Saturday, January 19, 2008

One down, Four to go

My resolution to play at least five new games this year has started well. Last night, The Giggling One and I were invited to join Paul and his other half Narelle, along with their friend Bernd, in a game of Kings Keep.

Kings Keep is a Tasmanian produced card game for 2 to 8 players where the players form a defensive line of cards and use these to attack and defend against other players' cards. The object of the game is to knock out the cards in the other players' lines so that their "land" cards behind can be captured.

There are only 6 lands in the deck: 1 Castle (worth the most and hardest to capture), 2 Towns and 3 Villages (the least valuable). As all lands are dealt it means not everyone starts with the same number of lands. Having more lands to start with isn't the advantage you might think, and it all works out fairly evenly.

The other cards are used to attack and defend the lands. These include the powerful Legendary Champion (of which there are only 3 in the deck), Knights, Soldiers, Peasants and Archers. There are also Mercenary cards which, when attacking, can defeat anything except a Wall, but when defending, can be defeated by any card with an attack value. The Wall itself can't attack but is a very handy defensive card as it can only be defeated by a Siege Engine. The Siege Engine is useful for knocking down walls but not much else. The Spy lets you see what cards an opponent has on the top of his line (each line can be a maximum of three cards wide, and two cards high), while the Villain allows you to steal one card at random from an opponents hand. There are also Arrow cards which allow you to attack from a distance as long as you have an Archer somewhere in your line.

As the game goes on, each player can either attack, replenish their line from their hand (everyone starts with 12 cards including lands, and construct their line out of a maximum of 6 of these cards), or pass (usually when they've run out of attacking cards). Once everyone has passed consecutively, the round ends and the person with the most land value wins.

OK, so it's probably a tad confusing to understand just from my blurb above. If you're curious to learn more, then head over to Board Game Geek. The Kings Keep section includes two Powerpoint presentations showing how the game play works.

You can also read my extended recap of how last night's game went down, including my awesome tactical move that saw me clean up in the second game here.

With one game down I'm well on my way to my goal, and having discovered that Bernd hosts a games night on the first Friday of each month, I think I may just get there.

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