Kingdoms- The Board Game
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Kingdoms- The Board Game

‘Kingdoms’ is a board game for 2-4 players created by Reiner Knizia and marketed by Fantasy Flight in the year 2002. ‘Kingdoms’ is based on the German game Auf Heller Pfennig, with slight differences between the two. This game has a medieval fantasy theme, winning the Origins Award for the Best Abstract Board Game of 2002. The medieval atmosphere brings a unique flavor to the game, although this theme has been re-implemented by board games such as Beowulf: The movie board game.

The game is set amidst a medieval marketplace where players take turns to arrange tiles on squares, which in turn modifies the amount of money made by the shops that occupy the same column or row as the tiles. The sum of all the tiles in a row or column is taken as the value for that row or column. The player with the most points, translating to more money after three games are played on the board wins. To do this, players must form castles in the affluent regions of the kingdom with castle tiles, while dodging hazards such as dragons, trolls, swamps etc.

Players have to draw tiles and arrange them on an orthogonal grid, in turns. The grid represents the kingdom that is being settled. These tiles are taken from a stack, via turns. A player may pick up resource tiles with values of +1 to +6, or hazard tiles with values -1 to -6. The total of all the tile values across a row or column is the score for that particular row or column. The mountain tile is a special tile that splits the column and row it is placed on into two, as a result of which the scoring of the two sections is separate. Castle tiles are valued from 1 to 4, to score points from these a player must have a castle on a particular row or column these are placed. Castles may score points of the column or row they occupy, multiplied by the rank of the castle. Scores can be positive or negative, depending on the tiles so arranged. Each player has a limited number of castles and no other castle can be reused other than the one with rank 1.

The tiles that have been placed once cannot be moved again. Players must play their castle tiles when there are empty places on the board left, otherwise they might lose the highest scoring columns and rows. ‘Kingdoms’ requires tactical planning; players have to decide between scoring high points and risking their castles to the dragon or hazard tiles. Two special tiles apart from the mountain tile include the dragon tile and the gold mine. The dragon tile cancels the points of resource tiles in any row or column that it occupies, making only the hazard tiles accountable. A gold mine tile effectively doubles the total value of that row and column. The game is played for three rounds, and after each round the grid is filled following which the board is emptied and play continues afresh.
May 13, 2008, 7:10 pm

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