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Subject: Review after 30+ Games rss

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Anders Olin
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Introduction
Ever since the good ol' days of Monopoly the dice have been an aspect in my gaming. In one moment they can be your best friends just to seconds later ruin your life.

Over the years I have had a stressful relationship with the dice, with agonizing moments from Middle-earth coming up to my mind. Actually there are not many games that have got approved with ye dice. Then came Twilight struggle and I sort of realized that Dice used in a good manner could still make a great game.

With that in my mind I jumped at the Kingsburg wagon, hoping to find out if they were able to prevent my dice-allergy from blossom out.

Kingsburg - my review
I won't huzzle about the rules as much have been said before.


Rules
Good written rules with images describing the most important issues. Not many situations where you can misunderstand what they want to say. Straithforward and easy-read, takes just 10 minutes to go through them all.

Theme
Not bad, but somehow you aren't able to feel the game, like you are part of it.

Components
These are just sweet to my (and my wife's) eyes. Great design in both the playermats and the board. More of this please.

Mechanisms
This is interesting. You throw your dice(usually three of them) then you may place the results (divided in any order) in any of the available squares(ranging from 1 to 16, so a result of '6','4','3' can be used at 6,4,3 or 10,3 or 13 or 9,4 or 6,7 depending on how you place them. But beware you may only place your dice at a free spot(if you're not having the King's convoy). So you better think before you act, because most likely some of the free spots are probably taken before it's your turn again.

I think this a great mechanism and a good way to handle the randomness in the dice. It's also a neat feature that the player with the lowest sum from his dice, begins to place them, so that player has an advantage over the others(getting to place the dice first).


Another cool thing is the buildings, after each dicefeast and after you have hired your folks you are able to build buildings and here each player has to choose a path(or two) to move along with, as it is impossible to build all buildings, players need to think carefully before choosing. A building may only be built if the previous building in the same row as been built.


But it is not all about getting huge VP-beneficial buildings, you need also to be aware of the enemy attacks, which occur at the end of each season. They come at various strength and if not properly prepared the results of such attack may be disastrous. Therefore you need to build buildings and acquire soldiers that adds up to your defense.


Summary (8.0/10)
I think this is a great fast moving game, that will attract a number of nongamers in to the magical world of boardgames. I have introduced this to a number of friends and they all have enjoyed the game(apart from being razed by a furious bands of goblins). The only concern that has been shown is the random-factor. But imo opinion this is a good game that you should get to your nongaming friends, wife and her mother!
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Brad
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It really would have helped immerse me in the theme if the names of the council members were printed on the board. Then I could refer to them by name rather than their number.

I have heard some complaints that Kingsburg has one optimal path to victory, with a couple more paths that can compete with good dice rolls. After 30+ games, I am curious if you feel this way.
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Matt Tonks
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DarkoBeta wrote:
I have heard some complaints that Kingsburg has one optimal path to victory, with a couple more paths that can compete with good dice rolls. After 30+ games, I am curious if you feel this way.


Brad,

I've also played Kingsburg 30+ times & I don't believe there is just one optimal path to victory.

Sure, you could build the top row for buckets of VPs at the risk of perhaps being weaker defensively. You could go ultra-defensive by building the Tower, Stone Wall, etc (I forget from memory what the other defensive structures are), race to the buildings that gives you 1 VPs or 1 gold each season, etc. It depends on what happens with the dice rolls & your opponents.

Kingsburg seems to be one of those games where you need to be flexible & reactive.

Matt...
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Drew Spencer
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tonksey wrote:
DarkoBeta wrote:
I have heard some complaints that Kingsburg has one optimal path to victory, with a couple more paths that can compete with good dice rolls. After 30+ games, I am curious if you feel this way.


Brad,

I've also played Kingsburg 30+ times & I don't believe there is just one optimal path to victory.

Sure, you could build the top row for buckets of VPs at the risk of perhaps being weaker defensively. You could go ultra-defensive by building the Tower, Stone Wall, etc (I forget from memory what the other defensive structures are), race to the buildings that gives you 1 VPs or 1 gold each season, etc. It depends on what happens with the dice rolls & your opponents.

Kingsburg seems to be one of those games where you need to be flexible & reactive.

Matt...


Any strategies questions can be quite well answered by this article (and all of its comments). I've been able to win quite consistently with the Embassy rush strategy, but I bet someone who really knew what they were doing could beat me.
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Rob White
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Definitely enjoying Kingsburg. Can't play it often enough. Might get sick of it eventually, but right now it and 1960 are my two favorite games.

Think it could really be a game that would work well on Xbox Live too. With a timer to keep folks moving. The Java app is very cool, but the Xbox Live arcade does such a great job with the boardgames it has. Ticket to Ride should be up today on Live.

Rob
 
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Brent Cunningham
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I've played the actual game about 6 times, but have played the Java app over 70...the app is cool because you can set the relative "intelligence" of your opponents. I like 4 and 5 player the most, but 5 player can get quite brutal as far as "stealing" advisors from your opponents and vice versa...I would say about 20% of the time you are stuck with a die result that can't be used.

I don't think there is a limited number of ways to be successful at this game...I've won on the java app using several different strategies. I do think that with 5 players, a good strategy is to purposely try to have one less building than everyone else, so you get an extra white die, or to get to the farm as quickly as possible and then use the extra die to get extra resources and build your defenses up.

Although it does happen sometimes, due to the randomness of the dice, and more often with more players, there really are a lot of options to collect the resources that you need for your strategy. It's all about adjusting on the fly, and coming up with a different approach to getting resources if an advisor you wanted is taken before you get your turn. That's part of the appeal for me.

I will say though that I've never seen someone win that lost more than one battle...so defense buildings or influencing advisors to get extra armies is important.

All in all, a fantastic game, with high replay ability. Great artwork, minimal rules, and quick play time.
 
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Bill Heaton
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Victoria
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When the expansion that uses cards instead of dice for getting the Kings help comes at Essen, then I think the number of paths to victory will really multiply. It'll mean that you gets points for every card you dont use (3,3,2,2,1,1,0,0 I think of the top of my head) giving more weight to those defensive strategies...plus hes adding a million extra building.

I agree that having the names on the board should have been a given though.
 
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Uisge Beatha
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billsaints wrote:
When the expansion that uses cards instead of dice for getting the Kings help comes at Essen, then I think the number of paths to victory will really multiply. It'll mean that you gets points for every card you dont use (3,3,2,2,1,1,0,0 I think of the top of my head) giving more weight to those defensive strategies...plus hes adding a million extra building.


One of the many neat features of the java app is that the expansion is already implemented - at least as far as using chits instead of dice for getting the King's help. Recommended.
 
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Thomas Arnold
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I asked for permission from the publisher and the required information from the designers so you could check out this new way of resolving the winter battles in JavaKingsburg. Sort of a small "preview" of the expansion.
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Anders Olin
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ThunderFall wrote:
I asked for permission from the publisher and the required information from the designers so you could check out this new way of resolving the winter battles in JavaKingsburg. Sort of a small "preview" of the expansion.


I've played with it and I love it!!

I must also admit, Thomas, that it was thanks to your App that I finally bought the game! meeple
 
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Alessandro Tirico
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billsaints wrote:
(3,3,2,2,1,1,0,0 I think of the top of my head)


Actually they will likely be 4,3,2,1,1,0.


billsaints wrote:
I agree that having the names on the board should have been a given though.


Yes, but it would have been raising the production costs a lot (think at how many different boards to be printed for Euro market).
 
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Allan Clements
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In our games of Kingsburg we always use the "expansion" way of resolving the kings reinforcements. The random dice roll always seemed to make building up military strength pointless.

Of course with these rules, building up military strength has actually perhaps become too important

As for names on the board, we have played it so much we started trying to remember the names and randomly quiz each other on the names, though there are some we can never remember!
 
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Andrea Chiarvesio
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Kamakaze wrote:
In our games of Kingsburg we always use the "expansion" way of resolving the kings reinforcements. The random dice roll always seemed to make building up military strength pointless.

Of course with these rules, building up military strength has actually perhaps become too important


It was not an easy task to balance the "soldier tokens", of course we had to take into consideration many things that will be in the expansion (new buildings and new building paths, individual player powers), so that the game stays balanced from the basic game + tokens (that you can currently try thanks the java version or at home) to the full game with the whole expansion.

Quote:
As for names on the board, we have played it so much we started trying to remember the names and randomly quiz each other on the names, though there are some we can never remember!


Extra game: make up your own games and have fun about them Please just do not mock advisors # 6 & 7 too much
 
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