King for a Day is print and play game that you have to pay for. It comes as a single PDF file and prints perfectly with just black ink.
The story/theme is that each player represents a noble in a land without a king. Each noble gets to be king for a day and after a few attempts at being king the the noble with the most Power become the true king.
The game bits are as follows.
Gold, a collection of coins in various demoninations.
Resource cards, a large collection of resource cards in various denominations for Wood, Stone, Iron and Men.
Markers, a few marker tokens used to mark when a player has built a building and to track current poser score.
Player Sheet, a sheet containing many of the games rules, a Power track, and space to record buildings.
"Scroll" cards, this is a small deck of special cards.
The objective of the game is to increase your Power score, at the end of the game the player with the highest score wins.
Play is organised into player turns and a collection of turns is a round. Each round a new player is King For A Day, and this honour passes clockwise to the next player after each round. The game length is modifield by the number of players as each player has to be King For A Day three times.
When your King you start the round by auctioning a favour ( they are called "Scrolls" but I prefer to call them "Favours" as it fits in with the theme better! ). You draw the first card from the Favour deck and other players secretly bid for it. As King you cant bid for it. When we play the King often suggests the sort of thing he is interested in receiving. Players may bid Gold, resources from the cards in their hand or Favours they already own. The King then decides who's won and gives them the Favour and receives the items bid by the winner.
On your turn, you start by collecting any gold your owed (more later), then you can only do 1 of three things. You can take one resource card, or us gold to buy more than 1. Or you may Build one of the building options, which causes you to discard resources. Or you may collect a "Goods" card. This goes very quickly. The limited choice means you dont take very long at all so even with many players there's no down-time worth mentioning.
Scrolls (Favours) are little cards that break the standard rules in many differn't ways. For instance once card gives you a bonus gold income each turn. Another allows you to take your pick from the top three resource cards rather than drawing the top one blind. Another gives you a "Power" bonus.
Building allows you to create a building, each building costs differn't amounts of resources and gains you differn't benefits. For instance a good starting building is the "Store" which gains you 3 Gold each turn and a one off score of 3 Power. The other end of the scale is the Fortress which gains you simply 6 Power. Each build has differn't resource costs, in Men, Iron, Wood and Stone.
"Goods" cards are purchased by discarding a number of resources from your hand. These gain you a few Gold and a number of Power. These differ from the Buildings in that you have to discard 6 of 1 type of resource. This makes tham an option if you have glut of one type of resource in your hand. There are a limited number of these cards and so there can be quite a scramble to snap them up.
Resources come in various demoninations from 1 to 4. Men are more scares than the other cards, and it can be trouble to gain the number of them you need. You need these to build or to purchase Goods. Your hand size is limited so you can sometimes struggle to keep all of the cards you want.
The End Game has a few extra Power points to be gained. For instance the player with the most Gold gets a bonus, the player with the most men gets a bonus. There are couple of other bonus' as well.
Opinion, I really like this game. You are constantly making and changing your plan as other players gain and lose Favours. Your always struggeling to gain a few extra Power over your opponent.
The bidding round is a lot of fun. As I said earlier we play with this feature. The King can asks specifics, and scorns the offers made and demands more or differn't bids. He can even play one player off against another to cause a bidding war. The only rule is that players must not tell each other what their bid is.
The game length is a challenge you always feel cheated, the "if only I had another turn" syndrome is rife.
The mix of resource cards is good and well balanced making every turn a serious decision point, will you take just the one free resource card, or spend your precious gold to get more.
The end game bonus' mean that on the last round of play, you might make a gamble to try and get those last few points.
In short. Constant fun, constant challenge, constant choice. Fully engaging. This is a well thought out game and it's a shame that its not been produced by a full blooded games company, as the game play deserves full production quality components.