Date: 7th February 2003
Game played: Krone & Schwert ( Queen ) BGG Id: 4375

I've been waiting to try this latest from Klaus Jurgen Wrede for some while now. It is a different game from Carcassonne but, having now played it, it has quite a lot going for it. The game revolves around the struggle for power among rival European princes. One can become King and this brings wealth through being able to tax the people, but only as long as revolt doesn't result in you being overthrown. However, becoming King is not the only way to success in the game. You can gain points for the cities you develop, control of castles and cathedrals can bring rewards during a revolt and, at the end of the game, everything built is worth a VP as well as bonuses for those controlling the largest territories and being the King.

The game is all about weighing up when to press to become King, whether to support the King or the challenger during other revolts, while building up one's buildings and area of influence. Early in our game, I became King and held onto the position for several rounds. But, at that time, not many points are available because of the lack of buildings (mainly castles) on the board. Nige took over eventually and quickly overtook my tally of VPs, due to him having more castles in play by then. We also became known during our Kingship by the characteristics by which we ruled. Hence, King Mark the Bald was overturned by King John the Bas***d who, in turn, was succeeded by King Nige the Just - not too sure about that last one. As we drew towards the end, King Mark (the Bald) had a huge number of castles and was liable to rake in the points, making it essential for others to overthrow him. King Nige squeezed me out of having the largest territory but I managed to grab being King and held onto it until the Game End card appeared. My apparently weak first term of office had persuaded others that I was lagging behind on the points scale, but I had gained good points elsewhere and the final bonus for being last King pushed me ahead to win.

I thought this was a nice game with lots of interaction and a number of paths to victory. Mark K felt that the card draw added too much luck and I agree his position wasn't helped by him not drawing a single city card in the first half of the game (which prevented him from being King). However, he was able to build a large series of castles, which meant he was able to catch up quickly once he did become King. The one thing that didn't quite work was the benefit of supporting one side or the other during a revolt. This seemed too low for it to make much difference if you voted the right or wrong way. Still we all quite enjoyed it and the board looked very nice at the end.

Mark G
Mark K

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