Recommend
98 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

Lancaster» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The rules and first thoughts about Lancaster rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Nick Bornschein
Germany
Frankfurt
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lancaster has been an impulsive purchase, I was quite impressed by the theme and the game components and so I bought it. Today I want to share some pictures, the easy rules and a short (2-player) session review with you. Since there is no English rule book, I had to translate from the German one and could not use any term of the forthcoming English rule book. Hope you enjoy.

As you can see it was a sunny day in Southern England and we prepared the board easily because there is an extra summary for that besides the rules book.
Each player gets 2 knights into his own castle board and all other knights are put on the board as supply. There are 3 knights with a strenght of 1 (1-knight), 2 with a strenght of 2 (2-knight) and one with a strenght of 3 (3-knight) and 4 (4-knight). Additionally every player gets 2 voting cubes, one yes and no card for the parliament round and 2 squires. Squires and gold are hidden behind a small castle, voting cubes are put on the players castle board.

Right after preparing we could start the game which takes place in 5 turns with 3 rounds each:

I. place knights
II. English Parliament
III. Rewards

I. place your knights

First player starts to put a knight, than the second player follows and so on. If a player's knight is replaced by an opponent's knight, you get back the knight to replace it on the board in the some round.
There are 3 possible places you can set in your knights: counties, own castle and the conflict with france.

a) counties

There can only be one knight in a county.

Each county has a name and a white number in a shield left to the name. You can only place knights into a county if the knight has the same or more strenght than this number. No additional squires are allowed if the county you want to go in is empty. If there is already a knight of an opponent you need to have more strenght than this opponent has with his knight and all squires. Now you can use a less strong knight and squires to overpower the opponents knight. The squires of a replaced opponent are put back to the common pool, the opponents knight is going back to his castle.







b) conflict with france

The conflict with france is in the lower right corner of the board and represents 4 cards, two in line 1 and if a conflicts goes on, a maximum of 2 in line 2. In every conflict there can only participate 3 players. The first knight of a player which is put in a conflict is put on the upper place left to a conflict card, the second knight (of another player) which is placed under the first knight and a possible third knight in the lowermost position. So if you have a 4 or 5 player game, not all players can be part of a conflict, even if they like to participate. A player already engaged in a certain conflict may reinforce their strength by stacking their knights.
Also: every single knight of the first 6 knights placed in a conflict can choose one of the blue tiles which gain additional extras for the players.






c) own castle

You can also put a knight on your own castle board. Therefor you choose an (white) empty space on that board. (The space on the left side is the yard in which a player puts his available knights for the whole placing round.)









II. Parliament Round

Voting time!!

The upper cards represent all 3 active bills. In the lower line every parliament round 3 new bills are put to vote for or against every single bill starting with the bill on the left. Every player hidden decides for the card with the "x" (no) or the check symbol (yes) and also puts as much wooden voting cubes on that card as wanted, too. Now all players show their voting and a bill is passed "Yes" if the vote is equal or more for the yes-option. The bill on the left in the active bill line is layed aside and all bills are put one space to the left, the newest bill is always put on the right space in the active bill line. The voting is going on with bill 2 and 3 of the lower line. Now there again 3 bills in the active bills line and from the left to the right every bill can be fulfilled by every single player if wished. All not used voting cubes are going back to the common pool.







III. Rewards

Now it's time to harvest the fruits of placing the knights in 4 rounds:

First all counties are assessed from their letter A to I. A player may choose a nobleman tile and place it on its own players board (For every nobleman you owe you will get one wooding voting cube in the second income round and you get victory points at the end of the game the more nobleman a player owes.). If a player does not want a nobleman you can choose the rewards of the county which are different from county to county. Some gain extra voting cubes, others gain a new 1-knight or a player can upgrade any of its knights (all knights which is not in the supply +1 strenght) if available.

Second the players assess their castles in any order they wish. The players gain every income which is shown above the field a knight is placed on. If a player owes a castle tile (see picture of player castle board; castle tiles can be achieved in counties) there is no need to place a knight, a player gets the income every income round automatically.

Third is the Round Table with the nobleman. For every nobleman you get a new wooden voting cube for the parliament round.

Fourth there is the conflict with France.

There are 3 knights maximum in every conflict in the first line. The big white number shows the strenght of France. The strenght of all knights is accumulated.
If the strenght of the knights is same or more than France, England wins and the card is put away. The most powerful knight participating in the conflicts directly gets the highest victory points shown on the card. The second powerful knights gets the middle victoty points (VP) ... If there is a tie of strenght, the knight which is placed lastly into the conflict gets the points. Example: France has a strenge of 7 (left card in the picture), the highest placed knight is a 2-knight (red), following a 3-knight (yellow) and a 3-knight (blue). The total strenght of England is 8, England wins. Blue has a tie with yellow (both 3-knight), blue gets 6 VP because it's the last placed knight, yellow gets 3 VP and red 1 VP.
If the strenght of all knights is below the strenght of France, England loses. The highest VP are not given to any player which is participating in the conflict, all other VP are shared among the players as explained before. But the conflict card is now going to the second line, so in "I. placing knights" players can now place knights again (but only one of each colour is allowed!), if England is winning the conflict in the second attempt, all VP are handled like explained, but of England loses again, all knights are captured. Players may ransom a knight, for every strenght a knight has a player has to pay a coin, 4-knights are ransomed with 4 gold. If a player can't or doesn't pay, the knight is put back to the supply on the board.

After that, I-III is over, 2 new conflict cards are put on the first line and 3 new bills are put on the parliament board. The game again starts with round I, if the starting player has changed (reward in a county) this new player starts.
The game ends after 5 turns (all bills have been placed and voted about). VPs are now given for the most castle tiles, most powerful knights (accumulated) and the nobleman.

2 player rules

Every player gets an ally besides his player board.

The ally owns a smaller castle with 2 rewards (but without permanent castle tiles): gaining a new 1-knight and upgrading a knight. At the beginning of the game the ally has a 2-knight in his yard. Knights of an ally are placed as it is described in the rules, but they never use squires because they never get them. Human players never get extras from rewards an ally's knight is getting and the knight of an ally never gets squires or gold. If an ally's knight is in a county, a player may choose to burn a nobleman tile or use the reward (gain a new 1-knight, upgrade a knight, new start player) but never gaining gold, squires, victory points or castle tiles. In parliament, allies do not count in any way and in conflicts they are counted as a normal player but also without getting VPs, gold or squires. The human player of an ally may only choose the blue upgrade or new 1-knight tile for his ally, not for the human player itself. That's it!


What does the husband think?

I had to copy & paste the "Does the wife like it?" of some other BGG member, but it's true: most of the time I play 2 player games with my husband. He won the game with some advance because not all strategic possibilities could be followed in the first game. But as we often play 2-player games, he was quite happy with the 2-player mechanisms and he will likely to play Lancaster again. And indeed it was so likely he won again in our second game with an advance of 40 VPs! Fell free to commiserate me.

What do I think?

Rules

The mechanisms of the game are easy to teach and easy to understand. Once you have read them it should be possible to explain them easily.

Strategic Depth & Time

After our second game I was more concerned about the 5 turn the game is taking place. That's definitely not much. The game ends so sudden we both were surprised. That's why it is really important to know every single way to get victory points and how the other players are going. If you can't get the most poverful knight force a lot of VP are lost (8!), same for the nobleman or the castle tiles (8 VP!). So from what I think after playing once, it will take another play for covering all strategies the game provides and I think there are some of them. The special strategic thing about Lancaster is that there are a lot of choices to make how to place knights and that depends what you also want to do next. If you are out of voting cubes it could cost you another valuably turn. Is there any bill worth for that or not? Or do you need more squires because you aren't really strong with your knights? Sometimes upgrading isn't possible because there is only one 3-knight and one 4-knight, if both 2-knights are in the game you can not upgrade... Those are the things a player has to think about.

2 player variant

Working perfect. You can annoy your opponent with strong allies replacing a human player's knight. Displacing own or ally's knights is - like in the standard game - forbidden.

comparing to other games

Well, putting the knights on the board is worker placement purely. There are a lot of games out with that mechanism. At the moment there is no game I would Lancaster compare with because the worker placement is done by a varying degree of knights which I don't know from any other game I can remember at the moment.

version: 1.11 (05/11/2011)
new: minor corrections
70 
 Thumb up
2.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
leonardo balbi
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
RJ
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for this feedback ...I ll be around to see what more you have to say about this game ...thanks again..
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan C
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Great to finally see some info about gameplay. Does the game "feel" like any other game you've seen out there? Just curious about comparisons.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice photos. I would submit them into the game`s gallery. And thanks for the article!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
Germany
München
Bavaria
flag msg tools
badge
Wiggle It!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kopernikus wrote:
Additionally every player gets some voting cubes and cards for the parliament round and 2 squires, all hidden behind a small castle.

Actually, only the Squires and Gold Coins are placed behind the castle. Your voting cubes lie open until the time for the voting comes...

Achievments & Upgrading knights: If you are allowed to upgrade a knight, he has not to be in your yard. You can, for example, upgrade a knight that is already placed in a conflict, which is a good way to improve your own position in the conflicts...
While the counties are processed in a fix order from A to B, your own castle is processed in the order you choose. So you may first gain some squires, and then use them to get a new knight.

As for the conflicts: You are allowed to "stack" your knights; otherwise a Strength 10 Conflict would be a death trap for the players: Player A and Player B are placing their Strength 4 Knights, and then Player C places his Strength 1 Knight. So, the conflict is not won, Player A & B receive some VPs, but the conflict is carried on - still not solvable, and in the second turn Player A & B cannot use their Strength 4 knights, and at the end of the turn they have to pay 4 gold or lose their knights...
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bornschein
Germany
Frankfurt
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
@Thomas Büttner: thank you. I made that corrections in my review and added the 2 player variant and some more thoughts about the game after 2 plays (I lost both) now.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Denman
United States
Katy
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kopernikus wrote:
Each county has a name and a white number in a shield left to the name. You can only place knights into a county if the knight has the same or more strenght than this number. If you owe squires, every squire you use is +1 strenght to a knight. So you can put a 1-knight to Somerset and use 3 squire to get the necessary strenght.


You can't use squires to bolster your strength to be able to legally place in a county. They only help your strength as far as dealing with other knights.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bornschein
Germany
Frankfurt
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you are referring to the rules:

In both cases, the knight himself must match or exceed the demanded minimum strength.

But the next sentence says:

Additionally, the player may place as many squires as they wish along with their knight.

So it seems I overread the "himself" and I need to play a new round of Lancaster. And made the rules correction in my first post.

PS. The way we played is only possible to play if the space in a county is already occupied by another knight. Then you can use any combination with a knight and squires.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
She wore! She wore! She wore a yellow ribbon! She wore a yellow ribbon in the merry month of May, And when I asked her why she wore that ribbon,
badge
She said, "It's for the Arsenal and we’re going to Wembley!" Wembley! Wembley! We’re the famous Arsenal and we’re going to Wembley!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review. All I can say is... take more pictures! This one is definitely going on my wish list. Time to grab the English rules, which have apparently been up for a week now (blush).

Anyway, what did you think of the quality of the components, and the "castle" in particular?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank Hamrick
United States
Rocky Mount
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As per the Knights. Are they wooden or cardboard? It looks like they are different heights? If so, that would be awesome. I remember the original Stratego with the wooden fighting units. I still have the men, but have lost the board. But there was something about those wooden soldiers that cried out for play!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bornschein
Germany
Frankfurt
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, the knights are wooden and the stronger they are the higher they are.

-Nick
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Who Am I Now?
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review. I've been attracted by the buzz, but wonder if it's a worthwhile addition to my collection if I already own War of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York.

That game became a "must buy" due to theme and production values...but honestly, I've been underwhelmed - I was really hoping for something that captured more of the feel of Kingmaker, instead of feeling like "this month's new euro". My mistake, I guess, but it leads me to view Lancaster with a jaded eye (and unfortunately, it sounds like I'd have a similar reaction to it).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kopernikus wrote:
There are 3 knights maximum in every conflict in the first line. The big white number shows the strenght of France. The strenght of all knights is accumulated.
If the strenght of the knights is same or more than France, England wins and the card is put away. The most powerful knight participating in the conflicts directly gets the highest victory points shown on the card. The second powerful knights gets the middle victoty points (VP) ... If there is a tie of strenght, the knight which is placed lastly into the conflict gets the points. Example: France has a strenge of 7 (left card in the picture), the highest placed knight is a 2-knight (red), following a 3-knight (yellow) and a 3-knight (blue). The total strenght of England is 8, England wins. Blue has a tie with yellow (both 3-knight), blue gets 6 VP because it's the last placed knight, yellow gets 3 VP and red 1 VP.

That sounds a little weird to me... the LATER player to have played a knight wins the tie? Seems like the guy who went in first (and therefore risked getting nothing) took a bigger risk, the last guy to go in knows for a fact whether they will win or not...

Then again, winning the tie maybe gives a player incentive to make the brits win the fight rather than lose it. In fact, if you could tie or beat 1 player and still not win, you'd get the most points out of the deal (and if you could tie and still win, you'd get the higher value).

Weird.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Franke
Germany
Nuremberg
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Right. But the earlier you join a fight the more rewards you can choose from. Giving the tie-breaker to the later player may be a compensation for this.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derek Thompson
United States
Marion
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Plus, you know, the hero is the guy who delivers the killing stroke.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Day
United Kingdom
Lee
LONDON
flag msg tools
Oi!
badge
That tickles!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Quote:
That sounds a little weird to me... the LATER player to have played a knight wins the tie? Seems like the guy who went in first (and therefore risked getting nothing) took a bigger risk, the last guy to go in knows for a fact whether they will win or not...



The guy that goes in first gets first pick of the bonus tiles.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fabrizio d'Ottavio
Italy
Villaricca(Napoli)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Kopernikus wrote:
At the moment there is no game I would Lancaster compare with because the worker placement is done by a varying degree of knights which I don't know from any other game I can remember at the moment.


Ys?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bornschein
Germany
Frankfurt
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not familiar with Ys so I can't tell you.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriele Pezzato
Italy
Padova
PD
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kopernikus wrote:
No additional squires are allowed if the county you want to go in is empty.

This is not true. You can always put squires together with your knight in a county, even if the county is empty. The only limitation is that your knight ALONE must meet the minimum strength requirement of that county. Putting squires alongside your knight in an empty county is a good strategy if you want to be sure nobody else can displace it.

Quote:
A player may choose a nobleman tile and place it on its own players board (For every nobleman you owe you will get one wooding voting cube in the second income round and you get victory points at the end of the game the more nobleman a player owes.). If a player does not want a nobleman you can choose the rewards of the county which are different from county to county.

You can also pay 3 gold and take both the noble and the reward. Also, be advice that you can only have one noble per type at your table, no doubles.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.