Thursday

[gaming] Board Games at Triple Play

In case you live in the area, there's an bi-weekly evening of open boardgames at Triple Play in West Lebanon (remember they've moved from the mall in Lebanon to the Glen Road Plaza, across from the Powerhouse). I went last night and we played Kingsburg...

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In Kingsburg, players are Lords sent from the King to administer frontier territories.

The game takes place over five years, a total of 20 turns. In every year, there are 3 production seasons for collecting resources, building structures, and training troops. Every fourth turn is the winter, in which all the players must fight an invading army. Each player must face the invaders, so this is not a cooperative game.

The resources to build structures and train troops are collected by influencing the advisers in the King's Council. Players place their influence dice on members of the Council. The player with the lowest influence dice sum will be the first one to choose where to spend his/her influence; this acts as a way of balancing poor dice rolling. Even with a very unlucky roll, a clever player can still come out from the Council with a good number of resources and/or soldiers.

Each adviser on the King's Council will award different resources or allocate soldiers, victory points, and other advantages to the player who was able to influence him/her for the current turn.

At the end of five years, the player who best developed his assigned territory and most pleased the King through the Council is the winner.

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I liked the game. I read some negative reviews at BGG and, yes, it is a luck-based game in that you have dice to roll and if you keep having crappy rolls, you're not going to be able to influence very powerful advisers. But I think making the best of what you roll is part of a player's skill.

The ending of the game was anticlimactic. The last battle was resolved, we were all victorious and... the player who had been in first place for a while won. Which was... I don't know. I prefer games where you can't see who the winner's going to be until the end, you know? I guess I've just gotten used to Zooloretto (plus all the expansions) where you have absolutely no idea who the winner is until the game ends and you add up all the points.

The winter battles were the weakest part of the game. I spent resources and influence on building a strong army when it really didn't matter. People who spent nothing on armies were still able to win battles, which allowed them to spend their resources on buildings. One the the guys there said that this uneven mechanic was going to be resolved in the future.

1 comment:

gayle said...

Yeah, I also prefer the games where you don't know the winner until the end. A few well-placed farmers in Carcassonne can make all the difference in the world...