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Kingdom Builder

Posted by admin On November - 14 - 2011

Details:
Players: 2-4
Age: 8+ (but much more fun with adults, sorry kiddos, just is)
Length: 45 minutes

I do not own Kingdom builder, but had the opportunity to play it quite a few times recently. I enjoyed it so much in fact, that I wanted to add it to the BOP family before it’s even added to my personal collection of games! I was able to include some very nice photos all Thanks to BGG administrator Chaddyboy’s nice posts! Once I procure my own copy, and yes, it is already on my wishlist, i’ll add some personal photo touches to this review.

Kingdom builder was one of the new releases promoted by Queen Games at Essen 2011 and I’m sure will be getting quite the attention at future cons. Speaking of Essen and future cons… I heard that at BGG CON, which is coming up in just a few days, Queen Games will be holding a tournament of Kingdom Builder on Saturday with the grand prize winner getting…. A free trip to Essen 2012! No Joke. Queen Games, you are freggin’ awesome.

Be sure to sign up early, as they are only taking the first 128 peeps!

And if i was actually lucky enough to be attending BGG CON this year,  I surely wouldn’t be telling you this information, as to ensure one of those 128 spots for me. Yes, that is how great this game is, to the point of my greedy side coming forth.

Kingdom builder is very simple to learn plus set up is quick, which is a Super Duper bonus! unlike many of todays games that take just forever to setup. (I don’t know why that phrase ‘super duper’ ever died out…)

Setup:
Pick 4 of the 8 sector tiles either randomly or however you choose then you can rotate them and place them however you wish in a 2 x 2 arrangement. Place the matching location tiles on the board along with the summary location tiles. Shuffle the Kingdom builder cards and pick three, laying them faceup beside the board for everyone to see. Shuffle the Terrain cards and deal each player one card (hidden).

 Object:
Players lay down settlements building their kindgom throughout the 4 sectors, whoever has the most gold at the end of the game wins. Scoring occurs at the end of the game, NOT during.

Game Play:
- The current player flips up their terrain card now visible to other players.
- Mandatory action: They must build 3 settlements on unoccupied terrain that corresponds to their current terrain card. It must always join with their other settlements if possible. If the player does not have any settlements either on or touching their current terrain type card then they may lay down anywhere on the board within that terrain.
-  Before or after the mandatory action, a player may play action tokens if they’ve acquired any. These can be played before or after the mandatory action, but not during. These action tokens allow you to add additional settlements or move settlements around the board. Which is EXTREMELY beneficial once you start understanding the strategy.
- Discard terrain card, and draw a new one.

Example: Lets say i’m blue and I drew the Wildflower terrain card. I must first place two more blue settlements in the areas where i’m already connected to wildflowers, then I can place my third settlement in any other unoccupied wildflower spots. Perhaps in the starred spots because the castle gives me three gold in scoring or the token could give me a token if theres one left or possible gold points depending on the situation.

Final Thoughts:
Part of the strategy comes from the 3 cards drawn from the Kingdom builder deck at the beginning of the game, which I like to call the “Game Situations.” And the other part comes from the board set up. I’m not going to talk strategy because that is a whole ‘nother post and part of the fun is developing your own strategy. What I really love most about this game is that it’s sort of like our old friend Catan. The board and situations always change making you constantly re-vamp your strategy.

Final Final Thoughts:
Quality: 4.5/5 (lost .5 due to some print issues such as on the sector edges, they had black lines so they didn’t quite look seamless, but i’m a bit CDO, so most of you probably won’t even care…)
Fun: 5/5
Substance: 5/5
Re-playability: 5/5 (i’m guessing it will take quite awhile before I over play this game…)

Gosh, if it weren’t for my CDO, this game would be a 5-er! Great Publish Queen Games! And Donald X. Vaccarino, I hope you get rich off this one *wink*

Happy Gaming from BOP!

Kingdom_Builder_Rules_US

*** I recently received a very kind and informative email from Mr. Rajive Gupta, CEO / President of Queen Games. He stated a technical problem of forge cutting paper/paperboard along the sector lines. And assured that it has been taken care of in the next print run! 

Which I do believe would bring this up to a perfect 5 in BOP’s opinion!