Kingsburg

This month’s Game of the Month, Kingsburg, is a beautifully illustrated dice roller, designed by Andrea Chiarvesio and Luca Iennaco and published domestically by Fantasy Flight games.

Kingsburg was first published in 2007 and is essentially a worker placement game with a medieval theme that’s driven by a dice rolling mechanic. It plays 2 to 5 players and should take an hour and a half, but can run longer if you have five players or if people agonize over their dice placement. It is recommended for players ages 10 and older. Kingsburg retails for $49.95 at your local game store, but you should be able to find it for $40 or less from an online retailer.

In Kingsburg, players are nobles who are sent from the king to develop the outer regions of the kingdom, using resources to create structures that will both enhance the region’s prestige and to protect the area from hostile armies. The game takes place over a series of five years (turns) that is broken up into seasons (phases). The main part of a season is the allocation of dice to a variety of court advisers that can provide the player with valuable resources, soldiers, victory points, and information about the invading army that attacks at the end of each year in the winter.

There is an expansion set that was released in 2009 called Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm. The expansion includes five modules that can be added in to the the base game. I have only played with three of the expansions, so part of my goal this month is get in a play or two with the remaining two expansion modules. Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm retails for $29.95 but again, you can find it online for less than that. Remember, it is an expansion to the base game and cannot be played alone.

The point of the Game of the Month feature is not to necessarily to review a game, but to rather explore a game by repeated play over a particular month. I’m not going to choose a game for GotM if I don’t already like it. Kingsburg is a good game. What I want to do is spend some time thinking about strategies or suggestions for play.

If you want to participate in the discussion, here are some things I want you to consider as you play Kingsburg this month.

  • When is this the right game to bring out?
  • How long does it really take?
  • Is there a sweet spot with the number of players?
  • Can it be played solo?
  • Is there an essential strategy?
  • If you are using the expansions, what modules are the best?
  • What are some important building and advisor combos?

If you have some thoughts you would like to share, email me at gameguythinks@gmail.com, or just make your comments directly on this post. I will put everything together in a post at the end of the month.

Disclaimer: I have recieved no review copies of this game. I have included links to funagain.com, an online retailer that I support by including affiliate links to games. If you purchase something from Funagain, and include my affiliate code, P2RX, then I get a few pennies of store credit so I can buy more games.

4 Comments

  1. * When is this the right game to bring out?
    No tremendous insight here. I wouldn’t say that this is a game that needs a “special time”. If you’ve never played it before, open it up, look at the components, you’ll know what it’s about, and if the time is right.

    * How long does it really take?
    90 – 120 minutes.

    * Is there a sweet spot with the number of players?
    I think 5 is a bit too much. 4 is probably best, with 3 being okay.

    * Can it be played solo?
    I don’t think ANY game should be played solo, so I’m not the best person to give an opinion on this. It’s POSSIBLE, I suppose.

    * Is there an essential strategy?
    The strategy really changes with the expansion. I like to try to get the extra dice pretty early, then cover my butt by getting an extra soldier. However, “just get big points” seems to win often, also. If you’re playing with the “mercenary discs”, peeking at the oncoming army is pretty crucial.

    * If you are using the expansions, what modules are the best?
    I’ve only played with the expansion one, but I liked those that I played with. We used the strips which replaced one “row”, as well as the discs which change how you hire mercenaries. I think the mercenary discs are a necessity. The die roll for mercenaries was way too random. I haven’t tried to “roll cards”, but am leery.

    * What are some important building and adviser combos? Well, getting the “+1 mercenary” in addition to getting mercenaries can be important. If you have a chance to take the 3 stone early on can be a good idea, as stone is hard to get.

  2. @Davebo Awesome! This is exactly the kind of input I want. I agree btw that the mercenary discs are a must have. Not sure about the rest. I need to try the events and character cards.

    @markta I agree, the game CAN go on a bit, but only if players agonize over their dice placement. Five players is too much though, and does make it go on and on. Hey, your blog is funny!

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