Sometimes you just have to have some game soo much.
That's how it was like with me and "Kings and Things" of Tom Wham.
The funny box, colourly. Ah.
In this new edition by Pegasus, they really tried to keep the charm of the author and sometimes illustrator Wham. And all in spite of most illustrations not being Wham (Somewhere he commented, for a edition with only Whamartwork, we would still be waiting for it to come out).
so far, so good.
So I studied the rules, BIG TIME, Thorben coming for a visit, one thinks, the game would be on. We were three, not four. I think four would be better. Whatever.
About the history of the game: I know some people, who grew up with "Kings and Things", played it with they siblings. Peter, for example. And so he said "Ah, that one, those were the times..." and by that, it becomes simple and primitive, for me somehow. Childish. That's how it came across to me, at least. A children's game, slightly better than Monopoly or Risk. The stars are cross'ed, even if Peter did not mean it that way.
That bad, that simple it was not, after all. The new edition is simply too beautiful, too massive: Thick, colourful counters, plastic castles and villages, wooden baronymarkers (!). Of course the game is a ameritrashy luckfest. But as most times with Tom Wham, there is method to the randomness. If one is able to let go.
You conquer different terrains by funny armies, a little bit of wargame with the ratings on the counters, the modular board is every time mixed anew. And yes, the battles are fought by dice-rolling to excess. And there is some more dice-rolling on top of that(Stealing, hiring, saving throws etcetera).
At other times, with other games, I rarely noticed how bad some rules can be organized. Here they are very bad organized, almost thematic (Bag of Things -- Bag of Rules) the absolute Chaos: Terrainrules with Movement, but also some at Battle Resolution, at Special Abilities,and some at Events. Crisscross.
I still do not know, can I conquer or settle on Sea terrain? Do I gain money from such in the Income Phase? Do Villages and Hamlets fight? Do they get thrown into the Bag of Things? In spite of the absent Counterbackside?
And by the way, where is the "Elephant Backside" of the counters, which all go into the Bag of Things?
(I had the german Pegasusrules.)
In spite of all that, we finished our game. It was't that complicated, after all. As with all ameritrash, there is a certain leeway with the rules. The fun in the game stems mostly from the funny things/armies and a game-flow, spiced up by intriguing interruptions played on the active player.
And, as I already mentioned, after all the game is not as random as it sounds. I am certain also, the convoluted rules can be organized in SOME insightful way. A Index perhaps. FFG-style breakingrulesrules they are not, after all.
But sadly, the game did not blow me away as much as I hoped. I sincerely hope, that was because us being three players. I hope that was because of the stupid disorganisation of the rules. I hope it was because of the weather.
I will try someday, with four.
But first I have to play "Horus Heresy" with Thorben, sadly that feels similar. I want to like that game, too.
To clear things up, post scriptum: I checked later on the Geek: Villages and hamlets are Things and therefore go in the Bag of Things and get drawn from it. They can soak hits but cannot attack. Sea terrain can only, and only, be crossed by flyers and the balloon. And only the balloon can end his turn on them. Baronies cannot include Sea terrain.
Perhaps someone does a variant "Kings, things and Nemo", there that is possible at last. With Seafolkthings and such.
Villages and hamlets are Things and therefore go in the Bag of Things and get drawn from it. They can soak hits but cannot attack.
Not correct. Cities and Villages can fight. Page 4 of the rules, "12 of the special income counters are villages and cities, that not only provide their owners with income, but also help fight to defend the hex."
what is then their fighting strenght? 1 and 2?
I thought only towers, castles etc actively fight. my bad