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Kardinal & König: Das Kartenspiel» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report rss

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Together with Tobiasz and Niq, we went for the first playing of Kardinal und Koenig - das kartenspiel. The game is available for download from Michael Schacht’s Spiele aus Timbuktu site, for self-printing and assembly. It is fairly simple, with 56 cards lying face-up on the table in four rows of 14 cards each. The cards depict nine different lands in medieval Europe (the lands are different than in the original Kardinal und Koenig a.k.a. Web of Power), and they have up to two symbols of different noble families and/or roads/seaways. The players take turns picking cards from the table, starting from the extreme left or right (8 cards to choose from each time). Each player also has 3 claiming-stones to place on the cards still on the table, and if somebody else picks up a claimed card, s/he must pay a penalty. There are also eight random tokens scattered on top of the cards, which either give one-time special abilities to the player who picks them up, or a penalty of 2 victory points at the end of the game. These tokens are the only unknown factor in the game – all the other cards are face-up and known to the players. Victory points are acquired for having a share in each land’s ownership, as well as for establishing land routes or seaways (at least 5 road/seaway symbols) and for controlling the most powerful noble family in each land (most symbols of the same kind in one land).
The rules seemed much more dry to me when I read them than upon the first playing; the game proved quite enjoyable, and pretty quick – more of a filler than the main course in a gaming meal.
In this game, I quickly went for Hungary and England, Tobiasz scooped up the majority in Saxony and Castille, while Niq picked up Italy and France. However, both of them made the mistake of taking more than the needed 1 over half of these countries, allowing me to buy into their collection (in the scoring system reminiscent of Kardinal und Koenig, the second player in each country gets the number of points equal to the number of cards held by the winning player in the land). On top of this, Tobiasz managed to draw all three of the -2 VP tokens, which seriously hampered his chances.
In the end, I managed an easy win with 66 points over Niq’s 44 and Tobiasz’s 31.
I rate the game at 7 after the first play. Neither Niq nor Tobiasz gave formal scores, but they both said they enjoyed playing. The game took us a little over half an hour.
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