Nathan Woll
United States
Toledo
Ohio
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I wanted to create a game that would allow players to play to their strengths, or play the type of game they most enjoy, or simply play to their mood. The King's Guilds provides a great opportunity for friends to play together without compromising on a specific game style.

I love asymmetric games in general (see this thread for an incredible WIP that is similar to my game in theory: [WIP] "Town Square" - an asymmetric game where you play the "NPCs" )

The King's Guilds is asymmetric in the sense that each player has a different mechanism for generating points. It's not asymmetric like Vast: The Crystal Caverns or Deep - An Asymmetrical Sci-Fi 1X/1X/1X/1X Game in which each player has a different win condition - though I find these types of games awesome as well.

The King's Guilds is a 2-5 player game in which each player takes control of a guild and attempts to earn the most prestige points by the end of the game. Each guild has a different mechanism for the player to acquire commodities.

There are 6 commodities in the game - Coins, Resources (divided into Metal, Stone and Wood), Cards, and Favor.

Players will acquire these commodities and convert them to points. There are 4 main ways to score points. The first way to score points is to collect Favor from the other guilds. Each set (1 from the other 4 Guilds) earns points as well as an end-game reward for most total Favor. A second way to earn points is by playing Cards. Players can either build Buildings by spending Resources or Recruit Agents by spending Coins. Each card played is worth a certain number of points. A third way to earn points is by building on Guild monument. Each Guild has a monument and by paying Resources and Coins a player can increase a monument's height. Whenever a monument is built up the player that contributed receives points as well as an end-game reward to the Guild with the tallest monument. A fourth way to earn points is by earning the King's Favor which gets passed around as each Guild tries to curry Favor with the King.

An overview of the Guilds:
(in future posts I will explain in more detail)

Laborers:
The Laborers know all about Buildings and Agents. The Laborers play a hand-management game. They will draw Cards each turn and use the Cards for multiple functions. (similar to Bruges) Additionally, they can earn advancements which will upgrade their available actions.

Priests:
The Priest follow tradition and order. They utilize a mancala mechanism to establish their actions. (similar to Trajan and of course Kalah)

Adventurers:
The Adventurers love to explore. They spend Action Points each turn to flip over tiles and explore the surrounding area. (a little similar to Java I guess)

Wizards:
The Wizards enjoy casting spells. They will roll dice each turn to try to cast certain spells. (more similar to Roll for the Galaxy with shades of both Quarriors! and Alien Frontiers)

Merchants:
The Merchants will travel around and visit each guild. They utilize a rondel mechanism (similar to maybe Queen's Architect) and are the only Guild that can trade with other players. (obviously other Guilds can trade with them)

I've had some great response bringing this game to a few conventions and I will start blind playtesting soon.


The game currently plays in about 20 minutes per player but I think I can get that down to 15 per which is my goal.
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Nathan Woll
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Laborers:


The Laborers play a hand-management game. They get 3 free cards every turn so they can see a lot of Buildings and Agents. This is their strength. Additionally, they can gain "advancements" which can make their specific actions stronger or can give them more victory points for buildings. As with all guilds, multiple paths to victory are possible but the most common path is through playing cards and scoring the VP on the cards. Because of this, the Laborers will tend to lag behind during in-game scoring saving most of their points for the end. The Laborers have the hardest time collecting Resources but with their advancements and multiple card draws, their game will tend to snowball quickly. Much of the strategy is in determining how many advancements to pursue. If the Laborers go after too many advancements then the game might end before they can put their plans into action, yet if they go after too few they might not be able to compete with the other guild's stronger actions.

Priests


The Priests like to follow tradition and will take actions based on a mancala mechanism. The Priests are very rigid to play. While they have the most control of any guild, they don't have an obvious path to victory. The Priests can do everything a little better than average but nothing exceptionally well. Proper positioning in the mancala is super important. Many times, the Priests will want to take a specific action but cannot because of the way their path is set up.

Adventurers



The Adventurers like to explore and have exciting encounters. The Adventurers consist of a Scout, two Warriors, and an Ambassador. Each unit has its strengths. The Adventurers have action points to spend each turn. The Adventurers can be a bit swingy. Over the course of a game, things will tend to even out, but it will take smart play to ride out the bad or capitalize on the good. The Adventurers will need to rely on solid positioning of each of their units and maximizing their action points each turn.

Wizards



The Wizards will draw and roll dice, casting spells. The Wizards can gain lots of Resources but most of their actions are more costly than for the other guilds. A good Wizard player will need to be flexible and take advantage of what is rolled each turn. Long-term planning is hard, but there are many paths to victory. Spell tokens and other measures are available to give the Wizards more control over their dice but they come at a cost.

Merchants


The Merchants will move along a rondel visiting the other guilds. Each stop gives a few choices for actions. The Merchants can skip up to three stops but each guild they skip gets a Coin from the bank. The Merchants are the only guild that can trade with other guilds. The Merchants can really collect a lot of Favor but other paths to victory are available as well. The Merchants can be very strong but they need to rely on the other players to play lots of Buildings and Agents that the Merchants can visit; and they also need the other players to be willing trade partners.



The factions are all balanced and each guild provides a unique play experience.
I have played with multiple gaming groups at many conventions.
Blind playtesting should start soon.
(I am getting married in May so some of my game design time is getting pushed down the priority list.)
 
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Warren Fitzpatrick
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I don't want to hijack your post, as most people come here to hear what's going through your head for your project, but since i just played a demo of this at UD this past weekend, I thought I could add my voice for how amazing of a game this is. It has a little bit for everyone, regardless of your gaming preference, and that's something I've never seen before (and for good reason, I imagine it's been a pain to balance). I'll be subscribing and hopefully at some point will get up your way so we can take it for a longer spin!

wf
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Riccardo Previdi
Italy
Goito
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Sounds awesome! Subscribed!
 
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Stephen Woll
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As a (I feel) main play tester for this, it is a great game. I have played probably 12+ times and enjoy each game, and each is a different feel. Also very impressed with the balance of it from the beginning really.
 
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Nathan Woll
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Added some pics and a overview of each guild.

I got another play in this weekend with a few slight changes to streamline play and they worked well. With 5 players there is still some downtime but it seems comparable to Agricola, Terra Mystica, Dominant Species, etc.
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