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English language edition

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60-90 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Goldsieber

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Product Description

The old King is dying and the princes are all vying to succeed him. The players are the princes and each begins with three castles and three knights. Using limited resources, each tries to build stable regions and then expand them. When a prince expands into a brothers region, he gains points and his brother loses points. The more territory a prince can claim, the more points he earns. When the king dies, the prince who has gained the most power points, becomes the new king and the winner of the game!

Product Awards

Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1997
Deutscher Spiele Preis
1st place, 1997

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

  • Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Goldsieber

  • Artist(s): Andreas Steiner

  • Year: 1997

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 60 - 90 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 1,200 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are printed in English. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.


  • 1 board frame
  • 6 map pieces
  • 48 knights
  • 16 castles
  • 4 power stones
  • 100 border walls
  • 1 first player castle
  • 112 cards
  • 1 pouch
  • 1 rulebook
  • 1 game overview

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.7 in 10 reviews

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An Outstanding Game, Better than Settlers
October 05, 2002

Lowenherz is Klaus Teuber's best design to date. Better than Adel Verpflichtet, and better than Settlers. There are agonizing choices to be made every turn! The mechanic of forcing four players to choose among three options each turn, with two players having to duke it out to perform one of the choices, works very well. The balance among the various strategies (going for gold, choosing a politics card, building walls, building up a knight force, expanding one's territory) is remarkable -- each of these is valuable in its own way, and choosing how much one of them is worth to you at any given point in the game is not easy! I'll play this game over and over and over -- it's just loads of fun!

by Rolf
Defenitely one of my favorites, this one
September 10, 2002

Allthough I have nothing new to add to the previous reviewers, I still want to express my enthousiasm for this game, because it simply deserves it. The game is just brilliant. Even if it would only have been a 'place a few pieces on the board' type of game (like Medina) it's my guess it still would have been a nice, abstract game.

Klaus Teuber however, has managed to mix a good abstract game mechanism with a completely other mechanism, wich is highly responsible for a lot of interaction between the players: trading the actions. If you want to do something, you'll have to pay for it. This way, you don't only have to keep focussed on what's going on on the board, you also have to make sure you have enough money in order to execute your strategical plans. I think this can be frustrating at times, especcially when you can't afford yourself to make a certain 'now watch me what I figured out here' move on the board, due to the lack of money (wich is needed to buy your desperately wanted action ) but on the other hand: every player has this problem, so it is a matter of balance and timing. That is what makes this game to a great game.

Money is equal to power, but if you use it wrong, you'll destroy your options. Control your greede, but control it to much, and you will find yourself wonderering why the other player(s) do exactly the thing you had planned to do, instead of you :)

A great, great game, thanks to its diverse elements.

One of the best games ever, by one of the best designers
May 02, 2002

Klaus Teuber has been making high quality games for a long time, and Loewenherz is just one in a long list of his triumphs. But it might be the best triumph of his.

Loewenherz is set in medieval England. As the King dies, each of four players (as princes) vie for control of the kingdom. Gameplay is based on bidding for action cards that allow you to build, recruit knights, or gain money. As you build kingdoms and expand into other knight's kingdoms, the choices you make as to what to bid when become critical. The many different options in this respect make the games strategy very multi-faceted.

It's this fact that makes Loewenherz so unique and replayable. Given all the different strategy options, there is no one best way to play the game. Will you set up a kingdom early? Or will you save your resources and attempt to expand into another player's kingdom once he's spent? Will you develop a number of small areas, or one giant of a kingdom? How much will you bid for each action card? All these are questions whose answers depend on the choices your opponents make.

The board play of Loewenherz feels a lot like Acquire. The bidding feels somewhat like poker. The strategy choices feel a lot like Executive Decision (another great overlooked game). And the intensity is somewhat comparable to Diplomacy. A must try for any serious gamer.

Totally Excellent Game!
November 24, 2001

This is a great game! My only regret is that it doesn't accommodate more than 4 players.

The components are great: colorful, modular map; lots of plastic bits; and quality cards (albeit they're a little small).

The mechanic of vying and bidding for your action each round is one of the best I've seen, and has a level of intrigue and tension that's missing from games like [page scan/se=0040/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]El Grande.

What really surprised me is the amount of true negotiating opportunities in the game. My group tends to strike some really creative and interesting deals ranging from the financing of fellow players to bid on actions, to shared placement of walls.

This game is truly a gem. Don't miss out on it.

Thanks Games Magazine for Reminding Us!
November 17, 2001

In 1997 this game won the Deutscher SpielePreis award and was listed in Games 100. I have played it constantly with my friends and always felt it was one of the best games in terms of excitement, tactics and player interaction. Coming on the heels of Settlers, and with a random set up that resembles Catan, I think many people expected this type of game. Many reviews unfairly compared the two games.

Take this game out of your closet and try it again; stop looking for sheep, bricks and wood. Get ready to fight for land and to be in the best position before the king dies. A GREAT GAME!

by Noel
Seriously underrated game
August 01, 2001

Like many people, I am constantly getting new games and trying them out with varying degrees of success. Lowenherz is one game that we keep going back to!

I think most people are simply overlooking the game's strategy. One of its best features is how good it is with two players. I strongly recommend it.

Most overlooked game on the market- Fantastic Game
October 03, 2000

In 1997 Lowenherz won the Deutscher SpielePreis award and is listed on the 100 best games for Games Magazine. I have played it, several times, and fell in love with the depth and player interaction. Yet, this game is rarely noted despite its excellent design and playability. A tension results as the final cards flips--some wanting the king to die, and others hoping he hangs on for a bit. It's a great game and should get more attention.

Better than Settlers!
December 05, 1998

Every player's move effects your own next move. It has the boundary setting stategy of Go and the ease of play and cutthroat tactics of Risk. Often a close game with some hoping the King dies soon and others that he can live for one more play. Simple, yet great depth. One of the most underrated games on the market. I like Settlers, but this one is a much better product.

by Mille
June 28, 2001

Löwenherz is one of those games where the rules are simple enough to learn, but the decisions are difficult to make. Deciding which actions to choose and how to use them takes much experience, as does deciding if you are willing to pay for an action during a power trial or should save your ducats for something more important later. This can make it hard to tell who is in a good position to win the game, which could be good or bad depending on your point of view.

The game can be a little slow in the beginning as you start setting up your regions. Power trials can be particularly slow since there are few rules that limit the negotiations. A few optional rules, such as stricter auction bidding or a timer, can easily speed things up. However, the excitement comes as the king nears death: you try to quickly gain some final points and stop your opponents from doing the same. The game also works quite well with 2, 3, or 4 players but, naturally, 4 players is preferable.

The Rio Grande version of the game has a decent presentation. The board has a good medieval style to the artwork. The main complaints are that all the cards are small and have black and white backs, and that there is a single, ugly fold on the frame which holds the tiles together.

Löwenherz isn't the most elegant of games, but it has enough interesting elements to make it worth trying.

Not one of the best
August 14, 1999

Lwenherz looks like it should have all the feel of The Settlers of Catan (also one of Klaus Teuber's): it has a variable map layout, it has several players vying for control of the board, it has the equivalent of 'development cards'; indeed there are lots of similarities. It came as a big surprise to me, then, that this game did not have the allure that its predecessor has.

One of the appealing aspects of Settlers is that you are almost always building your own side rather than actively trying to hurt your opponents. This is not the case with Lwenherz, where the battles can get quite bloody in cramped quarters. Every action seems like a struggle, from the bidding to the expanding of regions to the getting of victory points.

The game play runs like this: each player gets a few castles on the board and a knight to defend each. At the beginning of a turn, you turn up a card, and then each player bids for the right to perform one of the three actions shown on the card, which could be to add a boundary wall, add a knight to an enclosed region, expand the area covered by an existing region, or take a politics card for later use. Not everyone will get their first choice, which is where negotiation comes in - and if it still can't be resolved, a duel (simultaneous wager of money), with the winner getting to perform the action. And so the game goes until the deck is almost empty and the old king dies, the player with the most victory points being the victor and new king.

I have played Lwenherz with two and three players, and there is a little more strategy with two players. Each time I have felt an inkling of a Great Game lurking somewhere underneath it, but so far it has eluded me.

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