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Subject: More strategic than Kingdom Builder rss

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Scott Pizio
United States
Fall River
Massachusetts
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Another year, another support drive, another silly Over text
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Fealty is a light abstract game in which you are trying to exert influence over a map. The premise is that you are doing this to compete with your siblings to see who can control your recently departed father's kingdom.

The game has several modular and reversible boards on which the game is played. There are also currently 2 sets of pieces available with hope of more to come. Both of these aspects help to lead to a game that should have a fair amount of replay value.

Each turn you select a piece to play, choosing from 3 cards you have in hand. Over the course of the game you will end up using 8 of your 9 pieces. Some pieces give special abilities in addition to placing a piece, such as moving a priorly placed piece or placing a marker. Players simultaneously reveal their cards with the lowest value piece placed first then going in ascending order. Higher value pieces are slower but exert influence over a greater area. When playing pieces you can not go onto a board selected by a player in this round. You can also not go into a column or row in which you already have a piece. Mountains are also forbidden. Whomever played the highest value card becomes the presumed heir. If multiple players select the same value piece the tie is broken clockwise from the presumed heir.

Once all the players have placed their 8th piece you then exert influence. Starting with the lower numbers you put influence markers on the board. Mountains, other players pieces, conflicts, and influence markers block acces to spaces. You follow the diagram on each card that shows its area of influence and abiding by blocking factors place influence markers. Most spaces get 1 marker but cities get 2. If two players have markers with the same number that can influence a space it is influenced by the player who's piece is closest or neither if the space is equidistant from both players. Once all of the pieces have placed influence, fastest to slowest, you count influence markers. Whoever has the most is the winner.

With its modular boards and piece placement in some ways it reminds me of Kingdom Builder. There are restrictions on placement and these become more stringent as you get further into the game. So you really need to consider where you are placing pieces. The fastest to slowest mechanic is also interesting in both the placement of pieces and influence.

An all around good area control abstract game.
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Chris Cieslik
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Thanks for the review!
 
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Matthew Goddard
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One of my favorite area control abstract game in fact!
 
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Bruce Murphy
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But why do you believe it is more strategic than Kingdom Builder?

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Ryan Tullis
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Your title could become a new board game meme. Instead of "Still a better love story than Twilight," the saying could be, "Still more strategic than Kingdom Builder." laugh

I have to ask, though, why do you feel it's more strategic than Kingdom Builder? If placement rules become more stringent as the game continues, that sounds very similar to KB's situation later in the game.

 
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Scott Pizio
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For me Kingdom Builder feels very straight forward. The moves are almost telegraphed. The only real tension seems to be if you can get a special ability tile, but that passes early in the game.

With Fealty you have to consider not only your placement but how the piece will interact with those around it. Each piece is unique not just a generic house. You also have to consider how it may be effected by pieces you place later. You are also faced with a choice of which of three pieces to place and not playing based on a top deck card draw.
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Bruce Murphy
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On the other side, I'd say that subsequent placements in Fealty are much more likely to completely block influence whereas Kingdom Builder's interaction between players as they scramble for scoring locations is much more granular. In addition, many of the scoring goals mean that different locations on the board have starkly different values to different players, and finally the multi-player game.

I like Fealty, but I'm not sure your comparison is fair.

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Bharath Allam
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I would agree with the comparision. To me Fealty felt more statergic/brain burner than Kingdom builder. However, if I have to pick between these two to play, I would pick Fealty for 2 player & Kingdom Builder for 3 (or) 4 Player game.
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Nick Fisk
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Stoke on Trent
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I haven't tried the game yet, but the "game of two halves" makes me think that this is a similar, but perhaps more detailed, game to the old RGG game Fjords?

In Fjords, you place tiles and claim them occasionally, and then once the island is built you them claim land from your farmhouses ...


N.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Moviebuffs wrote:
I haven't tried the game yet, but the "game of two halves" makes me think that this is a similar, but perhaps more detailed, game to the old RGG game Fjords?

In Fjords, you place tiles and claim them occasionally, and then once the island is built you them claim land from your farmhouses ...


N.


Fjords has a quite different decision space. The land is highly highly variable (And controllable) but the influencey things are completely flat.

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Russ Williams
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Moviebuffs wrote:
I haven't tried the game yet, but the "game of two halves" makes me think that this is a similar, but perhaps more detailed, game to the old RGG game Fjords?

I've played Fjords and Fealty; they seem like quite different games to me. Differences include:

* building a map as the first half of the game, and then placing stuff
vs
* placing stuff on a pre-built map

* sequential turns
vs
* simultaneous action selection

* placing your markers one by one via simple connectivity rules
vs
* placing your markers in batches via a variety of special actions

(superficial difference)
* hex grid
vs
* square grid
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