At King’s Court
A game for 2 Mischievous players
MY wife and I had our first baby in April. As a result, our gaming has been lighter than before. Specifically, we have been playing a lot of 2-player games that do not take a long time. In my free time I have been developing a game like this for us to play. The premise is that each player is a member of the King's court and must try to bribe, poison, and blackmail others to get more influence. Some of the inspiration comes from Game of Thrones, though none of the game is based in that world.
The game is pretty simple and uses a rock/paper/scissors mechanic. But, over 50 test plays with a bunch of people it has turned out to be a lot of fun. I wanted to throw it up here and get feedback from the BGG community. If you have time and interest, please read through the rules and let me know what you think. If you'd like to play it, I have included the necessary files below. You will have to supply two dice and some tokens to be used as money and pawns.
I appreciate any and all feedback. If you'd like to download the rules, you can do so here: http://bit.ly/1BI554s
The goal of the game is to become the most influential member at the King’s Court.
To do that, you will compete to gain the most victory points by poisoning, bribing, and blackmailing other members of the court over 18 rounds.
18 Court Member Cards
6 Family Cards (6)
2 Player Boards
1 Main Board (Optional)
Shuffle the Family Cards and give each player one card. This card represents the player’s preferred family. This card should stay secret until the end of the game. It is possible that both players are in the same family.
Each player takes:
1 Player Board
Each player places their Pawn on the first location of their Influence Track.
Place the Main Board between the two players (use of this board is optional).
Shuffle the Court Member cards and place the deck on the Main Board.
Turn the first card up and begin the first round.
The game is played out over 18 rounds. Each round follows these steps:
1. Flip over one Court Member card.
2. Players secretly select one side of their die to reflect if they want to bribe, poison, or blackmail the current Court Member:
1 or 2 = Poison
3 or 4 = Blackmail
5 or 6 = Bribe
3. Players simultaneously reveal their dice and determine who wins the card:
Poison > Bribe
Bribe > Blackmail
Blackmail > Poison
Tie = discard the Court Member
4. The winning player takes the Court Member card and places it face down in the appropriate slot of their player board (Poison, Bribe, Blackmail).
5. Determine Dice Bonuses (see below).
6. The round ends.
Winning or Losing the Card
If players each select different actions, then:
Poison beats Bribe
Bribe beats Blackmail
Blackmail beats Poison
If players select the exact same die values then:
The Court Member Card is discarded and players determine if any bonuses are awarded before beginning the next round.
If players select the same action (Poison, Bribe, Blackmail), but different die values, then:
2 beats 1
4 beats 3
6 beats 5
*If a player selects an EVEN die value they must pay 1 coin, win or lose.
Dice Bonuses are only awarded to players who select ODD die faces.
If the player selects “1”, they gain one coin, win or lose.
If the player selects “3”, they move their pawn one spot on their track.
*This bonus is free if you win the round; if you lose, you may pay 1 coin to advance.
If the player selects “5”, they gain one coin, win or lose.
A player never gets a bonus if they select an an EVEN number die face.
The Game’s End
The game ends after all Court Member cards have been played (18 rounds). Players then add their points and the player with the most points is the winner.
1 VP for every card in your Poison pile that is not a member of your family.
1 VP for every card in your Bribe pile that is a member of your family.
1 VP for every colored or numbered pair in your Blackmail pile.
VPs equal to the your Pawn’s position on your Influence track.
If tied, the player with the most coins wins.
Hi, Tim. Congrats on your first baby. I have gone way beyond that as all three of my kids are now living on their own.
My family and I will try out your game. It looks intriguing (no pun intended). We are very versatile in the games we play, so this one will be no different.
I will get back to you on results from our perspective, but it may take a couple of weeks due to the holiday season right now.
Happy Holiday to you and your family.
Thanks for taking a look at the game. I look forward to seeing how it goes.