‘Kingsburg’ board game review
By Ed Appleby, Senior Columnist
The reports are in from your scouts: A marauding horde of bloodthirsty monsters bent on destruction will be at the gates of your kingdom sooner than you would like. There is only one thing to do—suck up to the bureaucracy!
Kingsburg (2007) is a resource-allocation game for two to five people designed by Andrea Chiarvesio and Luca Iennaco, and published by Stratellion. In the game, players take the role of governing lords who must guide their lands through the seasons by constructing buildings, acquiring resources and intelligence, and preparing your army to defend against the upcoming monster attack at the end of the year. Resources are acquired by allocating dice rolls to various members of the King’s Council. The winner is the player with the most victory points after five years.
This game has a lot going for it. The fact that your influence is based on dice rolls, and that the lowest roll gets to place their influence first, gives the game a balanced random element that doesn’t take away from the strategy. Players who fall behind in resources or buildings get a boon from the king after certain seasons, which keeps players from being left behind. Unlike most Euro-style strategy games, there is no “point salad” effect at the end of the game—and every victory point is valuable.
There are several expansions available for the game, which for once is a welcome addition. Whereas many expansions tend to overcomplicate an already-complicated game, in the case of Kingsburg the expansions add little in the way of new rules and more in the way of new options for the players to allocate their resources.
Kingsburg is a unicorn among fantasy-based European strategy games—one that is fair, balanced, and engaging without a hidden scoring system. The basic rules are simple enough to understand, and easy enough to pick up after a round or two. I would highly recommend giving this game a shot, especially since it just had a second edition release last year.