multiplier. When the matrix is completely filled, the round ends, and scores are totaled for each column and row. The result is multiplied by the strength (1x, 2x, etc.) of the claim marker(s) each player has in that column or row. Then the matrix is cleared and a new round begins. The game ends after three rounds, and the player with the highest score wins.

Strengths:

1. Short game length (around 30 minutes). More games can be played in the space of an afternoon.

2. Tactical decisions
. Players can improve their position by placing counters to increase their score or decrease an opponent’s score (ideally doing both).

3. Strategic decisions. When to place a claim marker, and what strength to use, is at least as important as where the game counters are placed, which leads to:

4. Fluid game state. Usually, the winner is not clear until the game is over. A player who appears in the lead may have played all or most of his high-strength claim markers, while someone who appears to be falling behind might be saving his high-strength claim markers for last.

Weaknesses:

1. Essentially no theme. I have described the game so far without referring to its medieval (castles, dragons, trolls, etc.) theme. That’s because the theme is an afterthought – it could have been published as a purely abstract game (like Ingenious) and still lose none of its flavor.

2. A fair amount of time is spent calculating scores. Every row and column in the matrix must be scored three times. Time spent scoring can easily amount to 10 of the 30 minutes in a game, or 33% of the game length.

3. Uneventful early turns.
The first 5-10 turns are somewhat boring – no one wants to lay down a claim marker until he or she has an idea of how the matrix will shape up. However, until someone stakes a claim, there isn’t much player interaction.

This is a solid, entertaining game, and a good example of Fantasy Flight’s Silver Line of games. The company does not seem to be interested in developing/importing new games of this type, which is a pity. I think there is a niche market for these games – inexpensive, easy to learn, quick to set-up and play, targeted towards 2 players. Nowadays, FFG is focused on releasing $80-$100 "epics" that are more toy than game (dozens of colorful figures, hundreds of counters, licensed properties, etc.). In particular, they seem to be on a roll with the “adventure game” genre – Arkham Horror, Runebound, World of Warcraft adventure game, and soon Game of Thrones adventure game. But this is a topic to take up some other time.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Walker
United States
North Andover
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
So many douchebags, so few bullets.
mbmbmbmbmb
Good description. I like this game. Part of the strategy is figuring out when to play your high scoring castles. I believe that once you play them, they are taken out of the game so you can't use them in later rounds.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Kiifner
United States
Etna
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If you like this one...try Beowulf: The Movie Board Game. It's the same game with a few twists. The theme still feels pasted on; but the board configuration CHANGES with each round, so the gameplay is a little longer. It's a nice variant that's on sale pretty cheap at many B&N stores right now and pops up on Tanga once in a while.

Nice review, BTW. The simplicity/complexity of this game is what makes it great; and you've done a good job covering both aspects. thumbsup
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
Costa Rica
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I am thinking you are taking way to much time on the scoring?

I really enjoy this one, I play it a whole and am still amazed with how much strategy there is in this one!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Betty Dingus
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
keef22 wrote:
If you like this one...try Beowulf: The Movie Board Game. It's a nice variant that's on sale pretty cheap at many B&N stores right now
This week it's 75% off (if the store carries it -- only one of our local B&Ns did). Next week - if there are any left - it will be marked down to $2 if the rumors are true.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
W. Tan
United States
San Mateo
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Dingus wrote:
keef22 wrote:
If you like this one...try Beowulf: The Movie Board Game. It's a nice variant that's on sale pretty cheap at many B&N stores right now
This week it's 75% off (if the store carries it -- only one of our local B&Ns did). Next week - if there are any left - it will be marked down to $2 if the rumors are true.


I have a theory why this game didn't sell well. It was packaged as an American-style game (big box, licensed property, plastic figures, etc.), but is essentially a re-theming of Kingdoms, a Euro-style game. The average B&N customer probably thought they were getting a certain type of game (along the lines of Arkham Horror, Doom, Last Night on Earth, etc.), but got something completely different.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Betty Dingus
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You're right. Also maybe most movie or other franchise games aren't that good. Or not many people saw Beowulf that wanted to relive it as a boardgame. Or maybe it was seen as too expensive. I have no idea who the average B&N customer is, but I wish they had a wider taste in games (as in the store carried more and better games, as few people know of the boardgame hobby shops).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Morgan
Canada
Brantford
Ontario
flag msg tools
Is this anything like Fealty? Fealty is one of my favourite games and this seems to be similar.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.