Kings & Things
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Kings and Things was originally published by West End Games more than ten years ago. It's back in this new and improved German edition!
In the game, each of the two to four players takes up the role of a local lord in the fictional world of Kadab. The world has been shaken for centuries by wars, and finally the family of the Emperors of Kadab has died. It's the aim of the players to become the new Emperor, uniting Kadab. To become Emperor, a player must succeed in building a citadel (the best fortress available in the game) and be the only one who has built a Citadel for one whole turn. If another player should successfully build a Citadel as well, the game goes on until the owner of a citadel has gained one other Citadel by conquest.
As a tactical game, the most important playing pieces of the game are players' special forces. Since Kadab is a fantasy world, many different kinds of troops are available. Killer Penguins, Ghosts, Druids, Mages, Knights, Swamp Lights and many other (un)thinkable troops are ready to join your forces. With these so-called "things," the players may defend or expand their terrain by fighting against the forces of the opposing players.
Kings and Things has eight different terrains: Plains, Woods, Jungle, Mountains, Swamp, Desert, Ice and Oceans. The terrain pieces are hexagonal tiles which are randomly mixed at the beginning of the game and then spread out to form a random game board. The game begins with each player starting at a corner of the gameboard. Each owns 3 terrains, 10 randomly drawn things, 10 pieces of gold and a tower (which is a level-1 fortification).
After the starting preparations, the game proceeds in turns. During a turn players first collect their income of gold, based on their number of terrains, fortifications, etc. Players next try to add one special hero to their army. After adding heroes, players recruit the "things." An interesting feature of acquiring things is that they are randomly drawn from a pouch called the "Things-Bag." Players can never be sure what things they will receive on a turn. Mostly the Things-Bag contains fighting units with varying combat factors, but there may also be treasures, spells and assorted random events.
What follows is an intricate movement phase in which players cross the various terrains. This leads to the central phase of the game, combat. One by one the battles (occurring from fights between players or by fighting neutral forces to occupy a neutral terrain) take place. Players deploy their things, turning them face up, and the killing starts. Battle involves things, heroes, archers and combat units. Things are useable only if a player has a corresponding terrain (Killer Penguins and Ice Terrain, for example).
After all battles have been fought, players may spend money to improve their fortresses (one level per round). Level 4 is the maximum (equivalent to a Citadel), but to build a Citadel a player must have had an income of at least 20 gold that turn. Finally, players may use any of the special abilities from heroes in their army. And then the next turn begins.