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Subject: What is King of the Hill mechanic? rss

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Samo Oleami
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Reading about King of Tokyo I came across the phrase "King of the Hill" as being one of the mechanics of KoT. It's also apparently a part of Nexus Ops (regarding the monolith).

So I wonder if I could get more information:

1) What is King of the Hill mechanics?
(My guess is holding onto a certain territory that yields bonuses. And this territory is probably highly contested for.)
2) in which games can it be found?
(My guess: it's ameritrash legacy. So probably old AT games (?)) Any wargames with this?
 
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Chris L
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King of the Hill was a game we played when we were kids. It was played on snow piles from plows. The best were the piles at parking lots which were nice and big.

Everyone would rush to the top and there was a big melee where everyone would push, shove, wrestle, trip each other trying to knock each other off the top (no hitting though!). When knocked off we would climb back up and try to knock the person off the top again. It would go on like this until everyone was too tired to continue. It was a blast.

It at least goes back to the 60s when we played it and I'm sure it goes back way farther than that.
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Chris L
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There actually was a King of the Hill game!
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Samo Oleami
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Aaah. Okay. I knew it was an idiom, but didn't know it originated from the children's game.
(Being from continental Europe I didn't know this game).
 
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sgosaric wrote:
(Being from continental Europe I didn't know this game).

Kukkulan kuningas (king of the hill) is a popular children's activity in Finland, at least used to be in the 1970s. But although Finland is in Europe and part of a continent, maybe not the first place to think about when continental Europe is mentioned.
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igelkott255 wrote:
There actually was a King of the Hill game!
Is that about Propane and Propane accessories?
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Samo Oleami
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a1bert wrote:
sgosaric wrote:
(Being from continental Europe I didn't know this game).

Kukkulan kuningas (king of the hill) is a popular children's activity in Finland, at least used to be in the 1970s. But although Finland is in Europe and part of a continent, maybe not the first place to think about when continental Europe is mentioned.

Ha!

Okay, I guessed this originated in US or UK, apparently it's wider spread, anybody can track the lineage?

While we had certain games, this one I was never introduced to. We had one called "Stealing the land", but is actually a bit more elaborate (includes drawing on the ground and has turns).
 
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Shawn George
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sgosaric wrote:
1) What is King of the Hill mechanics?
(My guess is holding onto a certain territory that yields bonuses. And this territory is probably highly contested for.)


You've pretty much got it right here. King of the Hill is a mechanic you see more often in video games than in board games, but essentially it means that there is an objective that is meant to be held or captured for as long as possible. While you are in control of the objective, you score points or earn some other sort of bonus. The objective will typically change ownership many times over the course of a game, as once the objective has a new owner, the other players will work together to dethrone that player.

I would consider it to be a variation of the Area Control mechanic. But while Area Control usually has many unique areas that are contested, King of the Hill usually only has one (although two or three is not unheard of).
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Daniel Fish
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igelkott255 wrote:
King of the Hill was a game we played when we were kids. It was played on snow piles from plows. The best were the piles at parking lots which were nice and big.

Everyone would rush to the top and there was a big melee where everyone would push, shove, wrestle, trip each other trying to knock each other off the top (no hitting though!). When knocked off we would climb back up and try to knock the person off the top again. It would go on like this until everyone was too tired to continue. It was a blast.

It at least goes back to the 60s when we played it and I'm sure it goes back way farther than that.


Great description. Really a lot of fun when you're young.

King of the Hill is actually often an important meta-game in most interactive games with open scoring, as all other players will try to attack the player currently in the lead until positions change.
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Justin
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sgosaric wrote:
a1bert wrote:
sgosaric wrote:
(Being from continental Europe I didn't know this game).

Kukkulan kuningas (king of the hill) is a popular children's activity in Finland, at least used to be in the 1970s. But although Finland is in Europe and part of a continent, maybe not the first place to think about when continental Europe is mentioned.

Ha!

Okay, I guessed this originated in US or UK, apparently it's wider spread, anybody can track the lineage?

While we had certain games, this one I was never introduced to. We had one called "Stealing the land", but is actually a bit more elaborate (includes drawing on the ground and has turns).


Pre-civilization?

Seriously, all you need to play this "game" is 2+ people that desire to be the only one at the top of a hill. Snow/Hay/Sand just make it less painful for the people that fall down.

And I would say that the early "Adult" version of this game resulted in Castles.
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Brian Roddy
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I recall reading (somewhere--possibly in WHEN ELEPHANTS WEEP) that some animals (I want to say wolves?) have been observed playing king of the hill.

Not only is it an old mechanism, it's been developed by other species.
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Paul C
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It's called "King of the Castle" over here and would be irresistible to any group of young boys encountering a pile of anything big enough to stand on and wrestle over. Used to (and still does, for all I know) involve the "king" of the moment chanting "I'm the king of the castle, get down you dirty rascal!".
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Samo Oleami
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capracaligo wrote:
It's called "King of the Castle" over here and would be irresistible to any group of young boys encountering a pile of anything big enough to stand on and wrestle over. Used to (and still does, for all I know) involve the "king" of the moment chanting "I'm the king of the castle, get down you dirty rascal!".

Interesting.

found this (video on the link):

King of the castle 1957
http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/playground/clips/running/1...

Quote:
This footage was filmed in London in 1957 and shows a group of boys playing ‘King of the Castle’. The Opies describe this as a 'game and challenge'. As the footage shows, the player who is King has to take up position at a height and the other players must then attempt to pull him down. This game seems to have an impressive history. The Opies note that the rhyme is quoted in Latin, by Horace (20 BC) in his Epistulae: 'Rex erit qui recte faciet;/Qui non faciet, non erit'. There is also evidence of the game from 16th-century France. A Scottish version of the rhyme was well known in the 17th century and began with the line: 'I, William of the Wastle, Am now in my Castle'. There is a similar version of the rhyme in America, 'Hally, hally, hastle, Get off my new castle'.


Now, I'm getting curious why we didn't play this as kids. Maybe socialism banned this capitaistic struggle for supremacy...
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King of Tokyo

This might be the game you're looking for...

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Pete
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I guess any game which actively encourages ganging up on the leader, especially if the leader gets bonuses for being the leader, abstractly qualifies as a "king of the hill game."

My latest example is Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery, especially with the expansion and more than 4 players. When you're the leader in influence and money, you have more power than the rest of the players, but all of the other players come after you, and most of the time you get knocked down. Winning that game means getting on top of "the hill" and surviving the inevitable asault from other players.

Pete (played a game recently in which various players hit 11 influence 14 different times before one managed to get to 12)
 
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Paul C
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sgosaric wrote:

found this (video on the link):

King of the castle 1957
http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/playground/clips/running/1...


I never knew there were actual RULES to it!

That film is also an example of how generations of city kids innocently made exciting playgrounds out of bombsites (some of which remained undeveloped until at least 1980ish).
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capracaligo wrote:
sgosaric wrote:

found this (video on the link):

King of the castle 1957
http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/playground/clips/running/1...


I never knew there were actual RULES to it!

That film is also an example of how generations of city kids innocently made exciting playgrounds out of bombsites (some of which remained undeveloped until at least 1980ish).
No, me neither! Didn't even know it was a game. In my 80's childhood it was just a case of standing on a thing and shouting the line. Nothing even happened!
 
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Jonathan Mastropi
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It is one of my favorite games from childhood to till now. It is a good and entertaining idea. I like to play it again and again, I never get bored of this game. Surely you also have to play it once. It is a children's game, but I like to play it sometime.
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Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
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What is King of the Hill?

 
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Matt Green
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sgosaric wrote:
1) What is King of the Hill mechanics?
(My guess is holding onto a certain territory that yields bonuses. And this territory is probably highly contested for.)
2) in which games can it be found?
(My guess: it's ameritrash legacy. So probably old AT games (?)) Any wargames with this?


Ah-ha! I knew someone else would get interested in this eventually- and it's you! Marvelous.

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9679787#9679787

Add Antler Island to the list too and, more loosely things like Eclipse and Nexus Ops.

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Eric Nolan
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Another feature of the king of the hill game is the asymmetry. The person on the hill usually has a strategic advantage due to position. The attackers have to climb up and it's easier for the defender to keep them off. The attackers have the numbers though so eventually one of them will supplant the king. Climbing frames in playgrounds is another likely location for this activity. Those are also more likely to result in injuries.

Most boardgames mentioned as having this mechanic don't really exhibit this though. I suggest Eclipse as another example. The galactic centre is a very valuable system, whoever takes it first is likely to fortify it with space stations. It's very likely that every other player has access to the system and will attack if they think they can win.
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Jim Rice
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Its funny, when I first saw this question posed I was like "Oh yeah, we played that", but the more I thought about it the more I realized it was a fairly large game in the life of a kid with little TV and no electronics. Snow mounds in the winter, sand dunes at the beach, dirt and rock piles at the quarries, a raft on the lake, all would be hotly contested until a clear victor was found or someone was sent home in tears. I kind of play it now with my kids but thats more of a "King of the Daddy", as they all fight to hold the prized position of standing on my head
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We played King of the Dock, which would often end with someone vomiting lake water on the beach. Good fun.
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To me, King of the Hill mechanic is still a Halo thing, or at least some first Person shooter



bobcatpoet wrote:
What is King of the Hill?



The younger crowd oughtta be much more familiar with this version...
 
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Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
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Criminal. "Family Guy" cannot hold the Texas jock of "King of the Hill."
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