Jack Eddy
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Kingdom Builder: Marshlands
Designed by Donald X. Vaccarino
Art by Oliver Schlemmer
Published by Queen Games - 2016


What’s New?

Like previous expansions, Marshlands adds new content meant to seamlessly integrate into the base game, with new rules only applying when the Marshlands components enter play. This approach works well for Kingdom Builder, further expanding the limitless combinations of player powers and scoring conditions present in any one game. The most prominent feature of Marshlands is the new terrain type, Swamps. Shuffled into the terrain deck are five cards that when drawn let a player build on the depicted “classic” terrain OR swamps. Otherwise, swamps are off limits; that is unless you use any of the billion special powers throughout KB and its expansions to manipulate your settlements.

The more fundamental change is how bonus tiles work. Like most other boards in Kingdom Builder, each of these have two locations that provide bonus powers. In times past, a player could grab a rocket camel from each rocket camel depot and be done with it. Not so here! If you manage to grab the same tiles from two different locations, you get an ultra-super-MEGA bonus power; either altering how your two tiles work or granting an additional ability. These abilities are dramatic, and will strike fear into the hearts and minds of your opponents when you manage to collect one. Take for instance the Temple. Alone, it allows you to remove a settlement to place a fourth during your build next turn, but with both Temples, you can ignore adjacency during your first normal placement on all future turns! These powers are no joke.

Aside from that, Marshlands comes equipped with a handful of new Kingdom Builder Cards (victory point conditions), and a new board feature, palaces. The new cards are pretty wild and have a big impact on gameplay, such as Scouts which eliminates all terrain cards of a type and grants points for building next to that terrain. Palaces on the other hand add a nice bit of elegant player interaction. Unlike castles in previous sets, which score 3 points to each player who built adjacent to them, each palace scores a player 5 points if they have the most adjacent settlements. This stops players from late game “boop-ing” several castles for a giant point gain with minimal effort.



Should you get it?

If this were a $5 promo pack with just the new Kingdom Builder cards, I’d say it’s a must buy and easily the strongest addition to the base game; the new scoring conditions are fun, balanced, and at times weird. As it stands, I think this is still a solid expansion with perhaps the most “global” changes to Kingdom Builder, but not everything is perfect.

I don’t particularly care for the new ultra-super-MEGA powers in the game. They tend to dominate a game’s focus, seducing players with their promise of unlimited power. Not every game is won because of these powers but it feels disheartening when your opponent unlocks one.

Kingdom Builder thrives on variety, and fortunately it self-regulates surprisingly well for the many variables that occur during setup. While I don’t love everything about Marshlands, I think it does the best job of any expansion so far to overall flesh out the game’s variety, which is really what makes Kingdom Builder so great.

If you liked this review, follow us on twitter @cardboardherald and check out our podcast featuring interviews with creative gamers and game creators on iTunes, Stitcher, or www.cardboardherald.com
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Dirk Meijlof
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Thanks for the review. Looking foward to try this expansion (still waiting for my kickstarter reward).
 
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Matt E
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Dirk_M wrote:
Thanks for the review. Looking foward to try this expansion (still waiting for my kickstarter reward).

Oh geez, man. Queen needs to get its act together. I'm pretty sure most backers already got their copies. If I were you I'd flood them with emails demanding the game.
 
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Chris Schumann
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LastFootnote wrote:
Dirk_M wrote:
Thanks for the review. Looking foward to try this expansion (still waiting for my kickstarter reward).

Oh geez, man. Queen needs to get its act together. I'm pretty sure most backers already got their copies. If I were you I'd flood them with emails demanding the game.
If he's like me, he's waiting for it along with Harvest.... z. z...zzzzzzz.....
 
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Matt E
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Whizkid wrote:
LastFootnote wrote:
Dirk_M wrote:
Thanks for the review. Looking foward to try this expansion (still waiting for my kickstarter reward).

Oh geez, man. Queen needs to get its act together. I'm pretty sure most backers already got their copies. If I were you I'd flood them with emails demanding the game.
If he's like me, he's waiting for it along with Harvest.... z. z...zzzzzzz.....

Oh, gotcha. Yeah, I opted for getting Marshlands ASAP and then getting Harvest with the empty Bigger Big Box.

Man, I bet those won't arrive 'til June. Wish Queen would give us an update.
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David B
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LastFootnote wrote:
Whizkid wrote:
LastFootnote wrote:
Dirk_M wrote:
Thanks for the review. Looking foward to try this expansion (still waiting for my kickstarter reward).

Oh geez, man. Queen needs to get its act together. I'm pretty sure most backers already got their copies. If I were you I'd flood them with emails demanding the game.
If he's like me, he's waiting for it along with Harvest.... z. z...zzzzzzz.....

Oh, gotcha. Yeah, I opted for getting Marshlands ASAP and then getting Harvest with the empty Bigger Big Box.

Man, I bet those won't arrive 'til June. Wish Queen would give us an update.


I wouldn't bet on June.
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Dirk Meijlof
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pfctsqr wrote:
LastFootnote wrote:
Whizkid wrote:
LastFootnote wrote:
Dirk_M wrote:
Thanks for the review. Looking foward to try this expansion (still waiting for my kickstarter reward).

Oh geez, man. Queen needs to get its act together. I'm pretty sure most backers already got their copies. If I were you I'd flood them with emails demanding the game.
If he's like me, he's waiting for it along with Harvest.... z. z...zzzzzzz.....

Oh, gotcha. Yeah, I opted for getting Marshlands ASAP and then getting Harvest with the empty Bigger Big Box.

Man, I bet those won't arrive 'til June. Wish Queen would give us an update.


I wouldn't bet on June.

Yup, waiting for Harvest too, along with the empty big box.
 
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Matt E
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pfctsqr wrote:
I wouldn't bet on June.

Man, you're right. Apparently someone on the Kickstarter comments got a response from Queen that production will begin "before summer" or some such. So, maybe delivery in August? September? November, a full year after promised?
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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LastFootnote wrote:
Dirk_M wrote:
Thanks for the review. Looking foward to try this expansion (still waiting for my kickstarter reward).

Oh geez, man. Queen needs to get its act together. I'm pretty sure most backers already got their copies. If I were you I'd flood them with emails demanding the game.

Wow. Queen Kickstarters are the suckiest pre-order system ever. I got my copy of Marshlands retail at about 60% off (huge amazon bargain) in December.

It's a good expansion, too. I was a little concerned about how it would play, but I've liked it a lot.
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Frank Hamrick
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Carthoris wrote:
LastFootnote wrote:
Dirk_M wrote:
Thanks for the review. Looking foward to try this expansion (still waiting for my kickstarter reward).

Oh geez, man. Queen needs to get its act together. I'm pretty sure most backers already got their copies. If I were you I'd flood them with emails demanding the game.

Wow. Queen Kickstarters are the suckiest pre-order system ever. I got my copy of Marshlands retail at about 60% off (huge amazon bargain) in December.

It's a good expansion, too. I was a little concerned about how it would play, but I've liked it a lot.


Harvest was the LAST Queen KS I will ever do. I did both Marshlands and Harvest at the same time. Got Marshlands, but not the big box (though it was supposed to come with Marshlands - so am expecting it with Harvest). Had I realized what a mess they are in delivery, I would not have done a KS of either. Never again.
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Jack Eddy
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It's funny. If I weren't trying to stick to such a short format for expansion reviews, I definitely would have included a section about some of the issues Queen Games has been having in the last 2-3 years. It's a shame too, especially because they have some really great games made by great people.
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Dirk Meijlof
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jeddy lee wrote:
It's funny. If I weren't trying to stick to such a short format for expansion reviews, I definitely would have included a section about some of the issues Queen Games has been having in the last 2-3 years. It's a shame too, especially because they have some really great games made by great people.

Agreed.

I have a pretty large amount of games published by QG. Great games with high quality components and designed by renowned designers. I love Fresco, Alhambra, Kingdom Builder, Paris Connection, Metro, Treasure Hunter, Lancaster etc. I even bought some games to donate to a local kids game library. Only once had to contact their customer service. And that too was handled very well.

But I'm very disappointed with the way the KB Marshland and KB Harvest kickstarters are being run.. Hardly any communication, we have to wait for a very long period and customers who didn't pay upfront have their games quicker and for less. shake

 
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Jack Eddy
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Dirk_M wrote:
But I'm very disappointed with the way the KB Marshland and KB Harvest kickstarters are being run.. Hardly any communication, we have to wait for a very long period and customers who didn't pay upfront have their games quicker and for less. shake



Not just that, the fiasco surrounding the initial Marshlands kickstarter where it had to be cancelled because Queen was way behind on paying money owed to Donald X, and they wouldn't respond to him so he made the issue public. I'm sure there is another side to that story, but the evidence available to the public is pretty damning.
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Dave S.
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I can't believe backers still haven't received their copy. What's crazy, is one of my local stores has 2 copies on their shelf.
 
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Nickie Pruden
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[q="rebubula423"]I can't believe backers still haven't received their copy. What's crazy, is one of my local stores has 2 copies on their shelf.[/q

It's sad to see Queen just trash any goodwill they have on Kickstarter.

I'm waiting on Harvest, Marshlands and a big box as well, who knows when it will arrive.

 
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Nice review!

Both written reviews for this expansion almost boil down to "only worth it for the kingdom cards". I've passed on $10 copies of the full expansion so many times now. Has anyone made homemade redesigns of all the kingdom cards released so far to just print and sleeve/laminate? If not, maybe I will if I'm feeling ambitious.
 
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Really? I love the new location abilities, and $10 is a steal.
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