Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Kingsport Festival is a reworking of Kingsburg, working much in the same way: roll dice, use them - together or alone - to place in places accordingly with the number or total, in order to gain resources. But the experience from brought a lot of new ideas, tweaks and, in my opinion, improvements over the basic gameplay of Kingsburg.

First, Kingsport Festival has more ways to deal with the lack of luck in the dice rolls: there are two buildings that affect the dice (one to re-roll other to change value by 1), a spot were dice of any value can be placed, and, most of all, the addition of the spells, that allow changes to the dice, fight better or gain more resources or points.

Second, the replay value is much increased: sadly the buildings are always set in the same place, still the game comes with different scenarios and game end scorings - the former can change the game a lot, as the Raids (which have basically the same function of the Barbarian attacks in Kingsburg) can come in different rounds, and the play itself is slightly tweaked; and the latter adds the tension. Also, the Raids also add replay value, there are plenty of different Investigators and several Events, that affect the battle. Is possible that Kingsport Festival has more replay value than Kingsburg even when added the To Forge a Realm expansion.

Third, the cost (in sanity) to use the higher value spots give more balance, making rolling high not always an advantage. Fourth, the way the buildings are set on the board allow for more freedom of choice regarding the path made to get things.

All of these were improvement over an already good game, one that I like quite a bit.

One part that we are on the fence is the end of game score: there is little chance to learn beforehand what it will be, and it can decide close games (or even not so close). One of them was really swing (the one that gives points for magic and takes due to sanity) and left a sour taste. Yet, after a while we start to think that it is meant to work as the goals from Troyes: meaning that players should know and try to be prepared for any and all of them (but in Troyes you can use what the others are doing as clues). Ir seems that it would serve the game better if the end of the game score could be seen sooner - or if each player have one in hand from the start.

What isn't an improvement are the fonts used and their size: they range from terrible to dreadful and make reading the manual, specially the examples of play and in the flavor of the spell cards. The overall graphic desing is also lacking: most of it is simply too dark, and the way the pieces cover the art on the board is a slap in the artist face. Not only that, probably to save money, the game has five player colors: green, red, purple, yellow and black, and have three types of colors for the resources cubes: purple, red and black. Not a good decision.

In the end, Kingsport Festival won't change the mind of those that tried and disliked Kingsburg - the feel, even with improvements, is still mostly the same, with the rolls, gathering of resources, making buildings and fighting a menace - also some degree of luck is there and the interaction is indirect at best. However, for those that did liked Kingsburg and just wanted more freedom, replay value and options, and don't mind the new theme, Kingsport Festival might just be what you were looking for.

Regards,


Image credit: Newyn
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Darren Walker
United Kingdom
DERBY
Derbyshire
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I bought this after I saw it cheap on Ebay (around the £15 mark (NEW)) and watched the DT review.

Played it a couple of times and have enjoyed it quite a bit. I am a sucker for Lovecraft themed stuff though and this maybe why I enjoy it so much. I have never played Kingsburg though so couldn't comment on how closely related the games are.

If you enjoy Lovecraft themed games then this is a goody in my eyes.

Recommended.
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Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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I found it better if you make doubling up with other players a bit more permissive -- You can place your dice where another player has done so, but you lose 1 sanity per die already present. This does not affect the X, in which you can always freely place dice.

You still have a strong incentive to do something different, but it reduces the variance a lot, an makes for more choices. Of course, you might reasonably argue that this game, like an elder god, is less about choices and more about glorious suffering.
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Jo Bartok
Germany
Zwingenberg
Hessen
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Interaction leads to Immersion.
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And reduces interaction (denial) even moreso...

/pass
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Patrick SAYET
France
CLERMONT-FERRAND
Puy de Dôme
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so Kingsburg had a player board to track the buildings they developed, but here all players place thier tokens on the locations.
I think it would be great to have small reference cards for each location and ability to give to a player when they build the location.
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