English language edition
List Price: $11.95
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Players are knights competing to build castles in the kingdom. But building castles is not the only way to win. There are actually three ways to win: build four castles with different banners, build three different castles and topple the king, or build two different castles and win three tournaments. Players also have the opportunity to acquire special abilities. Players acquire the special abilities, build the castles, and win the tournaments by throwing six dice three times to beat the dice combination on cards that represent the castles, tournaments, and special abilities. Players may also attempt to capture cards from other players and may acquire special cards to protect their cards from capture. The first player to reach one of the three winning conditions is the winner! Players need a good mixture of luck and skill to win this game.
I'm very close to giving this game 5 stars. Yes it's not the ultimate straegy game, but it sure is fun. After you've played a few rounds you pick up on some winning strategy, but just when you think you're there you get a bad roll of the dice. My wife and I have played every night since Christmas and still enjoy it. The three ways to win also add a nice unpredictability. Take a chance and you may topple the king. Very,very enjoyable game. I recommend it for a nice quick play ,light strategy game.
I'll have to preface my review by saying I'm a big believer that certain games end up filling niches--there are games I think of as appetizers, games I think of as main courses, and games I think of as desserts.
To me, Knights is a fairly tasty little appetizer. It's a great way for three or four people to enjoy a game while they wait for other people to show up, or if they want to start with something simple before going on to more complicated games. Knights' simple concept, easy play, and short duration make it perfect for just that.
If one of my friends invited me over and said, 'We're going to play Knights all night,' I'd probably drop it down to a 2- or 3-star rating like the other reviewers. But with my group, it's always, 'We're going to play Knights AND...'
And, yeah, it's way better than [page scan/se=0034/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Yahtzee.
The graphic on the front of the box depicting a somewhat cartoonish lout blowing a raspberry at a knight in a neighbouring castle does give you a good indication of what kind of game this is. Knights is fairly light, with a well chosen knights-and-castles setting, good artwork, and straight forward gameplay.
Some comparisons have been made to Yahtzee, which may give you the wrong idea. The similarity is that players are trying to roll a certain conbination of dice in Knights as they do in Yahtzee. The difference is that in Yahtzee you have lots of options to roll for, with the possibility to change goals halfway thru your turn, but in Knights you choose your goal then roll for it, all-or-nothing. It may not sound significant, but it is very much so, as it reduces tension and obviously tough decisions.
What Knights lack in tension for decisions in rolling dice, it tries to make up for with neat action cards and a fun theme. To a degree it works. You can roll to acquire new castles, or conquer others' castles; you can win jousting tournaments; you can go after action cards either from the deck or from other playters in order to gain some advantages. The action cards are well chosen with catapult giving you an extra roll when trying to conquer castles, guards helping protect your castles, etc.
This game, given the amount of luck, and the nature and gameplay of the game, seems aimed squarely at families looking for a fun diversion for all ages. And it works as exactly that. Gamers may be disappointed by the lack of meaningful decisions, but kids will enjoy going after different objectives. But as with most dice games, there is a lot of luck present, so beware. Also, forget about this ebing a two-player game, it creates too many runaway leads. 3 or more player means everyone can help keep the leader in check.
Yes it's a dice game, and I suppose one could see the vaguest of resemblances to Yahtzee, but this game definitely is its own game. For better or for worse, depends on your perspective, but Yahtzee does have the nice art Knights has. Fun dice game for 6 years old and up.
Knights falls squarely into the family dice games camp, and owes a debt of lineage to such games as Yahtzee, Last Chance, and Yahtzee. It does provide some nice twists of its own, and is a fun little game for family groups, or as filler for more hardcore gamers.
The diminutive box contains a set of 6 standard dice (mine were a rather ghastly yellow color), a deck of cards, and a rules sheet in dismayingly small print. Once you learn the rules to the game, you will likely never refer to them again so this is not too much of a hindrance. It also helped keep the cost down to a very reasonable level.
The cards are the heart of the game. These comprise 16 castle cards, 9 tournament cards, and a bunch of special cards. There are three ways to win the game, and this is part of the fun. A player can win by taking possession of 4 castles, or three castles and toppling the king, or 2 castles and winning 3 tourneys.
The heart of the game is in the winning of these various cards, which is acheived by beating the combination of dice shown at the top of each card. A player rolls 3 times, a la Yahtzee, trying to get 4 of his 6 dice to make a better combo than the card's pictured target combo. Some cards have an easier combination, such as 3 3's and a 1, while others might require 3 5's and a 2. Since 6's don't count and can not be re-rolled, the pressure is on through most rolls.
There are quite a variety of special cards and a player can acquire quite a few of them, taking advantage of their abilities. Some count as a specific die, such as an extra 4. These can prove very handy. Others allow castles to be taken over more easily, or don't punish a player for trying to topple the king.
I have glossed over a little of the rules, such as what cards are available for attack each turn, but it isn't complicated at all. Choices can be tough or obvious, depending on the situation.
Since players can take castles from other players, it is easy to target the leader at any time. Practically any victory in Knights will be a hard-fought win. Not a lot of strategy here, but lots of fun for what it is. Recommended.
This game is actually pretty boring and winning is left mostly up to chance. It could have a spot on the game table occasionally, but there are so many better choices out there. For now, this one stays in the game drawer and collects dust. I gave 2 stars because I feel it may be more enjoyable for younger ones.
I agree with the previous reviewer when he states that the game falls into the 'family dice games' camp. Like any game where dice drive the outcome nearly 100%, luck plays a very large part.
Knights plays fine, moves right along, and does offer some choices on your turn (not many). The cards are sturdy and will hold up well with repeated playings. The theme, like most games of this type, is thin and is not reflected in the game at all. So don't think this will simulate anything having to do with Knights, or the middle ages for that matter. It's a dice game with a few small twists.
The game is not something you'll play for hours on end, but for the younger folks, it may be perfect. I enjoyed it for what it was, and would play again as a filler or quick game between more serious stuff. If you have a family, this may be a nice, realtively cheap game you would enjoy until the kids are old enough to tackle something more meaty.
Oh the joy of Ye Olde England -- Knights, Castles, Foot & Mouth. In this major Dicefest, designer Michael Schacht has pared gaming down to its most simplistic whilst nonetheless providing an energising contest.
Players (it works well with two) must capture Castles and win Tournaments in order to secure a winning hand. The cards depict a variety of bastions and a mounted Knight to reflect competition. Special cards provide traditional flavour -- aiding die rolls, protecting Fortresses and the like.
Each turn, a player must try and capture a card. Initially, this must be from the two draw decks, but opponents' Castles become legitimate prey when more than the "Home" Stronghold are secured. Having decided upon a target, the attacking player rolls six dice and must 'beat' the combination printed at the top of the chosen card. For example: The Yellow domain, resplendent with foaming mug of ale motif, shows three red 'fours' and a yellow 'one'. As the rules state, any quintet is greater than a quartet, quartet than a trio, etc. So four 'twos' would secure the Objective card. If the roll ties with the red combination, then the yellow number must be exceeded. Players have three attempts to succeed. If this sounds a little perfunctory, it isn't, particularly when the victorious card is at hand.
Three card melds assure victory. These are: Four different colour Castles, Three different Castles plus a tilt at the King (defended by four 'fives' and a 'one') or Two different Castles and three Tournament victories. The latter are obtained by beating all opponents when the card is chosen. The active player gains an additional die (four, rather than three).
Much merriment is to be had when circling adversaries Castles, and they must be attacked given the unknown sequence of the pack. Outright victory is only obtained, however, if the defender fails to beat the attacking roll, assuming that the aggressor has exceeded the fixed requirement. As mentioned above, Special cards can provide defence, but these, too, are fair game.
Like Volle Lotte, and the similarly themed (and hugely underrated) Ritter ohne Furcht und Tadel, you must have a kinship with die rolling. Multiple poor rolls would quickly consign Knights to the pyre.