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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-40 minutes 2

Designer(s): Dirk Henn

Manufacturer(s): Kosmos, Mayfair Games

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Product Description

On one side is the House of York with a white rose in its coat of arms; on the other side is the House of Lancaster with a red rose. The "War of the Roses" was fought to determine who would be king of England. The players use their cards to bring large, connected areas under their control. They also use their courageous heroes who bring about interesting twists of fate. At the end, the new ruler of England is declared.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Dirk Henn

  • Manufacturer(s): Kosmos, Mayfair Games

  • Year: 2008

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 30 - 40 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 395 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English). Game components are language-independent.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.9 in 8 reviews

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Beats checkers any day
May 07, 2005

This is a sweet little filler game. I like the limitation of only 4 hero cards to flip your opponent's stones. Use these near the end to break up those large territories and get out of a tight spot. It sometimes feels like there aren't enough power cards (movement cards) and there should be a chance to move 4 spaces also.

The board is very nicely illustrated, and the game components are very sturdy and high quality. The cards are a bit on the small side but durable.

A very good 2-player game!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Fun to play and score
February 16, 2004

This is an excellent two-player game. Several unique aspects of the game provide the challenge and make it fun: the manner of placing pieces during the game, the chance to turn an opponent's piece to your side, and scoring at the end of the game. This game got us playing board games again.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Light strategy, quick pace
December 04, 2002

My wife and I picked this up on a whim... With very simple rules and fast play, this is one of our favorites after a tough workday. The balance between luck and strategy seems ideal. Looking more than a few moves ahead is pointless, so the pace tends to be pretty quick. That's not to say there isn't ample room for strategic thinking... when will you draw more action cards? Will you play an action card just to keep your opponent from a good play? Use your hero cards early? Keep hero cards too long and waste them? The game has a distinctive feel through the early-mid-endgame. The scoring system is simple, but I tend to prefer systems that don't require pencil or calculator to total up. This takes away only slightly from an otherwise fast paced game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
for a twist-don't show your cards
January 01, 2001

As I was shown how to play by some of the guys from the local game store, I was of course only told some of the rules. The variation they play involves not showing your cards to your opponent (keeping them hidden in your hand). This makes it a great strategy game, trying to force your opponent into corners and fearing ALL possible moves. I highly recommend this game... even if your friends know how to read.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Chess-like thinking.
October 15, 2000

Just picked this game up last night, brought it home and convinced my wife to play a game. The result? We loved it.

You have read enough of the mechanics below, so I will not bore you with that. I will just say that knowing your opponent's moves brings this game to a whole new level. It becomes like chess, with only one piece. One can use the knowlege of what their opponent can do to their advantage and spring a surprise move on them. It is simply wonderful, and can be played on so many levels. It will be a long time before this title gets dusty.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Another good game in the 2 player Kosmos series...
July 09, 2000

I usually agree with Greg regarding his game opinions, but I disagree with him regarding Rosenkonig (Condottiere is another one). Anyhow, I find this game fun. It isn't strategy-heavy, but it gives me enough to think about to fit as a semi-light strategy game. People I played it with in my local gaming group like it also. It also features an interesting 2-on-2 team play. Yes, the strategy pretty much consists of doing a quick mini-max on every turn not to screw up, but that is fine with me.

I first played the game when it was known as Texas and sought the game out and was glad to see it get rereleased with better components. I do recommend the game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
"England swings like a pendulum do..."
April 06, 2000

There is a car commercial that airs with the narrator talking 'there are no gracious winners. Sure we say things like, great game! but inside we're thinking, I'm better than you are!' Isn't that why gamers love heads up games. There is just something about taking on someone 'mano a mano' and WINNING! YESSSS!

The War of the Roses is the backdrop for this two player game from Kosmos. The gameboard is a simple square grid superimposed over the lands of Lancaster & York. The round wooden stones are Othello-like with a white/red rose print. Players are dealt, face up, five cards each. The cards have a sword showing distance (1-3) and direction. Players move a crown piece using these cards to vacant squares and place a stone with the appropriate rose face up. Player also have four 'heroic' cards that enable you move the crown to an enemy-occupied square and flip it. Players do not automatically draw a new movement card after playing one. That is where the challenge of this game lies. Players must decide when the best time to add to your hand is. As both players' cards are kept face up (you know all your opponent's possible moves) , this aids you in weighing this decision. After all cards or stones have been played, the game ends and is scored. Each group of roses connected orthogonally is counted, squared (mulitplied by itself) then totaled. So four connected roses is worth 16 points, five roses 25 points.... High score wins.

I enjoy this game even with its rather simple play. It's light, easy to teach, compact to play at lunch and offers some interesting decision making. Being able to know exactly what your opponent has in terms of movement, though makes the game rather unsurprising. I have played with my own game variant which adds some zest, and I suggest it to anyone playing the game. Add a 'fog of war' element by exposing three of your cards, while keeping two hidden. This creates a sense of strategic 'pounce' with one of your hidden cards and keeps your opponent (and yourself) on your toes. Be stingy with your 'heroic' cards, especially at the beginning of the game. Use them to break up large groupings of opposing stones. A grouping of eight scores 64 points--break that up into groups of 3 and 4, and you lower your opponent's score dramatically!

Worth adding to your collection as a laid back, quick 'fix' game. Let's face it, I love a complex microbrew, but once in a while, a light beer hits the spot.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Dr Jay
Texas gives you ranches rather than beer.
December 18, 1998

Little did I realize that small game board of the map of Texas could provide such absorbing fun. Our foursome played three games of Texas, counting the third game as a 'bridge rubber' game. The game sucks you into more than beer and pretzels.

You start out with three directional cards that allow you to place your ranches or farms on one of the squares of the Texas map. If your card reads NW2, you can move diagonally the two squares rather than vertically or horizontally. You can as the only part of your move draw a card, move with one of the directional cards, or miss a turn.

Our foursome discovered we need to work together as teams. No oral diplomacy is allowed, but you start studying the faceup directional cards of every player, including your partner. You can take the two judge tiles you are given and displace a farm with a ranch, for example. One problem always remains: Do I keep the judge tiles for later in the game or use quickly at a strategic time to remove the other player's piece and replace with mine?

The game ends when no one can do any more placement of ranches or farms. Other possibilities cannot be carried out, such as drawing a card or no markers remain. I kept the game moving with comments about sheepherders and ranchers, who traditionally started range wars. Your objective is to always place contiguous ranches or farms on the spaces, referred to in the rules as 'coherent.'

You think you have won the game in the early rounds, especially if five ranches, for example, are contiguous to each other. Suddenly, another player uses a judge tile and displaces your continuous placement. Often, directional cards force you to use judge tiles in the early rounds. We found at the end of the third game the score 61 for the farms and 59 for the ranches. That was the lowest score for all three games, because the foursome had mastered more strategy.

You score the game by say, three ranches contiguous to each other, is squared to nine victory points. It is important to remove other people's ranches or farms and replace with your own. That is easily done by turning over the ranch or farm counter to the opposite side.

One of our players commented the game had more than meets the eye. I liked the game for its spirited interaction, but the game is driven by the directional cards. You can communicate your love for the Old West with Texas.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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