"...This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."-- John 6:29
You hold it in your hand, a small blue castle piece that vaguely resembles a Chess Rook, but it’s too light, almost as if you tossed it in the air and unless you’re looking closely, can’t tell when it lands back on your palm.
The type-written rules pages have the form of a church bulletin and certainly must have been done on a manual typewriter and copied with a mimeograph machine. But I suppose the old mimeograph went out before 1979 when this game was proudly introduced by Creative Prototypes Corporation.
I like the artwork of the four “Dark Riders,” though they remind me more of an Indiana Jones movie and the old Templar Knight characters.
In a short blurb, the authors have told a tale of the discovery of a moonstone with mystic powers by King Gambrel in the valley of Charma. The stone was stolen from him, of course, but rediscovered and now kept under guard in the black tower.
So, the tracks from each players home base to the tower to obtain the moonstone wander and meander every which way until all the paths converge at the tower’s base. We felt a bit of excitement there as our pieces jockeyed for position; who would first scale the tower and take possession of the stone?
When it happens, be very very careful, as the stone now mounted atop the light-weight castle not only in a vague way resembles some sort of medieval lighthouse, but is now top heavy and each kick of the table or wild roll of the dice will send the precious moonstone scooting from the board.
As the player in possession of the stone removes it from the tower, the dark knights of every color come into play. Now, with every roll of the dice, a player moves not only one of his castles, but his dark knight as well. The difference being, each dark knight begins his quest at the top of the black tower.
If a castle lands on a castle of another color, the last one there sends the first one back to it’s home base. If that defeated castle happened to have the moonstone on top, the victor now takes it on a wild and desperate ride toward his own home base.
If a dark knight manages to capture a castle, that castle goes back to it’s home. If the castle had the moonstone in its possession, then the moonstone goes back to the top of the black tower and all the dark knights go out of play until the moonstone is captured by another castle from the tower mount.
Two ways for two pieces to occupy the same space: two castles can set up a blockade but if landed on by exact count can be busted by either castle or dark rider. But if two dark riders occupy the same space, well…that’s all they do. They just simply occupy the same space. Yes, I too consider that a rule oddity and would like to change it. But that comes later.
The first to bring the moonstone back to his home base atop a castle and ending with exact count, is the winner.
Games are about half an hour. Perfect for the little ones…and grandpa, of course.